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However, it is important to understand that evangelical commitments to both the pro-life cause and the preservation of traditional marriage are not contrary to those broader counter-cultural concerns. Rather, they fit into that social agenda quite neatly. More than that, if Lewis and Tolkien are correct, the heart of that social vision is not an ethic of the land or economics or sustainability. It's marriage, understood as both the private union of a man and woman and the larger social vision implied by the imagery of marriage; of a community united together in formally-recognized union and relating to one another in an affectionate, fertile way. Such an ethic is good for all areas of life, but it is premised on a certain understanding of marriage. And if we move away from that, we're moving away from far more than sexual norms.

Jake Meador blogs at Notes From a Small Place. This article first appeared at Mere Orthodoxyand is reprinted with permission of the author.

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