Here are some of my recommendations for books on marriage, sex, and family for those who would spend serious time thinking deeply about what marriage is, how we came to the point of its overthrow, and what the future might hold. Most available in e-editions.
Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George. What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. Encounter Books, 2012.
Being a human affair, marriage is a natural entity before it’s a religious matter. The authors make a purely rational, non-religious argument for natural marriage grounded in reason and history as a comprehensive union of will and body ordered to procreation and the broad sharing of life, involving permanent and exclusive commitment.
Pope Paul VI, On Human Life: Humanae Vitae. Ignatius Press, 2014
Ignatius Press presents Fr. Marc A. Caligari’s 1998 translation of Paul VI’s controverted encyclical with Mary Eberstadt’s fine essay “The Vindication of Humanae Vitae” serving as a forward. James Hitchcock provides “A Historical Afterword” and former atheist turned Catholic-blogger-speaker-apologist Jennifer Fulwiler provides a postscript entitled “We’re Finally Ready for Humanae Vitae”. The additional material makes the volume most useful for discussion and study.
Mary Eberstadt, Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution. Ignatius Press, 2013.
Eberstadt, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, provides us with a collection of essays worked into a coherent book dealing with the dynamics of technological and social change on sexuality and their effects on men, women, children, and young adults.
• Anthony Esolen, Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity. Saint Benedict Press, 2014.
Many people assume same-sex marriage affects no one outside of those who choose to enter such legal unions. Esolen, professor of literature and translator of Dante, shows how same-sex marriage will change society and culture on a deep level by its effects on things such as friendship, freedom, the relationship between the sexes, and children.
• Robert R. Reilly, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything. Ignatius Press, 2014.
Against those who would assert that acceptance of the gay agenda is no big deal, Reilly demonstrates not only that the acceptance of homosexuality is changing human society at a fundamental level but also through copious quotes that radical change to the fabric of human existence has been gay activists’ desired endgame.
Ryan T. Anderson, Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom. Regnery, 2015.
Anderson, a Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, has done more to defend natural marriage in the public realm than any other figure. After Obergefell, he provides us with a road map for living with—and resisting—its consequences.