coalition for marriage: what's it all about?
The Coalition for MarriageThis week the Coalition for marriage was launched. It is, as the name suggests, a collaborative effort between several different organisations representing people from all walks of life, many of them Christians but not all.
What is the Coalition for marriage?It's a petition, launched in advance of the Government's upcoming consultation about proposing a Bill in Parliament re-defining marriage as a contract between 2 consenting adults of any gender, rather than its current definition of a contract between one man and one woman. Various people have pointed out that there will be many legal implications of potentially changing the definition of marriage, such as eg, the requirement for consummation to exist before a marriage is considered valid, and adultery existing as a grounds for divorce. You can't have those if the actual sex act varies so much.
Why are people (expecially Christians) so hot under the collar about this? Isn't it fair to homosexuals to allow them to call their partnerships the same thing as heterosexuals?Ha! Interesting one. Reading Lord Carey on the subject, he makes the point that marriage existed prior to our civilisation, and prior to any sort of church, so it is dictatorial to attempt to re-define it. Marriage in the Bible dates from the first chapters of the book of Genesis. It is the building block of society. As I have quoted before on this blog:
"Why do you suppose the reproductive urge within us is so relevant to cultural survival? It is because the energy that holds societies together is sexual in nature! The physical attraction between men and women causes them to establish families and to invest themselves in their develpoment. It encourages them to work and save and toil to ensure their survival. Their sexual energy provides the impetus for the raising on healthy children and for the transfer of values from one generation to the next....In short, the sexual aspect of our nature- when released exclusively within the family- produces stability and responsibility that would not otherwise occur." (James Dobson)
So sex is part of your social responsibility! The modern-day view of sex as simply an apetite or expression of self-fulfilment is entirely consistent with the view that homosexual sex is no different to sex between a husband and a wife. But this is not God's view.
The Church of England marriage service, I remember from our wedding 10 years ago, says something like this (marriage)"is a way of life that all should honour", meaning that everyone, married or not, should respect and promote marriage as God defines it. So we have a responsibility, if we take God seriously, to be on the side of marriage as defined in the Bible.
This doesn't mean that we hate homosexuals or want their lives to be miserable. Actually, we want people of every background, faith, orientation etc etc to come to know the unique joy there is in knowing God for themselves. And the further away our society gets from God's plans the harder that is for people.
What are the implications of changing "marriage"?Oh boy, they are HUGE! If we undo the basic building block of society, allow children to be raised by homosexual couples (I realise that this is sometimes already happening), do not require husbands and wives to stick together, then everything falls apart. Every time our society chips away at the nuclear family (meaning dad, mum, and kids) the social and economic cost is huge. When I worked in the homeless office it was amazing the cost of parents separating seen in the endless housing benefit applications, extra child tax credits etc. Can we afford to relieve natural parents of the responsibility to provide for their own children? NO! But at the moment we allow them to leave, form new relationships, each one evidenced by a baby, and the state picks up the bill. No stigma attached to the parents. In fact, many people wear the badge of "single parent" with pride as the state then supports 2 households.
So you make it easier to divorce. Wham. Huge bill for the state. You allow social abortions. Wham. Huge bill. You tell people they have rights to sexual self-expression and not to sexual reponsibility. Who will pick up this bill of inevitable failed adoptions, law suits, counselling and mental breakdowns as we spiral out of control further and further away from God's will?
On Wednesday night I predicted to our Bible Study Group that if this legislation goes ahead, our great-grandchildren will be emigrating to China and India as economic migrants trying to find a better life. I think that's for real. Unfortunately we can't wait and see with this one. We have to get it right now. So vote according to your convictions, and I hope that this has been helpful for some of you.