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Topic: MARRIAGE & THE NATURAL FAMILY

In Defense of Marriage - Part I

July 7, 2008
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In the wake of the California Supreme Court’s audacious decision to legitimize marriage between people of the same sex, media outlets have been dominated by discussions on the topic. Frustrated by the lack of any cogent arguments defending the Judeo-Christian conception of marriage, a friend challenged me to pen a more thorough apologetic so that the church might be better equipped to offer an articulate and rational defense of this essential institution.

Over the course of the next four to six weeks, that is precisely what I will attempt to do. The battle to define marriage is not over; the church must be able to speak in more convincing terms than simply “because the Bible says …” As we proceed, I would encourage you to thoroughly process the information and arguments presented here, and even consider integrating this material into your adult Sunday school and Bible study classes. If this is not practical, you might consider hosting a “Dessert and Discussion” at your home, in which you invite members from your church to gather for the purpose of reasoning together through the nature and definition of marriage as defined by the Christian worldview, and why this definition matters.

As I have said before, the Bible is true because it is the word of God and by that authority alone, it is so. However, that is not its only evidence for being the truth. All truth claims are subject to their correspondence with reality. For example, the law of gravity issues an absolute claim to a truism. One can either accept or reject this claim, but upon testing this claim in the real world—say, by inviting the skeptic to jump off the roof—all will come face to face with the absolute truth of gravity. The same is true relative to the Judeo-Christian definition of marriage. It is what it is and when you attempt to redefine it into something it is not, there will follow the predictable splat—somewhat like the skeptic who launches himself off your roof!
 
Marriage is far more profound than our contemporary culture would lead us to believe. It is a lifelong commitment that restrains self-centeredness, self-indulgence, and self-gratification. It is the one relationship that effectively prepares and conditions us for living in community with others. By restraining self-centeredness and promoting love of another, marriage then becomes the foundation for social order. When this commitment labeled marriage is reduced to nothing more than a mere contract between two consenting persons, one option among many, or redefined to accommodate any type of participants [or number], it ceases to provide the same societal benefits.

Marriage is Unique
The Judeo-Christian concept of marriage is as old as mankind. It serves as the very foundation of civilization itself. The marriage covenant is singularly unique in civilization; it is not simply a civil or romantic union between two people. Rather, it is an emotional, physical, and spiritual union between one man and one woman. It is emotional in the sense that two people, male and female, each with different (complementary) attributes, join together in life, assisting one another, nurturing and caring for one another, and affirming and guiding one another—in essence, completing the other. It is physical in the sense that marriage is procreative. Two separate biological beings blend together to create what neither can create on their own: children. And lastly, marriage is spiritual in the sense that we are made for this partnership that places the interest of the other (or others, in the case of children) above self—a relationship that ultimately mirrors God’s sacrificial love toward each of us and His bride: the church.

Augustine wrote in the fourth century, “peace is the tranquility that is produced by order” (tranquillitas ordinis). Marriage is the very cornerstone of moral and social order. History has proven time and again that no community can enjoy peace and harmony without following the true moral order, and marriage provides the only effective institution for perpetuating this order.

There is irrefutable evidence to support this statement relative to marriage and its role in producing not only social order but cultural prosperity as well. In 1934, the noted British anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin’s research demonstrated that those cultures that held to a strong sexual ethic—in which sex was strictly constrained to the marriage relationship—were as a result more productive and therefore prospered in contrast to cultures that were “sexually free” (Unwin, Sex and Culture, London: Oxford University Press, l934, 411–12, 431–32).

Unwin studied eighty primitive and sixteen civilized cultures spanning more than five thousand years of history and found this principle to be an indisputable fact (Sex and Culture, 324–326). He observed that the cultural condition of any society depends upon its “social energy, which is of two kinds, mental energy and creative energy” (Unwin, “Sexual Regulations and Cultural Behavior,” address given on 27 March 1935 to the medical section of the British Psychological Society, later printed by Oxford University Press). Unwin added, “In human records there is no case of an absolutely monogamous society failing to display great energy.” He further observed that “expansive energy has never been displayed by a generation that inherited a modified monogamy, modified polygamy, or an absolute polygamy.”

