Distorting marriage will bring lifelong wounds and broken hearts
On Dec. 13, joined by drag queens who perform for children, President Biden signed the “Respect for Marriage Act” into law in an attempt to redefine marriage as a union between any two adults. The bill passed without any effective protections for individuals and organizations who hold to the natural definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, Democrats blocked Republican-drafted amendments to protect religious freedom.
The problems with the act are many. As the attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom explain, the law threatens the tax-exempt status of non-profit organizations that uphold monogamous, male-female marriage and enables “predatory litigation by activists against faith-based social-service organizations that could mire Americans in courts for years to vindicate their rights under the First Amendment.”
Of course, such harassment campaigns already have their place in American life: Jack Phillips and Lorie Smith are two of many Christian business owners who have given years of their lives to defending their right to express their beliefs freely. The “Respect for Marriage Act” ensures more Christians will be engaged in similar battles. And, as the saying goes, “the process is the punishment.” Surrendering precious funds and hours fending off progressive activists demanding the state force you to celebrate their sexual choices doesn’t count as liberty.
But the profundity of the problem with the new marriage legislation is much deeper than the freedom of speech and religious exercise.
The act attempts to do something no human law can do: truly redefine an institution that pre-exists not just America, but civilization. Virtually every society for all of time has recognized the special status of the life-giving union of a man and woman. This is immutable. Congress can write laws attempting to redefine all sorts of things. It can pass legislation declaring zebras to be dogs, and even require entities to comply with this redefinition, but their piece of paper will never make it so. It simply doesn’t have that power. Likewise, no governing body can change what marriage is—a union based on the biological complementarianism found only between one man and one woman.
Next, the legislation further chips away at our societal foundation by replacing order with disorder. A monogamous marriage, especially one that produces children, is the greatest source of stability, security, and flourishing for communities and nations. To abandon that natural structure is to induce chaos.
Children need—and have a right to—a mother and father. We know from decades of data on the damaging effects of fatherlessness, including the increased likelihood of juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, and depression, among other problems. And while motherlessness is a historical aberration (only popularized today through reproductive technology used by gay couples), we can deduce that such a dynamic produces similar lifelong wounds and confusion.
Alliance Defending Freedom also rightly notes that such legislation opens the door to the legal recognition of polygamous unions. This is already occurring in New York. And why wouldn’t it? What’s so special about two people being married instead of three or twenty? In this case, the slippery slope isn’t a fallacy. It’s deductive reasoning. It is mere observation of where we’ve been, where we are, and to where we’re inevitably going.
The abandonment of society’s only child-producing and primary child-protecting union in favor of gay and polygamous “marriages” is to embrace the false ideas that reproduction is unnecessary, that men and women are arbitrary and interchangeable, and that pre-civilizational institutions like marriage are defined by a society’s latest sexual whims.
Christians know better. The “Respect for Marriage Act” isn’t just wrong because it endangers our First Amendment rights or because it creates societal instability. It’s also the perversion of a God-created, God-defined, and God-ordained institution. Marriage was created by the Lord, whose power forever supersedes any earthly authority. People don’t have the ability to redefine it, because people did not create it.
The creation account in Genesis demonstrates that God has made, defined, and ordered all things. 1 John 4:8 says that this same God is love. Therefore, whatever he says and does—however he makes, defines, and orders things— he says and does in love.
Christian: no one can out-love God. Whatever our fantasies of perfect American pluralism may be, the truth is, we are not kinder, more compassionate, or more just than God by supporting a redefinition of marriage that He explicitly opposes. God is wiser and better than we are. Thus, the most loving, wisest, and most righteous thing we can do is agree with him—especially regarding respect for marriage.
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