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Pastors' meeting in South Holland, Illinois
Alan Keyes
October 20, 2004

Thank you very much. Well, I am not going to hold forth myself too much for too long, because I have found that it's most useful, especially in a setting like this, if we can have a little dialogue, and I can get a sense of what's on your mind. But I do want to spend a few minutes actively presenting something that I think is pretty simple.

We act as if the challenge that faces us these days is somehow hard to fathom or understand, but it isn't. The more difficult the situation becomes, the more clearly perilous and dangerous it becomes, the easier it is to understand.

I've often thought that is one of the gifts of travail and necessity--that you can think things are complicated before you get to the point where the next step takes you off the cliff, but once you get to the very edge, it's very clear. You're either going to dive into the abyss or you're going to turn around. All the other alternatives you thought you had are gone.

And as a society, America is today standing at the edge of that abyss. In fact, there are those, and I actually think it's a useful metaphor, who would argue that we've already stepped off--and that the real problem isn't whether we are going to plunge to the depths, but whether we are going to cry out to God for His merciful aid in lifting us out of the abyss, because we can't do it ourselves anymore.

And here we get to the fundamental problem, though. If our society, our nation, is at the point where it is already plunging into the abyss, and if the only way it can be saved is if we cry out to God and He in His mercy answers and helps us, what if we have been forbidden as a people to cry out to God? See?

That's the first step in really understanding how dangerous our situation is today in America. Now, I would want to go through things like the challenge of abortion. I'd want to go through what's happening with traditional marriage, and we'll get to that. But you know the first and fundamental problem that we have got to face, particularly as a people of God who are called by His name, is that we are now the a point in our society where we've sat on hands for so long we are giving up the right, as a people, to call on His name. And having given up that right, if we're in such serious trouble, then only calling for His help will do--we can't do it. And that ought to really scare us to death, because it means that the only thing that can save America has been forbidden in America. Think about that.

Now why do I say as a people we can't call on his name? Because we've allowed an understanding to prevail for the moment in our society that says that, "Oh, yes, as individuals you can go to church. And you can worship and so forth and so on, but when it comes to the public life of the country, if you are standing forward to offer yourself for public office, if you are sitting in a seat of power as the mayor or the governor, if you are sitting in the legislature, if sitting on the bench, then God is forbidden."

And it has gone so far that the very symbol of His laws and authority, which would be the tablet of the Ten Commandments, has been ordered out of our courthouses and public places, and we're all sitting on our hands and acting like this is all about somebody else.

The significance of those moves in our society is that as a nation, as a people, we are being forbidden to call on the name of God. And that means that one of the fundamental rights of the people, and I think THE right that may be most important in sustaining the right of the people to govern themselves has been assaulted and is being destroyed. And we don't even understand what's going on.

Now, what am I talking about? I'm talking about the false and pernicious doctrine, the diabolical and lying doctrine that our Constitution requires separation of church and state. I wish to state unequivocally, as I have for the last several years every time I get the chance--somebody thought I'd stop saying this when ran for office here in Illinois, but I have said clearly and unequivocally every chance I get--there is NO requirement in the United States Constitution for separation of church and state.

Given that we are a nation founded clearly on the principle that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights," it would be the height of madness to suggest that there is some sense in which we can drive God and faith and religion out of our purview as citizens. If we cannot invoke God's name and His authority as citizens in our public life, then we can no longer refer to that which is the very foundation of our claim to liberty and justice, dignity and rights.

That is so easy to see. I can't believe we got ourselves into this situation. We sat on our hands. Let the court tell us, "Well, you can't talk about God in schools." To which the simple reply would have been, "But judge, if I can't talk about God in schools, then I can't teach the foundational history of America, because the very first principle of that history is that our rights come from the Creator. And you just told me I can't mention Him to my children in school. I can't teach them the source of their rights. I can't teach them the foundation of their liberty."

And we sat on our hands and acted as if like they had the right to tell us this. Well, that is to suggest they have the right to cut those people off from the very foundation of its freedom, from the very foundation of that idea of justice which gives to us the right as a people to govern ourselves through our representatives.

