Chuck Colson

“Losing [the debate about marriage] means losing marriage as a social institution, a shared public norm,” writes columnist Maggie Gallagher. “The question is not whether this is a battle we can win, but whether it is a battle we can afford to lose.”

Gallagher is right. As we fight this battle to keep the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, we have to be careful to articulate the value of marriage in ways that make sense to the general public. That’s why this week has been designated “Marriage Protection Week,” and it’s why BreakPoint is focusing this week on the benefits of marriage.

Recently Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania (R) spoke at the Heritage Foundation (requires RealPlayer to watch) about the “Necessity of Marriage.”

He began by reminding his audience that one of the purposes of government, laid out in the Preamble to the Constitution, is to “promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

The “general welfare” is not about individual gain, said Santorum, but about the common good—what is beneficial to all Americans. In contrast, the so-called “right to privacy,” which has been at the heart of many of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, has only self-interest in mind. The right to privacy—which is not even in the Constitution, but rather has been “found” by an activist court—started with the sexual revolution and has led to many so-called “rights” that are similarly self-centered. These include abortion and, now, with the Supreme Court’s recent Lawrence decision, the right to any form of consensual sex. Santorum called the right to privacy a “me-centered” right.

In contrast, he said, marriage promotes the general welfare; it’s good for all of society. Promoting two-parent male/female marriages “affirms what the founders understood, promoting the common good.” Marriage itself illustrates this when spouses seek “to give of themselves to each other, rather than being self-interested.”

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Chuck Colson's column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.