CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

30 Home Truths on Marriage

Jun 29, 2015

With marriage so heavily under attack today, it is worth once again reminding ourselves just what marriage is, what its purpose is, and why it is important. It is also vital to get some clear thinking on what homosexual marriage entails. I have already written many articles and books on all this, but in an age of unreason and mass confusion, restating basic truths becomes a duty.

Here then in outline form (see the documentation for all this in my books) are some basic truths about marriage and family which we must always keep at the forefront of the debates raging all around us today.

Marriage (the union of a man and a woman) has been around throughout human history and throughout all human cultures. While various variations on the theme can be found, marriage has always been primarily about male-female pair bonding, recognised socially and legally because of any children which may proceed from such a union.

marriage 1The state did not invent marriage. It simply recognised an already existing vitally important institution. Thus the state can no more redefine the essential nature of marriage than it can the law of gravity. The laws of nature which explain the complementary union of a man and a woman to become a husband and wife are inviolate.

A husband and wife are always potentially mothers and fathers, because of the male-female union. Marriage at its heart involves the conjugal act, where coitus marks genuine marriage apart from non-marriage, as our laws have recognised. Homosexual unions of course by their very nature do not and cannot entail the conjugal act.

It is exactly because human sexuality is fundamentally connected with the possibility of procreation that societies, and the state, have taken such an eager interest in marriage. All societies are built on the next generation, and no institution exists which does a better job of raising and rearing the next generation than heterosexual marriage.

That some heterosexual married couples cannot have children, or do not want children, does nothing to change the primary purpose and function of marriage. An unread book is still a book, regardless if its primary purpose is not being actualised. So too, marriage remains what it is, despite the exception of infertile couples.

Marriage has always existed to unite a man and a woman as a husband and a wife, and equip them to be a mother and a father if any children arise from their union. If children had nothing to do with marriage then the state would have nothing to do with marriage. But the state has a pressing interest in how the next generation is treated, since society itself is dependent on this.

Marriage is not companionship – many intense emotional relationships exist, but they are not necessarily marriage relationships. The state has no interest in many other sorts of relationships, even emotionally intensive ones. Two elderly sisters living together would have strong emotional attachments to each other, and a fond love for one another. But the state has no interest in legislating concerning such a relationship, primarily because it is non-marital in nature.

Close friendships are also another important type of relationship, but governments have no interest in legislating on their behalf, or extending to them special entitlements reserved for married couples. Societies extend benefits to heterosexual married couples because of all the great benefits such couples give to society.

Marriage carries with it the expectation of permanence and exclusivity. It is meant to last, and it is meant to exclude all others. That is again a safeguard for any children which come about from that union. The first major redefinition of marriage in the West occurred when no-fault divorce laws replaced fault-based legislation. These laws struck deeply at the heart of the permanent and exclusive nature of marriage.

Not every marriage has children, but every child should have a mother and father, and marriage increases the likelihood of this. Marriage is what keeps a mother and father connected to any offspring that come about from the conjugal union. Children desperately need and have a right to their own biological mother and father as much as is possible.

The social science research is abundantly clear that children do best, on average and for the most part, when raised in an intact, two-parent heterosexual married family. Social pathologies such as increased risk of drug abuse, poor educational performance, suicide, and criminal activity all go up, as the research makes plain, when children are raised in other family structures.

As with any rule, there are exceptions to this, but generally speaking, children fare best by all social indicators when raised in the traditional two-parent family. Because children do thrive in this family structure, governments have – or should have – an interest in promoting that sort of family structure, while discouraging other types which are less conducive to child wellbeing.

Social science has demonstrated overwhelmingly that mothers and fathers matter, and that they differ greatly in parenting styles. Men are different than women, and mothers do not make good fathers, nor do fathers make good mothers. Children have a fundamental right to have both.

By seeking to include other types of relationships into the institution of marriage, we of course redefine it and of necessity destroy it. To include two men or two women violates the basic requirement of marriage. There are four such requirements:
-only two people
-one from each gender
-of proper age
-not a close blood relative

Meet those four basic criteria, and anyone can marry. Thus everyone is now fully equal in terms of what marriage is. And also, those who fail to meet those criteria are equally discriminated against. I cannot marry, for the simple reason that I am already married. My dog cannot marry. A seven-year-old cannot marry. Three women cannot marry.

So full marriage equality already exists. It excludes no one, if they are willing to abide by its basic requirements. To change those requirements is to change the very nature of marriage, rendering it null and void. Similarly, to radically change the basic rules of chess would be to redefine it and render it no longer chess.

