We decided to react to a debate Dr. Norman Horn participated in with Dr. Allan Carlson back in 2013 on the topic of whether the state should define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In the Bible, God defines marriage within Genesis; however, as our society shifts and changes the view of marital unions have changed. Many Christians would argue that based upon the way God intended the nuclear family to be there is a requirement for the state to uphold the integrity and morality of such an institution. But is coercion warranted to do so?
Marriage is both biological and spiritual. It is the way in which mankind is continued, and is a glimpse at the unconditional love God has for us. As an institution it has been under attack from the secular world for thousands of years. Due to its importance, should it be defined, and therefore protected, by human authority? Dr. Carlson argued that, yes, the government is a crucial structure to uphold marriage, or else it will transgress into complete hedonism. One must realize that whenever the government is involved in “upholding” anything there must be the threat of use of force implied upon people to obey the marital laws of a given state. When an authority regulates such relationships they are restricting humans from the basic right of association! It is not the business of the government to be the watch dog of peoples’ love lives.
Marriage is a private and Christian institution – it is between two people and God – and it pre-dates the nation-state; therefore, there is no need for the state to interject in such matters. As we firmly believe, the state has no right to intervene in ANY private institutions, including marital unions. As Dr. Horn showed in the debate, the state incentivizes irresponsibility within marriage due to its definitions and interventions. One wonders what the divorce rates would look like if the institution of marriage was not so heavily regulated? Sadly, this is only one of countless areas of life that is controlled by the state that creates dependency and complacency. And how much does the state control marriage for its own security rather than morality?
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- Check out Dr. Horn’s summary of the debate.