That's why I often tell people. They try to pretend that this is some thing that ought to be of special interest to believers and Christians. No, it's not. This ought to be of special interest to all Americans, insofar as we believe in our system of self-government. Once we are cut off from its foundations . . . what happens to a house when you knock out its foundation? It falls down. I believe the common sense of our Lord was correct on this one, as on everything else. But it was clear. And so we have stood by while the very foundations of our civic life were destroyed in the name of keeping of religion out of our civic life, when in point of fact, the acknowledgement of God's sovereignty and authority which are in some sense the practical basis of our religious creed is the basis of our nation, as well.

Now, I start here, because I think every problem we're having right now, in terms understanding some of the moral issues we face, dealing with them effectively in our political life, there's a paralysis and confusion that is introduced into the minds of pastors and religious leaders, and, of course, into the minds of the body of Christ throughout the country by this pernicious lie of separation of church and state.

You will have noticed that over the course of the decades, separation of church and state has become separation of God from the country. Right? That then was translated into this notion that you can't legislate morality. So, it becomes the separation of morality from public life and policy. And naturally, it becomes, in terms of running for political office or not, the separation of moral conscience from political judgment.

Why, after given to all these separations, are we then surprised to look around and find that we are getting a country without God? Right? Policies without morality? And politics without conscience? This is the natural consequence of this false lie of separation. And it must be resoundingly rejected, if we are to survive in freedom.

And that means that we have to begin to understand that it's a lie, to remove the consequences, which are like chains on our minds and actions, and then to move forward boldly and without shame to bear witness in our public life to the truth that God is Sovereign of our nation.

This we not only have the right to do. Given the fundamental principles of the country, we have an obligation to do it. I was thinking about it the other day. The power of witness. We talk about it. But I wonder sometimes, whether we really can understand how powerfully important it is to fulfilling a true evangelical mission as Christians.

We sometimes interpret what I just said to mean that you must bear witness to, spread, live the gospel toward your neighbor, toward other individuals. That's true. But it's also true, isn't it, that the actual commission said to go and teach all--what? Nations. Nations.

Now, we all know that nations aren't quite the same as individuals, don't we? We do. And we are enjoined to teach this. What do you think might be, for a reasonable person, the nation your would start with? Your own. Exactly. So, we are living in the midst of a nation. Do we suffer persecution if we bear witness? Do we suffer disabilities? Is there something standing there with a gun that says we can't open our mouths? No, there isn't.

The only thing that prevents us from bearing witness to truth in this country are the chains we put on our own minds. The doors we erect. The walls we put up for ourselves--because nothing else stands in the way. We have the freedom to act if we ARE willing to do so.

And I was thinking about it the other day, because I was listening, I was talking to a group and Jill Stanek introduced me. And she was talking about how she had felt when I was giving my acceptance speech, and I alluded to the fact that one of the main reasons that I decided to accept the challenge and come into Illinois, when I was invited, was that Barack Obama had voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. And I just couldn't understand how any decent person would be willing to countenance the notion that any fully-born, human infants could be put aside to die like garbage because their life resulted from an abortion procedure. This made no sense to me.

But what she said was, that at the moment that I said that, she was overcome. She started weeping. She had been yelling and screaming in the usual fashion of politics, and suddenly it just hit her. What I think hit her was the truth that her witness had called forth mine. And isn't that what we are called to do?

The realization that it's not just all about talking and preaching and this and that. Sometimes it's just about simply being willing to take a stand for God, to take a stand for what you know to be His heart and is true. And just as Christ walked along the beach and his very presence called to those who would be His disciples, so when we take a stand, the mere fact of that stand calls forth a stand from others who are living and trying to walk in the Spirit of God.

See, and that's the power that Christian witness can have in our public life. And we're not going to have it, though, if we're not willing to take a stand. Not going to have it, if we're hiding ourselves under a bushel basket.

I wonder, though, whether we've thought about the power of that particular metaphor. That it's a light. Right? In those days, the light would have been what? A candle? A lantern?

