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Marriage Is Timeless, Good for the Family

Pat Fagan
Patrick F. Fagan is Family Research Council Senior Fellow and Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute. |

In his Tuesday presentation at the International Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman, evangelical pastor Rev. Dr. Rick Warren reiterated a vital fact that has been lost in the marriage debate: the fundamental good of the family is a timeless truth impenetrable by society's transient whims.

As it stands, the good of marriage—and the family it conceives—is obscured by deceiving rhetoric like "love is love," "equality," and "bigotry." Opponents to traditional marriage label it as an antiquated religious concept that is over and done. But Pastor Warren has one lesson for them: "Truths don't stop being truths just because they become unpopular."

The truth is that marriage continues to produce as many benefits as ever. As the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) shows, marriage promotes health, increases education, expands wealth, reduces poverty, decreases crime, and discourages government dependency. Its benefits are not only far-reaching, but also long-lasting.

The immutable good of marriage is rooted in the creation of the world when God made male and female. As such, it is engrained in natural law. Only in the sexual act can man and woman populate the world; only within marriage will the sexual act produce a stable society. Society has tried to change this. It has conspired to divorce sexuality from marriage and children from sexuality through man-made constructs like contraception and safe sex. But these attempts have failed and will continue to fail because they contradict the ordered world. As Pastor Warren said, "There's no such thing as 'safe sex' because they don't make a condom that can fix a broken heart."

Simply put, the marriage debate is a battle between truths and untruths. Anything that contradicts natural law is an untruth. Although political correctness, popular fads, and social constructionists have tried to debunk the binary notions of truths and falsehoods, right and wrong, good and evil, there is no escaping God's word. It is time we heed Pastor Warren's call to action to defend these truths. It is time we accept that the family is, as Pope Francis said, "a strength per se."

Dr. Patrick F. Fagan is Family Research Council Senior Fellow and Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), which examines the relationships among family, marriage, religion, community, and America's social problems, as illustrated in the social science data.

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