The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Commentary: Saving the Village?

with 10 comments

You can read my latest commentary on the importance of marriage to society appearing today in the Charleston Gazette (which has also appeared in the Dominion Post in Morgantown and The Journal in Martinsburg).  To read it on the Gazette’s website, click here.

Or, you can read the entire commentary below:

There is an old saying, “We must destroy this village in order to save it.”

Those words sum up the mindset of many of our lawmakers and judges who believe that they need to right an “injustice” by fabricating a “right” to same-sex “marriage.”

Instead, in their attempts to “save the village” by allowing two men or two women to “marry,” they are taking a wrecking ball to the institution of marriage and the future well-being of America’s children.

Whether it’s called a “civil” marriage or a “religious” marriage, when lawmakers and judges fabricate same-sex “marriage,” you can be assured of one thing: it’s not marriage.  Marriage is marriage regardless of how you try to parse the words.   The result is the same regardless of the adjective you may attach: when you add anything to marriage, the result is addition by subtraction, with subtraction being the unique value marriage brings to society, and ultimately, its total destruction, with children suffering the collateral damage.

Lawmakers and judges may not know this, but same-sex “marriage” advocates do.  In fact, what these activists really want is to eliminate what they can’t duplicate.  That’s why while demanding marriage in order to “preserve” and “strengthen” families by allowing two men or two women to marry; they’re privately talking about destroying both marriage and the family.

William Eskridge of Yale Law School says he hopes same-sex “marriage” will “dethrone the traditional family based on blood relationships in favor of families we choose.”  Another same-sex “marriage” advocate said, “Legitimizing same-sex unions is just a warm-up act.  Ultimately [same-sex “marriage” proponents] want to eliminate any barriers, any signposts that limit or channel the exercise of human sexuality.”

Finally, Michelangelo Signorile, another same-sex “marriage” advocate wrote: “[We need to] fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits, and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely…to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution.”\

Perhaps marriage is an “archaic” institution to Mr. Signorile, but government didn’t create marriage simply because it had been around forever, government got involved in the marriage license business because it recognized that it needed to encourage a mother and a father to raise their children together.

The government’s interest in marriage has always been to ensure the strength of the institution that brings male and female together to care for the next generation, not just to recognize relationships of families adults choose.  In a 180 degree turn, government has chosen the latter path and is telling children that they don’t need a mom and a dad after all.  Just last week, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ruled that a married mom and dad are irrelevant to the adoption of children.  The court felt that the adoption law was ambiguous and decided to place the emotional desires of two adults above the best interest of the child.  Given this reasoning from the court, what would stop them from finding our state’s present marriage laws to be “ambiguous” as well?

When marriage is devalued or re-defined, society, and ultimately, our children pay the price.  Government spending on social programs is driven in large part by family fragmentation.  You name the problem, whether it is crime, poverty, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school failure, and so on.  Each societal problem we face today can be traced back to the breakdown of the family, a concept that is seemingly foreign to the justices on the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Marriage between one man and one woman is good for society.  West Virginians understand that, and that’s why they want to join with the voters in 30 other states to protect marriage through a constitutional amendment before judges and lawmakers take it upon themselves to fragment marriage and the family even more, sort of a “stimulus” plan for societal dysfunction.

In this time of economic turmoil, wouldn’t it make sense to strengthen marriage in its optimal form, not break it down into nothing more than pandering to the political agenda of less than 1 percent of West Virginia citizens?

Unfortunately, like the economic stimulus bill, our children will eventually be left with the check – an itemized list of broken families, broken lives, and broken dreams.   As West Virginians, let’s take the steps needed now to ensure that our children won’t have to pay that price, and tell our legislators we want to vote to protect marriage and our children’s future.   Let’s truly “save” marriage for future generations to come.

Jeremiah G. Dys, Esq. is the president and general counsel of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, online at www.familypolicywv.com.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

June 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Posted in Marriage

Tagged with , , ,

10 Responses

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  1. Mr. Dys,

    I appreciate your zeal for upholding biblical marriage, but we must remember to be biblical in the way we go about promoting it. It appears that your position on this is based on humanistic reasoning, for you have failed to give any biblical support for the idea of a state defined marriage. I agree with your assessment of the breakdown of the family in our culture, but, is a “marriage amendment” the answer?

