Life Marriage & Family Religious Liberty

Why Protect Marriage?

Posted in Marriage & Family on: June 29th, 2011
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There’s been a lot of coverage of the New York legislature’s decision to redefine marriage in their state. Whenever marriage is discussed in the media, there are a lot fundamental misunderstandings about why so many stand for the true definition of marriage.

We’re going to be publishing a series of posts here on the Foundations blog about why it’s critical for our culture for marriage to remain the union of one man and one woman.

We’ll look at the scriptural basis for God’s design for marriage, whether this debate is truly a question of civil rights, and the implications of same-sex “marriage” for children and our religious liberty.

I’ll start by answering this basic question with two simple points: why protect marriage?

Protecting marriage is vital to protecting our religious freedom.

Many (but not all) who stand for marriage do so because God’s inspired word – the Holy Bible – tells us that He has a specific design and purpose for marriage between one man and one woman. This argument doesn’t mean much to the non-believer, but that doesn’t mean it’s an illegitimate basis for your vote or a public policy.

I’ll put it like this: non-believers call the little voice inside their head that helps them determine right from wrong their “conscience.” Those who know the Lord call that voice the Holy Spirit. In the public policy arena, both ways of making decisions are equally valid under the U.S. Constitution. This means that I, and every other religious person in the country, have the right to vote our values.

What does this have to do with marriage? Well, opponents of protecting marriage like to use this debate to force religion out of the public square and stifle our religious liberty. It’s very important, though, to never allow ourselves to be bullied into abandoning our faith in this discussion.

Marriage between a man and a woman plays an essential role in society.

At its core, marriage is critical for any thriving society. The studies repeatedly find that children (a.k.a. our future) do best when raised by a married mother and father. Each parent brings something unique to a child’s life that cannot be found anywhere else.

Admittedly, we as a culture haven’t done a great job of protecting marriage on other fronts – divorce and adultery are too common today. But to say that failures in implementing the model somehow invalidate the whole design is a complete fallacy.

Over the next few days, we’ll expand on these and others ideas. Do you have questions or thoughts about the importance of protecting marriage? Post your thoughts below.

While we want to encourage discussion and debate in the comments section, please note that personal attacks and inappropriate comments will be deleted.

Posted by Aaron Baer

Aaron is the Communications Director at Center for Arizona Policy. He is continually amazed by the revelation of truth found in the gospel. While he anxiously awaits seeing Christ return in His glory, Aaron roots for the Chicago Cubs in their quest to win the World Series. He is unsure which will come first.

12 Responses

  1. Tara says:

    I am a supporter of traditional marriage, but I am constantly being asked by friends and family why it is so important–especially my non-believing friends. But even those of my friends who profess to be believers question why it matters what other people do–why should we care if same-sex couples get “married” since in God’s eyes it isn’t a marriage. I can come up with a Biblical basis against homosexuality, but their questions run more along the line of why is it any of the government’s business. I can’t argue with that because I don’t want the government interfering with my marriage. What do you say to people who are against homosexuality, but also against a marriage amendment?

  2. Terbreugghen says:

    To Tara, I’d say that one basic way to approach the question is that governments are charged with protecting the interests of the people, and one way to do this is to privilege the kinds of behaviors that protect children, which indicates traditional marriage over all other forms of relating. We get more of what we subsidize. Instead of subsidizing behaviors that run counter to traditional marriage, let’s do the opposite, like we used to do.

    But I do also have a question. I’ve read in a number of place that the Bible commands marriage of one man and one woman. Where in the bible is this located? I’d like to be able to cite it.