The very same arguments used by the homosexual activists for homosexual marriage (what adults do in private is no one else’s business; it is consensual; it will harm no one else; it is about love; it is about equality; etc.) can and have been all used in the very same way by other groups seeking to redefine marriage out of existence, including the polyamorists (group marriage advocates), the “intergenerational sex” advocates (paedophiles) and so on. They are quite right in making this logical extension of the homosexual arguments.

Whenever governments grant special rights to homosexuals, including marriage and adoption rights, it of necessity must demand that everyone else respect, endorse, support and cater to those rights. Thus we all are impacted by such laws. All recalcitrants will be dealt with by the heavy hand of the law.

There are already many, many hundreds of cases of those who did not go along with the homosexual agenda, or simply stated that marriage involves a man and a woman, being fired from their jobs, fined, or even jailed. Homosexual marriage changes everything, and everyone is adversely impacted.

Homosexual activists once demanded that the state get out of their bedrooms. They wanted no government intrusion in their lifestyles. By demanding and getting homosexual marriage, they are doing the exact opposite: bringing the state directly in the bedroom. Now the intrusive and expanding state grows in power as it gets involved in the intimate details of our lives.

As many homosexuals admit, their understanding of marriage is often radically different from the traditional understanding. Many speak of the need for extra-marital outlets, non-monogamish arrangements, and so on. Some have even admitted that their push for homosexual marriage is really about destroying marriage as we know it.

Studies have made it quite clear that while promiscuity and unfaithfulness of course occurs in heterosexual unions and marriages, they are far greater and more frequent in homosexual ones. Entire books written by homosexuals themselves have documented these facts, and this inherently unstable and open-ended type of relationship is not exactly the stuff of marriage material. Again exceptions exist, but exceptions do not make the rule.

Homosexuals make up around two per cent of society, and many of them have no interest whatsoever in marriage. Thus a tiny minority is using their clout and inordinate power to destroy the most basic and fundamental of human institutions, simply to remake it in their own image. And where homosexual marriage has been enacted, there has not exactly been a stampede to get to the altar. And homosexual divorce also very quickly follows.

The recent Supreme Court decision about marriage was an exercise in raw judicial power, finding a “right” that nowhere exists in the US Constitution. Five unelected and unrepresentative judges have declared war on the very meaning and nature of marriage, and have told 320 million Americans that they must all fall in line, or suffer the consequences.

When you mess with marriage, everything changes – and suffers. Marriage is the greatest institution in existence to help in the safe rearing of children. Healthy children make for a healthy society. What we do to family we end up doing to society. When we destroy marriage, we destroy society.

The most important reason to retain the universal and historic understanding of marriage is the wellbeing of children. Our children have a right to be born into a home where their biological mother and father exist. While this is not always possible in all circumstances – and contingencies exist for this – to deliberately bring a child into the world knowing he or she will not have two biological parents is in fact a form of child neglect, if not child abuse.

Reminder: All of these points are fully documented in my various books, so for those seeking to get all the references, statistics and evidence, I advise getting those volumes.

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24 Responses to 30 Home Truths on Marriage

  • Marriage, above all things, a license to have and or adopt children.
    If not for the children – why marriage? After all, who needs a license to have sex or co-habitat? We can make all sorts of contracts legally and thus why the homos wanted the marriage license – so as to get to the children.
    We argued wrongly – time to correct that.

  • This is good, Bill. Yet although I think it would be hard to successfully argue against any of these points, I know from experience that many (with blinkers on) will do so. It seems to me that we are confronted daily with additional signs that society is crumbling, and the breaking and/or changing of these fundamental marriage laws are playing a large part in this. We can choose to live as we please, disregarding laws and principles that were given for our protection, but we will most certainly pay the consequences. History inevitably repeats itself. Earlier civilizations have collapsed as leaders went their own way, taking pride in their own efforts, and denying their need for God. How far will we descend before we heed the warnings? Will we learn from a past that tells us nothing will change for the better until we turn back to God? Sadly, I doubt it.

  • From Tasmania comes the following from Positive Living, a magazine for people living with HIV-
    LGBTI and marriage equality advocates have warned Tasmanian Catholic school principals and teachers that distribution of the Catholic Bishops Booklet “Don’t Mess with Marriage” is likely a breach of Tasmania’s Anti-discrimination Act.
    Rodney Croome gets in on the act by urging people to complain to the Commission.
    He states that the Catholic Church has every right to express its views from the pulpit but it is completely inappropriate to enlist young people as couriers of its prejudice.
    Yet it seems OK to force our youth to be subjected to the Safe Schools Coalition’s program under the guise of bullying. This program is funded by governments and written by the gay community.
    1,269,970 people in Ireland did not vote and evil won the day. We need to get down on our knees and pray like we have never prayed before and then get up and stand up for God and country.

