Washington D.C., Oct 9, 2013 / 05:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Maintaining marriage as a union between a man and a woman is a matter of social justice, said Ryan Anderson, a political scholar and editor of the online journal Public Discourse, in a recent talk.
Speaking to students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Anderson acknowledged that efforts to redefine marriage are often characterized as being rooted in a sense of justice.
However, he said, the case against redefining marriage is actually an argument based upon justice, “precisely because marriage exists as the prime institution of social justice that guarantees and protects the rights and well-being of children.”
“If you care about social justice and you care about limited government; if you care about the poor and you care about freedom – it’s better served by a healthy marriage culture than by government picking up the pieces of a broken marriage culture.”
Anderson, a Ph.D. candidate in political philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, is also co-author of the book, “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.”
Determining marriage’s definition and limits is the primary concern of the marriage debate, Anderson said in his Oct. 9 talk.
“Everyone wants marriage equality: we all want the government to treat all marriages as equal, but that begs the question – what is marriage?
He explained that many of those who promote the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples understand marriage to be an intense kind of romantic relationship between sexual partners. In this view of marriage, adult desires and sexual needs are of primary concern, and the needs of children produced by such a union are secondary.
However, this understanding of marriage is lacking, Anderson said, as it does not take into account the needs of children, “nor can it describe or define or defend” the norms surrounding marriage, such as why government is involved in it; its restriction to two people; why it is sexual; and why it should be permanent.
This understanding of marriage “makes it more about the desires of adults and less about children” and their needs, said Anderson, adding that “the consequence of redefining marriage is that more people will think of their relationship in those terms and that it will produce bad social outcomes, especially for children.”
But across diverse societies and throughout history, he contended, marriage has been understood as a “comprehensive union” in which man and woman become “one (Read More)