Everybody Loses

Columnist Michael Kinsley just can't see what all the fuss is about. Not long ago, Kinsley predicted correctly that the Supreme Court's decision on Texas's sodomy law would lead to a renewed push for gay "marriage." He also predicted, again correctly, that opponents of gay "marriage" would fight back. "It's going to get ugly," Kinsley warned. "And then it's going to get boring." Well, to save us from all of the boredom, Kinsley offered a radical proposal. He thinks we should "privatize marriage" -- that is, get the government out of the act altogether. He wrote, "Let each organization decide for itself what kinds of couples it wants to offer marriage to. Let couples celebrate their union in any way they choose and consider themselves married whenever they want. Let others be free to consider them not married, under rules these others may prefer. And, yes, if three people want to get married, or one person wants to marry herself . . . let 'em. If you and your government aren't implicated, what do you care?" It may sound like a joke, but Kinsley is deadly serious, and he's an influential columnist. He admits that his idea has problems: "Once marriage itself becomes amorphous, who-gets-the-kids and who-gets-health-care become trickier questions." But he believes that ending the controversies over marriage -- and of course, ending what he perceives as discrimination toward homosexuals -- would be worth a few problems. In his view, ending "government-sanctioned marriage" would let everybody win. Actually, it would cause everybody to lose. Kinsley's proposal is just another way of making the same tired old argument we've heard for years. To stretch the word 'marriage' to fit any living situation is to make the word lose all meaning. And to ask the government to comply with such a scheme is to ask it to abdicate one of its most important responsibilities. When the government sanctions marriage, it is recognizing that marriage is the foundational structure of our society. It is not just a "private" institution; it's a public one. The well-being of children, the emotional and physical health of adults, even the state of the workforce -- all of these are tied to the existence of stable marriages and families. Obviously, the government has a legitimate interest in promoting the public good. And that's why we here at BreakPoint, and many other groups, are supporting a Federal Marriage Amendment. It's why we used Marriage Protection Week last week to call for support for that amendment. Michael Kinsley calls this an attempt to "trample states' rights . . . to prevent gays from getting what they want." We see it simply as an acknowledgment of what has always existed -- marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It may seem silly to create a constitutional amendment to spell this out, but the efforts of Kinsley and others to reshape marriage according to their own ideas, with utter disregard for the consequences, have made it necessary. The fact that people take such ideas seriously should be a real warning that we had better get our own effort underway without delay. Anarchy in the area of marriage, as in any other area, is not boring, as Kinsley says. It leads to chaos, the unraveling of society. Call us here today (1-877-322-5527). This is the most critical social issue of our time, and every single one of you listeners and readers of BreakPoint has to get involved and get at your post.  


Chuck Colson


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