Conservative Column: Understanding traditional marriage in order to revive it



Kathryn HeadshotModern conservatism is outraged over the SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage. But as several of the speakers at the recent World Congress of Families in Salt Lake City pointed out, if the U.S. wants to defend traditional marriage, then more energy should be focused on grassroots, local-level cultural reforms of traditional marriage and of schools.

​Beyond the obvious condemnation of marriage in the media, schools are hostile to anything that contradicts the individualistic, materialistic, hedonistic philosophies of the radical left.

Their perceptions of man and of love are both lies. And yet, they’re taught in almost every grade school and secular university across America. Without a better, more robust understanding of the human person and of what it means to truly love another, marriage will never fully be revived. Education needs a reform in order for marriage to be reformed.

​To quote Dr. Everett Piper, the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a speaker at this year’s WCF, “Education is in peril.  Run by the state and its thought police, colleges across the land have become indoctrination camps more so than campuses of open inquiry.”

He continued, “Propaganda and power now reign where there used to be a pursuit of truth.  Why are we surprised at the selfishness of our culture when we have immersed several generations of our children in a curriculum that teaches self-esteem more effectively than it does science and civics?… Why would (we) think that after decades of diminishing the value of marital fidelity that (we) would then be able to mount a vigorous defense for the meaning of marriage? … Education has lost its way and consequently our country has lost its soul and our culture has lost its sense.”

​This didn’t used to be a problem. Before schools, families and churches were responsible for educating children on what it means to be a human being; on ethics, values, morals, character, on spiritual and civic duty. Schools took over in the ‘60s but quickly disintegrated into producing effective workers instead of well-rounded human beings.

While I firmly believe the church has the answers and the resources for confused couples and philosophically deficient education, the movement has to happen from the bottom up. We can’t ask our already overwhelmed parish staff to take on another responsibility: we have to do it, under the direction of the church. If we want government’s involvement in our personal lives to decrease, then we have to get involved, ourselves, in the lives and hearts of our neighbors. Civil society, families and churches, our involvement in our communities are the answer.