About Rob Schwarzwalder
Rob Schwarzwalder serves as Senior Vice President for the Family Research Council. He oversees the Policy Department, including the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI).
Rob spent many years on Capitol Hill as Chief of Staff for two Members of Congress. He was also a press secretary in both the House and Senate. The Senator and Congressmen for whom he worked held seats on the Senate and House Armed Services committees; the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee; and the House Oversight and Government Reform, Natural Resources, Science, Small Business, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.
From 1997 – 2001, Rob was director of communications and senior writer at the National Association of Manufacturers. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Rob to be senior speechwriter at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he crafted language relating to all facets of the President’s health care agenda.
How Rob Schwarzwalder Views The Same Sex Marriage Decision
“Within a couple of days after the ruling, a writer in Time Magazine referred to the Obergefell Decision. That decision he described as now that this is settled law; it is anything but settled law. Roe v Wade for the last forty two years has not been settled law. The Dred Scott decision that supposedly settled the issue of slavery provoked a Civil War six years later. It is our sincere hope that nothing like that recurs, but to suggest that this issue is done is wrong.”
The Roles of Each Governmental Branch in This Decision
“What they did was usurped the role of Congress and the role of the States. In states where a ballot initiative had been held on same sex marriage, almost all approved marriage as the union of one man and one woman. All it took was a handful of Federal judges to say, “ You can’t do it.” The result being that the votes of over thirty million Americans who voted for traditional marriage were vitiated. The supreme court by one member, specifically Justice Anthony Kiney, wrote the majority opinion, and said, ‘I’m going to go ahead and find in the fourteenth amendment under the equal protection clause a so called “right” to same sex marriage.’
He even went so far as to say that “Homosexuality is “an immutable characteristic.” If it is immutable, why are there thousands of men and women saying, “They no longer have same sex attraction,” or “no longer identify themselves as gay and lesbian.” Race is a benign characteristic and it is immutable. Homosexuality, whatever its causes has to do with conduct in terms of acting out, at least in terms of so called marriage; it is volitional. If it is volitional, then that’s something that is not an inherent right.”
The War of Preference
“Nobody is going to anybodies bedroom at three o’clock in the morning and saying, “That’s not something you can do with a partner of the same gender, or the same sex.” I’ve been in a debate with a leading gay advocate. They informed me that gender and sex are not the same thing and that I’m ignorant because I don’t grasp the distinction. Gender is essentially apparently how someone feels.
Those who advocate for so called “same sex marriage” propose that the basis of marriage is volition and affection. In other words, we want to get married; we have affection for one another; ergo, we should be “married.” Using that standard, and to Justice Roberts credit in his response said, “Why limit it to two? If your only criteria is “I want to marry you and I have affection for you,” what’s to stop two men and three women from getting “married? And there are already suits along these lines.
Polyamory, polygamy, is a natural outgrowth. There is no objective reason why you stop at two. Justice Kennedy inferred, “Nobody’s saying, marriage should be more than two people.” Nonsense! There are lots of people saying that. If you open up that Pandora’s Box, marriage becomes meaningless. If anyone can be “married,” if the numbers and gender don’t matter, what you have essentially is a legal contract. What you’re looking at potentially is an explosion of so called marriages between multiple partners that could completely upend. There’s a whole series of issues: property rights, custody rights of children, places of residence, the kinds of taxes that are imposed on small businesses or on couples, and testimonies in courts of law.”
How Rob Schwarzwalder Believes The Church Should Respond
“There’s so much we can do. The first thing we need to do is to make very clear that in standing for truth, we are not being ungracious. Any gay or lesbian, or transgender person, that is listening to this needs to know and be assured that there is a living God who loves them, who created them, who chose to make them as image bearers of Himself. In the book of Leviticus, there are four types of sexual sin that are condemned: incest, beastiality, adultery between a man and a woman.
Several types of it in fact are described as homosexuality. They are all described in Hebrew as disgusting to God. Homosexuality is not a unique sin; it’s not something that we should elevate as people who are identified as gay or lesbian, or who struggle with same sex attraction. They are to be loved and affirmed as image bearers of God and as people like the rest of us who are sinners, who can be saved by grace. I have a friend named Rosaria Butterfield.
She said words to this effect, “I do not regard myself as ex gay. I regard myself as a sinner saved by grace.” You’ve asked how the church should approach this. Well, many gay, in fact the majority of gay and lesbian men and women, say, “Being homosexual is not something I do, it is who I am.” We need to find a way to say, “No, it is not. It is not who you are. It might be a desire that you have; it might be a practice that you have engaged in; it is not who you are.”
Why Do People Gravitate Toward Same-Sex Attraction?
“There’s several reasons. One is the classic Freudian analysis which says, there was a passive or hostile father, who did not engage or conversely passive, hostile mother. That child was vulnerable to the affection of someone who was homosexual and as a result became homosexual. It could involve issues of abuse and there’s a corollary to that; many people who are gay, or identify as gay, will acknowledge that they were sexually molested as children.
I just talked to a young man last week about this issue. He said, “I have never in my life been drawn to the female form. I’ve always been attracted to men.” He had an interesting theory about why that was; it had to do with a benign brain tumor. People are drawn to different types of sin for different reasons. Just like you, when I was in college, I fell in love about ten times a day. In his grace, God kept me from that. I’ve been married to the same woman for thirty four years faithfully.
