Marriage and Crime

For thirty years I have been going into prisons across America. It has been a wonderful opportunity to share Christ, but it has also been depressing to watch the prison population explode at the same time: When I left prison thirty years ago, there were 239,000 inmates—now there are 2.3 million in America. What characteristics do these inmates share? They are getting younger, more violent, and more dangerous. And why are they flooding our prisons? I can tell you from talking to thousands of them, from reports within the ministry, and from studies done, that it’s happening for one primary reason: the lack of moral training during the morally formative years. These kids are coming from broken families. This is just one reason that I am so passionately in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment, which is coming up for a vote in the Senate next week. It declares that marriage will consist of one man and one woman. Passage of this constitutional amendment is essential to stop the courts from throwing out state marriage laws and referenda banning gay “marriage” passed by the people. And the amendment is essential to protect the sanctity of marriage. Now, some don’t like the moral or philosophical arguments for a marriage amendment. Others dislike dealing with a contentious social issue at all or simply do not like amending the Constitution. My response to these people is, “Do you want to continue to see our prisons fill with kids who have been raised like feral children in the wilderness? Do we want to risk further damage to the integrity of the family?” Some people then ask, “How would gay ‘marriage’ affect the sanctity of heterosexual marriage?” The answer comes from Europe. Stanley Kurtz of the Hoover Institution makes a compelling case that same-sex “marriage” will undermine traditional marriage by increasing the gap between marriage and parenthood. Once marriage is redefined to accommodate same-sex couples, Kurtz writes, “that change cannot help but lock in and reinforce the very cultural separation between marriage and parenthood that makes gay marriage conceivable to begin with.” For example, prior to 1993, when Norwegian courts imposed same-sex “marriage,” Norway had a low out-of-wedlock birth rate. The traditional link between marriage and parenthood was still in place. But once same-sex “marriage” was legalized, Norway’s illegitimacy rate shot up as the link was broken and cohabitation became normal. The same thing is now happening in Holland and Canada. Where gay “marriage” is approved, the number of couples in heterosexual marriages precipitously declines. Ironically, once gays have the right to marry, few take advantage of it. Evidently, they want the right to marry only because they do not want heterosexuals to have something they can’t have. And they are willing to destroy the institution for everybody else. The result is going to be more broken families—and more crime. That is why passing the Marriage Protection Amendment is so urgent right now. Please call your senators and tell them, “Next week vote for the Marriage Protection Amendment.” And visit our website as well so you can get information that will help you better argue the case—because if we don’t make heroic efforts to restore the sanctity of marriage, we are not going to be able to build prisons fast enough.


Chuck Colson


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