If you’ve been following David French’s writing closely, you’ll know that he no longer supports public policies that are consistent with the Christian worldview. In this post, we’ll take a look at Jesus’ definition of marriage, then we’ll see whether David French thinks that Jesus knows more about the definition of marriage than the Democrat party.
First, what does Jesus think about marriage?
Here’s what Jesus says about marriage.
1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.
2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”
8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.
To be a Christian, minimally, is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. That means that we accept what Jesus teaches, on whatever he teaches about. We don’t overturn the teachings of Jesus in order to make people who are rebelling against God feel better about their rebellion. It is central to the Christian worldview that Christians care more about what God thinks of them than what non-Christians think of them. In fact, Christians are supposed to be willing to endure suffering rather than side with non-Christians against God’s authority.
Here’s an article from The Federalist by conservative Christian lioness Megan Basham.
[P]erhaps no one has done more to further the idea that Christians should not let the God they worship influence their policy views than one-time defender of traditional marriage, David French.
[…]As a political pundit, French has been singularly influential in evangelical establishment circles, referenced regularly not only in Christianity Today’s pages and podcasts but also giving speeches at Southern Baptist seminaries and winning praise from outlets such as The Gospel Coalition as “one of the few Christians who is able to bring gospel-centered arguments into the public square.”
In all three of his essays on RMA in the last week, French reveals that he, too, has evolved on marriage and… discourages Christians from resisting the enshrinement of gay marriage into U.S. law.
French… adds, “Religious belief is not the same thing as declaring civil law … I don’t want the law to discriminate against those Americans who sincerely hold different views of sexual morality, sexuality, and marriage and organize their lives and their institutions accordingly.”
What does David French think about same-sex marriage as public policy?
French reveals that… believes [the Obergefell ruling’s] argument for ushering in an entirely new form of marriage, unknown to previous ages, was well-founded. He writes that as far back as 2004, he believed, “In a diverse, pluralistic republic, granting the same rights to others that we’d like to exercise ourselves should be the default posture of public advocacy and public policy.”
Now that the fundamental transformation of marriage has taken place, French argues it should be permanent: “It would be profoundly disruptive and unjust to rip out the legal superstructure around which they’ve ordered their lives,” he writes.
When it comes to policy, David French thinks that the Democrat party’s definition of marriage is better than Jesus’ definition of marriage.
Previously, I noted how the Alliance Defending Freedom thinks that the “Respect for Marriage Act” will threaten the religious liberty of Christian organizations:
The so-called Respect for Marriage Act is a misnamed bill that expands not only what marriage means, but also who can be sued for disagreeing with the new meaning of marriage.
While proponents of the bill claim that it simply codifies the 2015 Obergefell decision, in reality it is an intentional attack on the religious freedom of millions of Americans with sincerely held beliefs about marriage.
The Respect for Marriage Act threatens religious freedom and the institution of marriage in multiple ways:
- It further embeds a false definition of marriage in the American legal fabric.
- It opens the door to federal recognition of polygamous relationships.
- It jeopardizes the tax-exempt status of nonprofits that exercise their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
- It endangers faith-based social-service organizations by threatening litigation and liability risk if they follow their views on marriage when working with the government.
The truth is the Respect for Marriage Act does nothing to change the status of same-sex marriage or the benefits afforded to same-sex couples following Obergefell. It does much, however, to endanger religious freedom.
David French wants Christians who agree with Jesus about the definition of marriage to be persecuted by the secular left state. That’s why he supports this Democrat party legislation.
Now, if you listened to the episode of the Knight and Rose show that Rose and I did defending the definition of marriage then you will know that there are good science-based secular reasons for preferring Jesus’ definition of marriage. But David French ignores that evidence in his published work.
Back to Megan Basham in The Federalist:
Leaving aside how this same argument could have been applied to Dred Scott, it’s interesting that French repeatedly references “LGBT families” in his essays (a phrase that naturally brings up sympathetic associations) without specifically treating the question of how children come to be a part of these sterile couplings or how they fare once they are present. In fact, the only passing allusion he makes to children in these households is positive, as when he says, “Millions of Americans are living stable, joyful lives in LGBT families.”
It has been said many times (but it cannot be said enough apparently) that the law’s compelling interest in acknowledging marriage at all is not to sanction romantic attachment between various individuals. It is to recognize the sexually reproductive union of men and women in order to foster the arrangement that best cultivates individual flourishing, which, in turn, creates a flourishing society.
Right, and that’s why Rose and I talked about that evidence in our podcast. But if you are expecting David French to understand what marriage is, and how to interact with scientific evidence on the effects of non-traditional unions on children, you’re expecting too much. In Christian apologetics, we know how to make a case for what the Bible teaches about God’s existence from scientific evidence, such as the Big Bang cosmology and the cosmic fine-tuning. Mainstream scientific data. We do the same thing when it comes to the abortion question. Serious Christians know how to be persuasive to non-Christians. That’s why we are able to defend the Bible’s teachings without capitulating to peer pressure from the secular left.
There is no need to rehearse the litany of evidence that children raised apart from their married, biological mothers and fathers fare worse on all manner of social, educational, and developmental outcomes. But it might be necessary to start speaking forthrightly about the more specific emerging evidence that children conceived via donorship suffer from “profound struggles with their origins and identities” and that those raised in same-sex households are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and sexual abuse.
French never mentions these children. Nor does Dalrymple. Nor does the Christianity Today essay. Nor has Sen. Blunt. Yet this is the dystopian, domino effect of redefining marriage so that Christians may assure themselves they are pluralists in good standing, on the right side of rapidly devolving modern history.
If you want to hear a decent case for the traditional definition of marriage based on evidence, check out the podcast that Rose and I did about it here.
If you only have 15 minutes, this short video from Katy Faust makes the case:
And she has an excellent article about it in the Daily Signal. It’s too bad that Christians look to David French for leadership. I would rather rely on Megan Basham and Katy Faust. And it’s not David French who will be defending religious liberty at the Supreme Court. It’s Kristen Waggoner of the ADF.