Dr. Matthew Franck moderated a panel between Dr. Matthew O’Brien and Jennifer Marshall on these two respective talks:
Matthew O’Brien, Ph.D. Collegium Institute
From Pastoral Care to Therapeutic Affirmation: How Redefining Marriage Became so Important to University Culture
In ten short years since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, the support for redefining marriage in order to endorse homosexual relationships has gone from being the preserve of a small cultural fringe to functioning as the shibboleth for admission to the mainstream of “humane” intellectual culture. Since this decision was made in the 1960’s universities have abandoned a commitment to pastoral care of their students and have replaced it instead with a notion of therapeutic neutrality. Instead of being encouraged in virtue, students are now taught to be “authentic” to whatever their heterogeneous desires happen to be, so long as they don’t infringe upon the right of others to be similarly authentic.
Although this program is officially committed only to uncontroversial ideas about fairness, it conceals contestable moral assumptions about human nature and society. Before supporters of traditional morality can effectively witness to the truth of their convictions, they need to understand the ways in which these cultural developments shape the possibilities for moral argument and consensus.
Jennifer Marshall, The Heritage Foundation
Moving Forward: What You Can Do to Change the Future of the Marriage Debate
Americans should be free as individuals and in our associations to witness to the truth about marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Redefining marriage presents conflicts for religious believers and institutions. But it also disserves the public good, especially the welfare of children, and undermines the rationale for marriage policy in the first place. To advance the common good and protect religious liberty, a robust and publicly accessible argument for marriage as the union of a man and a woman is needed now more than ever. It’s not that this case has been heard and rejected—in too many cases it has never been heard. Here’s what’s being done to change this—and what you can do.