The most important social issue of the 21st century sits concurrently on the doorstep of both Washington, D.C. and the state of Washington. These two different Washingtons–one an east coast urban capital and the other a west coast frontier, both named after our first president, George Washington–are simultaneously debating whether marriage in their jurisdictions will survive the century.
I was born and raised in Washington State. I lived in Washington DC for seven years. I currently live back in the Evergreen State with my wife and children. I visited Washington, D.C. two weeks ago for the National Day of Prayer. I know both places very well–and I am deeply burdened and prayerful that God’s people will rise up and “pre-serve” marriage in both places for generations to come.
First a bit of history, perspective and precedent.
Despite the fallenness of man, and the plethora of temptations our natural state brings, marriage has done pretty well over the past 5,000 years. It was instituted by God in early human history when he declared in Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” One man-one woman for life. Except for ancient times and a few aberrant cultures where polygamy was tolerated due to a shortage of men (lost in warfare), marriage has always been between one man, one woman, producing children to carry on the race.
In fact, that’s what marriage means: to join together. Only a man and woman can “join physically” producing offspring. It’s pretty basic, not needing further explanation. All civilizations and religions have accepted this fact of nature and nature’s God for over five millennia.
Until now. The rising worldview of secularism in the declining Western nations boasts of sexual liberation from God and established morality. Anything goes a long as you “do no harm.” Of course, the secularists have their own definition of “harm” and it doesn’t include broken families and relationships, adults preying on children, and a God-less eternity for their sin. “Love” for the secularist means “getting what you want sexually” no matter who is the object.
For the past forty years, sex lib was all they wanted. Not now. To accommodate their desires and legalize and legitimize their immoral choices, secularists now want the whole enchilada–to alter the institution of marriage to fit their purposes. They want to bend God’s wisdom and nature’s design. To use a physical analogy, they want hydrogen + hydrogen = water. Or oxygen + oxygen = water. Of course only the uniting of both hydrogen and oxygen will really produce water. On the familial plane, only the uniting of a man and a woman will produce marriage. But the secularists don’t care. They will break the time-tested, universal formula for marriage to satisfy their desires.
That’s what we’re fighting in Washington, D.C. and Washington State.
On April 7, 2009, the Washington, D.C. City Council unanimously approved a bill approving homosexual marriage in the District. A coalition of concerned citizens, led by Bishop Harry Jackson and former Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry, staged a “Stand for Marriage Rally” on April 29 and are now vowing to overturn the council edict by a vote of the people. Bishop Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church, is a good friend of mine and a prominent religious leader in the capital region. I’ve spoken at his church a few times and serve on a board with him. He’s as clear and courageous as they come. I encourage you to watch the videos on the battle for marriage in DC, and if you live in the area, get involved.
On May 18, 2009, on the other side of the nation, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed Senate Bill 5688 into law providing a full slate of marriage benefits to homosexual liaisons under the state’s domestic partnership laws. This is a stealth bill that is “marriage in everything but name.” The name will be next. Gary Randall of the Faith & Freedom Network is leading a broad-based coalition of citizens who have filed Referendum 71 to rescind the provisions of SB 5688. Gary is also a friend, and I serve on the steering committee in Washington State to “Preserve Marriage–Protect Children.” We need to collect 120,577 signatures of fellow registered Washingtonians by July 25 to put Referendum 71 on the November ballot for a vote of the people. If you live in Washington, please join us by signing up for the Referendum 71 coalition.
Why should you get involved? Why is it important to “preserve” our culture and the institution of marriage?
To preserve is to “pre-serve” future generations. It’s serving now to benefit others in the future. If we don’t “pre-serve” now, what will be some of the consequences of changing the definition of marriage for future generations? Altering the God-given, time-tested definition of marriage and family will:
- Sentence many homosexuals to a Christ-less eternity. It will give them an excuse for their lifestyle and another reason to harden their conscience against God. The Bible is not unclear on this issue: “Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers–none of these will share in the Kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9,10).
- Multiply venereal diseases (homosexuals are twice as promiscuous as heterosexuals), depression, suicide rates, low self image, and other social problems that are much higher among homosexuals.
