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Published on August 9th, 2010 | by Gary DeMar


The Redefinition of Marriage: An Exercise in Moral and Cultural Suicide

In 1993, Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan (D- N.Y.) published “Defining Deviancy Down.” Moynihan started from Emile Durkheim’s proposition that there is a limit to the amount of deviant behavior any community can “‘afford to recognize’ and that, accordingly, we have been re-defining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard. This redefining has evoked fierce resistance from defenders of ‘old’ standards, and accounts for much of the present ‘cultural war. . . .’” As the amount of deviancy increases, the community adjusts its standards so that conduct once thought deviant is no longer considered so. What seems like a trivial accommodation today devolves over time into extravagant ways generationally.

The trimester approach to abortion regulation has since led to the support of partial birth abortion and proposals by some that parents should have a few days time after birth to determine if the born mass meets “quality of life standards.” For example, Professor Peter Singer of Princeton University writes in his book Rethinking Life and Death, “Human babies are not born self-aware or capable of grasping their lives over time. They are not persons. Hence their lives would seem to be no more worthy of protection that the life of a fetus.” There is nothing shocking about his logic if one begins with the premise that we are nothing but “dust in the wind,” an accidental causation of physical elements animated by an electrical charge:

When we reject belief in God we must give up the idea that life on this planet has some preordained meaning. Life as a whole has no meaning. Life began, as the best available theories tell us, in a chance combination of gasses; it then evolved through random mutation and natural selection. All this just happened; it did not happen to any overall purpose. Now that it has resulted in the existence of beings who prefer some states of affairs to others, however, it may be possible for particular lives to be meaningful. In this sense some atheists can find meaning in life.

The only way atheists can find meaning in life is by borrowing the shell of morality from the Christian worldview and then filling it with their perverted view of what constitutes right and wrong, all the while claiming that they are the true righteous ones.

While not quite as extreme as the views of Singer, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, a homosexual, overruled seven million voters in the state of California over this simple statement: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” As we will see, Walker reasons as an atheist. But to reason “godless” means that there is no authentic way to define marriage or anything else.

Judge Walker’s ruling can’t be right at any level. Ted Olsen, an opponent of Proposition 8 and supporter of homosexual marriage, argued that the ruling is similar to a judge overruling a majority who voted to reinstitute a “separate but equal” law. But a “separate but equal” law was not on the ballot, no one has proposed that one should be put on the ballot, it never would have gotten on the ballot if someone had proposed it, and few people would have voted for it if it had been on the ballot. To make such a comparison shows the deep desperation of pro-homosexual advocates. California is one of the most ethnically and racially diverse states in the union, and very liberal to boot. The majority of blacks and Hispanics oppose homosexual marriage. The California ballot measure defining marriage applied to all races and ethnicities and genders equally (men can’t marry men, and women can’t marry women); a law that reiterated what has been the model for marriages for millennia in nearly every nation under heaven, the definition of which is rooted in creation by God.

Olsen’s “logic” leads one to conclude that only judges should be making law. Judges carry the same types of preconceptions and biases as non-judges. Judge Walker is a homosexual. Are we to assume that his predisposition did not taint his decision-making process? What makes his pro-homosexual marriage ruling more pure than the votes of seven million anti-homosexual marriage decision makers? Olsen and other pro-homosexual marriage advocates went into this debate with a conclusion already made: “Homosexuals should be allowed to marry.” Why is this prejudice any different from seven million voters who argued that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry?

Pro-homosexual advocates have been pushing for homosexual marriage to give their lifestyle legitimacy. But who defines marriage? What is the origin of marriage? Judge Walker made it clear that “the evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples. . . . The evidence fatally undermines any purported state interest in treating couples differently; thus, these interests do not provide a rational basis supporting Proposition 8” (130–131). Let this sink in.

According to Judge Walker, religion is the only determining factor in the prohibition against homosexual marriage. He ruled in such a way that even if God does exist that His laws are irrelevant and intrusive on the lives of His creation. If God does not exist or His laws have no relevancy, then all marriage is a legal fiction. Evolution can’t account for the legitimacy of marriage. We are the products of DNA of which Richard Dawkins has written, “DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”(1)

Consider rulings from past Supreme Court decisions that concluded “Bigamy and polygamy are crimes by the laws of all civilized and Christian countries”(2)) and that the “the spread and practice of polygamy is . . . . contrary to the spirit of Christianity and of the civilization which Christianity has produced in the Western world.”(3) Marriages were recognized in the United States as long as they were not “contrary to the general view of Christendom.”(4) So now what?