Social energy, Unwin argued, is the collective social effort that is directed toward the betterment of society and the common good. Societies with high levels of social energy were inherently more expansive, which gave rise to exploration, discovery, and progress in every category of creative growth. This would include those areas of culture such as economics, science, justice, education, arts, and so on. This social energy, he concluded, was greater within those cultures that held strong marital restraints on sex and greatly diminished in cultures with more liberal sexual ethics. More specifically, “Those cultures which allowed sexual freedom do not display a high level of social energy—their energy is consumed with meeting their physical appetites—they do not think large thoughts about the physical world—they are not interested in metaphysical questions regarding life and its meaning. In these cultures, life is for now” (Sexual Regulations). In essence, Unwin discovered that throughout history, a sexually hedonistic society is inherently less productive and lacking in social vision. Thus it fails to achieve what we would define as a civilized status.

Next week we will examine Unwin’s findings relative to those cultures that once held to a strong marital ethic (like ours) but later compromised, as we are now attempting to do.

© 2008 by S. Michael Craven

 

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Responses
Response from : Mistereks  

July 7, 2008 10:49 AM
 

Mr. Craven -

You are a brave man to attempt to find a logical reason to deny marriage equality to same-sex couples, other than "because the Bible says it's wrong."

Unfortunately, you haven't quite hit the mark yet.

Nothing you have written here could not apply as well to same-sex couples, save for the ability to procreate. Same-sex couples can assist one another, nurture and care for one another, and affirm and guide one another. They are not strictly complementary in a biological sense, but they can complement each other in terms of personality. They can complement each other in terms of one partner's strengths supporting another's areas of weakness and vice versa.

Though one can make the argument that children do best when raised by a mother and a father, there is plenty of evidence that children do just as well if there are two active, loving same-sex parents in the home. But civil marriage does not require procreation -- otherwise we would need to deny it to post-menopausal women and men who have had vasectomies.

What's more, denying marriage equality does NOTHING to prevent heterosexual couples from having or adopting children, and it does nothing to prevent homosexual couples from having or adopting children. If we want to increase the number of children growing up with both a mother and a father, denying marriage equality is a complete waste of effort. All it does is deny children growing up in homes with same-sex parents the stability and legal protections that come with marriage.

I fully honor the right of any church to deny marriage to any couple it wishes. But CIVIL marriage must be extended to all couples (not polygamous families, as polygamy creates an inherently inequitable situation). If we are not all free, we are none of us free.


 
Response from : Devon  

July 7, 2008 11:42 AM
 

Thank you so much for taking this challenge on. I totally agree that we as Christians need to be able to speak intelligently about our beliefs. Too many times I have seen people "tune out" an argument that starts w/... well, the Bible says. I am looking forward to the rest of the series and discussing w/ my husband.


 
Response from : David Hart  

July 7, 2008 12:06 PM
 

>>California Supreme Court’s audacious decision to legitimize marriage between people of the same sex<<

Nothing "audacious" at all. Since 2000, the people's representatives have twice voted to repeal the law at issue. Capriciously vetoed twice by one person. At least the Court was deliberative. Moreover, it is the job of the courts to protect minorities from oppression.

>>British anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin’s research demonstrated that those cultures that held to a strong sexual ethic—in which sex was strictly constrained to the marriage relationship—were as a result more productive and therefore prospered in contrast to cultures that were “sexually free”<<

Doesn't that SUPPORT recognition of same-sex marriage?

http://tips-q.com

 
Response from : S. Michael Craven  

July 7, 2008 1:43 PM
 

Dear Mr. Hart (and others),
The assertion that homosexual “monogamy” is equivalent to heterosexual monogamy and therefore desirable is a flawed assertion. For one, it simply leaps right over the fact that homosexual sex is a self-evident perversion of the human biological design. Using your logic, bestiality would be morally equivalent to heterosexual monogamy as long as it was monogamous. The monogamous expression of bestiality would not negate the unnatural and therefore morally repugnant act of sex with an animal. In the latter case, as with homosexuality, that which is beyond the biological design is a perversion of human sexuality and therefore opposed to the maintenance of any sexual ethic. Unwin’s research confirmed that such perversions follow the modification of heterosexual monogamy within marriage. In other words, once a society begins to extend sexual opportunities beyond the exclusive relationship of marriage between a man and woman, the society’s sexual ethic begins to descend. As Unwin observed, homosexuality is extremely rare within primitive societies and only appears within advanced cultures that are in the process of moving from an absolute monogamy to sexual profligacy. Lastly, monogamous homosexual “marriages” would not nor could not produce the same societal benefits intrinsic to monogamous (natural) marriage because the very institution responsible for promoting and preserving the essential sexual ethic has been redefined in ways that render it meaningless for that purpose. You cannot apply the label of marriage to any form of sexual expression and have it remain “marriage” in any meaningful sense. This would be like eliminating the distinctions between children and adults. You could call children “adults” but that wouldn’t make it so and giving them the same privileges and responsibilities would prove disastrous.