Have you ever stopped to think about what would happen to a candle if it was put a bushel basket over it in those days? It's porous, so air would keep coming through. What would happen to the candle? It would keep burnin'. And as it kept burning, what would happen to the basket? It would go up in flames.

The truth of the matter is, what Christ is telling us there is that if you have the flame, the basket won't survive you. And, so, if you're hiding under a bushel basket, don't be so sure you've got the flame. Because if you have the flame, it will out. If your cup is full, it will overflow. And if it's not overflowing, you'd gotta ask yourself if it's empty or full.

And this a problem we have right now. We think they have separated us from public life, when what, in fact, they may have done is snuff out the flame of our active faith. Turned it into channels that actually destroy its truth. Because, if we're not bearing witness, it may be that we're not bearing witness, if you see what I mean.

And this is the challenge we face right now, because we've walked a long way down this road, y'all. We have now reached the point, and let's be perfectly clear about this, we sat on hands--prayer was driven out, God was driven out. Took it out of schools, Took it out the football games. Took it out of the public places. Then they started to suggest that you couldn't have it anywhere in the activities that were supported with government money. Isn't that powerful? "Okay, we're going to help you, but you must give up God. We'll help you a lot, but just give up that God thing. Want Head Start in your school? Just keep God out of the instruction." See?

When are we going to realize that that may have looked like help, but they were helping us out of the only thing that can help us? They were saying that we'll help you so long as you give up the only source of real aid. And we walked further down this road and then we started to look some of the consequences, because they took God out of the schools, and out of the [unintelligible], and then they started to take Him out of our laws.

And say, "Well, you can't legislate this." And it had particularly to do, as we know, with sexual morality. Didn't it? Can't legislate that because that's your religious view, and religion can't be in the law. So, you've got to have to turn away from that. It turned out that taking God out of the schools, out of the public life, meant taking morality out of the laws where morality was relevant for governing personal human behavior.

And today, having walked down that road in various ways, we confront the actual consequence, which is that we are just before moment, when as a nation, we shall take the most contrary and unnatural form of sexual behavior, and we shall be asked to put it under the hallowed rubric of marriage.

And I don't even think we've even thought through fully what that means. We've focused so much on the behavior and how it's wrong that we haven't focused on the consequence of corrupting the meaning of marriage by including this behavior. Because essentially we've looked at implications that it's all about homosexuality. No, it's not. This whole debate is actually about whether we shall finally give the stamp of legal and lawful approval, and, therefore, in a sense of moral acceptance to recreational sex, to sex entirely divorced from God's plan of procreation.

We have been walking down this road for decades. We have accepted concepts of sexual liberation and all of this for decades. We inched closer and closer and closer to the moment to when this had to happen. And now it has now happened.

And the question for us is not about that sexual behavior. It's about whether or not we can accept the notion that it's possible to understand our sexual nature apart from our God and His plan for us. And I would like to remind you that in the truest sense of all, if we go back to very beginning, whereby the way Christ instructed us to go when He dealt explicitly with issue of church and state. We do forget that. Right?

In the gospel passage where Christ talks to us about the issue of church and state--the one about rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's--He makes an explicit reference to Genesis. Right? Because He asks whose image is stamped upon the coin. And in that question He focuses us on the truth that if the image is stamped upon it, it belongs to the one to whom the image belongs. And that begs the question. Whose image is stamped upon our humanity? And that takes us back to Genesis. But when we look at the image passage, what does it say? Male and female He created them, in the image and likeness of God created He them.

There is a connection there for, in Genesis, between the perfection in human nature in the creation of Eve and acknowledgement of God's image in our human nature. Turn our back on the sexual reality, and its connection with God's will, and we have turned our back not just on an idea of sexuality, but on a truth about Himself that God communicates to us in our very nature.

Don't we see this? We treat this as if we are dealing with some behavioral question. We are not. We are dealing with a question that's fundamental to our belief. And they are asking us to give up our understanding of who God is. And the manifestation of that understanding in His plan for procreation which invited our participation in His great power of creation. This is awesome. This is fundamental.

