Thursday, June 05, 2008

Marriage Erosion in California

Erosion in California is not just along its coastal line. Now that the California Supreme Court has declared a legal constitutional right for same gender marriage, and refused to stay its ruling, marriage in California is also eroding.

I realize that to oppose same sex marriage is to look like you're narrow minded or intolerant. At least grant that I have 6,000 years of human history on my side. Some things should never change. The definition of marriage is one of them. Why? Because as Maggie Gallagher writes, "Ideas have consequences."

To my knowledge, there are six borders that define marriage:
  • You cannot be currently married. That is, a person already married cannot create another marriage (bigamy).
  • You cannot marry a near relative.
  • You cannot marry someone against your will.
  • You cannot marry a minor.
  • You cannot marry more than one person. In other words, you cannot bring a third party into a marriage (polygamy).
  • And, you cannot marry someone of the same gender.
Now that the California Supreme Court has decided that same sex marriage is permissible, what is the compelling argument to not remove the other restrictions? If, as Anna Quindlen of Newsweek argues, it's all about love, why not remove all the boundaries? Are people guilty of two-ophobia for thinking marriage should consist of only of two people?

My point is this: where you set the boundary markers matter. It matters to God who established the marriage boundaries in His Word and it matters for the organizing of family and society.

In the end, what J.I. Packer writes in his small booklet, "Freedom and Authority" is spot on:
We cannot have the freedom we want until we receive it on God's terms, that is, by giving up our rebellious independence and letting God be God to us. Real freedom is only ever found under authority-- God's authority in Christ, authority which reaches us via God's written Word.


David said...

Marriage hasn't changed over time??? Good Lord, talk about breathtaking ignorance! Marriage has been a property transaction, typically polygamous, for much of human history. The idea of "romantic love" began in the Renaissance. Up until the 20th century, women were still not permitted custody of their children following a divorce.

Additionally, how does promoting marriage for same-gender families "erode" marriage? You'll have to provide some evidence on that. Massachusetts continues to have the country's lowest divorce rate -- a rate MUCH lower than that in Kansas.

Oh well, let's not lets facts and reality get in the way of a good argument.

David said...

If you are honestly interested in this topic and why the slippery slope argument make zero sense I suggest reading Eugene Volokh's "Same Sex Marriage and Slippery Slopes" found in the Hofstra Law Review. Mr. Volokh is one of the country most respected conservative law professors and writes the blog, Volokh Conspiracy. The article is hugely influential within legal circles.

Living the Biblios said...


Your arrogance is a treat to read.

The STRUCTURE of marriage, which is the point of my article, has remained steady throughout human history-- one man and one woman. Yes, polygamy has existed and does exist, but even in those cultures, it is the exception and not the rule.

ATTITUDES about the institution of marriage, sure, it's obvious they have fluctuated throughout time. Certainly one attitude that homosexual men have about marriage that's far different than traditionally married folk is the role of sexual function. Traditionalist contend sexual expression belongs exclusively within marriage, while homosexuals are saying as a rule that it doesn't or needn't be. There's lot of attitudes about marriage, but not all attitudes are good.

How does promoting SSM "erode" traditional marriage? The bottom line is it harms children. Men and women are different.

Finally, why not answer my question? If gender shouldn't be a factor in what makes for marriage, what's the compelling reason not to eliminate all the other restrictions?

The GLBT community has done an incredible job persuading the culture of its cause. But you'll never change Scripture. Check out for more about that.