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Report on 'Marriage Unapologetic' by Sir Paul Coleridge

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On Wednesday 19 November 2014, I went to an evening public lecture entitled 'Marriage unapologetic' at Swansea University by the Honourable Mr Justice (Sir Paul) Coleridge, Chairman of the Marriage Foundation under the heading of 'Theological Public Lecture Series' and in conjunction with the Lawyers Christian Fellowship.

Sir Paul started openly declaring how he became convinced of the truths of Christianity, but did not want his talk to have a moralistic or religious theme. (Sir Paul resigned from his position as a High Court Judge "after being given a formal warning by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling for judicial misconduct. An inquiry by the Office for Judicial Complaints, the body that polices the behaviour of judges, had found his speeches and newspaper articles (supporting traditional marriage) were 'incompatible with his judicial responsibilities'.") (Daily Mail, 19 December 2013)

Sir Paul's aim was to show the benefits of stable marriage (implicitly between a man and a woman, although never explicitly stated) over co-habitation for the benefit of society and the raising of children. He made a short passing reference to the horrible cultural distortions of marriage, but there was no explicit distinction between traditional marriage and same-sex marriage in his talk or the government's hard-line determination to change the concept of marriage beyond recognition. This was the elephant in the room throughout the talk.

Sir Paul is a skilful speaker and managed somehow to give a talk about marriage, without direct reference to morality or the real causes of the break-up of marriages.

His primary message was:

  • Marriage is one of the deepest hard wirings of human behaviour and follows the Biblical text approach of the early chapters of Genesis and the instructions of our Creator. We don't like to break contracts so that we can regulate the future.
  • Marriage supports its case with or without religion or the Bible, the evidence is irrefutable.
  • Marriage break-ups cost the state around £46 Billion a year in separation costs, which is more than the UK Defence Budget. Therefore the economic cost to society of divorce is huge. There are 3 million children in the family justice system. Divorce traumatises children and makes them less able to form stable marital relationships in the future.
  • Co-habitation is a recent phenomenon that exploded only recently, around the 1980's. Cohabitation has no legal protection and the concept of a common-in-law wife having legal rights is a myth.
  • Cohabitation very rarely produces long term stable relationships for the nurturing of children.
  • Divorce is now running at 44% of all marriages.
  • Marriage therefore has value to society, the participants and to children if it lasts.
  • The aspiration for marriage is strong in young people of 14-15 years, but dies for 'some reason' by the time a person is 25 years old.
  • Sir Paul underplayed the government's influence in destroying the concept of traditional marriage. There was no mention of same-sex marriage legislation.
  • Sir Paul advocated government support to be more than tax breaks for married couples as marriage is good for society as the obvious research evidence shows.

In short Sir Paul was presenting research based evidence to support the good of marriage and the benefits for society and families, which is the primary mission of the Marriage Foundation. He made reference to the work of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at Denver University et al.  (Author's comment:- In essence relationships are on a sliding scale of commitment ranging from fornication and promiscuity to co-habitation and marriage – a sociologist model similar to the Kinsey Scale for sexual orientation.)

What I found most uncomfortable was the way Sir Paul veiled the Biblical origins and foundations of marriage as ordained by God and avoided the explicit systematic attack on traditional marriage by Individuals (including Christians), Government (legislation), the Private Sector (e.g. music, films, arts, fashion, which promote promiscuity, infidelity and same-sex relationships) and gay lobbyists, like Stonewall who have a published agenda of sexual anarchy and the erasing/prohibiting of traditional Christian values and family structures. Sir Paul did call for preachers to be more vocal to support marriage.

The UK parliament bludgeoned through same sex marriage legislation, where the main false argument was that God and His law is not relevant to the discussion of marriage and the benefits of marriage must be given to same-sex couples as their relationships are of equal standing. Completely flawed logic and highly destructive to the concept of marriage and society.

In conclusion, the Marriage Foundation's aims of promoting stable marriage (between a man and a woman, I will say it for them!) using a research based approach is laudable, but they have gagged and constrained themselves with political correctness in treating the root cause of the marriage problem, sin and the hatred of God's law particularly by the government and politicians.

The Marriage Foundation does seem to be getting its message across about the benefits of stable marriage per se, but how will it challenge the status quo, when it will not take a moral view point which includes what is right and wrong as defined by God and His law?

The Marriage Foundation should openly declare the Biblical origins of Marriage and its traditional definition as the premises for its arguments and the scope of its research. Objective research questions can then be postulated or stated and the evidence can then be examined, which will clearly show the good and the truth of God's plan and requirements for mankind. The origins of marriage are divine not evolutionary or sociological, therefore research that does not openly declare the true origins and purpose of marriage is by default flawed.

Let's be straightforward, politicians and activists have no shame in saying I am a Marxist and legislate or lobby that a man can become a woman and that marriage can included same-sex participants. Why then can't the Marriage Foundation be more explicit on where it stands? You can't win a war if you do not name your enemy and be explicit on the reasons for your engagement.

The case for marriage has always been irrefutable since the foundation of the world, however a cost benefit analysis argument approach to marriage will not work when the definition of true marriage has been legislated out of existence and same-sex marriage is rigorously promoted as equivalent in the education system – it's a complete non-sequitur.

The only way forward is for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 to be repealed and all same sex marriages annulled; as by any measure, same-sex marriages are a destructive cost on society and the casualties are the children caught up in them, who will never have a natural mother and father, the foundation of a true marriage.