I admit six days out of seven I feel mighty pessimistic about the prospects for traditional marriage in America and in the West.
It seems likely that “marriage” will become an increasingly flexible institution, both by its legal definition and by our cultural assumptions. The major voices in education, in the media, and in the entertainment industry are so deeply invested in the success of the sexual revolution that it is hard to think the rapid acceptance of gay marriage which we have seen in the last half decade does anything but accelerate in the years ahead. Conservatives and Christians will have all they can handle simply to maintain legal protection and minority rights.
That’s how I feel most days.
But every once in awhile—maybe one day a week, probably on Sundays—I can’t help but hold out hope for traditional marriage. What if “being on the wrong side of history” is more of a progressive ideology than a foregone conclusion? What if our cultural development is not inexorably locked into either a pattern of secularization and sexual liberation? What if the building block of every successful civilization cannot be redefined as easily as some imagine? Are there any reasons to think traditional marriage can make a comeback?
Let me suggest five.