Perspectives: The greatest threat to marriage, loss of sanctity

OPINION – Which is a greater threat to the sanctity of marriage: same-sex marriage or a skyrocketing divorce rate? Most of us would be tempted to answer with one of the two choices presented without realizing we’ve been offered a trick question.

The reality is that marriage is threatened by a growing moral sickness that is spreading through our society. Its symptoms are rooted in a type of selfishness that places low value on the sanctity required to make marriage a healthy institution.

Concerns over how homosexual activists are using the force of government to redefine marriage are not misplaced. As San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone recently stated:

To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children.

Another destructive trend is the divorce-is-just-a-phone-call-away mentality that treats marriage as a disposable institution. We are part of a culture that is intentionally discarding its ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

Instant gratification and self-worship love to masquerade as true freedom, but they are not.

They are mindsets that are at complete odds with the concept of sanctity that Merriam Webster defines as:

1: holiness of life and character. Godliness 
2: the quality or state of being of being holy or sacred. Inviolability.

While it’s true that many marriages today are lacking the quality of sanctity, it’s also true that those that have it are successful. The greatest threats to marriage aren’t in the commitments it requires. They are found in the unwillingness of some to live up to their vows by governing their appetites.

Individuals who pursue a lack of self-restraint to its logical conclusion too often find that their actions lead to inescapable destructive consequences.

This is readily observable in those who destroy their lives through substance abuse; through excessive debt; through contracting and perpetuating sexually transmitted diseases; through preying upon and abusing others to satisfy their own lusts.

Anyone who has personally witnessed a devastated young mother confronting her husband’s illicit lover after learning of his affair understands this. They will also have a much stronger appreciation of why self-control and sanctity in marriage are far from being outdated principles.

A spouse who maintains inviolability in his or her marriage is not only protecting their own peace of mind, but is also securing the peace of mind of their family members, neighbors, and community.

Modern day sophists insist that every thing that came before us was wrong. They ignore the reality that these limits were created over the course of thousands of years by the combined brainpower of billions of individuals. They have been found in virtually every known civilization throughout history.

Notwithstanding recent cultural efforts to the contrary, sexual accountability and responsibilities such as caring for one’s spouse and any resultant offspring, have always been inseparably connected with the pleasures associated with marriage.

Archbishop Cordileone points out that marriage is part of that moral code:

Clearly something important is at stake, or human beings of such different cultures, histories and religions would not come up with the basic idea of marriage as a male-female union over and over again.

When moral boundaries have become sufficiently eroded to the point that we can no longer define wrong or right with any degree of certainty, we have effectively sown the seeds of our own destruction.

This is not a call for more laws to impose a type of morality such as same sex marriage advocates are seeking. It’s the recognition that our capacity for choosing moral behavior goes well beyond man-made laws.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said it best:

Whenever the tissue of life is woven of legalistic relationships, this creates an atmosphere of spiritual mediocrity that paralyzes man’s noblest impulses.

The truth is that exercising a degree of moral self-control allows us to continue to freely make the kinds of choices that actually enlarge our freedom to act for ourselves.

On the other hand, the counterfeit, anything-goes kind of thinking serves to eventually paint its practitioners into an ever-shrinking corner of despair and unpleasant consequences.

In order to enjoy the greatest amount of personal freedom, we must be willing to exercise a greater amount of personal moral restraint in avoiding personal pride, irresponsibility and selfishness.

This is where the real battle over marriage is taking place—over the dwindling concept of sanctity.

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Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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19 Comments

  • Pheo March 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    How about we just let adults have the freedom to do what they want as long as it doesn’t impinge on your freedom? Feel free to exercise your moral self-control, but don’t push it on to the rest of us. Thanks.

  • SomeGirl March 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Our personal morals shape our society as a whole. Thank you for “pushing” this onto us for the betterment of all. it is OKAY to advocate tolerance, it is BETTER to advocate truth and absolute morality.

    • JJ March 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      No, morals shape your personal life, we have ethics to “shape our society as a whole.” Ethics are universally agreed upon and usually come about because of reason, i.e. “it makes sense and there’s a reason for it.” Morals, on the other hand, are often arbitrary (shopping on a specific day is bad!) and therefore are best used personally and in your own life.

