Does Man/woman Marriage Matter anymore?
On November 29th, Congress passed the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) which codifies same-sex marriage into federal law, and nullifies the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Altogether, 12 Republican Senators joined all 50 Democrats and voted in favor of the RMA.
Eighteen years ago, 75 percent of Kentuckians agreed that marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman. Today, 71 percent of the public favors homosexual marriage according to a Gallup survey. Congress has now followed suit. One prominent evangelical writer argues that the RMA upholds the value of pluralism and alleviates the fear of same-sex couples’ families being torn apart. But is this the standard by which good public policy is made?
Post modern America appears to be on a mission to re-create the rules for life and redefine those very institutions meant for our personal good and the good of society. I argued 10 years ago that once marriage is redefined, gender will be eventually be redefined. For if one can contort the gender requirement for marriage, one can contort gender as it relates to individuals as well. I take no pleasure in being right on this point. After all, gender ideology does real harm to real people.
The authority to define one’s own gender has been bestowed by secular elites. Failure by the rest of society to conform to preferred pronouns results in being canceled. Marriage redefinition puts us on a similar trajectory. Despite purported religious freedom protections for nonprofits being compelled to recognize same-sex marriage in the RMA, this landmark law will eventually be used to punish and coerce. This is why Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and 35 of his colleagues voted against the bill. “The substitute amendment did not provide sufficient protection for those with strongly held religious beliefs and leaves a lane open for discrimination by activist groups, state governments and the IRS,” Johnson said.
It’s ironic that just as the federal government divested itself from the most controversial social issue over the last 49 years (abortion on-demand), it’s federalizing another divisive social issue that harms the rest of society. Children deprived of a mother or father lose. So do conscience rights for individuals operating in the marketplace. And with the embrace of nationalized same-sex-marriage, our society moves another step away from God’s created order.
“For the Bible teaches that marriage is a part of God’s good creation order. Defying that order
does not bring about the blessings of liberty but the bondage of sin,” said President of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and Professor Denny Burk. “No Christian should argue in favor of a policy that so blatantly defies the created order and the flourishing of our neighbors.”
While the smoke from this latest political battle over marriage still hangs in the air, Christians shouldn’t give up on advocating for the truth in the public arena. They must be faithful to the Creator who defines marriage. Yet we must temper our stand with care and compassion to our opponents because the same Creator who defines marriage also tells us to love our neighbor as our ourselves.