9.29.2010

Proposition 8 Update: Marriage Is about Procreation

Supporters of California’s marriage amendment (Proposition 8) recently submitted more than two dozen briefs to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Several of these briefs highlight the importance of procreation to marriage.

  • The opening brief submitted by the attorneys representing the official Proposition 8 campaign stated, “Before the recent movement to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships, it was commonly understood and acknowledged that the institution of marriage owed its very existence to society’s vital interest in responsible procreation and childrearing. Indeed, no other purpose can plausibly explain the ubiquity of the institution” (p. 20).
  • A “friend of the court” brief submitted by numerous religious groups, including the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, quoted from Kretzman’s Popular Commentary and also CPH’s new Lutheran Study Bible to highlight the importance of procreation to the marital union. From Kretzman (p. 28 of the brief): “The Bible indicates plainly what the purposes of marriage is … companion[ship] … [and] lawful procreation of children..” From the study Bible (also p. 28): “Marriage is the fundamental institution of all human society. It was established by God at creation, when God created the first human beings as ‘male and female’ (Gen. 1:27) and then said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth’ (Gen. 1:28). … Both Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:5 view the ‘one flesh’ unity that occurs [i.e., consummation] as an essential part of the marriage.”
  • A “friend of the court,” or amicus curiae brief, from The Hausvater Project focused on parents’ rights to determine their children’s education and warned that state recognition of same-sex marriage would re-define not only marriage but also parenthood, thus weakening the legal claims of naturally procreative parents to make educational and other decisions for their biological children.
  • A Catholic woman named Margie Reilly, trained in the Theology of the Body, submitted another amicus brief, emphasizing that “Altering or watering down its [marriage’s] essential life-giving, self-donating nature would destroy the very fabric of our society” (p. 5).

Meanwhile, the LGBT segment of the blogosphere has criticized (apparently without actually reading) these briefs. If you compare the Box Turtle’s analysis with the briefs themselves, you’ll find that quotations are ripped out of context and misconstrued. But even sadder, the LGBT community does not hear what LCMS and other religious groups tried to say in their brief, namely, that the church loves them and wants, sincerely wants, to help them.

A recent series in Forward in Christ (WELS) illustrates how sound biblical teaching can make a positive difference. May Christ have mercy on us all, as we repent of our sins, rejoice in His forgiveness, and seek to guide others in the same.

2 comments:

Robert said...

I'm surprised that there were no arguments from the LCMS re natural law, the common good, or any other valid secular argument, since this is a court case and not a Bible study.

Robert at bioethike.com

GL said...

As I've noted before, the case for same-sex marriage has support in law precisely because the Supreme Court, to the approval of many Christians, including many who were otherwise conservative and orthodox, decoupled marriage from procreation in its landmark holding in Griswold v. Connecticut declaring unconstitutional state laws restricting the use of contraceptives by married couples. The right to privacy created by the Court in Griswold provided the foundation for the decisions in Lawrence v. Texas (strike down the remaining state laws criminalizing sodomy) and Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health (mandating that the state of Massachusetts recognize same-sex "marriage").

Conservative Christians need to decide now whether they will return to the historic Christian position that marriage was ordained for three purposes, one of which is procreation, and that married couples may not choose to be childless or whether they will accept the logical consequences of rejecting that position, which includes, among other travesties, the recognition of same-sex marriage.

We reap what we sow and when we sow the wind, we will reap the whirlwind. Harvest time has come.