 
Response from : David Hart  

July 7, 2008 2:19 PM
 

"it simply leaps right over the fact that homosexual sex is a self-evident perversion of the human biological design"

That is your opinion - one i don't subscribe to - offered as fact.

"bestiality would be morally equivalent to heterosexual monogamy as long as it was monogamous"

Come on Mr. Craven. That's pointless rhetoric in construction of a straw man. I think that most people are capable of appreciating the differences between same-sex marriage which is mutually consensual and beastiality - although I confess that I haven't actually discussed the matter with any goats or sheep.

"You cannot apply the label of marriage to any form of sexual expression and have it remain “marriage” in any meaningful"

I actually agree with you. The problem with your argument is that you are solely defining marriage in terms of sex (possibly reproduction) - in contrast to commitment and love.

At the end of the day, there is nothing to "defend." Same-sex marriage does not affect "traditional marriage." The events in Massachusetts seem to confirm my point of view. Moreover, will all due respect to Mr. Unwin, I think that most impartial scientists would now agree that gay marriage threatens neither society nor culture.

http://tips-q.com

 
Response from : S. Michael Craven  

July 7, 2008 2:59 PM
 

Dear David,

Please tell me how homosexual acts meet the natural biological design of human sexuality? This is not opinion; it is simply and plainly a biological fact. If you are a product of evolution, then it is a genetic defect because it fails to propagate the species or aid in the strengthening or furtherance of the species in any way. Frankly, it would have “died out” eons ago. If you are created then it defies the design of the Creator. Either way it violates the given design.

Pointless rhetoric? My point is logically consistent, which your argument isn’t. Monogamy is not the moral basis – the nature of the sexual act is and monogamy is the moral constraint.

Marriage IS ultimately defined sexually within a relationship that is nurtured by love and commitment otherwise I could “marry” my dog because I “love” her. For that reason, we would all agree that marriage would not include our dogs. Because [natural] sex is procreative and this potential is existent, society has a compelling interest in the manner and place in which children come into being. Socially reinforced marriage represents that interest and NOT the purely romantic and emotional interests of gay people.

Finally, look to Scandinavia where same-sex marriage has been in effect since the 1980s and you will see the deleterious effects. This is not mere fantasizing about the “sky is falling!”

As for Unwin, again if you actually knew what you were talking about you would know that Unwin was anything but “partial.” In fact, he agreed with Freud’s assertion that “sexual morality was repressive” and thus sought to prove the point from an anthropological perspective. What he discovered challenged ALL of his presuppositions; so he actually was an “impartial” scientist.

If gay men and women want to have sex and live in whatever arrangement they want then that is their choice. What is not their choice is to redefine an institution essential to the social welfare and the common good in such a way that these benefits are nullified.

Sincerely,
Michael

http://www.battlefortruth.org

 
Response from : Doug  

July 7, 2008 4:07 PM
 

Thank you for your article. I look forward to further installments. As a Bible-believing Christian I too consider homosexuality a sin and agree that if we Christians are going to oppose gay "marriage" in the public realm we must have more of an arugment than "the Bible says so.". However, it seems to me that one could interpret your article as a reason to support marriage in the gay community, since it is clear that the institution of marriage itself greatly enhances, enriches and strengthens a community. Would this not also be so if marriage became the "norm" in the gay society? Just a thought.


 
Response from : S. Michael Craven  

July 7, 2008 6:13 PM
 

Dear Doug,

I appreciate your feedback. I would offer [adapted from my previous responses] the following for clarification.

The assumption that homosexual “monogamy” could be construed to be equivalent to heterosexual monogamy and therefore desirable neglects the fact that homosexual sex is a self-evident perversion of the human biological design. Applying that logic, bestiality would also be morally equivalent to heterosexual monogamy as long as it was monogamous. However, the monogamous expression of bestiality would not negate the unnatural and therefore morally repugnant act of sex with an animal. In the latter case, as with homosexuality, that which is beyond the biological design is a perversion of human sexuality and therefore opposed to the maintenance of any sexual ethic. The point is, monogamy is not the defining moral feature – the nature of the sexual act is and monogamy is the constraining factor.

