National News

Respect for Marriage Act: Misnamed law threatens religious liberty

Comments (7)
  1. Matt Stever says:

    Thank you. Much needed clarification in this world I live in.

  2. Terry Turner says:

    Fantastic work and I agree with every point made.
    Can I receive a written copy? Or email this great writing?

    1. LCMS Church Information Center says:

      Thank you for your comment. You should be able to print the article at the bottom of the page.

  3. Keith Jakle says:

    Excellent article, President Harrison. I remember back in 2008 a newly elected President promised his followers that he would effect “fundamental change in the United States of America”. Never did we dream that his words would be so insidious. After all , to effect that kind of change, one has to destroy what is already there. Blessedly, We know the end of the story and that man, nor, no one who thinks like he does, will prevail. The gates of hell shall not prevail against The Church.

  4. Albear Town says:

    The U.S. has never been a theocracy. Rather, we are a democracy governed by the people and for the people. Respect for Marriage does not “threaten religious liberty.” That is entirely false. On the contrary, it strengthens liberty for all Americans. If someone disagrees with same-sex marriage because of religious beliefs, then they don’t have to marry same-sex couples, nor do they have to get married to the same sex. But that is only in religious circles. IF people work in the public sector, they do have to serve all Americans with the same respect, regardless of personal religious beliefs.

    The LGBTQ+ community will no longer be oppressed by religious conservatives. Those days are over. This law was voted on by the House and Senate (with a wide margin) and signed by the President. Many religions and denominations have been very supportive of this law. Conservative religious persons are in the minority, and they absolutely do not have a right to impose their religious beliefs on other Americans. When the founding fathers came to America, they drafted the Constitution and included the First Amendment which affirms Freedom OF and FROM Religion. Whether we are religious or not, we all deserve to be treated with respect as citizens.

    1. Ryker says:

      I want to start this reply by saying that I do not mean any harm and I genuinely care more for one’s spiritual well-being over their politics. After all, politics change as fast as the weather, but Christ is eternal.

      This article is not really a matter of left versus right or a matter of American political history. It’s a Christian versus the world issue. Our faith calls us to recognize our helplessness in sin and see the need for our Savior. Repentance and salvation is what separates us from the world and is fundamental in our faith.
      Being a Christian is not easy. When Christ makes us His own, the world recognizes that we are no longer of the world and its ways and hates us for it. We are told to render unto Caesar, but we are also called to put God first. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)
      We are not called to tolerate sin, instead we are called to love our neighbors to the point of bringing them to repentance as others should encourage our own repentance.
      The Word of God is very clear about the Father’s expectations and how we meet them though Christ’s salvation. Anyone who aligns their faith to politics has put politics first in their heart in place of Christ. This article doesn’t read as a conservative complaining about the “liberal take over of america” but instead recognizes the sinful world we live in and braces us for the struggle our faith brings living in this world. As the article quotes from Scripture, Christ is for all sinners. We as Lutherans hold that Christ does all of the work for us, and the only choice we have is to ignore Him. Let us not ignore His words and repent so that we may be saved. We should also care so deeply for our neighbors that we encourage them to repent and also be saved. We do this not out of hate of their sins, but love and care for their eternal life.

  5. David Hudson says:

    As always, a well-written and substantive article by President Harrison. But it’s disappointing that when he asks “What do we do?” at the end of the article, he says nothing of our obligation to speak the truth to influence and/or block such laws, and to vote for those who will defend Biblical values regarding life, marriage, gender, and religious freedom. We have been granted a unique ability and right to do so in America (so far), and far too many Christians have avoided speaking out, thereby contributing to such Godless acts by government. As in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s day, we risk much by speaking, but more by NOT speaking against evil when we see it.
    Our Synod, Districts, and congregations in general have avoided speaking strongly on political issues, and I believe this is largely for fear of alienating some members or prospective members. Notable exceptions are the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty (, and the Minnesota Districts, who speak strongly on Public Policy issues affecting the key areas of life, marriage, family, sexuality, parental choice in education, and religious freedom ( They also provide useful Biblically-based voter guides, a key resource which should be promoted across the Synod to help members in voting for issues and candidates who will help advance the cause of Christ rather than impede it.
    As President Harrison rightly says, “The Gospel is at stake”, and “We will not yield to any man, government, legal authority or human threat.” We also should be bold to speak the truth BEFORE laws like the so-called Respect for Marriage Act are passed, and BEFORE Godless Representatives, Senators and Presidents are elected to pass them.