Roman Catholic marriage defender Sherif Giris speaks to about 1500 Southern Baptists at the 2014 ERLC National Conference on “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.” This is a very good introduction to the defense of marriage.
- his experience doing formal debates on the definition of marriage in the most liberal universities
- the gay marriage side has no argument for redefining marriage it’s all emotions
- on their view, what makes a marriage is a strong emotional bond
- however their view does not rationally ground any of traditional marriage norms
- it does not rationally ground the norm of marriage being permanent
- it does not rationally ground the norm of marriage being sexually exclusive
- it does not rationally ground the norm of marriage being for only two people
- it does not rationally ground the norm of marriage involving sexual activity
- it does not rationally ground the norm of marriage involving a connection to family life
- if we redefine marriage to mean “emotional bond” all these features are not essential
- the community of marriage involves cooperation: common actions towards a common end in a context of commitment
- marriage unites two people at all levels
- it unites them sexually for purpose: not for feelings, but for reproduction
- the sexual act in marriage is oriented to generating family life, which requires commitment
- family life leads naturally into the norms of permanence and exclusivity
- the redefined view of marriage as emotional bonding is opposed to all of this
- we can see the priorities of the redefiners in their support for no-fault divorce
- they we acting on their view of making marriage about emotional fulfillment
- they pushed by saying “how would no-fault divorce affect your marriage?”
- no-fault divorce was the first marriage redefinition and it undermined permanence
- it affected the entire community – a generation of kids raised without father
- it causes a host of problems to kids, crime, lower test scores, earlier sexual activity, etc.
- this is why marriage matters – to give children what they need
- defending marriage as part of the Christian life
- we have to understand the motives of the marriage redefiners and addressing their needs
I think it’s a good point to bring up no-fault divorce to show us how people on the secular left who want a more adult-friendly definition of marriage do their redefining at the expense of children. If this life is the only one you have, and there is no design for how humans ought to be, then it makes a lot of sense to maximize your own freedom and view your children as competitors against your happiness. Or, maybe you lie to yourself and say that fatherlessness and instability doesn’t really hurt children, because “children are resilient”.
The capacity for humans to deceive themselves when it comes to having freedom to “be happy” knows no bounds. It falls to us as Christians, then, to speak out for children – born and unborn. We are the only ones who still believe that in a conflict between adult selfishness and a child’s rights, that the child’s rights should win out. Children are not commodities, and there are more important things than our own happiness to consider. There are more important things than appearing “nice” to our peers to consider.