Family and marriage defined
Tue, 23 Jul 1996 17:24:31 EST

In a private post I quoted this from
Wendell Berry's book of essays "Sex, Economics, Freedom and Community":

"The sexuality of community life, whatever its inevitable vagaries, is centered
on marriage, which joins two living souls as closely as, in this world, they
can be joined. This joining of two who know, love, and trust one another brings
them in the same breath into the freedom of sexual consent and into the fullest
earthly realization of the image of God. From their joining, other living
souls come into being, and with them great responsibilities that are unending,
fearful, and joyful. The marriage of two lovers joins them to one another, to
forebears, to descendants, to the community, to heaven and earth. It is the
fundamental connection without which nothing holds, and trust is its necessity."

"These lovers, pledging themselves to one another 'until death' are giving them-
selves away, and they are joined by this as no law or contract could ever join
them. Lovers, then, 'die' into their union with one another as a soul 'dies'
into its union with God. And so here, at the very heart of community life, we
find not something to sell as in the public market but this momentous giving.
If the community cannot protect this giving, it can protect nothing -- and our
time is proving that this is so."

The basis of a nation's society is the community, and the core of the community
is the family, and the heart of the family is the union of man and wife (as
per Mike Jaqua's great dictionary definitions). As Berry mentions, vagaries
will occur over time in every family to leave unusual combinations, but that
does not change the basic understanding of the family as the procreational and
life maintenance structure of a society.

Thus homosexual partners can never be "married" in any true sense and can never
be considered a "building block" for a healthy society. The gay lifestyle is
self-centered, lustful and anti-procreative -- just the opposite of what is
required in a true family. Call it a companionship if you want, but it is
never a marriage -- and to recognize it as such is only one more indicator of a
an apostate culture.

Dean Ohlman
Cornerstone College