Unwin’s research confirmed that such perversions follow the modification of heterosexual monogamy within marriage. In other words, once a society begins to extend sexual opportunities beyond the exclusive relationship of marriage between a man and woman, (this is the proper sexual ethic) the society’s sexual ethic begins to erode. As Unwin observed, homosexuality is extremely rare within primitive societies and only appears within advanced cultures that are in the process of moving from an absolute monogamy to sexual profligacy. Lastly, monogamous homosexual “marriages” would not nor could not produce the same societal benefits intrinsic to monogamous (natural) marriage because the very institution responsible for promoting and preserving the essential sexual ethic has been redefined in ways that render it meaningless for that purpose. We cannot apply the label of marriage to any form of sexual expression and have it remain “marriage” in any meaningful sense. This would be like eliminating the distinctions between children and adults. We could call children “adults” but that wouldn’t make it so and giving them the same privileges and responsibilities would prove disastrous.

I promise, the argument will take shape in the weeks to come but I must first lay a proper and thorough foundation.

Thanks,
Michael

http://www.battlefortruth.org

 
Response from : Aka Troy  

July 7, 2008 6:28 PM
 

Michael:

I look forward to reading your "articulate and rational defense" of marriage as an institution between only one man and one woman. I have been particularly disappointed in the arguments expressed by those opposed to same sex marriage. As you very articulately expressed, more convincing terms than, “because the Bible says...” are needed.

I would also like to point out that there may be some confusion in the term “marriage” as we are using it.

I believe that the issue at hand is whether or not marriage between same sex couples should be recognized by the State in the same manner in which marriage between opposite sex couples is recognized by the State. For clarity, let’s refer to this as civil marriage.

I do not believe that the issue is addressing marriage as recognized by religious institutions (religious marriage). I do not believe that advocates of same sex marriage are requesting recognition or acceptance of same sex marriage by any religious institution. Those that are a part of your congregation may take issue with how your religious organization treats gays and lesbians. Any discussion on such topics should rightly be limited to the members of your Church. I do not believe that the Supreme Court of California or any gay rights groups are advocating a redefinition of religious marriage as recognized by your Church.

From the reading I have done, the reasons expressed for denying same sex couples state-recognized civil marriage rights are limited to:

Tradition. As you state, “The Judeo-Christian concept of marriage is as old as mankind.” I hope you do not feel that tradition in and of itself is sufficient justification for the continuation of any practice. Slavery, segregation, the restriction of voting to only men, the restriction of property rights to only men or only to those of a certain race, are only a few discriminatory long standing traditions in the United States. Thankfully (at least in my view), Americans determined that even though they were traditional institutions, tradition was not sufficient cause to maintain discriminatory policies.

Procreation. Same sex couples cannot reproduce without technological and/or biological assistance. There are many opposite sex couples who marry and are not able to reproduce, whether it is due to age or due to a medical condition. They, like same sex couples, can take advantage of a number of options, including adoption or medical assistance, such an in-vitro fertilization, or the use of a surrogate to carry the child. Or, the couple may choose not to have children at all. There are no requirements in civil marriage stating that the couple must be able to bear children.

In light of the Earth’s limited resources, it may be desirable for there to be a pool of people that are less likely to procreate, limiting the growth of the human population so that the Earth’s resources may be shared in an equitable manner. Also, it may be desirable for there to be a pool of people that are less likely to procreate so that they may care for the children whose parents cannot care for them, or so that they may care for the elderly or the ill.

The slippery slope. It is my hope that your intelligent argument will not include comparisons to bestiality, pedophilia, or to polygamous relationships. Alas, I see that you have already included the bestiality argument in your July 7 response to David Hart. Civil marriage is a contract entered into by two consenting adults. An animal is not a consenting adult and does not have the capacity to engage in a contract. A child is not a consenting adult. Polygamous relationships by their definition include more than two adults. The slippery slope arguments are irrelevant to the discussion.

