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A Case for Natural Marriage
by David Russell
"Gay citizens already have the same right to marry as anyone else, as well as the same restrictions. No one may marry a close blood relative, a child, a person who is already married, or a person of the same sex. However much those restrictions may disappoint the incestuous, pedophiles, polygamist, and homosexuals, the issue is not discrimination. It is the nature of marriage itself." (Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council)
You guessed it! Today on stones from the stream I will dive into the issue of same sex marriage. My goal in this article is to give you some ammo if your ever confronted with this in your own back yard or the public arena. So as always, let's get after it.
Has the boat on same sex marriage already sailed? To many it has, it seems that once advocates against it are now on board and evolution is to blame. On facebook, we see equal signs taking the place of profile pictures, LGBT sound bites and photo clips litter the internet while the issue makes front pages of newspapers all across the country. Why? Because the Supreme Court has finally decided to hear the case. Many questions litter our minds as the topic is once again brought to the forefront of our culture and quite honestly, I haven't heard anything new from either side. I am also unimpressed by either of the arguments that I have heard so far. I honestly don't think the debate has been very strong for those in defense of natural marriage, not at least from what I have heard, which is disappointing because, there is such a strong case from logic and common sense. It seems that through the rhetoric from the left the right has in a way, given up. Maybe I am remiss. Today, I am going to offer to you a case for natural marriage and a way to defend this sacred union between one man and one woman.
I want to start by pointing out a few road blocks and dangers the Christian may face while engaged with this topic. It seems that whenever you disagree with the LGBT you're called a homophobe or a bigot. You get steam rolled by proponents and at that point you are unable to bring your argument up. The first thing to remember is that you're an ambassador for Christ, so have some intention when voicing your concern, ask the questions that put you back into the driver's seat of the conversation. Also, remember that there are two arguments that have a powerful approach to this issue, one is non-religious while the other is religious. I highlight this because it is often mingled in any argument you have on this issue. If you separate the two you will have a clear focus while you're in debate.
Moving from that, we see the impact that this issue is making on the minds of the uninformed and ignorant, churched and unchurched. Opinions and emotions seem to lead the way over logic and rationality. Recently, I heard a pastor on a national radio broadcast pro-port that Jesus would have changed his mind on same sex marriage if he were alive today and that the apostles were in error. I have had Christian friends change their profiles to the infamous equal sign in show of their support for the cause of equality for same sex union. This is a vast reflection of a deeper problem we face in the church and abroad. We live in a culture where sensationalism wins the day and scriptural illiteracy runs rampant in the pews. To assume Christ would change his mind undermines the truth of his divinity and if the apostles got it wrong the inerrant word of God is no longer inerrant or it is basically ignored. The scriptures couldn't be more true when it says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)
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But I digress, we have to examine the body of the argument for natural marriage. As mentioned in the opening quote, the logic is quite clear. Civil rights is not the issue. There is no discrimination except in basic behavior, which all laws are based around. The truth is, we are all entitled to marry in the same way, we all share the same rights and restrictions equally. I am a heterosexual male and have the same right to marry as the homosexual, I also have the same restrictions the homosexual has. Greg Koukl gives a beautiful illustration in a past issue of solid ground, he puts it like this, “Smith and Jones both qualify to vote in America where they are citizens. Neither are allowed to vote in France. Jones, however has no interest in U.S. politics, he's partial to European concerns. Would Jones have a case if he complained?" Simply put NO! both he and Smith have the same rights to vote in America Smith chooses to exercise that right, so for Jones there is only inequality in desire not in legality.
Basically, the marriage law applies to each citizen in exactly the same way, the Homosexual wants the right to do something neither person can do. So all those with equal signs posted to their profiles are drastically misinformed, or they simply like being part of the crowd. G.K. Chesterton once said, "Fallacies don't cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." How we all could benefit from such eloquent truths.
So what is the issue after examining that? Personally, I think it is a recognition issue, even though same sex relationships are pretty much tolerated as a whole by society. I believe it is a true assault on natural marriage itself. So let's hit this issue as well.
Frank Turek said this in a recent podcast I listened to and, it couldn't be said any simpler, he said "Natural marriage is the foundation of civilized society and should be the only relationship promoted by the government." This hits home for me, I often wondered why government got involved in the relationship process, with this quote and the justification he gives throughout the podcast it comes down to basic common sense. Natural marriage produces the next generation, the government has a vested interest in the next generation, so, naturally it promotes the carrying on of the civilization. The government needs to be somewhat involved in this process due to the behavior of humans and their inability to commit. Also, imagine what a man would do if there was no accountability, he could leave and bear no responsibility to his mate or children; the government makes sure the women and children are protected. The government doesn't get involved because you're in love, it reigns in that aspect of commitment and furthermore, deals with inheritance intrinsic to natural marriage, It also provides relief to promote the family in regard to the very nature of child rearing, something also inherent to natural marriage. Tax relief is given to lighten the load for fathers who have out of work mothers and children you now have to feed.
Let's look at the benefits natural marriage provides for society. We already discussed procreation, but what about lowering social cost to the government? Welfare rises when the two parent family breaks down. How about lower crime rates? Think on this, how many married men do you see roaming the streets and leading gangs, etc. The truth is striking, and you may ask what about those same sex couples that adopt? Natural marriage is proven to provide the most stable, balanced, and nurturing environment for children. When it is strong that is. I am not saying that we don't make a mess of it at times. In a recent article I read, the author compiled some common facts that have been well known for years, it read "the life span of both men and women increase, children from natural marriage homes are seven times less likely to live in poverty, six times less likely to commit suicide, less than half as likely to commit crime, less than half likely to get pregnant out of wedlock, develop better academically and socially, healthier physically and emotionally when they reach adulthood." (allaboutlove.org, Natural marriage point one) This article was a great read and compilation of facts, I encourage all to read it and fact check it.
With examining the benefits of natural marriage, why do I think it should be the only one promoted by government? First, it is the natural foundation of society and yields benefits to everyone, no other relationship can do that. Second, a study by J.D. Unwin concludes out of eighty six civilizations spanning the course of five thousand years the most prosperous were the ones with a strong marriage ethic, he includes that every civilization that abandoned this ethic and liberalized their sexual practices experienced demise not long after. (Joseph Unwin, Sex and Culture: London Oxford press, 1934) Third, a mother and a father bring the most nurturing environment to children. Finally, my Christian conviction, Paul outlines in Romans one, a clear cut position on what God thinks about same sex marriage.
Leaving that I must touch one last thing: What is marriage? Is it something we invent? Is it a social contract defined by culture? No, again I will quote Koukl here, "The truth is, it is not culture that constructs marriages or the families marriages begin. Rather, it is the other way around: Marriage and family construct culture. As the building blocks of civilization, families are logically prior to society, as the parts are prior to the whole." (Greg Koukl, Solid Ground)
In conclusion, I stand for natural marriage. After examining the data, I truly think the definition shouldn't be redefined by culture. The relationship between a man and woman is different and yields different results than any other relationship out there. If we redefine natural marriage to include another relationship we will leave a principle and run after the fleeting heart of emotions, this in turn will open up Pandora's box, will we then allow the NAMBLA to marry children? Will we allow polygamy? The funny thing is, everyone you will meet and engage with will have their own definition of marriage, everyone draws some sort of line. Why not keep what we see described in nature? One last point of note, whenever you engage in discussion with someone, usually you will find your dealing with something other than logic or what is best for society, your dealing with something volitional. I leave you with two questions, again from Turek. What would be the benefit if everyone lived faithfully in a natural marriage? What would be the benefit if everyone lived faithfully in same sex marriage?
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