    • Pheo March 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Absolute morality as chosen by whom? I think it is absolutely appropriate to legislate morality when my choices affect other people. So laws that prevent me from killing you, ripping you off in a scam, or even becoming a burden on society because I refuse to wear a seatbelt are totally justified. But my own sexual practices are not open for public debate because they do not harm anyone. If your marriage is harmed by gay people getting married, it wasn’t worth much to begin with.

    • Steve D. March 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      “absolute morality.” sounds like something the fehrer would say. when referring to a whole group. People ingrained their whole life in any kind of doctrine are often wearing blinders concerning morality as a whole society, the term is egocentric. If your looking for a society with a forceful set of morals like the kind “some” conservatives are pushing for here, look no further than any place where someone has been stoned to death or blown up or harmed for “not being morally righteous.” E.g. for not covering their face and being some girl.

  • Matt March 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    PHEO you provide a perfect example of the moral sickness to which the article refers. Your “do whatever I want” attitude about adulthood reminds me of the 6 year old that can’t wait to be a grown up, because then he’ll be able to do whatever he wants. Is that what being an adult means to you? Are you even an adult? I wonder…

    Your argument is the same one a teenage boy uses when his parents won’t let him play violent video games. It is the same argument a teenage daughter uses against her parents when she wants to dress like a prostitute and date the neighborhood bad boy. It is an inherently selfish argument. It says that what I want is the most important thing to me and anybody trying to get me to think or do anything other than what I want is pushing something on me.

    Like you I was once an adolescent with juvenile attitudes about what it meant to be an adult. But, I’ve grown up and realize that my actions effect others. I agree with the author that sacrificing what I want now in favor of exercising moral restraint results in greater freedom later.

    • JJ March 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Why can’t we do whatever we want?
      Answer: because some things we do cause harm to others.
      Wrong answer: Because we arbitrarily set up a bunch of rules that aren’t based on reason or logic, but “just because.” So Matt, if you think allowing two people of the same sex getting married is “moral sickness,” then explain to us why- but refer above where I say “just because” is a wrong answer.

    • Pheo March 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      If your actions affect others, then that is a different situation. There is private morality and public morality. Public morality means that my actions affect other people and so they should have a say in what is considered right and wrong. Private morality is my own business. You decide what is right for you as long as you don’t impinge on the rights of others to do the same. This isn’t hard.

  • D Hodja March 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Why is it that Utah leads our country in social problems including depression and mental illness, yet, the people of Utah insist they possess the gospel truth on how to live and view the world? I find it rather arrogant and ignorant.

  • Bub March 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I can’t hardly believe they pay this clown to spew this kind of drivel. This writing here is similar to Hyde’s radio program right??? BLAH BLAH BLAH FREEDOM…BLAH BLAH BLAH SANCTITY… YOUR A NARROW-THINKING, SIMPLE MINDED TOOL, HYDE…

  • Steve D. March 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I think people just need to be careful about noticing how they feel, be careful not spit hatred about what other people are doing cause if you are doing that, then the all these problems seen, about our country or anything, start and stop before the light even strikes their retinas.
    I’ve got three sons and god forbid that one of them maybe gay, but if one is, then I know there is a god for making my wife and I his parents and not some ignorant, hate-fixed automaton who validates themselves by aiming “it” outward rather then facing themselves. And for any homosexual living under such a roof in St George, or anywhere, our hearts quiver for you.

  • JAR March 17, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    excellent article Bryan. Some good comments too. Then again, there was a few- really out to lunch, demanding ‘Says Who?’ thinkers too. I could go on and mention the name of the first recorded ‘Says Who’ dude, but the ACLU would sue me for slander.
    Again thanks for the article Mr. Hyde.

  • Joanna March 18, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Ya know, I really like this St George News website b/c I feel like they really try to provide the community with quality information, but can we not do better in the editorial department? This guy is bringing down the curve for the whole website. As far as the opinions themselves, I couldn’t care less b/c everyone’s entitled to one, but what bugs me is the sophomoric fashion in which they’re presented. We have some brilliant minds here in the St. George area, but this writer is NOT representative of that. Take this statement, for example – “While it’s true that many marriages today are lacking the quality of sanctity, it’s also true that those that have it are successful.” Ummm, okay…? And he just leaves it at that. It would have been nice to provide some sort of quantitative evidence to support his statement. And I’m not sure if he knows the meaning the word “sophist”, but if so, allow me to introduce him to the “kettle”. Sheesh!