    According to Scripture, should we lobby for and recognize a State definition of marriage?

    We should not and we cannot, because: it is absurd and inconsistent for Christians to give any credence to a State-defined marriage, when the whole area of marriage is outside of the State’s God-ordained bounds. Marriage was defined at creation when God created male and female and told them to come together as one flesh. No law in West Virginia can make homosexual or even heterosexual marriage legitimate. Who do we think we are, anyway?

    Think about it: what if a law was passed forbidding heterosexual marriage and/or making void any existing heterosexual marriages? Would we as Christians recognize that law? Would that mean that those of us who are married would no longer be so? If laws are passed validating marriages between adults and children, humans and animals, polygamy, etc., would this somehow defile the holy covenant of marriage ordained by God?

    No, because nothing God has established can be defiled by man and legislating the definition of marriage is outside of the jurisdiction of the State. To encourage the State to define marriage biblically may seem like a worthy goal, but in reality, it is contradicting that very Bible. This would be aggravating the problem of unbiblical government tyranny by giving the State a power and jurisdiction that it does not have.

    What does God’s Word tell us about the State’s role in these matters? The Scriptures teach that the purpose of government is to uphold God’s civil laws by executing vengeance upon evildoers (Rom. 13:1-4), including those who practice homosexuality, which is a capital crime (Lev. 20:13). Instead of working for a “marriage amendment”, Christians should be putting their efforts toward reforming the structure of government and once again bringing it back under biblical law, which would take care of the problem by punishing sodomy as God decreed in His Word. The idea of “same-sex marriage” would no longer be a threat, because the act of sodomy itself would be criminalized.

    We are faced with a government that is completely out of line with what God instituted in the Scriptures, though we are commanded to be subject to the higher powers, even when they rule unjustly. However, to appeal to Caesar to give his authorization to the holy covenant of marriage, is to treat the government as if it were sovereign.

    We must acknowledge that King Jesus is on His Throne and rules over all areas of life, according to His Word (Matt. 28:18, Col. 1:16,17; Eph. 1:21-23). The wicked and perverse promoters of homosexuality in West Virginia want to act as if the State has authority over God. We need to stop playing their games. They have put us on the defense and have us scrambling to counteract their moves, when we as Christians should be on the offense, working to get the sin of sodomy criminalized once again. This is not a quick fix. This is a very gradual process and must start with changing our culture first by the Church faithfully living and preaching God’s Word.

    “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine (plot) a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves together, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.” Psalm 2:1-4

    Thank you.

    In Christ, Rick Carpenter

    Rick Carpenter

    June 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm

  2. I believe that considering the recent actions of President Obama and his support of same sex unions, I think that any assertive action citizens can do to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage and family and protection of legislation in support of the DOMA is paramount at this time during this administration. The time is now for citizens supporting traditional marriage and family to speak to their legislators and make their voices heard before a liberal agenda tries to undo what we hold so dear, as did our own families and generations before us.

    Jane

    June 23, 2009 at 1:59 am

  3. I’m struggling to understand why you’re so compelled to stick your nose into what other people do when there’s no possible way it could be of any harm or even mild inconvenience to you.

    People were getting married millennia before Christianity was even invented. Chinese people were doing it seven thousand years ago. It’s not an exclusive feature of your religion. I know that you want to control it, like you basically want to control everything else, but you have to understand that trying to prevent people from living their lives the way they want to only promotes hatred and exclusion.

    suckonthis

    June 25, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    • Christianity was not “invented” at any point in history, but is the revelation of the eternal God Who created time. My comment was directed toward Christians, and so I used the Bible as my standard of truth. What is your ultimate standard of truth? By what standard do you declare that “hatred and exclusion” are wrong?

