The Supreme Court reflected back America’s cultural malaise in law on June 26, in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, wherein they decreed a new right to “same-sex marriage.” The court held that the purpose of marriage was the emotional well-being of individuals. Yet across all nations, religions, and cultures marriage has always been understood as the union of a man and a woman. This is the case because only these two can generate future citizens. The good future citizen is the only reason why a government has a vested interest in the institution of marriage. To bear and rear these new humans requires that mom and dad actually set aside their ’emotional wellbeing’ in order to dedicate themselves to these future adults. A government cannot do this critical work to ensure the stability of the future nation. But it can support and promote the institution that can…the natural family. This little trinity, this micro-society (father, mother, and child) has been known throughout time and history as the building block of civilization. If the family is unstable, the nation becomes unstable.
Yet the Obergefell decision was inevitable as the cultural view of marriage was distorted many years ago. And it was done by a narcissistic culture bent on the pursuit of a twisted version of happiness: the constant euphoria of emotional and physical pleasure. As soon as sterile sex became the new norm both inside and outside of the bond of matrimony, marriage was transformed from a child-centric institution to an adult-centric one, the kind that the Supreme Court described. So, if heterosexuals believe that marriage is all about the personal satisfaction of married individuals, what then could possibly be the reason to not permit “same-sex marriages?” We need only look back to around 1970. Americans, churched and unchurched alike, embraced contraception, pushed off marriage until later in life, and engaged in ‘no-fault’ divorce. Unsurprisingly, out-of-wedlock births and abortions exploded because sex was divorced from marriage. Both “same-sex marriage” and abortion, inhumane and devastating as they may be, are fruit off the same tree: absolute autonomy – setting up one’s self as god.
If we are going to be serious about solving the abortion problem, we must address its root cause. We must return to a healthy marriage culture. And only the Church can do this. To effect change we must clearly understand and be able to speak about the purpose and roles of man and woman, and be willing to courageously live out those God-given roles in an inhospitable culture through our families. This requires that we search our souls and ask ourselves whether any aspects of our lives are lived no differently than those of the world. From there we can submit to the different functions of manhood and womanhood both in and out of marriage. Only when that happens will we be able to think more clearly about the role of children in marriage and the reasons why we use contraception. Once the church does this we will have the ability to help clean up the debris field of society with a godly marriage culture, and the moral fog of individualism that waters the weeds of abortion will dissipate as mist in the morning sun.