A day or so after Judge Vaugh Walker struck down California’s marriage amendment in 2010, I was interviewed on Logo TV, the LGBT network. We covered the typical arguments for marriage between one man and one woman cordially, respectfully and predictably. Then I mentioned that from a Christian point of view a central purpose of marriage is to show the love between Christ and his Church — two things that, like a man and a woman, are by nature different. Two men or two women don’t qualify.
The interviewer remained gracious, but, he had been blindsided and the interview was over.
I thought about that a few weeks ago when I had the opportunity to hear theologian Scott Hahn at the World Meeting of Families. Hahn’s lecture, “Back to the Garden of Eden: Unearthing God’s Covenant with Humankind,” traced the theme of marriage from the marriage of Adam and Eve in Genesis to the marriage of Christ and his Church in Revelation.
Hahn emphasized the one-flesh aspect of marriage between those created in the image of God: “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them…. Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 1:27, 2:24).
While every individual is created in the image of God, Hahn said, there is more to it. The image of God is more clearly seen in a matched set — male and female in the covenant of marriage. Then when the matched set procreates, the image comes into even sharper focus. “Molly and me and baby make three” is more than a happy sentiment from an old song. The human family is the image by which we glimpse the Trinity, our God who is a community of persons.
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