Tampa, Fla., Aug 30, 2012 / 04:01 am (CNA).- Pastors from across the country have come together to form an organization celebrating the important role of marriage and encouraging Christians to take action in support of it.
“For us to remain silent is for us to give consent to the belief that traditional marriage can be redefined,” said William Owens, Jr., founder of We Celebrate Marriage.
“This is not a time in our generation to be silent.”
We Celebrate Marriage welcomes families and organizations who want to witness to the truth of marriage as being an important and timeless institution founded by God rather than government.
The group is seeking to “defend the family union” by establishing scientific and social evidence that fathers and mothers each make unique contributions to their children and that marriage is important in transmitting cultural and moral values to future generations.
Warning that without immediate action, marriage will be drastically reshaped, the organization is attempting to promote the truths about marriage to elected officials and to encourage Christians to speak out in defense of it.
Three generations of Owens men spoke about the importance of marriage at an Aug. 29 press conference during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Rev. Bill Owens, Sr., founder of the Coalition of African American Pastors, explained that the organization opposes a redefinition of marriage for reasons of both faith and family.
“It will be many years before we know the profound effects of what same-sex marriage will bring,” he said.
“I don't think there's any issue more important in our society today than same-sex marriage,” Rev. Owens emphasized. He encouraged Christians to align themselves “with leaders who stand for marriage,” regardless of their political party.
“We should stand together on the issue of marriage,” he said.
David Owens, the son of William and grandson of Bill, also spoke at the press conference, offering his personal testimony about the value of being raised by a mother and a father.
“It wasn't always perfect,” he acknowledged. “We had our arguments. There were rough times.”
“But at the end of the day, everyone came together,” he explained, adding that his parents were critical in forming him with strong moral standards.
The contribution of both a mother and a father showed him “how to carry myself, how to be a gentleman, how to treat a young lady, how to be around my peers and make a difference in the world,” he said.
The press conference also included comments from pastors from across the country, along with former NFL player Burgess Owens. The speakers explained that the family is the most basic entity of society, and the success of a culture is dependent upon the health of the families within it.
Marriage is a covenant of love and part of the natural order, they said, and it cannot be remade into something that it was not intended to be.
We Celebrate Marriage is now working to launch a nationwide initiative to celebrate marriage and raise awareness about its importance.
The organization recently launched a website, www.wecelebratemarriage.com, to offer information and gain support for its efforts. In addition to a petition recognizing the importance of marriage, it is planning a national tour, radio ads, cultural outreach efforts, concerts and live streaming events to support marriage in the coming months.
Owens, Jr., cautioned that the legalization of “gay marriage” could lead churches and pastors to face heavy fines, jail time and the loss of nonprofit privileges.
If Christians do not speak up now in defense of marriage, he warned, “this very well could play out in not so distant future.”