      Rick Carpenter

      June 25, 2009 at 3:20 pm

      • My standard, which is not exactly the same as the standards held by the people who live in my society, whose standards are also not exactly the same as each other’s, but are sufficiently similar to achieve an increasing degree of social harmony through communication and cooperation. It’s by that standard that I declare that hatred and exclusion are wrong. Not because it says so in some book, but because there is a massive amount of evidence to support the declaration. There is no universal standard of truth, and there will not be for as long as the human race is not omniscient.

        Also, my personal belief is that “the eternal God who created time” is a fictional character. I totally respect your right to believe that he’s real, but similarly I think it’s only fair for you to respect the right of other people to disagree with you, and to not have to live their lives according to your beliefs.

        suckonthis

        June 25, 2009 at 4:50 pm

  4. The statement “There is no universal standard of truth” is itself a universal standard of truth (according to your view). It is self-contradictory.

    If each society can create its own system of morality based on a majority vote, then WWII Germany was perfectly legitimate in slaughtering millions during the holocaust, because the majority in that country agreed that it was morally right to hate and exclude certain people.

    Besides, how do you know that the majority gets to decide morality? Your position is merely your opinion.

    Can you see how your view is untenable? Right and wrong cannot be determined by taking a poll. Right and wrong must be determined by an authority, One Who is a transcendent, omniscient, omnipotent Creator Who reigns as King over all the universe – the triune God of Scripture.

    If this God is a fictional character, then your explanation for our existence must be evolution. If evolution is true, then your brain is an accident. If your brain is an accident, then why should you or anyone else put any confidence in its ability to reason? If your brain is an accident, then this conversation is pointless. But then so is all of life, for there is no purpose, no concept of morality, and no concept of rights in an accidental universe. The only rule is survival of the fittest. Evolution can only attempt to explain matter, it cannot explain non-matter, such as (to use your words) truth, cooperation, hatred, exclusion, respect, fairness, etc. Where does your concept of those things come from?

    This is why faith in the God Who revealed Himself to man in the Bible is the necessary prerequisite for reasoning. It is the only way to make sense of morality and logic itself.

    Rick Carpenter

    June 26, 2009 at 1:22 pm

  5. “The statement “There is no universal standard of truth” is itself a universal standard of truth (according to your view). It is self-contradictory.”

    No it isn’t. The point is that you’re claiming something exists that you have no evidence of, i.e. a universal standard. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate it exists. As long as you have not done so, there is no reason to assume that it exists. “We don’t know” is not a universal standard of truth.

    “If each society can create its own system of morality based on a majority vote, then WWII Germany was perfectly legitimate in slaughtering millions during the holocaust, because the majority in that country agreed that it was morally right to hate and exclude certain people.”

    Actually no, they did not. The majority in Germany during the 30s and 40s agreed in no way, shape or form to the hate-based atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi government. They were subjugated by a dictatorship which claimed to have a universal standard of truth. Learn some history before you start making ridiculous statements.

    “Besides, how do you know that the majority gets to decide morality? Your position is merely your opinion.”

    And yours is merely your opinion. But it would seem that the majority favours rationality over blind acceptance of moral absolutes. It’s even possible to integrate what is traditionally referred to as “Judeo-Christian” morality statements into a broader moral philosophy, as well as many other forms of religious thought such as Buddhism and Shintoism. But that tends to be academic, and most people just go from what they’ve learned and how they feel. We’re only just slightly more clever animals, after all.

    “Can you see how your view is untenable? Right and wrong cannot be determined by taking a poll. Right and wrong must be determined by an authority, One Who is a transcendent, omniscient, omnipotent Creator Who reigns as King over all the universe – the triune God of Scripture.”

    No, you’re right. It’s way more complex than just taking a poll. But polls help. And the unilateral imposition of one brand of supposed moral superiority doesn’t wash when you’re dealing with people who simply do not believe what you’re saying about your chosen God or Gods. And it epecially doesn’t wash when you try to make people we consider to be our friends into second-class citizens.