We were pure before we were married and I honor the Lord for that and we have been faithful to each other since then. God in His grace gave me the strength to do that. Now, here’s one thing we need to say in all honesty, what you and I have experienced as heterosexual males in marriage is the fulfillment of our sexual desires. We are telling young men and women who are at the peak of their sexual desire, “You cannot participate in any kind of sexual activity until you’re married. You don’t want to get married to another person of the opposite gender.” We are demanding of them a measure of restraint and of holiness that is very difficult for a young person.”
The Damage of The Sexual Revolution
“FRC will soon be posting online a fascinating inhouse lecture we had. It was basically a briefing, but we’ll post it publicly. A neurosurgeon was speaking about pornography addiction. This man was trained by the man, who himself was trained by the father of neurosurgery. He is highly respected in his field and he gave a presentation on the addictive character of pornography. What you’ve described is exactly right. This is fascinating insight; there’s a professor at Yale University who’s written about the nature of pornographic attraction and addiction. He said, “Pornography not only objectifies women, it animalizes them.” Pornography portrays women as these sexually, voracious creatures who want to be treated in a vile and perverse, and even violent way. It lies about the nature of sexual interest in women and animalizes them sexually.
Young men who get married and who have been active in pornography expect things from their wives that they cannot possibly fulfill. This is replete throughout the country in every church. Right now I’m counseling several men who have pornography addictions.
This is an addiction and needs to be treated like an addiction. To those listening, who are wrestling with this, estimates say that forty percent of men in churches are dealing with this and you can’t go it alone. You’ve got to find an accountability group and you have to find a way of recognizing that this is not just something that is some innocent little pastime. It’s evil! The women who participate in pornography, and this is particularly overwhelming, but it is up to eighty to ninety percent that are victimized.”
How Does Rob Schwarzwalder Believe Pastors Should Handle Same Sex Marriage?
“Right now, you have the legal right to say, “No.” You also have the moral obligation from Scripture to continue to say, “No.” If that means ten, fifteen, twenty years, however long, until the Federal government says, “You no longer can perform federally recognized marriages,” or “You can no longer license marriages,” so be it. It’s actually a relatively new phenomenon in the history of the church and I’ve written something about this, where the government has authorized Christian pastors, be they Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, whatever, to license marriages legally. If they take that away from us, so be it!
No one thought, at least I didn’t think, twenty years ago that same sex marriage would advance this quickly. In 2004, when President Bush was reelected, one of his campaign plans was that there would be a constitutional amendment to institutionalize marriage. Sadly, he immediately abandoned that, but that same year, I don’t remember if it was four or six states in 2004, but they voted for the traditional, natural, definition of marriage. Now, eleven years later the Supreme Court has jettisoned all of that. We don’t know how rapidly this is coming, but what the Federal government demands, or demands that we do, we cannot buckle to that. We cannot in any way conform to it.”
The Pervasive Effect of Same Sex Marriage on Christians
“I think it will drive Christians out of certain industries. A lot of Christians have lived on the fat of the land in a culture with friendly values. This is a Post Modern Christian Society. Of course there are many Christians in public office, but nobody is coming with bayonets into your church on Sunday morning. In terms of being able to live out your faith there is an obvious hostility out there. If you’re a Christian baker and there comes a choice between shutting down or baking a cake for a gay wedding then you need to shut down. Easy for me to say, but I know people who’ve had to do it.
You’re providing a service, but you’re also in a sense actively participating. Let’s take the example of the Hindu couple that gets married. Are we Hindus? Do we believe in the multiple polytheistic gods of Hinduism? No, we don’t. We believe in the God of the Bible; the Triune Godhead. That being said, you are not endorsing that ceremony or endorsing the religious ceremony behind that. You’re endorsing the union of a man and a woman in marriage.
Now let’s look at homosexuality in that light: It’s an intrinsic legal recognition of a union that is disobedient to God. There’s a distinction there. I hope I’m making this clear. You can honor the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, even if it’s inducted in a ceremony with which you have profound theological disagreement. You cannot do that in a same sex ceremony because it in itself is a union that is being recognized and celebrated and that is an affront to God.”
What is The Downside For The Church Differentiating Civil and “Religious” Ceremonies?
“I think there is a case to be made with respect to religious ceremonies. If you perform a wedding and you don’t have the ability legally to recognize that marriage or to solemnize that marriage legally, let them go to the County Clerk across the street. Have the County Clerk do it. Get a marriage certificate. Okay you’re married. But before the Lord, just as we have the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper, and of Baptism; these are not legal ceremonies.
They are things we do within the church. If that’s what it comes to, it would be unfair. I think it would be discriminatory towards Christians, but so be it. We would honor marriage civilly so that there is a legal recognition of the union, but then we would conduct our marriage ceremony as if nothing happened. Before God and this company, you are making a pledge to each other. That wouldn’t change.
This country was founded on the idea of objective truth, so that those in power could not abuse the law. For us to abuse these freedoms is troubling. Right now we have the tools with which to fight. We have things that we can do, using the citizenship and the liberties that we still enjoy. We can try to thwart the erosions of those, and strengthen them and make them happen again in our country. As Christians, out of love and out of patriotism, we should do that.”
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