    • Bub March 18, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Some right-wingers have respectable opinions. Hyde just makes them all look like idiots. I think someday his column will be replaced with someone more thoughtful.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz March 18, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Actually the morality of Gay marriage is comparable to the morality of Straight marriage: It is morally and ethically preferable to encourage people toward monogamy and commitment, rather than relegating them to lives of loneliness and possibly promiscuity. So YES: Supporting marriage equality is the true conservative position.

    Studies have repeatedly shown that the benefits are substantial:
    1: Married couples typically contribute more and take less from society.
    2: Married couples support and care for each other financially, physically and emotionally and often contribute more to the economy and savings.
    3: Individuals who are married are less likely to receive government entitlements.
    4: Individuals who are married statistically consume less health care services, and often give more to churches and charities.
    5: Married couples are better able to provide care and security for children.

    So what sense does it make to exclude law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples from this place at the table? Why is it, for example, that Straight couples are encouraged to date, get engaged, marry and build lives together in the context of monogamy and commitment, and that this is a GOOD thing … yet for Gay couples to do exactly the same is somehow a BAD thing? To me this seems like a very poor value judgment.

    Couples do not need to marry to have children, nor is the ability or even desire to have children a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license. There are also countless Gay individuals and couples who are raising adopting children into healthy, well-adjusted adulthood.

    As Judge Vaughn Walker said in the decision on California’s Prop. 8 Case: “Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriages.” It was a view shared by the courts in the Golinski case against DOMA, where a Bush appointee in the Northern District of California concurred: “The exclusion of same-sex couples from the federal definition of marriage does nothing to encourage or strengthen opposite-sex marriages.”

  • Sweet Jude March 19, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    isn’t it a coincidence that when Bryan writes an article, all the gays and lesbians jump on his bandwagon to comment their brains out. He doesn’t care about anyone but the drunk, the pornographer, the child molester, and yes, the sick gay / lesbian lifestyle that he calls moral. I wonder what Bryan’s children think of him…

    As intriguing as it is, this specific demographic is always the one hiding under their roof, lying in seclusion, never taking responsibility for anything they do in life, and not daring to go out in public for fear they will be judged for being open. These same folks are on St. George news day and night. The rest of us are working, and looking after our families. But “they” could care less if they die fighting for their rights via keyboard and a mouse. Isn’t that absurd? 99% of the commenters have no clue what morality is – because they have no conscience. You lost it a long time ago. Does this 99% – Bryan’s followers, oh yes, and other lax people like Dallas Hyland, and Ed (I forgot his last name), those weak moralists who talk and talk and talk, but actually have gotten nowhere.. not to mention the weaklings who comment on here night and day, with no responsibilities – at home, or in the workforce – wouldn’t be saying these things in public if they encountered someone who does believe in morals. Indeed, the vast majority of people here know right from wrong.

    Interestingly, those who pretend to know what morals are counteract the true morals of society by using the exact same vocabulary words to defend their actions (when in reality they are opposite to what it is). I find that incredibly astonishing. They may fight all day long trying to send a message, but ultimately in the end there is a heavy price for all of them to pay. Yes, people are free to choose, but they cannot choose the consequences. Tell me if one of you is at peace with your own conscience. Tell me if one of you sick perverts is happy. Can you look someone else in the eye and say that? When that day comes, I’ll believe your mountainous spews of words.

    • JJ March 19, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      You can call yourself “moral” all you want, but when everything that comes out of your mouth is filled with hate and disgust, and your words are condescending and self-righteous, then your morals are beneath all of the types of people you just mentioned. You’re not the moral authority just because you think you are. Disgusting post.

  • Ex-Mormon May 8, 2014 at 3:34 am

    Drink more Kool-Aid.

  • St. George Resident July 16, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    People like you are the reason “talk-radio” has gone from bad to worse.

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