Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review: Defending Marriage -- Twelve Arguments for Sanity

About the Book:
Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity is a rousing, compelling defense of traditional, natural marriage. Here, Anthony Esolen—professor at Providence College and a prolific writer uses moral, theological, and cultural arguments to defend this holy and ancient institution, bedrock of society—and to illuminate the threats it faces from modern revolutions in law, public policy, and sexual morality. 

Inside, discover: 
- Traditional marriage’s roots in age-old religious, cultural, and natural laws 
- Why gay marriage is a metaphysical impossibility 
- How acceptance and legal sanction of gay marriage threatens the family 
- How the state becomes a religion when it attempts to elevate gay marriage, and enshrine as a civil right all consensual sex 
- How divorce and sexual license have brought marriage to the brink 
- How today’s culture has impoverished and emptied love of its true meaning 

In Defending Marriage Esolen expertly and succinctly identifies the cultural dangers of gay marriage and the Sexual Revolution which paved its way. He offers a stirring defense of true marriage, the family, culture, and love—and provides the compelling arguments that will return us to sanity, and out of our current morass. 

My Comments:
This is an interesting book that will not doubt find many critics, including, to some degree, me.The book is divided into twelve chapter, one for each argument.  They are:
  • We must not give the sexual revolution the force of irrevocable law
  • We must not enshrine in law the principle that sexual gratification is a personal matter only, with which society has nothing to do
  • We should not drive a deeper wedge between men and women
  • We must recover the virtues of modesty and purity
  • We should not foreclose the opportunity for members of the same sex to forge friendships with each other than are deep, chaste and physically expressed
  • We must not condone all forms of consentual sexual activity
  • We must not seal ourselves in a regime of divorce
  • To celebrate abnormal behavior makes it worse, not better for those inclined to engage in it
  • We should not subordinate the welfare of children to the sexual predilections of adults
  • We should not give godlike power to the state
  • The beauty of the country of marriage
The book is a robust defense of traditional gender roles, traditional Catholic understanding of sexuality and Catholic sexual morality.  It is  Esolen's argument that by straying from these beliefs and behaviors we have made ourselves less happy and our children less secure.  Esolen is a critic of the modern academic area of gender studies.  He opposes the idea that just because two people of the same sex shared a close friendship and a bed means they were homosexual and engaed in erotic behavior.  Esolen quotes literature, not only Scripture in support of his ideas.  

If you are looking for a book to help you clarify why you oppose "same sex marriage" without having to say "The Bible says so", Esolen gives a cogent organized argument why "same sex marriage"is not only an oxymoron but also about why the attempted confection of same is bad for those of us who have no desire to engage in it.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a copy of the book via the Mega Advent Giveaway.  Grade:  B+.  

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