There are those who attack traditional marriage and say this sacred institution should no longer be defined in terms of the procreation of the human race and the mutual love and support of a man and a woman. Such advocates of “redefining” marriage fail to understand that we do so at great risk.
There are plenty of moral arguments that deal with the need to defend traditional marriage. However, many refuse to recognize the existence of an objective morality, relying instead upon subjective feelings. For these, perhaps the best way to explain the importance of this essential institution is in terms that people today understand best—economic terms.
And so the bottom line is this: a wedding is more than just a social celebration; it is also a major economic event. It signals the entry of a new entity—the family—into an economy that naturally favors balanced production and consumption. By its very nature, the family expands the economy by celebrating and welcoming new life since children are seen as blessings, not burdens.
“Economy” in its original sense was born around the warm hearth of the home, as it originally referred to the management of the household. The family home conveys the idea of an ideal school of temperance that teaches its members duty and responsibility, self-sacrifice and joyful celebration. If we want to return to some kind of prosperity, the family based on traditional marriage is indispensable. There is no substitute.
However, a family is not just any grouping of people in the same house. It presupposes a complementary union of spouses that creates a climate of intense affinity, affection, and stability that allow the ideal psychological conditions for individuals to develop. The family has that creative restraint that at once limits, yet challenges. It succors, yet makes demands. It provides both support for shortcomings and incentives to excel.
The traditional family, especially the large family, is rich in solutions since it unites past, present and future. The individual can draw upon family traditions. Past figures can serve as role models. The future can be built upon family wealth, honor and name. Such concepts make the family more than just a single set of relationships but rather a world of relationships spanning generations.
The family is an institution uniting personalities, property, names, rights, principles, and histories and therefore favoring stable economic growth. Because it furthers the well-being of all society and economy, it is in the interest of the State to favor this notion of the family and to bestow benefits upon it.
These and other reasons only reinforce the arguments in favor of defending traditional marriage and against “redefining” it. On the other hand, those relationships now challenging traditional marriage define themselves by their lack of restraint, their defiance of morality and the adoption of frenzied lifestyles.
In the case of homosexual “marriage,” the very name highlights the idea of sexual gratification over any other considerations. Such unions turn the procreative function into a non-creative one. They turn natural fecundity into an unnatural sterility.
Indeed, traditional marriage is so fecund that heterosexual couples who would frustrate its end must do violence to nature to prevent the birth of children by using contraception or abortion. On the contrary, same-sex unions are so sterile that those who would circumvent nature must employ costly and artificial means or employ surrogates to bring about adoptive children who will always, intentionally, be deprived of either a mother or a father.
The natural state of marriage is to create a world of natural blood relationships with continuity and stability so that all society might advance. Other unions, whether homosexual, adulterous or “free love,” cannot do this and come to be reduced to mere conventions used to advance the individual’s pursuit of happiness.
Without this family, we experience the lack of restraint and temperance so needed to keep the economy in balance. In my book, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society, I speak about what I call frenetic intemperance in our economy where instant gratification is the order of the day.
We now have a credit-card economy where we must everything instantly, regardless of the consequences. This has largely happened because the family, that ideal school of temperance, is no longer functioning as it should–and other schools of intemperance are given free rein.
The bottom line is that the heart and soul of economy is found in the family based on indissoluble marriage, the blessings of children and robust traditions. Strong families lead to strong economies. Frenzied lifestyles cause frenzied markets with their restless spirit of frenetic intemperance. That is the long and short of it.