You may have seen the family movie and you might know of the Miami football team, but have you heard of her Majesty's frigate? HMS Dolphin was a twenty four gun ship that first served in the Seven Years War against the French (1756-63) and then, as a survey ship, was the first vessel to circumnavigate the world twice. The Dolphin explored the Pacific to expand the British Empire and to find new routes to the East Indies. Her captain, John 'Mad Jack' Byron, was the father of Lord George Byron, England's promiscuous poet. In 1767 the Dolphin dropped anchor in Tahiti. The islanders welcomed the English with a canoe attack and a storm of stones, to which the British replied by sending their carpenters ashore to cut the Tahitian's beached canoes in half. Friendlier relations developed when it became apparent to the British that the local women were eager to exchange sex for the Dolphin's iron nails. Typical of sailors far from home, the crew enjoyed this tropical trade exuberantly and ebulliently. But there is a twist in this tale, for the iron nails were not excess to the expedition but held together the ship's hull and beams. Every nail removed from the ship to exchange for sex diminished the ship's integrity and threatened her with sinking.
This is a cautionary tale for Western civilization. It's one thing for colonists to cut other people's canoes in half; but quite another for a crew to sink what makes you sail. Remove the foundation and your house falls. Undermine what makes families strong and you'll find society sinking in sexual confusion. Take out the creational and covenantal 'nails' that define the goal and gender of marriage and which hold humanity to its highest and holiest expression of love, and you are left with a society all at sea, with no way of building or being the home God has decreed and which childen need. This is a Dolphin tale worth telling.