Patrick Henry College’s Center for the Original Intent of the Constitution in January of 2013 filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court, defending traditional marriage in a case brought against California’s Proposition 8. The case will settle whether states that refuse to approve of same-sex marriage are within their constitutional rights to do so.
Dr. Michael Farris, Patrick Henry College’s founder, and chancellor authored the brief with help from a team of Patrick Henry College students, graduates (now attorneys), and professors such as Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, the College’s Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Christian Thought. The brief argued forcefully against challenges to Proposition 8’s constitutionality on the grounds that it was “tainted” with religious and moral motivations from the voters and promoters.
“We argued that all laws reflect someone’s moral positions,” said Farris. “All laws declare something to be right or something to be wrong. The only question is whose morality is going to be reflected in law. So to adopt a rule of constitutional law that excludes morality is essentially impossible or illogical. But, in practice, the moral voices that are excluded are conservative Christians.
“To this, we argue that viewpoint discrimination cannot be the basis of saying that some people may vote their values while others cannot,” he add- ed. “It will be a separate victory if we are able to steer the Court away from broad pronouncements against the use of morality in law. There is a real danger in this and it should be the subject of prayer.”
Another case before the U.S. Supreme Court challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between one man and one woman and prohibit- its states from exporting their define- notion of same-sex marriage to other states. Both cases are expected to be decided by June 2013.
Pensmore Dialogue on Science and Faith comes to Patrick Henry College Campus
How did the universe begin? How did complex living things arise? The Patrick Henry College community will get to explore these big questions at The Pensmore Dialogue on Science and Faith at Patrick Henry College on April 8, 2013. The conference features a prominent line-up of Christian scientists, theologians and intellectuals like Dr. John Lennox, a renowned Oxford University mathematics professor, Dr. Vern Poythress, author, philosopher, New Testament scholar and Harvard Ph.D. in mathematics, and Dr. Paul Nelson, Fellow of the Discovery Institute and Adjunct Professor in the Master of Arts Program in Science & Religion at Biola University.
“It is a unique privilege to hear John Lennox,” says Ralf Augstroze, coordinator of the Pensmore Foundation, sponsor of the event. “You could spend months watching his debates with atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, whose arguments he quickly and skillfully dismantles. Dr. Poythress is both an accomplished mathematician and an incredible theological scholar, and Paul Nelson is very gifted with younger audiences, a philosopher of biology and leader in the intelligent design debate.”
The conference has for the past four years been hosted in Philadelphia by the Westminster Theological Seminary and the Discovery Institute. This year its founder, Steve Huff, a friend of Patrick Henry College and retired intelligence software entrepreneur, wanted to bring a day-long Pensmore session to Patrick Henry College.
“I’m a great fan of Patrick Henry College because I see it is producing leaders of the next generation,” said Huff, chairman of the Pensmore Foundation. “They’ll hear an eloquent, intellectually credible defense of a Christian worldview from highly credentialed scholars on the question of origins, how the universe and life began and whether there is a purely scientific explanation for origins. The answer is ‘no.’ Science is a wonderful tool God provided to give us dominion over the world, but science doesn’t explain science. God is the Author of science.