    “If this God is a fictional character, then your explanation for our existence must be evolution. If evolution is true, then your brain is an accident. If your brain is an accident, then why should you or anyone else put any confidence in its ability to reason? If your brain is an accident, then this conversation is pointless. But then so is all of life, for there is no purpose, no concept of morality, and no concept of rights in an accidental universe. The only rule is survival of the fittest. Evolution can only attempt to explain matter, it cannot explain non-matter, such as (to use your words) truth, cooperation, hatred, exclusion, respect, fairness, etc. Where does your concept of those things come from? ”

    Accident is an inappropriate word. I prefer to think of it as a natural phenomenon that we merely don’t yet fully understand. Your problem is that you immediately go to extremes to try to justify everything. Some of us are comfortable with not yet having an explanation for everything, we don’t need immediate answers to the meaning of life – we’re not that insecure, we’re fine to just live our lives, make the best of them and enjoy them as we see fit. Our concepts of truth, cooperation, hatred, exclusion, respect and fairness come from observation of the world around us and out interaction with it. Indeed, all of those concepts existed long before your brand of faith was invented (or “revealed”, or whatever you wanna call it).

    “This is why faith in the God Who revealed Himself to man in the Bible is the necessary prerequisite for reasoning. It is the only way to make sense of morality and logic itself.”

    Again, no it isn’t. People reason just fine without religion. Your unwillingness to accept that is just a symptom of your close-mindedness, not evidence of some universal truth.

    suckonthis

    June 26, 2009 at 2:55 pm

  6. […] The commentary is also available at the Voice, the Blog of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. […]

  7. If, as you say, there is no ultimate truth, then why should I accept your statement, “There is no universal standard of truth”, to be true? Your argument is not very convincing, because, to be consistent, you yourself cannot believe it. The burden of proof is on you to show me why I should accept a statement as true, that is patently irrational.

    You say that you do not get your truth “from some book”, and yet where did you get your information about WWII Germany from? A book perhaps?

    My position is not an opinion, because: I am basing my views entirely upon the revealed Word of God. God, by definition, is the only One with the right to legislate morality and impose it upon everyone. The real issue here is: does this God exist? I am trying to demonstrate to you that He must exist, because without assuming a logical God Who formed our minds on purpose in His image (i.e. with the ability to reason), we do not have the necessary framework for reasoning at all.

    Call it what you will, but atheism, by definition, has no place for intelligence in the creation of the world. Thus, your brain came to be by a series of *unguided*, *random* processes. Why then do you put faith in your brain’s ability to reason? You think you are trusting rationality rather than faith, but the two are not mutually exclusive; in fact, it is necessary for you to put faith in your ability to reason before you even begin a single thought process. My point is that my worldview gives me a good reason to put faith in my rationality, for I am made in the image of a rational God. Your worldview has no explanation to offer and your faith is much blinder than mine. It must take a lot of blind faith to hold on to a worldview that has absolutely no epistemology.

    If we are “only just slightly more clever animals”, then why don’t we just settle our little debate here by me pulling out a gun and shooting you? (Note that this scenario is for illustration purposes only!) Then I would win the debate! Why would that be wrong? Survival of the fittest, right? I had a weapon and you did not, so the strong prevailed over the weak. And after I shoot you, why should I not eat you as well? After all, animals do this all the time! Do you see my point? Given your assumptions, you have no real reason for opposing this. All you can say is that you don’t like it, and that most people would agree with you that it’s bad.

    I have not said that people cannot reason without religion. What I have said is that they have no explanation for their reason, and that, in fact, the atheist’s worldview seriously undermines reason. Atheists must borrow from the Christian worldview in order to deny Christianity.

    Rick Carpenter

    June 26, 2009 at 11:26 pm

  8. “If, as you say, there is no ultimate truth, then why should I accept your statement, “There is no universal standard of truth”, to be true? Your argument is not very convincing, because, to be consistent, you yourself cannot believe it. The burden of proof is on you to show me why I should accept a statement as true, that is patently irrational.”

    Er, no, it is not. Look, I’m not the one talking in absolutes. I’m not the one isolating one specific theory and identifying it as the absolutely correct one without a shred of empirical evidence to support it. The funny thing is that whatever you claim to be a “universal standard of truth” also varies from Christian tribe to Christian tribe. You guys can’t even agree on what your “truth” is supposed to be, so why should anyone believe any of you?

