In short, marriage, when it functions as intended, is good for everyone—for men, for women, for children, for the community, for the nation, and for the world. Marriage is the means by which the human race is propagated, and the means by which spiritual teaching is passed down through the generations. Research consistently shows that heterosexual married adults do better in virtually every measure of emotional and physical health than people who are divorced or never married. They live longer and have happier lives. They recover from illness more quickly, earn and save more money, are more reliable employees, suffer less stress, and are less likely to become victims of any kind of violence. They find the job of parenting more enjoyable, and they have more satisfying and fulfilling sex lives. These and countless other benefits of marriage serve to validate (although no validation is necessary) the wisdom of the Creator who told us what was best for mankind. He said in the book of Genesis, "It is not good for the man to be alone" (2:18). So he made Adam a helpmate, a partner, a lover—and then commanded them to "be fruitful and multiply" (9:7, nasb).
What a great plan. We depart from it at our peril.
A life in keeping with God's design and instruction brings the greatest possible fulfillment, while any deviation from His design invites disaster. This is why the Bible warns against all harmful forms of sexual behavior, including premarital sex, adultery, prostitution, incest, bestiality, and pedophilia. Homosexuality is only one of the several ways we can wound ourselves and devastate those around us. Ironically, homosexual activists strive with all their energies to achieve "freedom" from the shackles of moral law and traditional institutions. But the Scripture teaches that true freedom and genuine fulfillment can be found only when we live in harmony with our design.
The traditional family and marriage as defined from the dawn of time are among the few institutions that have, in fact, stood the test of time. If we now choose to stand idly by while these institutions are overthrown, the family as it has been known for millennia will be gone. And with its demise will come chaos such as the world has never seen before.
This is why I am profoundly concerned today about the effort to tamper with this time-honored institution. For nearly sixty years, the homosexual activist movement and related entities have been working to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the utter destruction of the family.6 Now the final battle is at hand: The institution of marriage and the Christian church are all that stand in the way of the movement's achievement of every coveted aspiration. Those goals include universal acceptance of the gay lifestyle, the discrediting of Scriptures that condemn homosexuality, muzzling of the clergy and Christian media, granting of special privileges and rights in the law, overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia, indoctrination of children and future generations through public education, and securing all the legal benefits of marriage for any two or more people who claim to have homosexual tendencies.
It is a perfect storm.
These radical objectives, which seemed unthinkable just a few years ago, have largely been achieved or are now within reach. All that remains is for the movement and its friends to deliver the coup de grâce to a beleaguered institution that has held society together since earliest recorded history. Those of us in North America and Europe are not simply "slouching towards Gomorrah," as Judge Robert Bork warned in his bestselling book7; we are hurtling toward it.
To cite another metaphor, the old earthen dam that has held and protected the reservoir of Judeo-Christian values and beliefs since the days of our Founding Fathers has been leaking for decades. With each passing year, the structural damage has become greater. But in recent days, the entire superstructure appears to have given way.
Thousands of homosexuals in a handful of cities have procured official marriage licenses, representing the collapse of the rule of law. These blatant illegalities have encountered only sporadic opposition from legal and governmental officials. And there are more outrageous developments to come.
A revolution of striking proportions now looms before us. As you will see in subsequent chapters, the movement has become a tsunami—a tidal wave that threatens to overwhelm anyone who stands in its way. I do not recall a time when the institution of marriage faced such danger, or when the forces arrayed against it were more formidable or determined. Barring a miracle, the family as it has been known from time immemorial will crumble. This is a moment for greater courage and wisdom than we have ever been called upon to exercise.
In a recent National Review Online article, Maggie Gallagher wrote, "Gay marriage is not some sideline issue, it is the marriage debate." She noted, "The consequences of our current retreat from marriage is not a flourishing libertarian social order, but a gigantic expansion of state power and a vast increase in social disorder and human suffering."8
Gallagher's dire warning was echoed in a Boston Globe editorial by Jeff Jacoby. He noted, "The adoption of same-sex marriage would topple a long-standing system of shared values. It would change assumptions and expectations by which society has long operated—that men and women are not interchangeable, for example, and that the central reason for marriage is to provide children with mothers and fathers in a safe and loving environment."9
Jacoby continued, "My foreboding is that a generation after same-sex marriage is legalized, families will be even less stable than they are today, the divorce rate will be even higher and children will be even less safe. To express such a dire warning is to be labeled an alarmist, a reactionary, a bigot and worse.. . . But it is not bigotry to try to learn from history, or to point out that some institutions have stood the test of time because they are the only ones that can stand the test of time."10
6.Charles W. Socarides, MD, A Freedom Too Far (Phoenix, AZ: Adam Margrave Books); Marshall K. Kirk and Erastes Pill, "The Overhauling of Straight America," Guide, November 1987.
7.Robert H. Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline (New York: Regan Book, 1997).
8.Maggie Gallagher, "The Stakes," National Review Online, 14 July 2003.
9.Jeff Jacoby, "Gay Marriage Would Change Society's Ideal," Boston Globe, 6 July 2003, H11.
Book: Marriage Under Fire
By Dr. James Dobson