Do we now have a third definition of marriage?

Feb 1, 2018 by

by Gavin Ashenden:

It has always seemed strange to me that once the gay community won their freedom to marry in civil law, as well having gained legal protection in civil partnerships, they should move onto the offensive and attack the rights of Christian clergy and churches to retain their own distinctive definition of marriage.

After all, the gay community understandably pitched their case to the rest of society saying, “look this is how we are – these are our values – please respect us and allow the law to reflect and affirm our life styles and convictions.

So why, when Christians throughout society ask the same, does some of the the gay community, reply “no – you can’t have your freedom of conscience – you have to conform to our values. Why this sudden reverting to victim-hood after the political victory?

Why after so many years of asking to have their consciences respected are they so unwilling to respect others? There are no lack of places offering to conduct gay weddings, or secular caterers and florists delighted to help them.

It’s often thought we have two definitions of marriage at work in society. Actually, I think we now have three, though this recent most major change. It was actually the Hollywood film culture (and the straight community) that first undermined and changed the Christian view of marriage in Western culture.

Jews and Christians saw marriage very simply, naturally and rather beautifully. It was intended to be between one man and one woman, for life, and with the purpose of having children. A couple grew and matured, from being lovers to being parents; and then from being parents to being grandparents and sometimes great grandparents. And flowing from their biological and emotional complementarity was this wide well-knit extended family, providing at its best, emotional and practical support, inherited identity and a glue that held a wider society together.

It involved a range of components, from dynastic to pragmatic, and at the centre of it were the children.

But then came the Hollywood experience, prioritising romance and sex. But the trouble with falling in love is, that you can just as easily fall out of it. And falling in love can be a bit like a drug.

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