I genuinely respect your devotion to God and to His Word as expressed in the Bible. I would hope that you would have similar respect for the laws that govern within the State of California and the United States. Just as you are free to practice your religion, others are free to practice their religion, or not to practice at all. In the United States, the government and the Church are separate entities to permit freedom of and freedom from religion.

When addressing the issue of religious marriage, within your Church, within your belief system, it is perfectly acceptable to restrict marriage to only one man and one woman. Within that framework, “because the Bible says…” is sufficient.

When addressing the issue of civil marriage, I believe that valid, fact based arguments are required if one wants to restrict marriage to only one man and one woman. The California Supreme Court, in their review of the case, had to evaluate the restriction of marriage to one man and one woman in relation to the Constitution’s equal protection clause. The Court found that the restriction of marriage violated the equal protection of California’s citizens. Chief Justice Ronald George wrote for the majority "We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.”

Again, I look forward to reading your "articulate and rational defense" of civil marriage as between one woman and one man. It is my opinion, however, that it will be tremendously difficult to provide a logical and rational defense of your view of marriage without resorting to a religious justification.

In 1958, after Richard Loving (a white man), and Mildred Jeter (a black woman) married in Washington DC and returned home to Virginia, they were arrested because interracial marriage was illegal at the time. The judge in the case, Leon Bazile, stated in his decision, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Religion is often used to perpetuate discrimination. I hope your future arguments will not employ such justification.


 
Response from : S. Michael Craven  

July 7, 2008 7:53 PM
 

Dear Aka Troy,
You raise some interesting and even
thoughtful objections so let me offer a
thoughtful response.

First, marriage cannot be distinguished between either civil or religious interests. Marriage is first and foremost a vital civil institution that represents society’s interest in procreative acts. Because sex holds the potential for the production of children, society is rightfully concerned about the manner and place in which children come into being. Marriage represents the best relationship in which two people, male and female, are prepared for the possibility of children, thus they are encouraged to participate in marital acts. Society’s interests are secured by the fact that these two sexual partners understand their procreative potential and are prepared to fulfill their responsibility to both their children and society in the event that children are realized. This is marriage.

It does not matter whether or not children are realized because the possibility for knowing the fertility of a couple may not exist and they nonetheless are participating in the same marital acts and the same relationship. The standard serves the greater possibility [the realization of children] and not the lesser.

Thus marriage is not simply a “tradition” that has served particular cultural beliefs or prejudices; marriage is the natural relationship for human sexuality. Throughout nature, the various species have their “traditions” or normative behavior related to the reproduction and the rearing of their offspring. These norms are fixed behaviors—they never change—that are passed from one generation to the next in order to insure the prosperity of that species. This is no less true for human beings. We are designed to procreate by means of monogamous male to female fertilization, with an approximate gestation period of nine months hopefully resulting in a live birth, and ideally we raise these children for roughly eighteen years in a family structure involving a female mother and male father. This is the fixed normative design for human sexuality and family structure.
We accept this fixed principle in the animal world without hesitation. For example, you don’t see the Chinese attempting to alter the reproduction of Pandas by placing a fertile female with another female; they don’t expect newborn Pandas to hatch from an egg, and they don’t give the newborn to a chimpanzee to raise as their own. To do so would violate the normative social and reproductive behavior of Pandas and we would facilitate their extinction! The same is true of human sexuality and every time we attempt to alter this normative prescription there follow negative consequences. We attempt these alterations because we are sentient beings who possess moral reasoning and history indicates that we have an inclination for violating this moral reasoning to serve our selfish interests.

You say that I am free to practice my religion as long as I am willing to let others practice theirs. However, recognizing same sex marriage has nothing to do with the free exercise of religion but rather the governance and moral order of our society. As I pointed out to an earlier critic, if gay men and women want to have sex and live in whatever arrangement they want then that is their choice and they are free to do so. What is not their choice is to redefine an institution essential to the social welfare and the common good in such a way that these benefits are nullified and society harmed.

Additionally, my response alluding to bestiality had nothing to do with “consent” but rather a rebuttal to the idea that monogamy of any kind is a good. Please be accurate in your critique.

Finally, to compare the denial of “marriage” to those of the same sex with those of different race is not an accurate comparison and nowhere does the Bible prohibit interracial marriage nor would any such prohibition be consistent with God’s moral character. These are two completely different issues that are entirely unrelated, although they make for good political rhetoric.
Respectfully,
Michael

http://www.battlefortruth.org

 
Response from : Chairm  

July 8, 2008 6:10 AM
 

The man-woman criterion of marriage is not a purely religious criterion. SSM advocates who claim otherwise are profoundly mistaken.

