Let’s continue the analysis of Rick Santorum’s book It Takes a Family. One of the key points he emphasizes is the concept of natural law, which he calls “the operating instructions for human beings.” We will only be happy, he says, when we fall in line with the way things are supposed to be, as established by God. Liberals, though, think of “nature” as too confining. They don’t like to be bound by anything that they believe inhibits their freedom. Santorum notes, “At first, the liberal vision may sound attractive—because freedom is attractive. The only problem is that it is a false vision, because nature is nature, and the freedom to choose against the natural law is not really freedom at all.”
While this may sound like a high-end philosophical debate, it actually has specific cultural and policy ramifications. He looks first at cohabitation before marriage, which promises freedom, but instead leads to greater anguish via higher divorce rates and more emotional problems for the children. He then gets very politically incorrect:
Despite all the evidence, as a society today we will go to almost any length to avoid telling ourselves, and others, the truth: marriage is better than living together. Too few of us dare say living together without the benefit of marriage is wrong. We are afraid to make any such “value judgment.” But that is exactly what we need to do. We parents owe it to our children to be honest, to give them a vision of the highest good. Failure to affirm a moral vision to our children is a form of abandonment by parents and by society.
He then shifts to the related topic of same-sex marriage, which he terms “radical social engineering.” When same-sex marriage is permitted, it means the government no longer cares about the family structure. Everything devolves into “caregivers” for children rather than a mom and dad, as the natural law would have it. And the consequences will be dire:
Moreover, once the government commits to same-sex marriage as a civil right, it will use the power of the state to enforce this new vision of marriage. Public schools will teach it, of course. But the logic of same-sex marriage will lead inevitably to even more government intrusion on the freedom of people and faith communities who continue to define marriage as the union of husbands and wives. …
If we apply the logic of a civil right to same-sex marriage, people who believe children need mothers and fathers will be treated in the public square like racists, and churches that persist in teaching the traditional norm will risk the loss of their tax-exempt status. In other words, such churches will be treated as outlaws.
Once this wall has been breached, and the law declares same-sex marriage to be a right, future generations will see it as the new moral standard. Institutions like the university where I teach will be under pressure to change or be denied the same status as other universities. Student loans will be withheld to anyone wanting to attend. Enrollment will fall; its degree programs will be considered invalid; it will probably close its doors. This is, in truth, a war against Christianity.
I want someone in the Oval Office who grasps the enormity of this potential danger. Rick Santorum is someone who sees the problem clearly.