Cross Examined with Dr. Frank Turik: (The following blog post relates to an April 21, 2012 Cross Examined podcast, titled “The Facts About Same-Sex Marriage) In reference to a recent NPR sponsored panel discussion/debate regarding the North Carolina marriage amendment (which would define marriage as between a man and a woman), Dr. Frank Turik remarked that one of the main problems with our culture today is that “everyone wants to boil issues down to sound-bites…there’s a lot of moving parts to this issue called marriage, whether it’s same-sex marriage, or natural marriage, there’s a lot going on.” And that slogans used in the defense of one particular view, such as “equal rights”, “Don’t put discrimination into the Constitution”, or “I have a right to marry the one I love” sound really good – but are unfortunately just not true. As G.K. Chesterton pointed out, “fallacies do not cease being fallacies when they become fashions.”
So why have Christians in our nation, for over two-hundred years, believed that marriage between a man and a woman considered foundational to society, and the only sexual relationship which should be promoted by the Government? Is it because of bigotry and bias? To answer such a question, people first need to ask, “For what primary purpose is Government involved in marriage at all?” The answer may surprise you, because the reason isn’t because two people feel in love or infatuated with one another. As C.S. Lewis states in “Mere Christianity”, “Being in Love is different than loving.” And let’s face it. If that feeling of love or infatuation were never to go away in a relationship, nothing would ever be accomplished between the man and woman involved. “Feelings,” says Turik, “is not love. If you look at the Apostle Paul (from the Bible) in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, there’s not a feeling in there. It’s all behavior.”
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
But the main reason Government promotes the union of a man and woman exclusively, is because a committed union between a man and a woman is the foundation of civilized society. Natural marriage not only lowers social costs to Government (and tax-payers), but also provides critical character attributes to children. This makes sense because men and women are different and parent differently. Each sex brings unique abilities and role-modeling to children. If you deny this, then which parent is indispensable? The problem with same-sex marriage is that it denies children either a mother or a father, and there’s just no getting around that. Natural marriage also civilizes men, helping them to be more interested in pro-creation and providing for their families. “How many married men do you know who rove the streets in street gangs? That just doesn’t happen all that often.” Says Mr. Turik.
As for those who believe the government should get out or marriage, and let the churches handle it,”Think this through.” Turik explains. “Is the church going to be able to force a dead-beat dad to pay child-support? The Government needs to be involved, because if they aren’t, particularly men can abuse their wives and children with impunity.”
No fault divorce (signed into law in 1970 by Ronald Reagan) has played a role in destroying the institution of marriage, contributing to the perception that “feelings” are somehow integral to marriage – when you no longer “feel” in love, one gets divorced, and too bad for the kids. “When divorce is easy, families break-up, children are hurt the most, and therefore society is hurt the most.” Turik notes. “When children aren’t brought up in good two-parent homes, they experience a whole number of other problems. Welfare goes up, crime goes up, which means Government swells in order to attempt to take care of the problems. Which means we go into deficit spending…All these problems are related…the social issues, the moral issues, they’re all related. You just can’t say I’m a fiscal conservative, but a social liberal. Because if you’re a social liberal, you’re committing to fiscal problems!”
Everyone in society benefits when we have strong marriage laws. Law is important to shaping attitudes and behavior. “If you equate same-sex relationships with heterosexual relations, you’re saying that the law, or marriage, has nothing to do with children. Only coupling. It perpetuates this idea that marriage is only about being in love, and when you’re no longer in love – you get a divorce…if marriage is only about coupling, and not about children – then what institution in our society is about children?”
When States allow for same-sex marriage, the language is changed to become genderless. “If you car has a flat tire, giving it a second flat tire doesn’t help” As for complaints of homosexuals having their civil rights being abused, this also isn’t true. Everyone in a state has the same right to marry a person of the opposite sex. Those who chose not to do so, simply are not availing themselves of this opportunity provided by the government for the purpose of civilization. Laws in our nation do not discriminate against people, but behaviors. Even same-sex marriage proponents would want the law to prohibit behaviors like incest, polygamy, etc. A Government can either prohibit, permit, or promote a behavior. Anyone in our society, homosexual or straight, are permitted to commit themselves to each other – they don’t need the Government to do so. But Government promotes natural marriage exclusively, because it provides positive benefits to society to everyone in that society.
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