In recent weeks, there has been widespread condemnation of the UK Government's proposed change to the legal definition of marriage, so as to open the door to the so called gay/homosexual marriage. Most vocal in this debate has been the Roman Catholic Church which took the notable step of publishing a letter defending the traditional view of marriage which was read in every Roman church last weekend.
Amid all this clamouring, it is worth reflecting on the kind of institution homosexuals - who have never really grasped what marriage is - are now seeking. When Peter Tatchell advocates gay marriage by saying that “All couples who love each other should be treated equally and without discrimination” what precisely is it, he is asking for? The phrase couples who love each other, is fundamental in understanding what is being sought. By championing equality without defining precisely what actually constitutes a couple, Tatchell indicates that the configuration of a couple does not matter so long as they are in love. Thus on this schema a couple is no longer defined by religious doctrine, gender complementarity and home-centred commitments to child rearing but largely by one’s current emotions and the apparent delight garnered by being in a relationship.
If this analysis is correct then arguably we Christians have played a big part in advancing the contemporary decadent morality by our insipid defence of marriage and in our embracing of the culture's views e.g. that cohabitation and divorce are ok. Given the degradation and distortion of marriage which we Christians have tacitly endorsed, isn't it the case that many homosexuals (and the culture at large) have rightly concluded that it is not they who have changed but rather marriage itself?
Think of the symbolic white dress that is worn by many a bride. How many heterosexual couples have made a bad joke of this traditional image of purity? How many couples have considered the wedding dress as a merely beautiful garment long before homosexuals tried to make optional a wedding dress of any sort? Many Christians in line with the surrounding culture have embraced a highly individualistic and egalitarian view of marriage with the resultant flailing commitment to childbearing, to traditional gender duties, and even (permanently) to spouse. That homosexuals now therefore want this strange new thing which marriage has become should surprise no one. We Christians have played a major role in fanning the flame of wickedness which now engulfs our depraved society.
What is the solution to this mess? The Church needs to pick up her mantle again as the herald (and incarnation) of Truth and Grace. The reformation our society badly needs has to start in our own House by first, repenting of our own evil and malaise and second, by exhorting Christians to live out of sacrificial and life-long marriages. This - and only this - is the hope for our nation.