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Six, Make That Seven, Things You Can Do To Support Marriage

By

August 7, 2014

Without question, marriage, and by extension, the very core of our culture and how we understand life and living itself, faces its most perilous moment. The idea that an instinctive understanding with thousands of years of unquestioned condition could crack and rapidly crumble in a 10-year span is incomprehensible. Yet, marriage and family face the hour of maximum danger.

It is easy to feel helpless and isolated, although we know we are a majority, despite what unelected federal judges say about state constitutions that millions of voters approved over the years. Still, the news depresses and leaves many wanting. There seems as if there is nothing we can do except sit and wait for the inevitable.

Not so fast. Ryan Anderson of The Heritage Foundation laid out an extensive strategy on how to save marriage at National Review Online that he condensed at here at The Daily Signal. It’s six things we can do to support marriage and freedom.

He lists them as, with excerpts of his summaries:

1. Stand Up for Our Authority as Citizens to Pass Laws Reflecting the Truth about Marriage

Last summer, when the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Chief Justice John Roberts emphasized the limits of the majority’s opinion. He made clear that neither the holding nor its logic required redefining state marriage laws. The states remain free — and should continue — to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

We must make clear that court-imposed same-sex marriage via a Roe v. Wade-style decision will not settle the marriage debate any better than it has settled the abortion debate.

2. Defend Our Form of Government and Our Liberties

Whatever happens at the court will cause less damage if we vigorously advance the arguments for a classically liberal form of limited government and highlight the importance of religious liberty. Even if the court were to one day redefine marriage, governmental recognition of same-sex relationships as marriages need not and should not require any third party to recognize a same-sex relationship as a marriage. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms. (The court hinted at this in its recent Obamacare/Hobby Lobby decision when it said third parties have a religious exemption on certain government imposed mandates.)

3. Make the Case for Marriage

Religious liberty protections are more likely to be respected if the underlying view about marriage is at least understood. We will be most successful in protecting our rights to free speech, contract, association and exercise of religion if we also make the reasonable case for marriage. 

4. Diversify and Strengthen Our Efforts

(E)mulate the success of the free-market movement. In the past half-century, citizens committed to economic freedom put their money where their mouths are and built a network of well-funded free-market think tanks and advocacy groups, university programs and scholarship competitions, media groups and marketing campaigns. While social conservatives have made great strides, we still have a ways to go. 

5. The Church has a Central Role to Play

No matter what, the church will play a central role in shaping opinions on marriage. If it chooses to remain rather silent, it will shape opinion by default. On the other hand, it can rise to the occasion in developing a compelling response to the sexual revolution. And it possesses the only fully satisfying response.

6. We Must All Take the Long View

Whatever happens, it is essential to take the long view and to be ready to bear witness to the truth even if law and culture grow increasingly hostile. 

Consider the pro-life movement in February 1973, just weeks after Roe v. Wade. … The media kept insisting that all the young people were for abortion rights. Elites ridiculed pro-lifers as being on the wrong side of history. The pro-lifers were aging; their children increasingly against them.

But courageous pro-lifers put their hand to the plow, and today we reap the fruits. Everything the pro-life movement did needs to happen again, but on this new frontier of marriage.

He concludes:

(W)hatever the law or culture may say, we must commit now to witness to the truths about marriage: that men and women are distinct and complementary, that it takes a man and a woman to bring a child into the world, and that children deserve a chance to grow up with a mom and a dad.

Too many of our neighbors haven’t heard our arguments, and they seem unwilling to respect our rights because they don’t understand what we believe. It’s up to us to change that perception. We will decide which side of history we are on.

He’s correct on all of the above. But he omits one important activity: Prayer. Make it a daily intention for the Grace of the Holy Spirit to infuse judges and the Supreme Court Justices with wisdom and guidance, and for a change of hearts of the misguided who insist on redefining God’s design, and combine that with the activism Anderson suggests. It may take time, for God’s time is not our time, but eventually He (and we) will prevail.

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2 Responses to “Six, Make That Seven, Things You Can Do To Support Marriage”

  1. Christopher says:

    Dear Steve,

    I’m surprised you didn’t include “support our organization through donations” as one of the ways you would encourage people to waste time on this non-issue. It is patently absurd, even for someone who eschews logic and evidence, to assert that expanding an institution is the same as destroying it. Unless you can find a better argument with which to mobilize potential supporters, I foresee your financial and political prospects shrinking rather rapidly.

    You’re welcome to that free piece of advise on how to handle your monetary/moral affairs. They do seem rather entangled, albeit in somewhat less tacky ways than the McDonnells.

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