Ryan T. Anderson
Regnery Publishing, 2015
Reviewed by Campbell Markham
Dr Anderson is a young magna cum laude Princeton lawyer-scholar. He draws his thinking from the deep wells of Catholic heritage, and has become arguably America’s strongest and clearest defender of marriage.
Truth Overruled was released within weeks of the U.S. Supreme Court’s five/four decision to strike down State legislatures’ bans on same sex “marriage”. It is a remarkably clear, interesting, and comprehensive analysis of the decision and its likely consequences. If marriage is redefined in Australia, it will be done by our legislators or by referendum. The book nevertheless has a great deal to teach us as we continue our own fight.
Anderson outlines a magnificent defence of marriage, showing how good
government marriage policy binds together men and women and the children that the
y bear. Not only is the Supreme Court’s decision bad constitutional law, it weakens marriage culture and further exposes the most vulnerable—the poor, women, and children—to the social and economic strains of lone parenting. Likewise, it institutionalises the distressing blight of premeditated fatherlessness and motherlessness.
Truth Overruled is however refreshingly optimistic. Just as the Trinitarian and Christological debates of the fourth century gave rise to a far richer understanding of the Bible’s teaching about God, so through this debate the Church has the opportunity to rediscover and explicate the profound riches that inhere in God’s gift of marriage, sex, and family.
The damage to these institutions has been done over many decades, and the recovery will take much longer. But because “Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a father and a mother,” Dr Anderson is confident that truth will win out in the end.
“If you care about social justice, if you care about the poor or about freedom, you should care about a strong marriage culture.” Ryan Anderson’s book is certain to be a significant weapon in the good fight.
Campbell Markham is pastor of Cornerstone Church and Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Tasmania.