Why Preachers Are Not Lawyers: Or Why This Guy Wants in Your Bedroom
Last week a North Carolina Superior Court judge struck down a law prohibiting unmarried couples to cohabitate (BlueNC post here). The case came up when a 911 operator was fired for violating the 200 year old law. Now the inevitable well thought out "proper" Christian response has come. Of course, they do not like people's private lives being free from government intrusion. This article by Rev. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League of North Carolina seems pretty representative and expected. Their reason for supporting the law is quite simply that it is God's law, derived directly from the seventh commandment (Thou shalt not commit adultery). I know that that logical jump from adultery to premarital cohabitation might seem a bit much, but that is why he is a preacher I guess.
Anyway, that response was expected, but what really riles me is the putrid attempt to attack the legal credibility of the ruling:
Judge Alford's decision was judicial activism at its best. The state's lawyers rightly argued Hobbs didn't have standing in the case because she never had even been charged with a crime. Moreover, legal experts still debate the meaning of the Lawrence v. Texas case and how it applies to state law.
For a little legal lesson for Rev. Creech, standing requires 1) that there is a legal injury and 2) that the governmental action caused the injury. In this case, the plaintiff was fired (an injury) caused by the fact that she was claimed to be in violation of the law (causation). Standing to challenge governmental action does not always require that someone be charged with a crime. So I do not see any question that there is standing.
As far as the ridiculous statement that it is unclear how Lawrence v. Texas applies to state laws, Lawrence was directed at striking down a Texas state statute. So whatever contours of Lawrence need to be flushed out in the courts, it is clear that it does apply to state law.
The bottom line is that regardless of what you think about striking down the law, it is pretty clear that the legal arguments are on the side of privacy on this one.
I know that I should not be surprised about misleading statements being made in the name of God, but I do feel more obliged to point them out nonetheless. Anyway, if you have the misfortune of running into anyone throwing these arguments around at a dinner party or elsewhere, now you will know that these arguments are full of it.