Abandon this and we will have abandoned our faith. And as citizens we will be standing on ground that has nothing beneath us. For without God, there's nothing there.

So, I would suggest to you that we can't give in to what they're asking and still be who we are. And that part of what's been going on is we've been fooling ourselves, by not understanding the fundamental nature of these questions from our point of view as Christian believers. Having freed ourselves from the shackle of lie of separation--and if you'd like I can go through a detailed argument about the Constitution, which is simple and clear. It doesn't exist there. It never did. But, if we free ourselves, if we then see the real significance of issues like this for our own faith and belief, then it becomes apparent that we must exercise our citizen right to defend our right as a people to acknowledge God, or we shall lose our ability to live in this nation in peace and freedom as Christian people.

The implication is, y'all, that if we don't act as we still briefly have a chance, then we shall move from a country that has been hospitable to Christian belief and even hospitable to the evangelization that we are called to of the whole world, we shall move from that to an era of tremendous persecution, which we shall inflict on this and future generations of Christian people in America, because we did not act with courage to bear witness to the truth God's relation with our nation.

If you think that persecution is theoretical, go look at Canada right now. It's already started. If you think it's theoretical, go to Pennsylvania where people have already been arrested and thrown into jail for the hate crime of obeying the law and standing with signs that simply have scriptures passages written about homosexuality. Persecution has already begun, and it will get worse.

Because, what is the implication of homosexual marriage? It's the implication that this is something that this is a legitimate part of family life. It will be taught in the schools as such. And anyone who objects to its teaching being taught in the schools will be called a bigot. Anyone who actually speaks out against it in the streets or the pulpit will be called a hater. We already are. And they will move against us with the full force of law to throw us in jail.

And so, we'll have a choice. We'll either be content to have the civil power expunge from our scripture all references to the sinfulness of homosexuality, in which case we will have surrendered the free exercise of religion, or we shall stand and bear the penalty, in which case we will endure persecution.

Now, if we must, then we must. If we must drink from this cup then Christ has already exampled to us how we should go through our travail, but, y'all, if the Lord put us by His providence in a position where we can do something about it, don't you think it might be a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity He's given us before it's too late?

And that's what I think on these issues, beginning with traditional marriage, going through abortion--which is simply a manifestation of the same godless mentality to suppress the child out of the sexual relationship--it's all calling us to the same witness. And, if we don't respond to that call now, then WE shall be to blame for what follows.

Thank you. I'd be glad to take your questions.


Question and answer session

Q: I found your questions very stimulating and intriguing, and I've always thought that the concept of separation of church and state is a diabolical [unintelligle]. If [unintelligible] you get elected to the Senate, is there a hope that it could be exposed for what it is?

ALAN KEYES: Yes, indeed. As a matter of fact, it's already being exposed. Thank God. And we've also begun the work in the course of the last couple of years of translating that exposure into practice. The Constitution gives to the Congress of the United States the power to push the courts back within their proper jurisdiction.

Since, according to the First Amendment, the federal courts can have no jurisdiction over the issues of establishment, they have transgressed the Constitution by taking on these cases.

Somebody was talking to me the other day about the how Supreme Court has taken on the Ten Commandments case. What gives the Supreme Court the right to address this issue? In the Constitution of the United States as it clearly stated, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"--those words are not hard to interpret or understand. The meaning is very plain.

"Congress," the lawmaking body for the federal government, "shall make no law," that is, no rule under federal law, "respecting"--do you know what that word means? It's quite clear. It's never been disputed. With regard to, concerning, on the subject of "an establishment of religion."

That is not, by the way, just a prohibition against establishing an religion at the national level. It's a prohibition against dealing with the subject of religious establishment in any way whatsoever. And the Tenth Amendment is very clear. Where is the power to deal with this subject left? It says it in the Tenth Amendment. "All those power not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people." That means it is a right of the people, not of persons, but of the people. I stress this, because the right of the people is exercised in what way? Through constitutional majorities. When you have a right of the people, it's like the right to elect your representatives. We have a right to vote. The people have the right to elect. Sometimes our right to vote doesn't prevail, but the right of the people to elect does prevail and the other guy wins.

