Friday, February 20, 2015

The Two Shall Become One Flesh: Reclaiming Marriage

by Evangelicals and Catholics Together
March 2015

The crisis of marriage culture in our times now poses a direct and fundamental challenge to the very nature of marriage. By redefining marriage to allow a union between two persons of the same sex—Spouse 1 and Spouse 2—a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself. In such a world, the distinction between men and women is denied social recognition and marriage is no longer a unique bond uniting male and female. It becomes an instrument created by the state to give official status to the relationship between two generic human beings.

In these circumstances, what the state defines as marriage no longer embodies God’s purposes in creation. An easy acceptance of divorce damages marriage; widespread cohabitation devalues marriage. But so-called same-sex marriage is a graver threat, because what is now given the name of marriage in law is a parody of marriage.

We are today urged to embrace an abstract conception of human nature that ignores the reality of our bodies. Human beings are no longer to be understood as either male or female. Our culture encourages us to exalt our personal desires and choices over the created order. Instead of freely accepting God’s gift, we seek to dominate (and even alter) nature, constructing our own moral truths. The result is a deceptive pseudo-freedom that degrades our ­humanity. Genuine freedom is found in ­obedience to God’s order: in freely choosing, as a matter of grace and moral habit, what is good and what makes for true beatitude.

No one should doubt or deny what is at stake here. To sustain the fiction of same-sex marriage, the natural family must be deconstructed. Birth certificates will no longer list “father’s name” and “mother’s name” but “Parent 1/Parent 2,” a change already made on certificates issued in some jurisdictions that recognize same-sex marriage. In this brave new world, the family—the institution on which our social order rests—is being redefined as a socially constructed unit, constituted by our sovereign will, not by nature itself. And if a “family” is anything I want or choose it to be, the corrosive individualism that already leaves too many people lonely and disconnected in twenty-first-century Western society is intensified... the rest


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