Apr 10, 2016

Peter Leithart on the Republicans' Failure to Defend Marriage

The recent bow of the Republican leadership before Mammon on religious liberty is nothing compared to its sacrifices on marriage generally.

Leithart: Not Afraid to Defend Marriage
The always essential Peter Leithart, President of the Theopolis Institute, discusses this problem admirably in a recent First Things essay, "Where Have All the Bad Republicans Gone?", in which he is kind enough to mention me and Handong International Law School. His blog is always worth reading and part of my daily regimen.


  1. After our previous conversation that regretfully was cut short, where we had discussed the Christian duties with respect to marriage (distinguished from the duties that were retroactively invalidated via Obergefell), two things came to mind:

    1. The husband's duty to love his wife as Christ loves the church and the wife's duty to submit to her husband. (Ephesians 5)
    2. The duty to submit to each-other in sexual self-giving. (1 Corinthians 7:4)

    These seem to be two key distinguishing features of a Christian marriage.

    On a related point, then would it be a better practice for the marriage vows to reflect the two key points above?

  2. Here are some relevant parts of the traditional Anglican vows and minister's blessings; you have to read the "have and hold" a little bit broadly to get to the self-giving, but what do you think?:

    I M. take thee N. to my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

    Then shall they loose their hands; and the Woman, with her right hand taking the Man by his right hand, shall likewise say after the Minister,

    I N. take thee M. to my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

    Then shall they again loose their hands; and the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring, laying the same upon the book with the accustomed duty to the Priest and Clerk. And the Priest, taking the Ring, shall deliver it unto the Man, to put it upon the fourth finger of the Woman's left hand. And the Man holding the Ring there, and taught by the Priest, shall say,

    WITH this Ring I thee wed, with my Body I thee worship, and with all my worldly Goods I thee endow: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.



    O MERCIFUL Lord, and heavenly Father, by whose gracious gift mankind is increased; We beseech thee, assist with thy blessing these two persons, that they may both be fruitful in procreation of children, and also live together so long in godly love and honesty, that they may see their children christianly and virtuously brought up, to thy praise and honour; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    O GOD, who by thy mighty power hast made all things of nothing; who also (after other things set in order) didst appoint, that out of man (created after thine own image and similitude) woman should take her beginning; and, knitting them together, didst teach that it should never be lawful to put asunder those whom thou by Matrimony hadst made one: O God, who hast consecrated the state of Matrimony to such an excellent mystery, that in it is signified and represented the spiritual marriage and unity betwixt Christ and his Church; Look mercifully upon these thy servants, that both this man may love his wife, according to thy Word, (as Christ did love his spouse the Church, who gave himself for it, loving and cherishing it even as his own flesh,) and also that this woman may be loving and amiable, faithful and obedient to her husband; and in all quietness, sobriety, and peace, be a follower of holy and godly matrons. O Lord, bless them both, and grant them to inherit thy everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  3. This is a great template. I find it interesting, though, that only the Man gives the Woman a ring, and makes the sealing remark. I'm sure there's a reason for it, but not sure what it could be.