And the same is true of laws and policies made through our representatives. So, on the one hand it is the right of the people to decide what establishment there will or won't be, how we will reverence God, how we will acknowledge Him in our laws and our policy--a right of the people, also a right of the states which are the effective organizations of the people, through which they manifest self-government.

And so this was NOT a province of national government at all. How did the federal courts get their hands on this subject? They try to argue, "Well, the Fourteenth Amendment does this and that." The Fourteen Amendment, even if you accepted the argument of incorporation, only gives the federal courts a prerogative to apply to the states the privileges and immunities that are established in the Bill of Rights.

Well, contrary to their argument, one of the privileges and immunities established by the Bill of Rights is the right of the people in the states to be immune from federal interference and dictation on the subject of religious establishment. That's clear as day.

So, the federal courts can't bother with this. We're like we're in that situation with "The Rule": Rule Number One, don't touch this. Rule Number Two, refer to Rule Number One. That's all they've got. And on this basis, they have been dictating to states and to the people to drive out God and prayer and everything else. They have no right to do this. And we are under no obligation whatsoever to respect them when they do it. We've got to remember this. We must demand that our representatives take action, and they can.

Under Article 3, Section 3, the Congress of the United States may limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the federal courts. It's very clear. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in a very few cases, specified in the Constitution. It has appellate jurisdiction in all other cases, and it says, "With such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make." That means in terms of jurisdiction the court doesn't decide its own jurisdiction. The Congress decides what shall be the jurisdiction of the federal courts.

And so, bills are already on the table to remove these issues, The Ten Commandments and other issues, from the jurisdiction of the federal courts. And they are not, by the way, restricting the courts in some new way. They are simply reminding the courts that they never had this jurisdiction, and that they need to butt out, because the next step, of course, will be that when they violate the law they'll be impeached, and we'll kick 'em off the courts. And that will have to happen in order for us to get back our proper self-government.

The fact of the matter is, in areas critical to our life, the moral areas, we are no longer living under a self-government system. We live under a tyranny. The judges . . . and abortion is a good example. When votes were taken on the subject of abortion at the state level, abortion was REJECTED in 48 of the 50 states, where in the three years prior to the Roe vs. Wade decision there were votes and referenda on this issue. It was rejected.

Just the same way, by the way, that this whole business of homosexual marriage is being rejected right now. So, what do they do? They go to the courts and they say well, clammer, clammer, clammer. The court then substitutes its will for the will of the people. Meaning to say, that instead of being governed by a Constitutional majority, we are governed in this area by the fiat and dictatorship of the courts.

And, by the way, insofar as the federal courts do this in violation of the Constitution, they violate Article 4, Section 4, which says that the federal government shall guarantee to each of the states a republican, small "r," form of government. The Founders meant by that that the laws will be made through your elected representatives--that's how they defined republican. So, if the laws are now being made by unelected judges, we no longer have a republican form of government, and the Constitution has been breached in a fundamental way that changes the nature of our regime. We're headed for serious trouble.

This is a kind of serious trouble, by the way, that I have nightmares about, because you remember the last time we got into a really fundamental debate of principle over an issue of moral principle that was deep enough to challenge the whole foundation of our way of life. What happened? It think it was called the Civil War.

Now, we think, don't we that, "Oh, we're in a different era." No, we're not. Judge Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, when they said the Ten Commandments is a [unintelligible]. He rightly said to the judge, "No." He refused the unlawful order of the federal court. Some people say it was civil disobedience. No, it wasn't. He refused an unlawful order. See, that's not only his right, but even in our military code we recognize it as a moral obligation to refuse unlawful orders. Ok?