  3. JOHN ELLIOTT says:

    Sun City West, AZ 85375
    November 22, 2010
    President Barack Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear President Barack Obama,
    Although I am disappointed with your actions and policies regarding our nation’s economy, the homosexual agenda, abortion, and Radical Islamic encroachment in the world and especially in the United States, as well as your treatment of Israel, I will limit my comments in this letter to your policies and actions related to the homosexual agenda. In my letters to you on December 20, 2008 and March 3, 2009 I documented what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, and advised you that I strongly believe that your support of the homosexual agenda will ultimately bring disaster on our Nation. And I still believe that, and see evidence of it happening already.
    Again, as I did in my two previous letters, I will point out to you the numerous passages of Scripture, which I am sure you have read before, which speak against homosexuality and same-sex marriage. I’m suggesting you not advance the homosexual agenda because to do so will certainly bring God’s wrath on our nation, as I believe supporting abortion has done. The Bible is very clear as to how God feels about homosexuality. Few sins are treated as severely by God in the Bible as the destruction He displayed against Sodom and Gomorrah in Chapter 19 of Genesis.
    I know you are very busy, so I shall merely list the passages of Scripture that addresses this matter and hope that you will take the time to look them up or have your staff do so:
    1. Genesis 18:16 to Genesis 19:29. (The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.)
    2. 2 Peter 2:6-22. (Reiteration of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and God’s response.)
    3. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. (Emphasis on homosexuality as sin and God’s dislike of it.)
    4. Romans 1:18-32. (Speaks of God’s condemnation of homosexuality.)
    Additionally, the Bible makes it clear in Genesis Chapter One that God intended humans to be paired off as male and female. We also note this same arrangement in the animal kingdom. Your leadership is vital to prevent the further advancement of the homosexual agenda and to forestall God’s judgment on our nation. It’s a case of you doing what you know to be right. The Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell approach regarding homosexuals in the military is not to my liking, but has worked for 17 years. I believe you should do everything in your authority and responsibility to support its retention. No good can come of openly accepting such behavior in our military forces.
    I believe, as I have written you before, if we continue advancing the homosexual agenda, our country will fall into the hands of an angry God. I hate to think of the consequences. But I firmly believe we’re headed that way. The aggressive agenda of gays and lesbians should alarm you, as I believe it does most Americans. They will not rest until the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are holding hands and kissing. I am not a “religious nut”, but simply a Christian who believes what the Bible says about the subject of homosexuality.
    You have many extremely difficult issues facing you, and you need God’s help to govern this nation. You will not receive His help by supporting practices clearly verboten in His Word. Seek His guidance, and the guidance of strong Christian leaders and ask for His help. Be discerning of those who would misinterpret God’s word. And do not expect any help or understanding from the media concerning this matter.


    John N. Elliott

  4. Stuart says:

    If same-sex marriage is so damaging to tradiational marriage, why does Massachusetts have the lowest divorce rate in the country? Afterall, they were the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. Of course the highest divorce rates can be found in the bible belt states. Why is that?

  5. Theophile says:

    Most of the talk about homosexuality bringing the wrath of God like John N. Elliott’s letter, points out Sodom as an example. They quote familiar Bible verses, but they leave out God’s position on Sodom’s sin.
    Ezekiel 16:49 tells us Pride(proud to be an American?), fullness of bread(childhood obesity?), an abundance of idleness(got entertainment?) and failure to strengthen the hand of the poor(bank bailouts?, government dependence?), was the “sin” of Sodom. Homosexuality didn’t even make the list! It seems to be a product of these other things. It does bother me that they call their parades “Pride” parades, and it bothers me that they say God made me gay, as if it isn’t a choice they have made, instead, justifying their “condition”, as an act of God.

  6. mo says:

    @Theophile: Yes, Ez.16:49 does explain Sodom’s sin as you described, but one must look at the whole counsel of scripture. One must first look at the context around a verse, and the context of Ez. 16 is not the sin of Sodom, it is the sin of Jerusalem. The sins of Sodom that are most pertinent to Jerusalem, amongst all the abominations of Sodom, are pride, gluttony, and unconcern for the poor. One can then look at the account of God’s judgement on Sodom in Genesis, and see clearly that homosexuality is one of, if not chief among those grave abominations.

    • Theophile says:

      It (Ezekiel16:49) most certainly is the sin of Sodom, God says it is.
      God also says His people will be known to be His by keeping His Sabbath, do You keep the day of the sun god Baal on Sunday? Wouldn’t that be more of an abomination?
      Do You worship a cross? or the creator who provided His passover lamb for the sin’s of the world?

  7. Don Farr says:

    The war here is not with homosexuals – although I believe they have picked up the battle for their own ends. Ephesians 6 tells us the battle is not against flesh and blood but with the forces and powers of darkness and wickedness who want to destroy the work of Christ – marriage. God gave mankind marriage in the first book of the Bible as the pinnacle of earthly relationships – what I believe is designed by Him to be the highest and most effective form of personal evangelism.

    We’re told in Eph 5:32 that marriage is to be a reflection of, a display case if you will, for the relationship of Christ and His Church, and sadly we’ve often become some pretty sad looking display cases.

    So the fight is for each of us who is married to become everything He intended us to be individually – as Luke 10:27 tells us – YOU shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and your neighbor (spouse first) as yourself. As we love our spouse as God intends and bring Christ into our marriage as the foundation, life becomes more precious and wonderful.

    Great Marriages NEVER Happen by Accident, but will thrive with a Vision for Christ at its Center, Intentional Effort and the Right Tools. God provides the vision, you provide the effort and your church should give you the tools.

    Together by our growing more godly marital testimony we can turn this nation around, restoring the presence and prominence of marriage, and seeing God honoring values and character return to our land. I doubt we can do it with laws or political means.

  8. […] Why Protect Marriage […]

  9. Gary John says:

    We’ve allheard the saying “There’s a great woman behind every great man.”

    I’ve yet to hear the phrase “There’s a great man behind every great man.”

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