Homosexuals want to “marry.” They are borrowing the word “marriage,” filling it with their own content, while disavowing its religious origin, definition, and moral standards. They are borrowing Christian capital to disavow God and His standards. A homosexual marriage advocate is an

interloper on God’s territory. Everything he uses to construct his system has been stolen from God’s “construction site.” The unbeliever is like the little girl who must climb on her father’s lap to slap his face. . . . [T]he unbeliever must use the world as it has been created by God to try to throw God off Hs throne.”(5)

Marriage cannot be defined outside its religious context in the same way that personhood and morality can’t be defined without God. This homosexual marriage ruling is like “trying to put beads on a string with no holes in the beads,” flying a plane without an engine, trying to make concrete without cement and sand. To work within the parameters of what marriage is, one has to acknowledge the source, definition, and standards of marriage. But how do you do this without a fixed moral place to stand? Today it’s Judge Walker, the State’s representative, making the decision. Who will it be in the future? Associate Justice Marvin Ray Baxter of the Supreme Court of California makes the point:

“The majority . . . simply does not have the right to erase, then recast, the age-old definition of marriage, as virtually all societies have understood it, in order to satisfy its own contemporary notions of equality and justice. The California Constitution says nothing about the rights of same-sex couples to marry. On the contrary, as the majority concedes, our original Constitution, effective from the moment of statehood, evidenced an assumption that marriage was between partners of the opposite sex. . . . Who can say that, in 10, 15, or 20 years, an activist court might not rely on the majority’s analysis to conclude, on the basis of a perceived evolution in community values, that the laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer constitutionally justified?”

In a godless, evolutionary world, marriage is inconsequential, and so is everything else. Judge Walker’s opinion has made marriage a social convention and nothing more. Redefined today, gone tomorrow.Endnotes:

  1. Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: Basic Books, 1996), 133.()
  2. Davis v. Beason, 133 U. S. 333, 341-344, 348 n. (1890()
  3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. United States 136 U.S. 1, 49 (1890).()
  4. U.S. ex rel. Modianos v. Tuttle, 12 F.2d 927 (E.D. La. 1925()
  5. John A. Fielding III, “The Brute Facts: An Introduction of the Theology and Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til,” The Christian Statesman 146:2 (March-April 2003), 30.()
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About the Author

Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, His most recent book is Exposing the Real Last Days Scoffers. Gary lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and four grandchildren, Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).

17 Responses to The Redefinition of Marriage: An Exercise in Moral and Cultural Suicide

  1. calpurnia says:

    I might add: how long will it take for POLYGAMY to be legal–if marriage isn't protected here, it's not protected at all–polygamy ended up being common after women thought they couldn't find adequate men for husbands

  2. calpurnia says:

    I cant believe more blacks (i'm black) especially the 'afrocentric' types are't more OUTRAGED over this. There is black gays for sure, but black people lived common law with whites for years w/o the benefit of marriage, Richard Loving was the first to challenge the 'status quo' because he wanted to marry his pregnant girlfriend

  3. boates says:

    What a disgrace for a man He should be taken out side the city and stoned to death like in the first days of mankind and all he needs to read is Leviticus 20 . the entire chapter . God could not made it more clearer to us than in this chapter of the Bible . I could not care where he is what he is a very troubled man and should be fired and as said stoned to death .

  4. barbara says:

    This issue has evolved into an assault on the church and those who believe in the tenets of their chosen congregations. I have never had a problem with the idea of civil unions in order for gays and lesbians to have secular rights -as well as responsibilities-ordained by a secular government, be it state or federal. However, I am resentful of the fact that homosexuals have used this debate as a way to infiltrate the church and the belief system many of us espouse.
    Marriage is a covenant with God between a man and woman with an unwritten intent to raise children produced by such a union with the the moral code and values reflected by God and Jesus Christ.

  5. jim eenigenburg says:

    Marriage was instituted by GOD, for one and only one reason only, and that is the propagation of the earth. Queers as I call them can't reproduce so what is their desire to call their union a 'marriage'. They can only have children by borrowing or stealing from the heteralsexual lifestyle. They want all of the good things that go with the regular style of marriage, but are too lazy to take on the full responsibility that goes with it. (kinda sounds like a politician.

  6. EdinNOLA says:

    I wasn't there, and I don't believe that any of these omniscient judges were either, but I believe that Marriage originated concurrently with religion or more probably before religion. I say the latter because the concept of belonging and ownership undoubtedly precedes religion. The biggest fallacy here was in allowing the State to assume control of this rite. Originally that "control" was a record keeping function, to keep things on record for the future. Then as always happens when governments get a foothold anywhere, the record keeping became outright controlling. My point here is that marriage predates government and government has no sacrosanct right to attempt to make changes to it – and these are changes. Judges have no business here. Keep your perverted ideas to yourself and do not blatently violate your oath of office again. Better yet, get rid of the bum. ,This is an impeachable act.