So, he refused an unlawful order. He was removed, but he is, I would predict to you--I don't make very many political predictions--but I predict that if Judge Roy Moore runs for governor of Alabama, he will win, overwhelmingly. And when he sits in the governor's chair and puts the Ten Commandments in the state house and some federal judge says, "Take it out," and he says, "No," where will we be? We will be on the eve of possible armed conflict. Don't we understand this?

Because then it will be a matter of the president deciding whether he's going to send in forces, and whether the people of Alabama will rally around their faith in their governor, and stand firm in defense of the Ten Commandments. I don't know what will happen. I don't know if it will happen. But I know that, formally speaking, the conditions are already set for it to happen, because we have been neglecting the seriousness of these issues for too long. And they are going to plunge our nation into moral and possibly civil chaos, if we don't wake up.

So, I think this is a serious thing. So serious--and people wonder, "Why do you keep saying it's the top priority?" Because it IS, quite simply. "Why don't you shut up and talk about these issues we want to talk about?"--that the media wants me to talk about. Well, I think it's quite clear.

Let's imagine we're on a train, and it's chugging alone. And I happen to know that the bridge is out. And I come alongside the train like one of those old Westerns and jump on to the train, and I'm going along the cars telling people, "Bridge is out. We've got to stop the train." And they're saying, "Don't bother us. We're eating." "Bridge is out. We've got to stop the train." "Don't bother us. We're gambling." "Bridge is out. We've got to stop the train. Bridge is out." "We're fornicating. Give us what we need. Give us the food. Give us the money to gamble. Give us the freedom to fornicate. Don't bother us about the fact that we're going plunge off the abyss." And being I'm told that I'm a Johnny-Johnny One Note, and I refuse to address the issues people care about? When they're plunging over the cliff and everybody's screamin' and yellin' and dyin', they will sadly then remember that some voices were raised to tell them to STOP.

It's my job right now, and I believe it deeply--not to cater to what people want to hear, but, regardless of the consequences or the outcome for myself, to speak the words that I can see with absolute clarity correspond to the truth of our crisis situation. And that's what I think we're, all of us, called to do.


Q: [unintelligible] microphone set up.

KEYES: Oh, okay. I'm sorry, I'll repeat the question.

Q: Members of this body base their vocational calling and authority on the Bible and what they believe to be an absolute authority. From things you've written and said I see that you also feel this same absolute authority. Do you think it is possible to draft and enforce legislation that appeals to this authority in an increasingly relativistic society?

KEYES: Well, yes. Do I believe that it's possible draft and legislate--and force legislation that appeals to the authority of the Bible given the relativistic nature of our time? With one amendment in the wording, I would say, "Yes." And that would be to take out the word "appeal" and put in the word "based on." Okay?

And then I would say, "Yes." In matter of fact, we do it all the time. And we have done it with perfect freedom in our society since it was founded. For instance, the issue we're all fighting about--marriage. What is our understanding of marriage based on? See, some people forget this. It's based on the Bible. And by the way, the Supreme Court, in the polygamy decisions that were handed down in the 1890's, explicitly acknowledge that this was so, and enforced the decisions that had been made by the state of Utah with respect to polygamy based on the notion that, well, this was the religious tradition of the people, and they had the right to establish it in the law. It's very clear.

So, it is not only possible. It is absolutely necessary. And we do it all the time.

Step number one. We have done it in marriage. It's being challenged now, but it was done with [unintelligible]. But why do I say it's the Biblical tradition? Because contrary to what some people want to suggest, if you look over the history of humankind, every possible kind of thing has been put under the rubric of marriage in terms of male / female combinations that you can think of. Except that never before in the history of humankind has any civilization been foolish, mad, insane enough to suggest that homosexual relations could be put under the rubric of marriage. Isn't that interesting?

Our era, our time, first time that madness has gripped humanity. I mean first time, because even in the days of the ancient Greeks and these folks who were practicing homosexuality, open to it and all that, if you had suggested in the Athenian assembly that there should be a law that would have gay folks get married, they would have all stood up and laughed you out of the place. Why? Because it has been the common sense of humankind that marriage has been about procreation. If you cannot, in principle, procreate, you cannot marry. It's as simple as that. It's not discriminating against anybody. It's just a simple fact. Marriage is irrelevant to you. You can't procreate. Why are you coming here asking for something that has nothing to do with you?

