“The divorce laws (in the 1970’s)…were reformed by unrepresentative groups with very particular agendas of their own and which were not in step with public opinion.” (Changes in the law preceded the cultural shift, as) “Public attitudes were gradually dragged along behind laws that were generally understood at the time to mean something very different from what they subsequently came to represent.”
The Sex Change Society
A culled this quote from the January issue of Chronicles magazine. (A magazine by the way that I highly recommend for those who want to be able to rightly interpret cultural phenomena.) The reason I am posting it here is for a couple reason. First, in the article in which it appears the author is using the quote to support that a far greater problem in our culture than homosexuality, pornography, and abortion is the advent of the culture of divorce. The case is made that if we were really serious about protecting the family we would spend some time reviewing how divorce laws were changed so as to make divorce more acceptable and easier to attain. Naturally, we spend more time talking about other issues because we dare not talk about the problem of divorce since so many people we know are divorced. Now, naturally we need to be sensitive to the many people who have been wrongly injured by divorce but we are doing them no favors by not seeking to create a culture where monogamy is esteemed and divorce is once again seen as taboo.
But there is another reason I cite this quote and that is how it reveals that often law shapes a people. The reason I want to make that point is that I was having a conversation with a good friend who insisted that law only reflects the conviction of a culture. In other words he was arguing that law never shapes a people but rather is the consequence of a people who have already been shaped in a particular direction. Now, there is a strong argument for this position but I am still inclined to think that law is both a reflection of a people who have been shaped in a particular direction and is a tool by which a people are shaped. Note in the quote that some elites got out ahead of the public opinion and using positions of influence (whether from Think Tanks, University chairs, or well financed Foundation positions) they were able to seize the levers of the legislative apparatus and pass laws that were contrary to the Majority consensus of the citizenry. These laws in turned shaped a succeeding generation to willingly accept as normal the policy that they put in concrete. Now, certainly the laws passed were a reflection of the elite gatekeepers convictions but only after the laws were passed, over the course of time, did the policy in those laws become reflective of the conviction of the citizenry. Thus, I would submit that we see that law is both a reflection of a people’s conviction and a tool to create a people’s conviction.
I would submit the implication of this is that should we desire to see Reformation in our culture we must likewise do, in reverse, what the elites have done in using law as a tool to change people’s minds in the direction of cultural Marxism. In doing so we will be using law to reflect how we have been shaped by God’s Law-Word and we will be attempting to use the legislative apparatus as a means to see people shaped in a God-ward direction.