Book Review

Defending Marriage: Twelve arguments for sanity

by Anthony Esolen
Saint Benedict Press
ISBN 978-1618906045

Book CoverThis is a wonderful book. The author turns to literature and history in order to put forward his twelve reasons for defending traditional marriage. He has recourse to reason and not faith. However, it is a deeply Christian work.

Among the many common sense points he makes, some appear more central than others. If we are to defend traditional marriage, we need to recover the virtues. We cannot condone every form of consensual activity among adults. Free consent does not always guarantee that what is done is right.

The welfare of children is paramount says the author. The state ought never to have been given the unrestricted power to re-define marriage. There is a certain irony in that the people who do not want the state to interfere with their private lives are the very ones who request state intervention.

Dr Esolen argues that if marriage is re-defined, what is there to stop us from accepting polygamy. Ultimately the re-definition of marriage leads to its destruction. But this is surely what some of the activists want.

Dr Esolen does not blame any particular group for the current turmoil in our understanding of marriage. What we now witness is the natural consequence of the sexual revolution and no-fault divorce. This is an excellent defence of traditional marriage