Mississippi’s Move to Protect the Family Should Be Lauded, Not Attacked


Mississippi has been in the news lately thanks to HB 1523, the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.” By enacting this sane law, the state has taken a heroic stance on morality that holds the potential to restore the rightly ordered foundation of civilization, the family. Although this truth been obscured by the rising tide of the sexual revolution, the well-ordered family is a vitally necessary building block for the good society. However, the supporters of this important law are under attack. The opponents to this good bill are legion and a most formidable foe of the family with tentacles in every aspect of public life. Nevertheless, HB 1523 is a beacon of hope in a dark time.

As reported by Chris Woodword at OneNewsNow.com, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and his attorneys are defending the family over and above the demands of the LGBT rights community. Moral vision clearly sees the right order of this. The new law “protects three beliefs: marriage is only between a man and a woman, sex should only occur in such a marriage, and a person’s gender is determined at birth – and cannot be altered,” three self-evident truths which are primary in the good society. Only ideological deformation can blind one to these truths.

The complementarity of a man and woman is obvious for countless reasons, not the least of which is the fruitfulness of procreation — the single and indispensable source of our citizenry. Children raised by faithful and married parents in a healthy setting are far better off than their counterparts and have the best chance of becoming excellent citizens as an integral part of their own future families. Without the complementarity of the sexes there are no future citizens. If children are born out of wedlock they are not only at a disadvantage in nearly every aspect of life, they are also less likely to participate in building up society, as the available evidence bears out.

In The Huffington Post, Lavar Young references the findings of researchers at Columbia and Princeton universities who studied thousands of cases of “fragile families,” families with children born out of wedlock. The researchers concluded that “compared with ‘traditional families,’ parents of fragile families are more likely to have become parents in their teens, more likely to have had children with other partners, more likely to be poor, suffer from depression, struggle with substance abuse, and to have been incarcerated.” The instability of the relationships into which children of unwed parents are born is devastating to the children themselves, but also costly for society.

The research further indicates that “fragile families are shown to have harsher parenting practices and fewer literacy activities, and children of such families produce lower cognitive test scores and a have a higher incidence of aggressive behavior.” And just when you think it can’t get worse, we learn that children who are raised apart from one of their parents “are twice as likely to drop out of high school, twice as likely to have a child before age 20,” and more vulnerable to a host of other societal difficulties. These are not exactly desirable outcomes for building a society. We have a greater responsibility to the well-being of our children then we do to assert “gay marriage,” sex outside of marriage, or transgender ideology, partly because these things help undermine the good society.

The gold-standard family, the family that protects children from the instability of unwed or single-parent homes, is comprised of an eligible man and eligible woman who are married and then participate in procreation. They are faithful, monogamous, and in possession of the intellectual and moral virtues required to be an excellent citizen. There is no equivalent to this gold standard; all different arrangements are defective to some degree.

However, these truths are just too much to bear for proponents of LGBT rights. The apoplexy that follows these statements of obvious truth turns quickly into a maelstrom of confusion as those who would challenge the new law misrepresent what the law is designed to do. They would deny us our God-given right to speak the truth without fear of reprisal from vicious attacks simply because we do not agree with their licentious propaganda.

The gold-standard building block of civilization is the one configuration that contributes edifying growth to a society. Moral and intellectual health necessitates that we ought to honor the truth about the gold standard and have our laws reflect the goodness, truth and beauty of the family. That marriage is only between a man and a woman, that the marital act is only appropriate inside the marital bond, and that boys are boys and girls are girls are three basic fundamentals over which human beings have no real say. How did we ever get to the point where it causes so much trouble just to state the truth?

Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg

Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project, a writer in residence and teacher of philosophy and theology at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta. He is also a senior contributor to The Imaginative Conservative and has written for numerous venues on matters of faith, culture and education.

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