“This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.” – G.K. Chesterton
Since WordPress annoyed me with their LGBT flag banner at the top of the login page (an obvious celebration), I decided to post on the new Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges. But I’ll let others do the talking since time is short and others write better than me anyway.
In the span of twenty years, redefining marriage to include homosexual unions went from being opposed by both political parties and a supermajority of the American electorate to being a position that must be embraced lest one be branded a bigot. How did this issue move forward so quickly? My opinion is it is the necessary outcome of previous redefinitions of marriage. Or, the tsunami we see today started with an earthquake that rumbled decades and even centuries earlier.
In 1644, John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost, published another work called Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. In it he argued that England should change its laws based on Catholic canon law that prohibited divorce. According to Milton, marriage was not an indissoluble union that comprehensively unites men and women. Instead, its purpose is to promote “the apt and cheerful conversation of man with woman, to comfort and refresh him against the evils of solitary life.”
Notice how this parallel’s Justice Anthony Kennedy’s definition of marriage in Obergefell:
Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there. It offers the hope of companionship and understanding and assurance that while both still live there will be someone to care for the other.
But if this can’t be achieved in marriage, Milton says, a divorce is justified, and history has adopted his thinking. In 1969, California governor Ronald Reagan passed the first state law allowing for no-fault divorce. Through the new law, couples did not have to prove one partner committed a fault such as adultery or abuse in order to end the marriage. Instead, as Milton argued 300 years earlier, a marriage could be ended simply because both people had “irreconcilable differences.” Women could now easily escape marriage, or what feminist Betty Freidan at the time called “a comfortable concentration camp.”
Throw in the new birth control pill and you had the perfect storm for changing the public’s view of marriage from being an institution for the benefit of children that is anchored in permanence and sexual exclusivity to one that is ordered toward the benefits of adults and is anchored in whatever makes them happy at the moment. It’s not surprising that if the point of marriage for opposite sex couples is to fulfill one another’s happiness, that the courts and public opinion now feel that same-sex couples should have a right to this happiness as well.
Since the highest court of law now says marriage is simply about “companionship” and not being “lonely”, there is no reason to believe “marriage” will not eventually be expanded to between siblings, between parents and children, between adult and minor, between man and dog, or how about even polygamy of multiple people with multiple animals. The possibilities are endless. Just use your imagination and it will be legally recognized eventually.
Here is Robert P. George who is an author I’ve planned to read for a while but haven’t quite gotten there yet. This quote is from an article discussing his lecture given for Hillsdale College June 23, 2015.
George maintained that there is no alternative for traditional Christians to continued engagement in the public square, “even if the horizon is 50 or 100 years.” While the social radicals maintain that their victory is inevitable, George said that “nothing is inevitable in this domain.” He noted that the same demoralizing claims were made after the Roe vs. Wade decision legalized abortion in the early 1970s. Yet the pro-life movement has grown in the years since, persuading larger segments of the public, and young people in particular, of the truth of claims in favor of the right of unborn children to live. Much earlier, eugenics was a favored doctrine of the American elite, and heartily endorsed by the mainline Protestant denominations. Only Roman Catholics, and some very conservative Protestants, opposed it. Yet the horrors of World War II undid eugenics, and even today attempts to revive the doctrine endeavor to disown the name of eugenics.
In terms of practical action, George said that social conservatives must not make the predictions of the inevitability of the social acceptance of same-sex marriage a self-fulfilling prophecy. He asked those who are believers to pray ceaselessly.
Everyone committed to traditional morality should work diligently to elect pro-life legislators and executives, and to keep the Republican Party committed to social conservatism. He noted that the GOP was founded as a party committed to moral principle, specifically, to opposing slavery and polygamy. While he said that the immediate future is not good, Christians should remember that their ultimate duty is to God, and to serve Him in the cause of righteousness in the world. However the struggle over same-sex relationships develops, His coming in glory is assured, and believers should keep their eyes on that.
Here is the full talk given by Robert P. George. I found the last 15 minutes or so to be the most interesting.
“The worst thing about political correctness is not that it shuts down speech–bad as that is. It is that it shuts down thought.” – Robert P. George