On Friday, June 6, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb overturned Wisconsin’s marriage amendment. In doing so, she completely disrespected the will of 1.6 million Wisconsinites who voted to protect the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. It was a devastating blow.
But how did we get here? How did we as a nation get to the place where we can accept and embrace marriage as between two individuals of the same sex?
It didn’t happen overnight, and while many would scoff at the idea, the confusion about marriage, the family, and human sexuality has much of its roots in the denial of the procreative nature of marriage, enabled by the wholehearted embracing of contraception.
Case in point, key to Justice Crabb’s ruling was the rejection of the conjugal definition of marriage—that is, that marriage must be fundamentally oriented towards procreation. That does not mean that two people past child-bearing age cannot get married. But those entering into a marriage must have the potential to be fruitful.
Instead of fruitfulness, Justice Crabb used “loving and committed” as the definition of what constitutes a legitimate marriage. Using such logic, it would be difficult to see how Justic Crabb could object to polygamy or the child marriages so common in Muslim countries.
Still, while they would reject Justice Crabb’s ruling on marriage, many Christians and political conservatives have been buying into her definition of marriage for decades by embracing contraception—for fundamentally, contraception is an instrument used to prevent a marriage from becoming fruitful. It is a tool used to divorce the two ends of marriage—union of spouses and procreation—until children are no longer in any way part of the picture.
Those who are disturbed by the destruction of marriage must ask themselves the difficult question: What, at the most basic level, is the difference between sterile homosexual sex and sterile (due to contraception) heterosexual sex? Both reject the command to be “fruitful and multiply.” Both are incapable of bringing forth new life. If loving commitment (union) is all that is essential in the act of marriage, and children are in no way essential, then who are we to say who can and cannot enter into such fruitless marriages?
Contraception has fueled the complete redefinition of the sexual act, removing procreation from the picture and thereby enabling the redefinition of marriage.
If we are ever to return to the true definition of marriage—God’s definition—we must take a hard look at how we think about sex, love, and the value of children in God’s plan for our lives. Until then, our efforts to defend marriage, life, and the family will bear no fruit.