As I write this, the United States Supreme Court has just legalized marriage between same-sex couples. The laws of many states were abruptly overturned and marriage rights are extended to any homosexual or gender confused person.
Tomorrow, or the day after, the world will continue to turn, people will go to work, go out to eat, the Chicago Cubs will continue to lose, and all the other things that happened yesterday will continue. We will see the weeks go by without witnessing society ending in anarchy or a mass collapse of social structures. Our liberal friends will continue to focus on individual rights and continue to forget to mention the common good.
The winds of modern morality and social change are perhaps because of our past sins of allowing slavery and the modern feelings of guilt and the need to reconcile past wrongs. In our culture today, discriminating against any individual is one of the worst crimes imaginable, and all instances of it must be discovered and stamped out thoroughly and completely, or so we are told. So we will have marriage of anyone who wants to marry.
Our American society, however, has a memory problem. We are so focused on today’s headlines that we do not see long-term trends. Prior to the 1960’s, most divorce laws were designed to make divorce difficult, thinking that both parents were necessary for society and children. Divorces in many instances were only allowed if one person was proved to be at fault. That, plus the social stigma that was attached to divorce, kept many marriages together even if the couple was far apart emotionally.
The day after no-fault divorce laws were passed, the world kept turning, people went to work, went out to eat, and the Cubs lost. But what have we now that we are many decades later? We have women who are convinced they can raise children just as well without a father, resulting in a large portion of our society being raised in poverty without an authority figure in the home. Children raised in such homes tend to not make a connection between long hard work and success, nor are they accustomed to authority telling them what to do. So we have riots with people refusing to obey police. We also have a major drumbeat of the liberals telling us that a major problem is “income disparity,” the gap between the poorest and richest segments of society. No one seems to notice that we could raise the income levels of roughly a quarter of the US overnight if we could get husbands to go home and spend their money and energy on the children they fathered. At one recent riot, a video became popular of a black mother slapping her teenage son and dragging him out of the rioting crowd. With 70% of black children growing up without a father in the home, odds are the father was not around, so mom has to do everything.
Years ago we dropped the public debate of what to do with “deadbeat dads,” the men who fathered children and abandoned them. We have lost the memory of that problem, too. I suppose the mothers and children are just supposed to accept their situation as normal.
I recall one woman that I knew. She had no husband, yet got pregnant from a man she never planned to marry. She felt no pressure to marry and stay married, and was convinced that single motherhood was adequate. With few job skills, she has been destined to poverty and her children will never have the benefit of a father figure teaching them discipline.
So the lax divorce laws put into practice more than a generation ago have brought bitter fruit of large parts of our society being poor and jobless, yet few make the connection. Any politician suggesting that we tighten marriage laws to prevent poverty would be laughed to scorn just before he lost his job.
So while today’s acceptance of same-sex marriage will not result in the sky falling in a day, we can be sure that social consequences will come. A generation or so in the future will bring further destruction of the family, for as long as anyone can claim marriage based on the individual right, we have no logical basis for restricting anything the human heart can dream. Society will not fall apart tomorrow, but nevertheless it will eventually. The family is the social structure, and when it can be anything, society can be anything, or nothing. As the dissenting supreme court opinion brought out, we have already left the restrictions of the constitution, one we actually left years ago when the court began quoting foreign law.
On the way home today I was thinking of what might come next, how long it would take society to gradually slide into disintegration. I then heard a news reporter telling me that today three totally naked women stood on the steps of the New York Public Library and, in broad daylight, had their bodies painted. We do not have to wonder whether the tourists took more photos of the women or the statues of lions. I also walked in the local mall at lunchtime, seeing people exposing much more skin than clothes. A glance at the US Center for Disease Control website tells me that tomorrow is HIV testing day, although one wonders who will bother. The site also tells us that 2.6 million Americans got chlamydia last year, many of them teenage girls. They will likely not make the connection to the disease until they miscarry years later, or when the pelvic pain starts. They will have forgotten too.
So our society is in a slow decline. Same-sex marriage is but one additional cut to a still living but dying victim. What we are watching is like a slow-motion disembowelment, where we know the outcome is inevitable, but we are so accustomed to it that we have forgotten what it was like when the person was healthy. The knife has cut the memory first, for we fail to remember where we were. Society is the victim and we cannot save it. We are not even aware of the blood around us.
Again the scriptures are proven correct, and we take solace in the ancient words that scream at us from the pages of the Bible. We have no hope but in Jesus, who has the power over death, and can resurrect the soul. Jesus told us “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25)
PS: The Cubs just lost to the Cardinals, 3 – 2, even though they had twice as many hits and base runners.