Sunday, September 8, 2013

"Defend" marriage? Defend marriage?

“The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.”
some say it was St. Augustine; doesn't really sound like Augustine. It might have been Spurgeon. Either way, it's a catchy phrase.

And marriage simply is the truth. It is a truth that every boy knows, who falls in love: that he was, in a personal and a univeral sense, made for marriage. Marriage is not something that, itself, needs defending, but is a gift, part of our very being, of the original Love that many waters cannot quench: He walked on the waters instead, and proved stronger than death. But we are certainly defending something as we fight "in defense of marriage": what, then?

We are defending our own minds against a kind of nominalism — the notion that there are not actual things which can be named, so that all names are movable. We are defending our language against senseless drift — because when a word is moved such that it refers to a non-thing, it does cease to name. We are certainly defending particular marriages (all present actual marriages), both from the neglect of obscurity and the abuse of transient will. We are defending civilization, which grows in the gardens of marriage. As Stilwell forcefully puts it, we are defending our children. And, what no Christian may forget for long: we are defending our opponents against The Enemy.

So, yes: defend "marriage: n.". But never forget what we are defending thereby!


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