Joe Rogan, Matt Walsh, and the Duty of Having Kids

I caught some of the recent interview between Matt Walsh and Joe Rogan. The last third of their exchange is where the action picked up. Rogan easily agreed with Walsh about the folly of transgenderism. But when gay marriage and the duty of procreation came up, there was a collision of worldviews. It was particularly gripping to listen to Rogan’s analysis which was as modern as these iced over roads out here in Idaho are slick. My guess is that the majority of Americans in their 60s and under agree with Rogan’s general sentiment that people have a right to play the whole marriage and procreation thing however they’d like. And that sentiment is one of the key reasons that our civilization is in the soup.

Rogan’s take is that gay marriage doesn’t damage straight marriage. He cannot understand how two men getting hitched changes a bond that Walsh has with his wife. He conceives of marriage in subjective terms. It is simply a man-made institution. Gay marriage cannot be wrong because it is a personal choice that doesn’t impact the personal marriages of straight people. Along these lines, he does not believe procreation is a duty of wedlock so the married who want to travel, read, and hit the art scene without the hassle of children are free to do so.

Now in the first place, it must be robustly affirmed that traveling, reading, and looking at art are all wonderful activities. And they are even more fun with children. Yes, children are work. No, life is not better without them. Yes, it is a good idea to go on a date night without the kids so you can look at the art without changing diapers and such. But any married couples who intentionally forgo children entirely in order to travel the world, spending their strength and energy only on themselves, do what is contrary to nature, fruitfulness, and happiness. 

In the second place, the outright self-centeredness of Rogan’s analysis pierces the ear like the furious toddler at Walmart who is sounding off like an off key bagpipe at the dedication of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. This young lad’s mother has finally put her foot down and little man will not be getting the full size Power Ranger that he had his heart set on. One wants to ask Rogan (and again he is largely representative of the modern mind), “Are you not at all a fan of the human race?” I know we have our problems. But do you really want to be the proponent of the ethical system that says, “Ah, forget about peopling the earth, we’ve got art to see.” Don’t you know who makes that art? People. Don’t you know who flies the plane so you can take that trip to the Bahamas? People. No people, soon and very soon, no one to open the doors at that downtown coffee shop where you like to do your reading.

In the third position, we must come down to a definition of marriage. Rogan says that it is a subjective, man-made institution. And that is the fundamental error. If we made marriage up, then perhaps we could do whatever we’d like to with it. But we didn’t make it up. Moses tells us, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). Our Lord himself said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6).

The ground level truth is God simply does not join a man and another man in marriage. They can take the vows. They can sign the papers. But there is no marriage because God simply doesn’t do that kind of thing.

Going back to Rogan’s take then. He doesn’t see the problem with two men getting married. He doesn’t think it harms heterosexual marriage. Well, in one sense he is right. The knock-off cannot harm the genuine article. Same-sex marriage is no marriage at all. The only real marriage that exists is the kind that God himself instituted. And the man-made thing won’t outlast the God-ordained thing. Even so, the problems are manifold when a society agrees to pretend that gay marriage is real. Perhaps I can illustrate one of those problems with the following illustration.

Rogan has been heavily involved in the UFC, the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization. Now imagine that we set up that iconic cage, deck out the mat with the UFC logo, arrange the stadium, music, and commentators in UFC fashion, but when the main event comes, the men who take to the ring are ballet dancers dressed in hot pink tutus who proceed to dance one of the best Nutcracker’s you have ever seen. At the conclusion of this performance, we all agree that what we have just witnessed is genuine UFC. Some of the best UFCing we’ve ever seen. If that kind of rhetoric caught on, could we really say that all is well with the UFC? I don’t see how the UFC Swan Lake 2023 harms that big upcoming UFC fight at Madison Square Garden.

It stands to reason that the founders and president of the UFC get to determine the nature of the UFC. And so it is with marriage, a divine institution.

Those who establish an institution also determine its purpose. And God has done just that with marriage. He told us in the beginning, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). The duty of procreation comes with wedlock. And this is no harm to our liberty. The self-centered spirit of the age insists that children are nothing but a hassle. But the Christian witness runs in the opposite direction. God has not only told us to be fruitful. He has promised us in Christ that great blessing comes with them—

“They shall not build, and another inhabit; They shall not plant, and another eat: For as the days of a tree are the days of my people, And mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, Nor bring forth for trouble; For they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, And their offspring with them” (Isaiah 65:22-23).