  • Excellent article, Bill. It distills the main problems with the UN-reasonable demands of the “gay”-stapo and their “dumbed-down” followers (like the staggeringly ignorant “judges” in the USA).

    I can think of no greater form of child abuse than to deliberately deprive a child of its natural Mother and Father. Allowing “gays” (completely ill-equipped – due to their impulsive lifestyles totally lacking insight and responsibility – for any hope of reliable, competent parenting) to also have adoption rights would have to be one of the most devastating consequences for any child.

    It would rival in heartbreaking catastrophe the tragic “Lebensborn children” social experiment (where Nazis took children from their parents and raised them in “emotionally-sterile” “parent-less” orphanages).
    Will this too be a subject of yet another future “Nuremberg Trial” serious abuse of human rights?

  • Re: “1,269,970 people in Ireland did not vote and evil won the day”.
    Yes, Madge, the press in Ireland reports the voter-turnout was the poorest on record. Hence evil won the day… because “for evil to prevail, all that is needed is for good men to do nothing”.
    If there is a plebiscite in Australia, we Christians have a SERIOUS DUTY to urge EVERYone we know to vote AGAINST deceitful “gay” demands for “marriage rights” (which in reality NO-BODY has EVER HAD anyway).

    The truth must prevail.

  • Thank you for your well researched and balanced articles. How sad to see so many in the church failing to understand the clear instructions of scripture; or do they, in their pride, think they know better?

    I thought this article was an excellent take on the whole issue also and found the tone of it very helpful.

    www.desiringgod.org/articles/why-homosexuality-is-not-like-other-sins

  • Great Bill, you warrior, if only we could clone you multiple times. For what it is worth there is a lot more to marriage.
    Now that I am in my 43rd year of being with my dear wife, and having 11 grandchildren, I come to realise the truth about the generational factor Scripture speaks about. There is no reference to same sex marriage being part of the promise God made in His covenant with Abraham.
    Bill Heggers, Bridgetown W.A.

  • “… The state has no interest in many other sorts of relationships, even emotionally intensive ones” True in free societies but in totalitarian societies the state has always involved itself in keeping registers on who associates with whom for any number of reasons. That the state is creating same sex so-called marriage, more properly termed anti-marriage, in a number of countries is a strong indicator that those societies are becoming totalitarian states and the star-chambers which prosecute people who decline to go along with the compulsory legal fiction of ‘gay marriage’ are other indicators of this sorry state of affairs.

  • Hi Bill, I came across one blog where a Christian mission basically claims that the early Reformers handed marriage over to the concept of “common good”, so that for 400 years there have been Christian marriage and Civil marriage operating side by side, with only recently the civil version looking different due to the changes to the Marriage Act (Celebrants and No Fault Divorce, etc.). One of the comments that came out of the blog is this pearler:

    In response to Romans 1:24, we get: “God invites his creation to participate in his created order by freely making it available to humanity. If they wish to reject it, then God allows this and this is powerfully expressed in the negative: they are handed over to their desires and the consequences of them. God will not force his creation to call him God, not coerce them into living according to his created order, but he will let them suffer the consequences of those decisions. This should give the church, around the globe and in Australia, an inkling into the way it should deal with the present situation it is facing.”

    And this,

    “The answer is to embrace the divorce, which means to embrace God’s instituted order and leave society to embrace its re-order of God’s order it believes will flourish. To watch someone abuse freedom that leads to self-harm is perhaps one of the most painful things to endure. Such is the doubled-edged nature of God’s design of this world.”

    And this,

    “Christian marriage that comprises a unity between a man and a woman that is characterised by sacrificial love will bear witness to the reality of the gospel. This is Paul’s great hope for marriage – gospel witness.”

    This to me sounds like a dangerous direction of thought, as we know our Religious Freedoms are in the throes of actively being diminished. I would have thought the above attitude is a hand washing one – ala Pilate. I cannot think of anything less loving than this approach to people in general, and marriage specifically.

  • As follow up to my post, the overall attitude is:

    Actively withdraw; passively witness.

