The Marriage Debate: Discussing the Important Issues

MarriageIn the currently raging debate on homosexuality, there is a lot of spilled ink and emotional strife from multiple sides of the fence that are engaging these important issues. I say “multiple” because I do not think the issue is reducible to merely the Left and the Right, the Revisionists and the Progressives, or what have you. Quite frankly, the Right is disagreeing with the Right and the Left is disagreeing with the Left. As notable journalist Andrew Sullivan (himself a homosexual) wrote, “There are as many politics of homosexuality as there words for it, and not all of them contain reason” (Sullivan 19). In this article I simply wish to address only two key positions on this debate that are very particular with respect to their sociological as well as philosophical approach (among other elements).

On the one hand, you have what has been called the “personalist” position (or conjugal view); containing its most famed formulation in Karol Wojtyla’s Love and Responsibility which argues for a personalistic defense of traditional norms and draws upon the moral philosophical/theological thought of Thomas Aquinas (1224/5-1274). As Alexander Pruss has written, “A dominant methodological approach has been to distance oneself from biological considerations, such as those connected with reproduction, and to focus on us as persons instead, looking at the interaction between our subjectivity and our sexuality, and focusing on human dignity and not to trample on the autonomy of others” (Pruss 2). This is largely the approach of Wojtyla, and I offer a brief defense of this view in my article Marriage: A Personalist Defense over at Hellenistic Christendom.

On the other hand, you have what has been called the “revisionist” position, which in my opinion has its best defense in philosopher John Corvino’s essay in Debating Same-Sex Marriage. According to Robert P. George’s essay with Ryan Anderson and Sherif Girgis, the revisionist view can be defined as follows:

Marriage is the union of two people (whether of the same sex or of opposite sexes) who commit to romantically loving and caring for each other and to sharing the burdens and benefits of domestic life. It is essentially a union of hearts and minds, enhanced by whatever forms of sexual intimacy both partner find agreeable. The state should recognize and regulate marriage because it has an interest in stable romantic partnerships and in the concrete needs of spouses and any children they may choose to rear (George, Anderson, Girgis 2010: 246). Continue reading

Poem: Sex, Marriage, & Fairytales

Poem by: Jeffrey Bethke

I realized Disney movies and chick flicks, they’ve put us in a weird position,
They’ve distorted our reality, we forget they are fiction,
Because in marriage we either get better or bitter, either joy or remorses,
Whatever were doing ain’t working, just look at the rate of divorces
So, how’s your marriage? I mean c’mon let’s just be honest,
Marriage seems to some more like a prison, than the paradise they were promised
We thought marriage was supposed to fulfill us and make us happy, not lonely
But the truth is His first priority is making you holy.

You say “no one told me,” and it feels so odd
That dating felt like a vacation, while marriage feels like a job,
Yet the secret of joy, if we just pull back our facade,
Is realizing most problems arise when we elevate our spouse to God
Without knowing it we’ve fulfilled romans 1:25
By our actions exchanged the truth about God for a lie,
We’ve exchanged God for lesser, created things,
It’s like a husband trading his wife for a 2d image on a screen,
Hoping it’ll set us free, just to find on the fumes were choking,
Cuz if your marriage rests on anything but Jesus, it’s resting on something broken.
Yet guys continually sacrifice their marriage on the altar of sex and lust,
I mean if our dollars were honest they’d say in “pleasure we trust”
So men grow up, put down the controller,
How about you lead her with grace, instead of trying to control her

Now I’ve never been married but I’m a product of one that was non-existent,
So don’t tell me I don’t understand, don’t tell me I just don’t get it
So for the singles, become friends first, before you become lovers,
Pursue Christ as your foundation, before you get under the covers,
Because believe me a strong friendship before marriage, will make a good marriage after,
friendship isn’t just sex, its deep conversation and laughter.
I mean some spouses barely even like each other, and the marriage seems like a dead end.
You might share a checkbook and a bed, but are you actually friends?
I mean if marriage isn’t a commitment, then what’s the point of the vows we say?
Til death do us apart, really means until the feelings goes away.
Like, “ill stay with him but only until it gets tough and my love shifts”,
But I say imagine if a parent took that perspective with her kids,
Like can’t you see it, the minute the kid spills food on the floor,
The mom saying “son I’m leaving, I’m just not in love with you anymore.”
No its just like marriage, to last you need the strength from above,
Because it’s not the love that sustains the promise, it’s the promise that sustains the

I mean think about it, out of anyone who has had the right to leave?
God had every reason in the world, yet he still came for you and me,
And on the cross he paid it all he took our shame and set us free,
When he could’ve called down legions of angels, he chose to stay on that tree.
From the cross he looks you in the eye, and says I’m taking this for my bride,
When you trust in me, you no longer have to hide!
Because of me it is finished, you have been made new!
Spotless, blameless there’s no sin in you!

His death was a proposal, he wanted you no matter the cost,
Where some guys propose on a knee, Jesus proposed on a cross.
So whether husband or wife, read Ephesians 5,
Wife honor your husband, husbands give up your life,
Just like Jesus gave himself, for his bride the church,
So men lead by serving, by putting her first
Lastly both spouses die to self, put your flesh on a life sentence,
Because you don’t fall out of love as much as you fall out of repentance.

Related: Poem: Sexual Healing &

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