The nature of marriage is 1) integration of the sexes, 2) contingency for responsible procreation, and 3) these combined as a coherent whole (i.e. a social institution of civil society).

Marriage is not owned by the government; marriage is recognized and privileged by society via our state authorities. Government does not own civil society because, as a great US President observed, The People have a government, not the other way around.

So, yes, marriage is both "civil" and "religius" and the attempt to force the government to seperate the man-woman criterion from either is folly.

Marriage arises from the two-sexed nature of humankind, the both-sexed nature of human generativity, and the both-sexed nature of human community. These, also, are "givens" in the sense that humankind did not invent them but rather adapts to them. Marriage is indeed a cultural adaptation to biology and human physiology. It is a universal social institution, across time and geography and cultures, precisely because it arises from the essentials of humankind.

Gayness does not have the same claim on civilization that the conjugal relationship has.

It should also be noted that the category, same-sex, is not exclusively homosexual. It is a fundamental mistake for the California court to have focussed on a tiny subset of the same-sex category which is, in turn, a subset of the nonmarital category.

The key to the discussion of marriage is to first identify its core, its essentials, both in terms of the marriage idea as a universal social institution and also as a special relationship type recognized by Government and the Law.

The legal aspect of marriage is realy just a legal shadow of the social institution. One should not mistake the shadow for the substantive thing that casts that shadow in light of the nature of humankind. In other words, marriage is not the sum of the legal incidents that flow from government recognition of a foundational social institution. The legal incidents flow from what marriage actually is.

That said, there are definitive legal requirements that point at the core of the conjugal relationship type. The man-woman criterion stands for the integration of the sexes. The marriage presumption of paternity stands for the contingency for responsible procreation. Both criteria are longheld in our traditions, customs, and legal systems. The marriage presumption is one of the strongest legal principles we have -- it is vigorously enforced.

These criteria are not arbitrary; they combine to form the most pro-child social institution we have honored in our legal systems.

For instance, motherhood and fatherhood are integrated through a strong sexual ethic that places the conjugal relations of husband and wife on a special level of respect, obligation, duty, and freedom. Marital status is a preferential, or special, status and not merely protective.

Marriage is a social institution which has significant influence -- a relatively non-coercive guide -- to family formation. Other nonmarital alternatives, including the same-sex arrangement that might or might not be sexualized, are not preferred the way that marriage is. To-date, the social scientific evidence shows this is the wisdom of the ages.

It is a truism that stands on firm ground: society benefits the social institution of marriage because marriage benefits society. The benefits come from the core of the conjugal relationship type.

As for the advocates of SSM, they need to begin with what they think is the objective reality of the relationship type that they have in mind.

What is its core or essentials?

And since SSMers emphasize "civil marriage", meaning the legal institution, they need to identify the core of marriage by pointing to the definitive legal requirements that will be enforced, absolutely, according to the same pro-SSM rules that are used to nullify the link between procreation and marriage.

For example, someone in an earlier comment claimed that procreation is not required and that procreation occurs outside of marriage. Okay, if something is not required then it is not essential to the relationship type that SSMers have in mind. And, if something can occur outside of that relationship type, it is also NOT essential.

Also, someone emphasized consent,but the issue is not consent as a criteria of marriage, but rather consent TO WHAT? Again, look to the esentials of the relationship type to which people would consent.

No one-sexed arrangement is sex-integrative; no one-sex-short arrangement can provide contingency for responsible procreation -- ie. the marriage presumption of paternity does not apply. This is so whether or not the one-sexed arrangement is a twosome or a morsome, gay or straight, adult-adult or adult-child, closely related or not.

What I've described in this comment is not a religious understanding of marriage, but rather the observations of the social institution as it exists -- regardless of religious teachings.

And it must be noted that even expressly athiestic societies have recognized the man-woman criterion as an essential to distinguishing marriage from non-marriage. Even societies that have persecute people who believed in the Bible, even the governments of such societies have shown preference for the conjugal relationship type based on its essentials.

The advocacy of SSM misrepresents when it tries to pry marriage from its core by claiming the government owns the social institution, owns civil society, and can do with marriage whatever it wishes. That advocacy is corruptive of good governance for it undermines the liberty that is based on civil society, the nature of humankind, and the freedom of conscience that makes of government a servant, not a dictator, of Truth.


