Marriage has been on my mind of late. Not so much because of the ongoing legal controversies (one involving a wedding photographer in New Mexico, another a florist in Washington State, and still another a baker in Colorado) but rather because my brother Mark was married Saturday, and I officiated the ceremony.
Though deeply moved by his desire for me to conduct the service, it also humbled me. I have a lofty view of marriage, perhaps too lofty for the Age in which I dwell. Marriage, for me, is a relationship that spans a lifetime — something not entered into (or departed from) without the more extenuating of circumstances. However, with each bend in the turn made by our culture (and every legal precedent) I find those of my perspective becoming “on the wrong side of history.”
A dear friend and colleague of mine named Robert often rails against what he terms as “a broadside against the sanctity of marriage” by gay marriage advocates. With his permission and blessing I mention that Robert has been thrice divorced and currently lives with his “common-law wife” but he has no plans to re-marry at any point in the future. What’s more, Robert is a professing Christian and a deacon in his church.
So what exactly is the sanctity of marriage?
I don’t bring this up to pick on my friend (or any others like him) but the question must be asked. From what position of moral authority do you or I or anyone claim to speak of the sanctity of marriage? Why should people of faith expect those hostile (or even indifferent) to marriage to treat like the sacrament it is?
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