The headline of a promotional email for a session at the National Religious Broadcasters convention reads: “Protecting Marriage: How to Get the Media Message Right for This Generation.” So how can we explain Protecting Marriage to this generation? (By which I guess they mean somewhat younger people, although those of us getting long in the tooth are still around, so we’d really be part of This Generation. But that’s not my real quibble).
I thought I’d offer NRB some Protecting Marriage messaging that comes to mind.
- Pre-marital honesty.
- Others-centric decisions.
- Put spouse first.
- Strategic chocolate.
- Keep no record of wrongs.
- Have lots of small skirmishes.
- Don’t shop for shoes together.
- Many babysitters.
Oh, well that of course isn’t what the NRB session is about. It’s about same-sex marriage, although the copy obfuscates that point, and the quote written for NRB president Jerry Johnson (I’m going to give him a break and assume this was written for him—I know how this sort of thing works) is horrendous.
The first paragraphs read:
“Natural and biblical marriage between a man and a woman is under unprecedented attack.
“This is a time like no other in our American society,” noted Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, NRB President & CEO. “The current societal and political view of marriage drastically distorts the biblical definition that has grounded our country since its inception. It’s crucial that we understand the competing views and how to best reach this generation with God’s model for marriage.”
What? Our definition of marriage is what has “grounded our country?” This is an important issue, but that’s a stretch! (You could make a much better argument, for instance, that the founders’ understanding of the total depravity of man formed their basis of the Constitutional separation of powers, which has strengthened our country).
There are substantial arguments that can be made by a Christian group against a definition of marriage that includes same-sex couples. So why was the entire promotion written without identifying the actual topic of the session? Is this NRB’s idea of how to write a penetrating media message for this generation?
I believe the marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred matter set out in Scripture as a joyful and solemn ceremony of the Church. It’s my view that the state should grant same-sex couples the same rights and freedoms as those in traditional marriages. Their union just shouldn’t be called or considered marriage, which has been defined by biblical teaching and 4000 years of human history as heterosexual, and has been a rite of the church.
But the right governmental formulations on this aren’t going to protect and sustain heterosexual marriages nearly as much as when we as men learn to do the dishes and take our girls to ballet class.
And that’s my media sound bite.