The simple fact of the matter is that in principle, everywhere and always, in human history it has been acknowledged that as an institution, marriage exists to deal with the consequences of procreation. If those consequences do not arise, marriage cannot be a question.

We are first sort of people who have gone so far down the road of utter moral confusion that we don't see this simple common sense fact that seems to be deeply engraved on the heart of humanity by the finger of God. Call it the natural law. That's what they used to call it.

So, we did that. Do you know also what people don't think about? What is our whole system of welfare and social stuff? Where we have a system that is based on the idea that as a people, and we give speeches and we pass these laws based on the notion that you must care about those who are less fortunate than you? You must care about those who have been left behind. Those who are sick. Those who are widowed. Those who are not able to take care of themselves. Those who are poor.

Do you realize that in the Roman Empire they didn't care about these things? And indeed, in most civilizations at most times in human history if you ended up with the short end of the material stick, tough luck. That was YOUR look out. God hasn't taken care of you, too bad. Not part of my family. I don't know you. See?

We are legislating a morality that says you gotta care about your neighbor. Whoa, that sounds familiar. Where did we get that from? As I often tell people, we not only legislate morality in America, we legislate Christian morality. And we do it all the time. See? And the simple fact of the matter is that you can't avoid it, because all morality involves a distinction between right conduct and wrong conduct. And at the end of the day, the key way in which human beings have, in fact, understood and acted upon the fundamental sense of that difference has been through their faith and religious understanding. These are inseparable from moral judgment. So, that's what goes on. We do it all the time.

The only question in our society right now is will we do it on the basis of consciences shaped by Biblical faith or not? And you know where that answer is suppose to come from? That answer is supposed to come from the operation of our constitutional system. And that's why I've always thought it's a wonderful challenge for Christians, because we live under a system where the sovereignty of God will be established in our country so long as two things are true.

First, we do our work of evangelization, meaning to say, we are out there converting hearts. And we're doing it all the time, and we're never forgetting our job, and we're just working all the time, so that more and more people are turning to the Lord. And as you turn more people to the Lord what happens? They become the majority. And when the become the majority, they can then legislate based on their faith-shaped consciences to put into the law their understanding of difference between of right and wrong. That's the way the system is supposed to work.

And this lie of separation has put us in a situation where we've got 90% of the people converted, and they'd be goin' into the voting booth and instead of having a conscience they'd have a faith-shaped void. And that's what we've been getting. We've been getting people going into the voting booth with no conscience. Voting as if they can actually make moral judgments without reference to God and Jesus Christ.

How people of faith can reach this conclusion is beyond me. But they have managed to be taken in by a whole series of strange lies in academia and elsewhere. And they're trying to do it.

Yes, you have a question.

Q: I have question. You have just defined marriage as the ability to procreate. I married an eighty-year old. Is that an illegal or immoral marriage?

KEYES: I've got to confess that this is a question that always arises, but it arises because folks haven't focused really on two things: the nature of what I said, and the nature of the marriage institution. Marriage is not an individual instance of union. It is a social institution. All social institutions must be based on what, since they are like laws in general? Laws must be based on definitions. Not on particulars.

Okay, that means that over here is an apple and over here is an apple with a worm in it. Generally speaking, we understand the difference between "apple" and "apple with worm in it." "An apple with worm in it" does not change the meaning of "apple." It just has a worm in it.

So, that particular difference does not constitute a conceptual or definitional difference.

We have marriage. By definition, it is, in principle, an institution that exists to regulate and be in connection with procreation. That's the only reason, by the way, that societies have it.

As I often point out to people, human beings form all kinds of friendships. And the personal, deep, most intimate friendships we form have been acknowledged pretty much throughout human history and across civilizational lines to be things that should not be subject to the coercion of the society or the government, by and large. And, indeed in our society, we consider it almost a travesty. You know, if you're my friend and you're only doing stuff for me because you're forced to, that's not friendship. You have to do it because you have chosen to, because you want to, and if there's a law that says you got to, that actually interferes with our friendship.

