Ryan T. Anderson: Love Does Not Equal Love

“Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day. But that doesn’t mean that marriage and family are flourishing. A mistaken understanding of romantic love — the Hallmark and Hollywood version — has, unfortunately, undermined key aspects of committed marital love, and the consequences have been dire. Gays and lesbians, obviously, are not to blame for this. Heterosexuals are. Heterosexuals who bought into a flawed ideology about sex and marriage.

“That ideology is the offspring of the Sexual Revolution. Its slogans — love makes a family, marriage should last as long as the love lasts — have helped fuel the high rates of nonmarital childbearing and high rates of divorce that plague our nation. ‘Love equals love’ was simply an extension of this mistaken view of marriage.

“If marriage is simply about Hallmark-style romance, then it’s hard to see why it should be permanent, or exclusive, or monogamous. Such marital norms are founded on sexual complementarity, because when one man and one woman unite as one flesh and create new life, it is that one man and one woman who should, for a host of beneficial reasons, be bound to that child as its mother and father throughout life. So the consequences of this further redefinition will simply exacerbate our current problems.

“This Valentine’s Day we should acknowledge that not all loves are the same. In a pluralistic society where we disagree about love, we shouldn’t be punishing our neighbors. How loving is that?” – Ryan T. Anderson in a Philadelphia Inquirer column which claims there are “countless examples of government punishing adoption agencies, bakers, florists, and photographers because of their views on marriage.” How odd, we find it easy to count them.