We are now experiencing the reverse of what happened in third-century Rome.
The absolute power of the state gave way to the new faith; Christianity and its declaration that the state is answerable to God. It’s been a mixed bag and a bit of a mess from time to time but it’s only in the past few decades that God has been banished from the public square.
The historical and theological irony should be obvious. Same-sex marriage is the consequence and symbol of that banishment because it is in harmony with the new religion. Marriage, an institution shaped by nature and reinforced by history, will become the product of social evolution as soon as same-sex marriage becomes law. Natural marriage once based on real sexual difference is to become a bastard child of the state. So we can make marriage what we like. No longer will it make us.
Marriage which was once a basic institution of civil society will become a contract between any two people for their assumed bliss and benefit. It will have very little to do with the protection of children or social order. Children will be trophies rather than the cement of inter-generational connection.
It is not that natural marriage is essentially a religious phenomenon. Marriage transcends religion and politics but not, it would seem human desire to manipulate to its own short-sighted end. And that’s the problem. That desire which has become a demand makes it necessary for the state to legally redefine marriage. The state cannot resist. Having lost the foundation it discovered in the third century it has become an authority yielding to the demands of fashion and relevance.
Bruce Logan: Thatcher, and God, are of another era. Published: April 12, 2013