Religious-right opponents of marriage equality have never accepted the Supreme Court’s 2015 pro-equality ruling in Obergefell to be legitimate. Many are hoping that the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court will overturn LGBTQ equality rulings. Meanwhile, a group that teaches public officials that the Bible requires them to promote a range of right-wing policies is urging officeholders to make a biblical case for restricting marriage to a man and a woman.
Ralph Drollinger, whose Capitol Ministries promotes his “very conservative” interpretation of the Bible to public officials at all levels of government in the United States and abroad, publishes weekly written Bible studies that the ministry distributes to officeholders. In the study dated Sept. 20, 2021, Drollinger urges Christian elected officials not to debate marriage based on “personal happiness” but on “theology.”
“When America in any way denigrates God’s ordained institution of husband-wife marriage, our nation loses one of His primary means of heralding His nature to our country!” writes Drollinger, adding that “[s]uch loss has serious long-term repercussions both in terms of national cultural patterning and moral direction.”
Drollinger instructs public officials that “God expects lawmakers to take His wisdom on marriage into consideration when constructing (or reconstructing if need be) marriage legislation for a nation.” Drollinger claims that the effort to “redefine” marriage will “erode one of the five foundational pillars that He intends to manifest His reign in the world prior to His Second Coming.”
“There is much more to marriage, and much more rides on defining marriage God’s way—than on a person’s personal pleasures,” Drollinger’s Bible study concludes. “As a lawmaker, it is critically important for you to understand this truth.”
Since 2010, Drollinger has led weekly Bible studies for members of the U.S. Congress. Capitol Ministries claims 45 congressional Bible study sponsors, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Johni Ernst, Tim Scott, and James Lankford and Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan. During the Trump administration, he added weekly Bible studies for members of Trump’s Cabinet and eventually sub-cabinet officials. Drollinger says he continues to lead weekly Bible studies for former Cabinet members and White House senior staff via Zoom.
Trump officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, helped open doors for Drollinger to establish ministries to “disciple” high-level officials in other countries, a project he continues to pursue. A Sept. 25 “ministry update” celebrated that six new ministries are set to launch in Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Bolivia, and Panama. Trump administration Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta spoke at a training session for the new ministry leaders.
Trump’s energy secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is promoting Capitol Ministries’ efforts to create similar “discipleship” Bible studies at local government levels in the U.S. Perry and Drollinger promoted those efforts at a July American Legislative Exchange Council meeting. ALEC functions as a sort of legislative matchmaker between corporate interests, right-wing organizations, and state legislators who are willing to promote the model legislation created by ALEC and its sponsors. Perry helped distribute copies of Drollinger’s handbook for Christian public officials, “Oaks in Office: Biblical Essays for Political Leaders.”
Drollinger’s recent Bible study on marriage repeats some of the material promoted in “Oaks in Office” about the “unambiguous” roles that the Bible assigns to men and women. Women, he teaches, are meant to submit to the authority of their husbands; the “primary functions of women,” Drollinger’s material asserts, include “homemaking responsibilities,” “home management responsibilities,” “mothering responsibilities,” “teaching younger women,” “displaying hospitality,” and “differing in dress.”