  7. John E. says:

    You people are losing the TRUTH in the context. Yes, most of the Blacks and Hispanics oppose Gay Marriage but they condone it on the streets and by voting for a man that will uphold it and do anything to get a vote to be re-elected. There are as many Black and Hispanic homosexuals in America and the World as there are Whites.The problem in the World today is they are afraid of being Politically Correct and that goes for even Ministers. I know as much or probably more about the Holy Scriptures as the author Gary Demar does but I feel that he is afflicted by the same problem as everyone else. Why don't you try reading the First Chapter of Romans and look up the meaning of the word 'Reprobate' and mabe that will add to your understanding.

  8. ann says:

    I think the homosexuals should be allowed to Queerage. Have their own set of rules/laws to go with it.
    I have know homosexuals, and I can tell you, that they know what they are doing is wrong. I can tell that they know and they think that they can do whatever they want and still come out ahead. One way that you can tell that homosexuals know they are wrong, is how, they need to shove their homosexuality down everyones throats….they are still trying to convince themselves that what they do is okay. Like the lesbian "Christian singer" – sorry, that is not even possible…..what demons she must fight with.
    I am a Christian and I know homosexuality is a sin and that the people that engage in this activity, will not share in heaven when the time comes. If they are willing to take that chance, I feel sorry for them and pray that they will come to know Jesus Christ before they die.

    An Athiest, will be sadly mistaken and stunned when…..every knee will bend, every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.

  9. Conservadiva says:

    Judge Baxter is absolutely correct. There is no need to change anything. Gay couples should select a word,albeit they already have civil unions, but reject those because on occasion a hospital will not grant visitation. Just enforce the laws we currently have and that will be solved. Gays do not need to co-op heterosexual terminology. A clear definition of marriage is very important. Otherwise, it can mean anything and without a definition, persons who want to marry their pet animal or 3 or 4 or more etc…could not be thrown out of court. Because we have a definition this does not happen. If gay couples want protection under the law, they must do the work and define their lifestyle with linguistic and scientific terms that make sense and allow laws to be written and upheld in their behalf. For those people foolish enough to propose a "separate but equal" argument in condemnation of such, please note: The purpose of marriage and the purpose of gay union are already not the same, not equal. That is why using one term to define both is semantically impossible. Gay men having sex with strangers as often as possible is the very opposite of marriage between a man and woman who forsake all others for lifetime fidelity. To argue that there is frequent divorce is a non-argument when discussing definitions. To argue that some heterosexuals are childless is also a non-argument as is the related topic of population extinction. Marriage = Fidelity. Homosexuality = Promiscuity. Homosexuals must come up with another word by which they can be joined. In countries like the Netherlands, and states like Massachusetts where gays may use "marriage" for there own purposes, only 2% of the gay population actually tie the knot. Clearly, the definition of marriage and the reality of marriage is not compatible with their lifestyle.

  10. Daveb says:

    Why label Walker with nice words like "homosexual" or "gay"? The old days were better when you called a G D Queer a Queer!

  11. calpurnia says:

    People are very anti-polygamy, but they don't know that only Jesus made marriage between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN, some men 'love' womens lib because the women would be 'easy' when the're young and pretty

  12. calpurnia says:

    If homosexual judges get their way TODAY , polygamy WILL be next. I might be guessing because theres no older history, except for the bible on how this happened. I've always thought that Radical Womens Lib would lead to polygamy, and thats the oldest marriage scenario. (few uneducated men) in schools and women who could 'take care of themselves without them' Most women are conditioned to marry 'up' because of the nesting capabilities and need to be close to their small children.

    • msusapatriot says:

      Add to that bestiality and pedophilia too it is only a matter of time before those things become legalized.

  13. "The only way atheists can find meaning in life is by borrowing the shell of morality from the Christian worldview and then filling it with their perverted view of what constitutes right and wrong, all the while claiming that they are the true righteous ones."

    Bout sum's it up.
    My recent post The Redefinition of Marriage- An Exercise in Moral and Cultural Suicide

  14. Randall says:

    "Marriage cannot be defined outside its religious context in the same way that personhood and morality can’t be defined without God." The exact reason that government needs to get out of "the marriage business." As the previous commenter noted, send marriage back to the churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions where it belongs. By taking government out of the equation, you remove the "big billy club" of government endorsement that the gay agenda wants to use to force the rest of society to accept their deviant lifestyle. Let's see how much endorsement they get from religious institutions–and in the same way, see which churches have really strayed from Biblical teachings.

  15. Laurence E. Schell says:

    One liberal gay judge rejected the conscience of the majority of Californians. If there is no God, and if Christianity may be legitimately shut out of political decisions, then there is no such thing as marriage either, but just a random interaction of any two people's DNA, a mere biological accident that some call love.

  16. Ashton says:

    "Marriage cannot be defined outside its religious context " For me that says it all. Marriage needs to go back to the religious institutions and any civil reference to marriage should be deleted. Yes that means you and I will lose the income tax benefit of being married. Are willing to remove ourselves from the govenment perks to uphold our view of marriage? Let's really seperate church and state.

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