We recall here Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic declaration in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in the midst of the civil rights movement of the 1960s: “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’” Today's US Supreme Court opinion is an unjust law.
We suggest that we remind ourselves, and others, that the Court has previously been wrong—horribly so. To take but one example of many that we could cite, once upon a time this same Court said that no Black person, whether slave or free, could ever be a citizen of the United States (Dred Scott). Today, we rightly regard those decisions as morally reprehensible and legally wrong.
The fact that the Supreme Court says that the law is something today does not mean that the law will be understood that way tomorrow. Just as the Nation is continuing its gradual recoil from Roe v. Wade, so we may someday recoil from this. Just as today’s decision overruled Baker v. Nelson (the case that found no federal constitutional issue concerning same-sex marriage), so may today’s decision someday itself be overruled.
We suggest, then, that we must not lose heart. Today’s decision does not end things for us. There is still much work to do, and much opportunity to use our lives to bring glory and honor to God. We suggest that we fervently pray for revival for our Nation. We all know that is what is needed. Let us pray for it, and do what we can do to be used by God to bring about that revival. Let us also suggest that we continue to pray for our Nation’s leaders. That is Catholic, and much needed. Finally, let us suggest that we be voices of encouragement, hope, and conviction. Many in the Church may well feel dejected, and believe that same-sex marriage must now forever be with us. Let us encourage them, as God's people, and explain that the Supreme Court's opinion can change. But let us also, as followers of Christ, remain resolute that we will do all we can to both defend the rights of Catholics to freely live the true faith, and also to change unjust laws, so that righteousness might prevail in our society if God so wills. And let us also talk about what marriage is, and let us work to strengthen marriages. After all, HETEROsexual disregard for God’s design for marriage has done far more to weaken the institution of marriage than same-sex marriage ever will. Let us work, together, in our testimony and in our lives, to proclaim what marriage truly is.
Together, we can—and we will!—make a difference for God’s glory. Yes, we are disappointed by today’s decision. But we are excited about the opportunities that we are confident God will provide us to engage in service for Him. And we are grateful for each of you who engage in that service with us.
“Long live Christ the King! Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!