Analysis of Charles Colson's Essay on Gay Marriage

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In his essay titled “Gay Marriage: Societal Suicide,” Charles Colson talks about his reasons for opposing same-sex marriage. The essays’ main argument is built around Colson’s belief that legalizing same-sex marriage would lead to the decoupling of marriage, and ultimately result in what he describes as: “an explosive increase in family collapse, out of wedlock births - and crime.” Colson shares his personal experiences as a prison minister, various studies, statistics, and real world examples to elucidate the reasons behind his controversial stance on marital rights.

Although the essay provides a variety of different types of evidence to illustrate Colson’s position on the subject, it is through sharing his personal experiences from working thirty years as a prison minister that he gains credibility on the subject. Colson shares with the reader how he was a first hand witness to what he calls, “the disastrous consequences of family breakdown - in the lives of thousands of delinquents.” His personal accounts are supplemented by shocking statistics and studies done to gauge the impact of family breakdown on youth, specifically males. Among these statistics, Colson lists that: “Boys who grow up without fathers are twice as likely as other boys to end up in prison, and sixty percent of rapists and 72 percent of adolescent murderers never knew or lived with their fathers, and girls raised without a father in the home are five times more likely to become mothers while still adolescents.” He continues to mention additional studies which illustrate the link between children who come from broken homes and the development of behavioral problems and poor academic performance throughout the child’s lifetime.

While the evidence provided by Colson effectively demonstrates the existence of a direct correlation between criminal activity and broken families, there is little information present to allow the reader to directly link the evidence presented as being applicable...
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