Mollie Hemingway made some great points the other day about why changing the legal definition of marriage matters.  I thought I’d throw her thoughts in the mix following up on my post yesterday.

Marriage — for whatever reason or variety of reasons — has been the means throughout the world for insuring that fathers stick around to raise their children and support mothers while they are growing their babies — both in utero and through childhood.

Variations from this ideal of marriage with children happen but they are just that — variations. Previous revisions to the institution of marriage have led to drastic increases in the rate of divorce, illegitimacy, and cohabitation. Legal definitions, it seems, matter.

To change this definition of marriage so that there is no difference between same-sex unions and opposite-sex unions is profound. It is nothing short of naive to think that only bigotry would prevent this radical redefinition of marriage.

There is a really great G. K. Chesterton quote that applies to such radical changes to institutions.Read the whole thing, but he basically says that if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious, it is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question. And if you assume folly on the part of your forefathers, why do you think that you aren’t susceptible to the same thing?

I think many do overlook the societal implications of redefining marriage to include same-sex marriage.  One of my co-contributors, Eric, mentioned yesterday:

Public policy on marriage affects every citizen both culturally and financially. Opening marriage to homosexuals will not only open the door to more and different types of litigation (divorce, annulment, etc.) into an already overwhelmed court system but begs the question: “what next?”

At some point, a line has to be drawn in order to prevent chaos. It sounds crazy to suggest that people may be able to marry an animal or that polygamy will be legal in 25 years. But so did gay marriage sound outrageous just a generation or two ago. We must also remember that, although Separation of Church and State is a sacred cow these days, the civil marriage was simply a recognition of the Church’s definition. It’s a tradition and worldview that was meant to keep civilization healthy and procreating.

And then there’s the subject of gay adoption, but that deserves a blog post of its very own.

8 comments
  1. I’m mildly depressed at the number of “conservatives” who are now saying “Oh, we need to toss out traditional marriage, right to life, and traditional morality to get the conservative movement going again!”

  2. I’m mildly depressed at the number of “conservatives” who are now saying “Oh, we need to toss out traditional marriage, right to life, and traditional morality to get the conservative movement going again!”

  3. Polygamy probably won’t come back, legally, so one man can marry more than one woman. No, after gay marriage is legalized and becomes commonplace, bisexuals will begin to seek open marriages on the grounds that they should not have to deny one side of their sexuality in order to take advantage of legal marriage. Why should a bisexual be limited to marrying one man or one woman? He or she, they will say, should be allowed to marry both a man and a woman.

  4. Polygamy probably won’t come back, legally, so one man can marry more than one woman. No, after gay marriage is legalized and becomes commonplace, bisexuals will begin to seek open marriages on the grounds that they should not have to deny one side of their sexuality in order to take advantage of legal marriage. Why should a bisexual be limited to marrying one man or one woman? He or she, they will say, should be allowed to marry both a man and a woman.

  5. I believe the state is stepping over the separation between church and state when the try to redefine marriage. It’s amazing that they don’t want prayer in our schools, but they are willing to redefine something that is clearly Biblical in origin.

  6. I believe the state is stepping over the separation between church and state when the try to redefine marriage. It’s amazing that they don’t want prayer in our schools, but they are willing to redefine something that is clearly Biblical in origin.

  7. @Foxfier – yeah somebody who is just a fiscal conservative or just a defense conservative isn’t a conservative. They are moderate.

    @Michael – I think we could see all sorts of different “types” of marriages coming down the pipe.

    @Clay – I agree. The argument just needs to be made from a legal standpoint or it won’t carry any weight in the courts. When it is on the ballot that is certainly something that can be discussed with those who are followers of Christ.

  8. @Foxfier – yeah somebody who is just a fiscal conservative or just a defense conservative isn’t a conservative. They are moderate.

    @Michael – I think we could see all sorts of different “types” of marriages coming down the pipe.

    @Clay – I agree. The argument just needs to be made from a legal standpoint or it won’t carry any weight in the courts. When it is on the ballot that is certainly something that can be discussed with those who are followers of Christ.

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