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Well, we told you so

The slope really is slippery after a rejection of God’s standards


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Well, we told you so
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This is not a new argument. Over a decade ago, Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George wrote What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: a Defense. In that book, they maintained what had been a near-universal understanding of matrimony: a comprehensive union of persons that includes both bodily union (which organically connects the individually incomplete reproductive systems of a man and a woman) and mental union (consent). The complementary, heterosexual nature of marriage was accepted and understood across nationalities, cultures, and religious communities—across millennia. Back then, the push was to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions, which sever from marriage the bodily union of the two sexes, thus reducing marriage to a consent-based contract.

The warning from conservatives was straightforward: Things will not end there. For one thing, any society that has the arrogance to assume the authority to radically redefine matrimony will probably also assume the rest of reality is malleable to its preferred whims. For another, once the law of the country severs marriage from the bodily reality of sex, we can expect less fundamental aspects of traditional marriage, as upheld by the Christian faith that built our civilization, to erode.

What aspects are these? Monogamy and age. After all, other cultures have allowed for polygamy. And, as for the age for legal marriage, it can vary. Generally, it involved an understanding that those getting married were old enough to lead their own family lives and be parents themselves. But humanity has always understood marriage to be a union between the two sexes, even in cultures that countenanced homosexual behavior.

Traditional conservatives knew that undermining marriage and the family would bode ill for the country. Kids thrive under the care of a mom and dad, and we were already seeing the domestic devastation that arose from no-fault divorce. Moreover, for conservative Christians, there was a Biblical, crystal-clear conviction that sin is bad for us, no matter how pleasant or socially celebrated it may be in the short term. And so conservatives, particularly the religious sort, warned that even greater distortions and innovative corruptions were waiting in the wings.

Progressives scoffed at us. They said that the conservative warning was a slippery slope fallacy. They said that traditionalists had falsely warned that the society was cracking and the sky was falling. The Western media reinforced this narrative with the trope of the monogamous gay couple, who otherwise carried on the normal lifestyle of fellow Americans.

The slippery slope is only a fallacy if things stop sliding.

But the conservatives, it turns out, were right. The slippery slope is only a fallacy if things stop sliding. Just check out Somerville, Mass., which enjoyed a spotlight in the New York Times. The city has passed pro-polyamory laws, which couple nicely with the area’s acceptance of gender-bending and sexual licentiousness. Now, we no longer need to be burdened by the “one and only-ness” of romantic love—of “forsaking all other” until death do us part. Instead, we institute various legal rights for “consensual nonmonogamy. The neighboring cities of Arlington and Cambridge have followed suit.

As is obvious in the Times article, those behind this movement hope that it spreads as polyamorous partners register in these cities and seek to have their domestic rights recognized by other localities (a familiar pattern we saw with the push for same-sex “marriage”).

What exactly are marriage, the family, and even parenthood in this new world? They have no intrinsic meaning. And that is the point. The new view says that humans must make meaning, taking on the role of gods revolting against the Creator’s good order. The result is chaos and devastation. This is bad for those caught up in these sinful lifestyles, the communities they inhabit, and the children raised within them.

The cold comfort in this case is this: The conservatives were right. We knew this would happen. Our critics were either naïve or lying. I don’t think we’ll be getting an apology anytime soon. But Christians doom ourselves to apostasy if we seek to maintain cultural approval via moral compromise. The demands for greater licentiousness keep coming. It didn’t stop with homosexuality and it won’t with polyamory. The world keeps changing its standards, making yesterday’s hero today’s villain. God’s standards are consistent and don’t change, even if we must suffer for them. Those who have refused to confess the truth on traditional marriage haven’t a leg to stand on and are actually a pitiful, cowardly sight. They need to repent and wisen up.

But, in a war against reality, reality always wins. What we’re actually seeing play out in real time is utter social collapse. Our rebellious culture is trying to build a tower to heaven, but confusion will inevitably frustrate the mission. God is patient, but He does not tarry from judgment forever. Righteousness and reality will be vindicated. Where will we stand, O Christian?


Barton J. Gingerich

The Rev. Barton J. Gingerich is the rector of St. Jude’s Anglican Church (REC) in Richmond, Va. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Patrick Henry College and a Master of Divinity with a concentration in historical theology from Reformed Episcopal Seminary.


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