Voters in North Carolina have just made theirs the thirty-first state in which marriage will be between a man and a woman, exclusively. President Obama has responded by endorsing gay marriage. Needless to say, an intensification of the national debate on this issue will ensue. In this post, I make a case for the affirmation of heterosexual marriage in law. Hopefully, these few thoughts will help my fellow Christians enter the public square and engage in this debate with wisdom, courage, gentleness, and respect.

The case begins with an assumption, namely, that both nature and conscience reveal the existence of an infinite personal Creator, a God who rules, blesses, and judges all nations according to his holy will. This was, of course, the faith of our Founding Fathers, who held these great truths to be self-evident and foundational to the good order of any society.

On this assumption, it is a matter of simple intellectual honesty to observe the striking physical and psychological complementarity of men and women, as well as the universal pattern of human behavior, and to conclude that God has a design for marriage. In particular, he clearly designs marriage as a permanent union of one man and one woman for the purpose of mutual support, enjoyment, procreation, the spiritual and physical nurture of children, and the resulting health of society at large.

Such conclusions, though resisted by some, nevertheless belong to the “spiritual common sense” of the entire family of man. This is why all world religions define heterosexual marriage as the norm, and why no culture in recorded history has ever defined it otherwise.