Why is it, then, that in the friendship between man and woman, expressed at the most intimate level, we would have an institution that is--by the way, contrary to what people say these days, marriage isn't about rights, and it never was. Marriage is exists to enforce certain obligations. And all of those obligations arise in the context of procreation. So, societies had to know, "Is this your child? Who is responsible for this child? Who has authority over this child? Whose authority must we, society, recognize as the authority that will govern the life and circumstances of this child? Is it yours? Is it yours? Is it yours?" The only way we can know is if we establish by definition the situation in which your actions will have announced to us that this child belongs to you.

And so, we establish it when you are doing the following things and register your intentions in the following ways. We will acknowledge that you are a married couple and that the fruit of your union is connected to you in ways that we are obliged to respect. That's what marriage is about. And everything else that happens, by the way, is done by an analogy with that marriage in principle. All other things--adoption, all other kinds of marriage--they all exist in the context of an understanding that relates to that definition.

Now, if I happen to be infertile or impotent, and I marry somebody, we are in a situation where, according the philosophic logic, if we're male and female we could, in principle, procreate. But we can't in fact procreate because I'm impotent. The fact that I'm impotent doesn't change the definition of marriage, in principle, because we satisfied the formal requirements for procreation.

That's why, by the way, no particular circumstance where a man and a woman get together--whether it's that they choose not to have children, that they are in any particular circumstance infertile or impotent, that they are perhaps senior citizens. By the way, as Christian people, the senior citizen example isn't a very good one is it? Who are the most famous senior citizens having babies in the Bible? As Christian people we understand that the fact that you're a senior citizen should in [unintelligible] if anybody says you can't procreate because you're a senior citizen, you should laugh like Sarah, and remind them that with God all things are possible. But leave that aside.

The simple fact of the matter is that in other circumstances where a particular choice or judgment or a particular set of physical circumstances leads you to not to be able to procreate, it's like the worm in the apple. The presence of the worm does not change the nature of the apple. On the other hand, y'all, on the other hand, if we accept as part of marriage, if we put the label marriage on something that excludes the very essence of "appleness," which in this case would be the connection with procreation, then we have altered, in principle, the very definition of marriage.

And that's the difference between of what's being demanded of us today. If we embrace the idea that gay sexual relations, homosexual relations, can be part of marriage, we are saying that it is possible to have marriage when there is no formal, in principle, connection with procreation. That fundamentally alters the meaning, function, status, and significance of marriage. It rips it away from. And as Christian people, we must be very careful about this, because do you know why? Because, y'all, that means that marriage has been ripped off its foundation. It has been taken away from that which God, Himself, defined to be marriage, and which Christ confirmed for us. Something we often forget. Because people will talk about emotional relationships and spiritual relationships and all of this. But I think we ought to be careful, because when Jesus was explicitly asked about divorce, you remember His answer. Right? He reminded people of a passage in the Old Testament, "For this does a man"--was a very beginning passage, too, wasn't it? That was a very early passage like in Genesis. Oh, yes. There it is again. Principles. See, every reference to Genesis is a reference to our principles. Right? Because it's the beginning. And the word "princeps" means first thing or beginning. But in any case. There you have it.

But what does Christ say? He says, "For this reason does man leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife, and the two become one"--one flesh. That's interesting because Christ does not define marriage in terms of emotional or spiritual or other kinds of connections, does he? His words suggest that we must carefully observe God's understanding that this is a thing manifested in our flesh. He uses the word advisedly, I think, so that we will not be misled down the very road we're trying to go down right now.

And so, I would simply say that the reason that I look at this in the way I do is two-fold. One, because historically and based on human logic and experience, there has always been a connection between marriage and procreation. And two, because as a Christian person informed by a Biblical understanding, there is an essential connection in the very heart of the scripture between marriage and that procreation plan that God ordained from the beginning, when He made us male and female.

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