    With so many imperatives in the bible, I find this a hand washing approach. Let’s all go off and retreat to our ivory churches. This presumes, in my opinion, that there are not more trials and tribulations for Christians to face, that will strip away Religious Freedoms.

    The full post can be found here:

    www.embraceidentity.org/#!same-sex-marriage-who-gets-the-house-if/c1e8u

  • For the sake of children, marriage should be protected by law, as it used to be. The marriage certificate is just like a birth certificate. If you have not one, you do not exist. If you have no marriage certificate the new life of two becoming one does not exist either. The laws protecting marriage and family have been trashed over the last sixty years and we see the ruins all around us.

    David Skinner UK

  • A few years ago, I committed many of the facts and arguments to my memory from Strained Relations. Just get the book, okay everyone? There’s still time! Pray pray pray. Act act act.

  • Thanks Anna. And yes, act and pray – like never before.

  • This is a great condensing of your two books on homosexual behavior and gay-fascism Bill. Pity too many self-proclaimed churchians in this country are more concerned about two drug dealers in Indonesia than they are about the welfare of innocent children and the protection of religious and speech freedoms for believers!

  • Such a well written article and most worthy of circulation. Have sent it to all my family members – they don’t know the urgency of the situation both here and in America, but hopefully, they will now question the media support for marriage hijacking by the gays.
    Furious writing days ahead…

  • Bill, I enjoy all of your posts. I agree with all that you say. Till people get their eyes on the true GOD and do HIS WILL things will not get better. I am ready to go to my home in HEAVEN anytime.

  • Superb article – unfortunately these sane/logical arguments seem to fall on deaf ears in this politically correct climate.

    Disagreement now equals hatred.

    Here in Australia, I figure we’ve got maybe 1 or 2 years at the most, until we also give in to the Pink Mafia.

  • Dear Bill

    Over the last few days I’ve seen so many of the people I call my friends changing their profile pictures on social media to some variant of the homosexual rainbow flag.

    I am actually feeling like the odd person out in not having done this too. I love my friends dearly, and they are all important people in my life, but can you please guide me with you wisdom about how I should respond to these feelings, as I don’t want to go against the teachings of The Church on this most important matter.

    Why are so many of my friends, and even members of my family, travelling in such a diferent journey to me? I find it hard to comprehend having made such a bad decision in placing my trust in them and their values. They are actually decent people.

    In Christ.

    Toby.

  • Just being pedantic, but you’ve inadvertently used the fake word monogamish instead of monogamous. The former is the brain child of that evil and despicable individual Dan Savage who should never be quoted in polite society.

  • Excellent again Bill and I note that each of these points are secular in nature with reasoned and scientific backing yet would a tenth of them have been heard on the ABC who, as we know, maintains dogmatically and illegally that these arguments simply don’t exist? This is a reasonably complex issue and yet we have been forced to fight it with “sound bites”.

    Thank you again.

  • Thanks Toby. Jesus was rejected by most people – even family members. How can we expect things to be any different for us? At the end of the day we make a choice: it is either Jesus or the crowd. As AW Tozer put it, “To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.”

  • Thanks Graham. Actually it was deliberate – using their terminology. I might have put it in quotation marks however.

  • Great article, interesting comments. I liked some of the quotes Matt put up in his comments but not sure of his conclusion. Yes, when it comes to the vote ALL christians MUST stand up and vote against. (That’s why I like the compulsory vote in Australia……there is no compulsory voting in the US……..anyone know how it is in Ireland??) BUT if gay “marriage” is passed then how must we proceed? The people have decided. In a democracy, the majority decides (so we are to believe). If the bible says to “hand them over to Satan” so that the full consequences of their sin may be felt, then that is what we must do. Of course, being compassionate and with a ready answer to those who seek the truth. And we hold to the truth and do not sway from that. Perhaps we don’t need the “state” to recognise our marriages as defined by it. We go back to the old ways, making a promise and a declaration before God and at least two witnesses. Does the piece of paper from the state make it any more honourable before our God? This would also alleviate the problem with churches/pastors/priests having to conform to state laws. Any close relationship can be “registered” these days anyway, at least in Australia, simply by filling out a form. This entitles people within that registered relationship to all social benefits available. Legally, any two people who have lived under the same roof for two or more years are treated the same as a “married” couple when it comes to splitting assets. And children. So what’s all the big deal then? It must be to deal the final blow to traditional marriage. But we can rise above that. We don’t need “the state”. We are in this world (which belongs to Satan at present) but not of it, am I right? So why must we demand the world’s recognition?

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