I have been arguing the issue against gay marriage for a long time. I have nothing against gays, I have nothing against gays living together, raising children, having a wonderful life…but it is my firm opinion that marriage is for family, family is about children and children are raised best by a mother and a father. To me, this is obvious, beyond discussion, but I will discuss it because I feel it to be important that we not damage our society by changing the definition of marriage to include anyone who feels the need to marry.
Here are three arguments I feel are most important.
Rev. Louis P. Sheldon in blog post “The Destruction Of Marriage Precedes The Death Of A Culture” says:
In his 1979 book, Our Dance Has Turned To Death, Christian sociologist Carl W. Wilson outlined the dangers facing traditional marriage and the family in America’s increasingly sexualized culture. Wilson could clearly see what was going to happen to the American family if our society continued to be sex saturated
Wilson noted that history reveals that nations decline and eventually die when sexual immorality becomes rampant and the traditional family is discarded in favor of group sex, homosexuality, infidelity, and unrestrained sexual hedonism. He pointed to the writings of British anthropologist J. D. Unwin, whose 1934 book, Sex and Culture, chronicled the historical decline of numerous cultures. Unwin studied 86 different cultures throughout history and discovered a surprising fact: No nation that rejected monogamy in marriage and pre-marital sexual chastity lasted longer than a generation after it embraced sexual hedonism. Unwin stated it this way, “In human records there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on prenuptial and postnuptial continence.”
Unwin found that nations that valued traditional marriage and sexual abstinence were creative and flourished. He described this as “cultural energy” that can only be maintained when sexual activities remain restricted within marriage.
Sociologist Pitirim Sorokin, in The American Sex Revolution, found essentially the same thing when he examined sexual immorality as it relates to cultural decline. Sorokin noted in the late 60′s that America was committing “voluntary suicide” through unrestrained sexual indulgence. He observed that as individuals began engaging in pre-marital sex unrelated to marriage, the birth rate would decline and our nation would be slowly depopulated. He predicted an increase in divorce, desertion, and an epidemic of sexual promiscuity resulting in a rise in illegitimate children. His predictions, unfortunately, have come true.
Brian Fitzpatrick, in his “The Rise and Fall of Civilizations” says
Why exactly does absolute monogamy, the Pauline moral code, bring vitality to a society? Absolute monogamy fosters cultural growth by solving what anthropologist Margret Mead called the “central problem of every society”— that is, to “define appropriate roles for the men.” Monogamous civilizations require men to choose either lifelong celibacy or the responsibilities of a husband: fidelity, breadwinning, and fatherhood. Most men choose to marry, to their good fortune, because married men tend to be healthier, happier, and more productive than bachelors.
Those committed husbands create stable marriages, which offer the greatest opportunity for raising healthy, productive children who can keep a society strong and growing. Likewise, the great economist Joseph Schumpeter attributes the success of capitalism not to the entrepreneur’s lust for money or status, but to his love of family. To Schumpeter, the central pillar of any healthy civilization is the self-sacrificing married man who doesn’t spend his income on his pleasures, but prefers “to work and save primarily for his wife and children.”
And in Family and Civilization;”, Harvard historian Carle Zimmerman concludes that “the creative periods in civilization have been based upon” the strongest form of family, which he terms the “domestic” type: “The domestic family affords a comparatively stable social structure and yet frees the individual sufficiently from family influence to perform the creative work necessary for a great civilization.” If devotion to God, a Pauline moral code, and strong marriages and families are the key to cultural success, then what causes civilizations to decline?
Zimmerman warns of “periods of family decay in which civilization is suffering internally from the lack of basic belief in the forces which make it work.” Unwin’s explanation would be that if people lose their faith in God, they tend to lose their motivation to live by the strict moral code. In This Present Age, sociologist Robert Nisbet writes, “What sociologists are prone to call social disintegration is really nothing more than the spectacle of a rising number of individuals playing fast and loose with other individuals in relationships of trust and responsibility.” Moral standards begin to erode when a society’s members chafe at the discipline imposed by absolute monogamy and begin to gratify their personal impulses without regard for the consequences inflicted on others.
In other words, in an amoral, hedonistic society, you can’t trust the people you need to trust, not even your spouse. Moreover, if people can make and break relationships at will, with no legal repercussions or social stigma, they are much more likely to abandon their marriages—at their children’s expense—when the going gets tough. Husbands with roving eyes are much more likely to trade in their wives for new models.
Thus, the founder of Harvard’s sociology department, Pitirim Sorokin, warned that if individualistic selfishness and self-seeking are not checked, a society will lapse into a state of “sexual anarchy.” In The American Sex Revolution
Sorokin writes that “both man and society are degraded” as a culture becomes “sexually obsessed:”
The members of such a society are habituated to look at the opposite sex as a mere instrument for pleasure…To these individuals, talk of human dignity, religious, and moral commandments, and rules of decency is just bosh…The society degrades the values of womanhood and manhood, of motherhood and fatherhood and venerable age, of marriage and family, and even of love itself.
And the Organization “Minnesotans for Marriage” says,
Why has virtually every society throughout history defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman? The answer can be summarized in one word: children.
Protecting the interests of children is the primary reason that government regulates and licenses marriage in the first instance. After all, government does not license or regulate any other form of intimate relationship – not friendship, or dating, or cohabitation. People are free, under the law, to live as they choose, cohabitate with whomever they choose and engage in sexually intimate relationships with whomever they choose – all without any governmental recognition or regulation.
But marriage is a special relationship reserved exclusively for heterosexual unions because only the intimate relationship between men and women has the ability to produce children as a result of that sexual union.
Marriage serves a vital and universal societal purpose – to channel biological drive and sexual passion that might otherwise become socially destructive into enduring family units that have the best opportunity to ensure the care and education of any children produced by that biological drive and sexual passion. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has said that marriage is, “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the [human] race.” The noted British philosopher Bertrand Russell (hardly a conservative – Russell was a liberal anti-war activist and socialist) said, “But for children, there would be no need of any institution concerned with sex…It is of children alone that sexual relations become of importance of society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution.”
By encouraging men and women to marry, society helps ensure that children will be known by and cared for by their biological parents. Whenever a child is born, her mother will almost always be nearby. But the same cannot always be said of her father. Men, especially, are encouraged to take responsibility for their children through the institution of marriage. Marriage is society’s mechanism of increasing the likelihood that children will be born and raised by the two people responsible for bringing them into the world – their mother and father