Earlier this week New Jersey became the third American state to legalize same-sex civil unions for gay partners. Here is what an Associated Press story said:
"Hundreds of gay couples received the same legal protections as married couples early Monday when a law making New Jersey the third state in the nation to offer civil unions took effect. The civil unions—which offer the legal benefits but not the title of marriage—were granted automatically to the hundreds of gay New Jersey couples who have been joined in civil unions or married in other states or nations...
"State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a prime sponsor of the civil unions law who hosted ceremonies for couples including Goldstein and Gross in her office, called the day 'a big giant step forward.'...
"Gay rights activists in the state say they'll continue to press for full marriage rights through both political channels and lawsuits. Some social conservative groups, meanwhile, are pledging to block same-sex marriage by pressing for an amendment to the state constitution that prohibits such unions."
With this judgment America is taking another step down the slippery slope of decline. The traditional family has been the bedrock foundation of all civilizations. History teaches that when the traditional family, a man and a woman united in the bond of marriage, is weakened, the end result is ruin.
Same-sex unions are only one part of an assault on the traditional family that all of us have seen in our lifetime. Divorce among heterosexual couples has weakened society in recent decades, along with couples cohabiting without marrying. Now some singles are choosing to become parents and raise children without a mate, and this is another segment of society contributing to this radical departure from the past.
I have been interested in this story because I have been researching and writing a television script for Beyond Today titled "The New Family." In this program we explore the changes taking place in marriage and families and point people back to the biblical model of the family.
While reading about the family in the ancient Roman Empire, I saw the same pattern that afflicts us today. Rome started out with strong families that built the small country into an empire. But as wealth flowed into Rome, the values changed and families were most dramatically impacted. Divorce became common. Morals slid into the gutter. In time the population began to decline from a combination of abortions and families opting not to have children.
Rome did not fall overnight. Its decline was long yet final. America and the Western nations are going the same way as ancient Rome in more ways than the decline of the family. And though we have not yet "fallen," we are in relative decline as a power. The assault on the traditional family, creating a multitude of new family options, is a sign of this decline, and it will contribute to our fall as a global power.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God summarized Judah's moral state, and it fits well many aspects our time. "'How shall I pardon you for this? Your children have forsaken Me and sworn by those that are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, then they committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. They were like well-fed lusty stallions; every one neighed after his neighbor's wife. Shall I not punish them for these things?' says the LORD" (Jeremiah 5:7-9).