Aaron Taylor of Ethika Politika doesn’t think secular/natural law arguments for “traditional” marriage work because they assume a Christian teleology:
So many attempts by Christians to present a defense of traditional marriage in “non-religious terms” fail abysmally. Arguments presented in non-religious language often rely on a whole series of presumptions which are incomprehensible to non-Christians, and just because you’ve managed to make a case without the explicit use of theological terminology, it does not mean that a case has been made that is actually understandable and convincing to anyone except other Christians.
Incomprehensible to non-Christians? Hardly.
In 1984, as Winston is undergoing “reeducation,” he resists, albeit temporarily, by appealing to “something in the universe—I don’t know, some spirit, some principle” of absolute, universal truth that would obstruct the totalitarian regime. Winston is not a man of God, probably having never been taught about God, but he is instinctively sympathetic to a unified natural order that rejects the inherently flawed designs of man on his world.
Many secular people’s life experiences forbid them from ignoring the falseness of the lies they’ve been sold, and they are ripe to be ministered to. Nevertheless, asking them to accept an explicitly Christian teleology—a radical proposition—still causes them to shy away from the ultimate truth. They end up choosing the devil they know over the Jesus they don’t. In other words, despite knowing better, they cling to their (secular) religion.
Taylor is right in one aspect: If marriage traditionalists’ endgame is only to convince people that marriage is one-man, one-woman, they will fail. The “marriage equality” movement’s pathology runs deeper than this single issue. In their heart of hearts they believe man is the measure of all things. We have to attack their premises. By attacking their premises, we change their lives, and oh, by the way, we change their minds about marriage.
For Christian disciples, that means more than offering Jesus as an alternative premise. It means first undoing people’s flawed premises to create a void that Jesus naturally fills. Consider the Apostle Paul’s opening statement to the Athenians:
As I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.