In America Today the most basic and fundamental foundation of our Nation’s soul is in jeopardy. Worse yet, the current debates are more concerned with distraction than correction. I am talking about the American family.
As the Supreme Court heard arguments last week regarding Same Sex Marriage, powerful voices lined up on opposing sides of this understandably controversial question—and for good reason. There is a lot at stake. Equality, Justice, Fairness, Religious Freedom, Biblical Values, and fundamental understandings of this most basic institution of human relationships all hang in the balance. Yet, for all the theatrics and passionate perspectives, the debate is frighteningly dangerous for what it is not doing.
The Same Sex Marriage debate is not really addressing the fundamental demise of the America family. Consider some of these realities.
- The national Divorce rate continues to increase
- Sexual intimacy is increasingly recreational rather than covenantal
- Fidelity in sexual relationships is often the exception, not the rule
- Increasing numbers of children are born into single-parent families
- Gender or Relational inequality within intimate household relationships promotes abuse, exploitation, and unjustifiable human indignity
- Domestic Violence and child abuse destroys lives, innocence, and security at alarming rates
- Household members live in states of virtual warfare amongst themselves within the walls of their homes
- Media portrayals and the misguided hero-worship of sexist, abusive, sarcastic, or unfaithful romantic partners creates a world of tacit acceptance of flagrant, dehumanizing behaviors or attitudes
- Families spend very little (if any) time together as a family or in shared activities such as meals, games, prayer, or recreation
- Addiction to drugs, alcohol, pornography, casino gambling, state lotteries, and materialism divert precious financial resources away from family needs and create hostile, contentious, and unsustainable relationships within the family
- Individuals (particularly women and children) are subjected to degrading and dehumanizing behaviors throughout the culture
- Preditory lending, explotitiave credit, and excessive economic injustice in the market economy divert vital resources away from most American families
- Media portrayals of people create dangerously deceptive and destructive images that erode self-confidence and undermine one's genuineness in the world
- Unaffordable (or unobtainable) health care creates an unbearable financial strain on families
These are some of the real issues destroying families in the United States today. They are realities that affect same-sex families as well as heterosexual families. They cut across gender, racial, economic, geographic, religious, or educational lines. They affect all segments of modern society and universally threaten to undermine the most vital component of human life.
In time, the Supreme Court will rule. Some will like the outcome, some will not. Regardless of how anyone feels about Same Sex Marriage, amid the passionate posturing and prophetic proclamations that will permeate the debate, let us not forget the central reality. A broken household carries its own destruction regardless of who makes up the partnership at the head of that household. No matter how Marriage is ultimately defined, no definition will make any difference until we work together to strengthen the covenantal relationships that anchor the American household.