Michael Horton illuminates a point I keep trying to make to my fellow conservatives about the moral and theological reason for why same-sex marriage makes so much sense to younger people, such that they can’t imagine why older Christians object. Excerpt:

Both sides trade Bible verses, while often sharing an unbiblical—secularized—theological framework at a deeper level. If God exists for our happiness and self-fulfillment, validating our sovereign right to choose our identity, then opposition to same-sex marriage (or abortion) is just irrational prejudice.

Given the broader worldview that many Americans (including Christians) embrace—or at least assume, same-sex marriage is a right to which anyone is legally entitled. After all, traditional marriages in our society are largely treated as contractual rather than covenantal, means of mutual self-fulfillment more than serving a larger purpose ordained by God. The state of the traditional family is so precarious that one wonders how same-sex marriage can appreciably deprave it.

Same-sex marriage makes sense if you assume that the individual is the center of the universe, that God—if he exists—is there to make us happy, and that our choices are not grounded in a nature created by God but in arbitrary self-construction. To the extent that this sort of “moralistic-therapeutic-deism” prevails in our churches, can we expect the world to think any differently? If we treat God as a product we sell to consumers for their self-improvement programs and make personal choice the trigger of salvation itself, then it may come as a big surprise (even contradiction) to the world when we tell them that truth (the way things are) trumps feelings and personal choice (what we want to make things to be).

Yes. Yes. This. Horton has said this so clearly, and illuminates, for Christians at least, the core theological issue at the center of the SSM discussion. Plus, this:

The secularist mantra, “You can’t legislate morality,” is a shibboleth. Defenders of same-sex marriage moralize as much as anyone. They appeal to dogmas like freedom of choice, individualism, love, respect, acceptance (not, tolerance, mind you, but acceptance), and excoriate religiously traditional opponents as hypocritical in failing to follow the loving example of Jesus. The agenda is plainly as ethical as any other. Whatever is decided at state and federal levels, a certain version of morality will most certainly be legislated.

Absolutely. Outside of procedural and administrative law, the law is about nothing else but legislating morality. The law if a moral vision (not necessarily a religious one) codified. There is no such thing as neutrality here. A position of seeming neutrality is a positive position. Can we just recognize that, and stop pretending?
What conservative Christians do not (yet) grasp is how, in allowing the integrity of our own theological self-understanding to decay into MTD — something you can observe widely within Christian circles, even if SSM never comes up — we have allowed the conceptual foundation for traditional marriage to badly erode. No wonder our house, so to speak, is being washed away in the cultural tide. Horton again:
How would someone who believes that sin is unhappiness and salvation is having “your best life now” make a good argument against same-sex marriage? There is simply no way of defending traditional marriage within the narrative logic that apparently most Christians—much less non-Christians—presuppose regardless of their position on this issue.
Please, read his entire essay.
(H/T: That Philly theologian.)