This week the University of Arkansas released its annual Arkansas Poll for 2016. The poll examines Arkansans’ social and political views as well as approval of elected officials.
This year’s poll found Arkansans’ views have changed very little on, among other things, abortion and same-sex marriage.
Since 2015, 46% of Arkansans have said it ought to be more difficult to get an abortion; only 13% said it ought to be easier.
Even though the U.S. Supreme Court nullified state marriage laws nationwide with its Obergefell decision in 2015, 57% of Arkansans still think same-sex marriage should not be recognized.
The numbers go up when the responses are narrowed to likely voters, with 48% of likely voters opposing abortion and 60% opposing same-sex marriage.
Our friends at the Heritage Foundation have highlighted a case unfolding in Wyoming that has a judge fighting for her job–simply because of her traditional views on marriage.
In 2014 Judge Ruth Neely was interviewed about “administrative challenges of the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Wyoming.”
The result of the interview Dec. 5, 2014, was a relatively short newspaper story, but it sparked an investigation of Neely’s fitness for office. A year and a half later, she is asking the Wyoming Supreme Court not to remove her from two separate judgeships—nor to enforce a fine of up to $40,000.
All this without a local citizen filing a complaint against the judge, who is active in her Lutheran church, and without her ever being asked to officiate at a same-sex wedding.
Photo Credit: By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
About a year and a half ago our friends at Breakpoint and Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview ran an excellent commentary on the unseen pain behind same-sex marriage.
John Stonestreet writes of one woman whose husband left her for his gay partner, saying,
For instance, USA Today, in its cheerleading for same-sex marriage, ran a photo section on her ex-husband, his partner, and her children without her consent or even notice to her. Darnelle wrote, ‘Commenters exclaimed at how beautiful this gay family was and congratulated my ex-husband and his new partner on the family that they “created” . . .,’ even though, she continued, ‘there is a significant person missing from those pictures: the mother and abandoned wife. That “gay family” could not exist without me.’
In an essay entitled “We Have No Right to Happiness,” [C.S. Lewis] told the story of two neighbors each of whom had divorced their spouses and then married each other. Another neighbor, with whom he was discussing the situation, replied ‘they have a right to happiness.’
Lewis noted that this neighbor would not say the same thing of a ruthless businessman who was happy when he made money by means fair or foul. Nor would she say the same thing about an alcoholic who was happy when he drank.
The happiness his neighbor was referring to was a right to ‘sexual happiness,’ which, according to Lewis, meant the freedom to act on our sexual impulses without restraint. And it doesn’t matter if such restraint is good for us or for the society as a whole.
You can read Stonestreet’s entire commentary here or listen to it below.