 
Response from : Chairm  

July 8, 2008 6:23 AM
 

S. Michael Craven,

I contribute to a group blog, The Opine Editorials, and would like to discuss in email the possibility of your crossposting at Opine your series on the defense of marriage.

Our motto is: Defending marriage on the firm ground of reason and respect for human dignity.

My email and the URL for the blog are incuded with this comment.

Cheers,
Chairm Ohn

http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/search/label/nature%20of%20marriage

 
Response from : steph  

July 8, 2008 11:32 AM
 

I read your scriptures and motivational words EVERYDAY! But I see your narrow, ignorant point of view re gay marriages. I THOUGHT being aChristian meant loving all. I guess there is "fine print" we must all read re; the bible and who it pertains to.

I see more hatred and marriage for the wrong reasons in HETEROSEXUAL couples that homosexual couples.
I see men cheating on women , women marrying men for their money, etc.

You should look at your own kind and stop denying the lack of respect straight people have toward marriage!

I feel sorry for people with your views.

Thanks for the encouraging emails.. ME AND MY SOON TO BE WIFE ENJOYED THEM!
....and of course this will be reviewed and denied. As if we don't know that.
I'm praying FOR U.
Good luck


 
Response from : Dr. Lee Jagers  

July 9, 2008 1:32 AM
 

Bravo. You are doing what I was encouraging my class at Dallas Theological Seminary to do last Spring. Three of the students wrote such good papers on "God's Purpose and Design for Marriage" that I posted them on my blog. They can be accessed by clicking on
http://leejagers.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/marriage-is-about-gods-glory/
and on
http://leejagers.wordpress.com/2008/04/01/gods-purpose-for-marriage-a-biblical-view/
and on
http://leejagers.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/why-is-marriage-down-and-divorce-up/
I think they are each worthy of a read. I look forward to your future pieces. btw, one of those students informed me of your article. Keep it up.
Dr. J.

http://leejagers.wordpress.com

 
Response from : Randy  

July 10, 2008 10:34 AM
 

OK trying to be nice however....It may be time to get real and make the politicians wake up.
The California Supreme Court by legislating immorality (morality as well as immorality cannot be legislated and courts should not be legislating).
The courts and the govm't is reprobate Romans Chapter 1 and therefore Christians should not have fellowship nor associate with such.
The Govm't has lost it's moral authority and the only authority they have left is the gun just like gangsters. The Govm't has offended Chrisians, Jews, Moslems and just about every religion on the planet and has lost it's moral authority. Christians and Americans fought a revolution against king George and his immoral Govm't claiming a higher authority in God. It may be time to form a more perfect union. When Rome burned the Christians where blamed and it is said that the Christians did not lend a hand to help put out the fires.

http://SCBCVenice.com

 
Response from : babar  

July 14, 2008 11:40 AM
 

Michael,

Thanks for your stance in defending the institution of marriage. I would like to see more studies and data which prove a heterosexual lifestyle is more beneficial to a community than a homosexual lifestyle. We could argue there are enough orphans (unfortunately!) in the world and technology that might provide an opportunity for homosexuals to procreate and form a (pseudo) family

In Europe, where SSM has been legal for a generation, are these data available? Do hetero couples have longer lasting relationships? If children are in the home, are there fewer broken families from hetero relationships than homo relationships? How does it affect crime rates, drug use rates, other measurable items that either benefit or denigrate a community.

If our argument is that marriage benefits society and communities as a whole, we should be able to back it up with the numbers using Europe as our statistical sample.

Thanks again for taking the time to research this much needed topic of debate.


 
Response from : Jason  

June 10, 2009 8:47 PM
 

I would like to see some documented proof, not opinion...that same-sex marriage is harmful to society. Please provide some facts that civilizations have declined solely because of same-sex marriage. I don't want to read comments like "Oh, country A has allowed same-sex marriage for 25 years and in those 25 years they have had an increase of crime by 30%, therefore it is because of same-sex marriage" I want documented proof that it is specifically because of same-sex marriage and would also appreciate a thoughtful approach as to how not allowing same-sex marriage could have prevented such a decline in these specified areas of civilized crumble.

I find your articles interesting and certainly thought provoking.


 

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