    “You say that you do not get your truth “from some book”, and yet where did you get your information about WWII Germany from? A book perhaps?”

    Since you ask, no. I got that evidence from talking to people who were there at the time. A lot of people. British people, French people, German people, Austrian people, even Dutch people and Belgian people. Some of them are Oxford and Harvard 20th Century history professors, some of them are just my own family members. They all say the same thing. And of course I’ve read a lot of books about it. Books by people who, combined, have done hundreds of years of research on the subject.

    “My position is not an opinion, because: I am basing my views entirely upon the revealed Word of God. God, by definition, is the only One with the right to legislate morality and impose it upon everyone. The real issue here is: does this God exist? I am trying to demonstrate to you that He must exist, because without assuming a logical God Who formed our minds on purpose in His image (i.e. with the ability to reason), we do not have the necessary framework for reasoning at all.”

    And I’m trying to point out to you that without assuming the existence of God there is still millennia of evidence to support that we have all the necessary framework for reasoning. Your position is an opinion. Just as the position of the Hindus is an opinion. Just as Buddhists’ position is an opinion. And Jews, and Muslims, and agnostics, and atheists. The only difference there being that atheism is supported by all the accredited, reliable and credible scientific research that has ever been done into the matter.

    “Call it what you will, but atheism, by definition, has no place for intelligence in the creation of the world. Thus, your brain came to be by a series of *unguided*, *random* processes. Why then do you put faith in your brain’s ability to reason? You think you are trusting rationality rather than faith, but the two are not mutually exclusive; in fact, it is necessary for you to put faith in your ability to reason before you even begin a single thought process. My point is that my worldview gives me a good reason to put faith in my rationality, for I am made in the image of a rational God. Your worldview has no explanation to offer and your faith is much blinder than mine. It must take a lot of blind faith to hold on to a worldview that has absolutely no epistemology.”

    You obviously don’t know an awful lot about natural history. The process of evolution is demonstrable, and it is hardly random or unguided. It’s called adaptation. It’s an expression of the incredibly complex intelligence of nature. And it’s not “faith” that I put in my ability to reason, because “faith” is belief without evidence. My worldview has more explanations to offer than you could ever learn in one lifetime, but you’re sat there with your fingers in your ears, refusing to consider it.

    “If we are “only just slightly more clever animals”, then why don’t we just settle our little debate here by me pulling out a gun and shooting you? (Note that this scenario is for illustration purposes only!) Then I would win the debate! Why would that be wrong? Survival of the fittest, right? I had a weapon and you did not, so the strong prevailed over the weak. And after I shoot you, why should I not eat you as well? After all, animals do this all the time! Do you see my point? Given your assumptions, you have no real reason for opposing this. All you can say is that you don’t like it, and that most people would agree with you that it’s bad.”

    Again, you have to go to ridiculous extremes to make your point. The blindingly obvious reason we don’t go around shooting people is that we’re socially civilised. We have no need or desire to kill each other because we’ve built a social structure that aims to be harmonious and values each individual. Morality doesn’t come from religion, it comes from human interaction, no matter how much religion tries to lay claim to it.

    “I have not said that people cannot reason without religion. What I have said is that they have no explanation for their reason, and that, in fact, the atheist’s worldview seriously undermines reason. Atheists must borrow from the Christian worldview in order to deny Christianity.”

    Not really, no. You can demonstrate that “God” is an irrelevance without referring to Christianity once. As I said, there is more than a lifetime of religion-free explanations available to you, but you’re unwilling to listen and learn. What undermines reason is you basing your entire view on a belief system which admits the existence of something there is absolutely no evidence of whatsoever, a belief system that has apparently convinced you that you can make great sweeping statements which also have no basis in reality, a belief system that has apparently completely closed your mind off to entire realms of knowledge and understanding, merely because they don’t conform to your narrow views. That’s not only irrational, it’s also pretty tragic.

    suckonthis

    June 27, 2009 at 8:41 am


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