- Decrease the number of marriages in society and actually discourage people from marrying at all–leading to a vast array of live-in arrangements and its attendant problems. This is already taking place in Europe, especially in the Scandinavian nations.
- Lead to group marriages (three or more), people marrying animals (bestiality), and adults hooking up with “consenting children” (pedophilia). If it’s “all about equality,” then many other deviant lifestyles will line up to get their sexual wishes and access the benefits.
- Confuse impressionable children to accept immoral choices and lifestyles leading to their own eternal separation from God.
- Cause a flight from the public schools by people of faith who no longer can excuse their children from pro-homosexual sex education courses (already happening in states like Massachusetts).
- Lead to “hate crimes” being prosecuted against pastors and Christian leaders that speak out against the sin of homosexuality.
- Lead to out-and-out persecution of Christians and others who have convictions about sexual immorality.
- Lead to smaller families, economic problems, dropping birthrates, and the ultimate destruction of the nuclear family (already happening in Europe).
This is the paramount social issue of the 21st century. In the Western nations, will marriage survive?
That depends on me and you–and the grace and power of God.
If you’re still wondering about this issue, please read the following thoughts from Gary Randall on why preserving marriage is so crucial to human society. If you’ve been wrong on this issue, change your mind (repent) and get on God’s side. If you’re already clear, then join in the battle for marriage. From Washington to Washington, help us preserve the wonderful institution of marriage for many future generations.
Gary Randall, president of Faith & Freedom Network, on “The Case for Marriage”
One of the questions often raised by those who want to redefine marriage is, “If heterosexuals can fall in love and form committed relationships called marriage, why can’t we?” Or, “If heterosexuals gain access to legal, tax and health benefits with their marriages, why can’t homosexuals have access to these same benefits when they commit themselves to one another?”
Marriage equality. Here’s something to consider.
I watched as homosexual couples brought their children into the hearings on SB 5688 to testify and help make the case for same-sex parenting. The adults and children argued that kids need loving parents and two men or two women can love and care for a child as well as a mother and a father can. They often point to the failures in marriage as reason to redefine it.
Here’s the problem with that. These arguments exclusively serve the interests of those making the argument. They are never about serving the common good.
Marriage is never only about the couple. It is always about the larger community. Marriage is an agreement between a couple and the larger society. Concern for the good of all society is the primary reason social institutions such as churches and governments get involved at all.
In the great debate about marriage we seem to have forgotten that marriage is not just about benefits for the couple. It always includes concern for the next generation. It all about the greater good. Among other things, the institution of marriage:
*Regulates sexuality, keeping it confined to committed, loving exclusive relationships.
*Socializes men, channeling their sexuality and masculine energy in community-building ways.
*Protects women from being exploited from men.
*Ensures that children grow up with a biologically connected mother and father.
The failure of some marriages is not a legitimate argument to redefine and deconstruct marriage. The institution of marriage serves these purposes in all known human civilizations and it does so because it brings men and women together in permanent, exclusive relationships.
Same-sex marriage is incapable of doing any of these things. There is simply no social need for same-sex “marriage”. But all societies need what they call natural marriage.
Consider this. Could society be harmed by too much same-sex “marriage”? Of course, if all or a majority of “marriages” were same-sex, a society would disappear.
On the other hand, is too much natural marriage ever harmful? No. Actually, too little natural marriage can be harmful.
Natural marriage cannot be regarded as “equal” in social value and benefit. Society needs one, but does not need the other. “Marriage equality” cannot be achieved by simply redefining or deconstructing natural marriage.
SB 5688 is not about benefits or children, it is the final incremental step to redefining marriage. If you are unsure about the issue of defending marriage, please consider these things.
To those in the faith community who have been persuaded to sit this out and not support the defense of marriage for whatever reason, please reconsider. If you have been led away from supporting Referendum 71 because of political calculations and economic considerations, please reconsider.
We cannot wait two years to address the deconstruction of marriage. Consider this:”If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” Being faithful in standing for righteousness and righteous purposes and principles is the higher calling.
There is a time for everything and this is the time to defend marriage.
Thank you for standing with us.
God bless you.