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Friday, May 18, 2012

"How Will That Affect YOU?"

It's the question du jour. "You want to defend marriage. You want to keep its traditional, longstanding definition. But why? How will it affect you if the definition changes? WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?"

I just looked back over my own blog history. On no less than 10 occasions* I've written about how changing marriage's definition would affect me. Some people like to think that the question has been asked, not answered, and that the silence is telling. I'm raising my hand here and saying, "I haven't been silent on the topic!"

And now I have three more components to add to what I've already said. How will redefining "marriage" from its traditional, longstanding definition of "the union of a man and a woman" to "some sort of vague, unsubstantial union of two people regardless of gender" make any difference to me? Here are some more effects.

Look around. It's happening abroad. It's happening here in America. People who hold to certain principles regarding the defense of marriage, the sanctity of marriage, and the morality of homosexual behavior are already facing consequences. A motivational speaker was fired not because he was talking about the topic, but because someone found out he held views about the topic and was, therefore, not allowed to speak. A photographer in New Mexico was sued and lost because she didn't want to provide the services of her private business to a homosexual "commitment ceremony". An Australian psychiatrist was removed from an Australian panel on diversity not because he had a diverse view, but because he had a view opposed to the concept of "gay marriage". (I can hear it now. "I'm sorry, Professor George. We cannot allow someone with a diverse view on this topic to serve on a panel about diversity. The only diversity we're interested in is the diversity that we favor. You'll have to go.") Just this week boxer Manny Pacquiao was banned from a Los Angeles mall because he expressed disagreement with President Obama's position on "gay marriage". It seems abundantly clear that the progression is this: 1) "Marriage has a traditional meaning and we need to keep it." 2) "Some people disagree that marriage has a traditional meaning, so we need to defend it." 3) "More people disagree that marriage has a traditional meaning, so we won't defend it anymore." 4) "Those who hold to the traditional meaning of marriage are certainly outdated and likely need to be outlawed." Extreme? I'd like to think so. The evidence suggests otherwise. As is quite clear from many sources, if you stand to defend the historic definition of marriage, you will face all the hate and venom of the "pro-tolerance" and "anti-hate" crowd, and it will get ugly.

A really big effect is illustrated in the reverse question: Why do those who classify themselves as homosexuals want to redefine marriage for their own relationships? You see, in many states (and it seems inevitable that eventually it would be in all states) they already have "civil unions" which already provide for them all the rights that marriage provides. If they already have official recognition, why the need to call it "marriage"? Clearly the aim is to continue to the next logical step -- the dismantling of marriage. No, that's not what they say. What they want is to "normalize" their relationship, to make it acceptable and moral. But that's just the start. I do say "the next logical step" and I've pointed out before that we've been in this process for some time. But if we can strip off "the union of a man and a woman" and replace it with "a vague, unsubstantial union of two people", it's another step away from "marriage" as it originally was intended. Now, of course, this is a big problem to me because I see in biblical marriage a huge connection between the earthly concept and the heavenly parallel. (That is, if marriage is the image of Christ's relationship to the Church, and "marriage" is a tenuous, merely emotional connection that can be dropped at any moment for any reason, what does that say about Christ's relationship to the Church?) But beyond this, if "marriage" can be shifted from its historic man-woman procreational structure to "whatever private feelings I might have", what other private feelings will the courts and legislatures need to affirm simply because some have them? "I love my dog; I should be allowed to marry my dog." "I love this guy and that girl; we should be allowed to be married." You disagree??! Be careful. You'll have to find some basis for it, and the principles of "separation of Church and State" and "marriage equity" being bandied about will remove that basis.

The third effect I'll add to my list is brought into the light in the redefinition of marriage. If marriage is no longer defined as the historic "union of a man and a woman for purposes of procreation and commitment", what will it be defined as? Indeed, will it have a definition? We're already moving away from "procreation" and even "commitment" and now "a man and a woman". Now it's becoming "some relationship between some people". By shifting the definition, we shift toward no definition. The suggestion is (and it's already on the table for many) that there is no real purpose for marriage at all. (Look at the statistics for divorce, for birth rates, for percentages of kids born to unmarried mothers, and so on.) We're not moving toward "marriage equity". We're moving toward "marriage antiquity", toward the end of marriage. It is being replaced with "whatever I want". And that cannot, ultimately, be a good thing.

Again, as I've said repeatedly, this is a major question with major ramifications. It is not about the morality of homosexual sex. That question is down the road from this one. It's about marriage, its definition, and, ultimately, its end. If we actually want "marriage equity", we need to retain the longstanding, traditional definition and then give that same opportunity to anyone that wants it. Taking away that definition and then giving the resulting empty box to anyone that wants it is not "marriage equity". It may be "equity", but it's is the equality of nothingness. That's pointless ... at best.
* A list of the entries on the effects of changing the definition of marriage:
What's the Difference? - May, 2008
A Failure to Communicate - June, 2008
Counting the Cost - July, 2008
Expensive Change - July, 2008
Amending Marriage - October, 2008
Amending Marriage II - November, 2008
Marriage and Me - January, 2010
What Difference Does It Make? - June, 2011
One More Thing - July, 2011
The Cost of Compromise - April, 2012


Craig said...

I heard an interesting argument on the radio the other day. The host was arguing, essentially, that by redefining marriage you open the door to redefining gender.

Stan said...

I'm not sure I see the connection, but I certainly don't disagree. I've already heard multiple sources explaining that we've already redefined gender. There are males who are males and females who are females. There are males who are females and females who are males. And, of course, there are males and females who are without gender. Beyond that, there is another side to the discussion that takes the egalitarian perspective to its logical conclusion and suggests there are no genders at all. Add to that the radicals who suggest that there are genders, but only one has any significance (hint: female).

But, don't worry, folks, this won't affect your lives. Just go on about your business.

Craig said...

I believe the point was that if we redefine marriage between one man/one woman and marriage between two men/two women as equal, then the logical conclusion is that men and women are the same (or interchangeable). I'm not totally sure I buy the conclusion, but it was certainly an interesting take.

BTW, have you seen the Dan Savage comments that throw out the one part of marriage that is still good (fidelity). As much as some folks don't want to admit it the next words on the chopping block are fidelity and monogamy. Because I'm sure aware of the eloquent and convincing argument that the only thing standing between gays and monogamy is marriage. ;)

Stan said...

I'm with you. I don't necessarily buy the logical train. On the other hand, I believe the intent is still present.

As for fidelity, I've already read homosexual sources that indicate that "fidelity" and "monogamy" are radically redefined in the homosexual realm. They mean more of a "serial monogamy", where they are "faithful" to their "spouse" ... as long as the spouse is present. Away on a trip (for instance)? No one would expect you to be celibate in that situation. (And that's not "fidelity" or "monogamy".)

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I haven't seen the follow-up, but last year an Illinois B&B refused to host a "civil union" on its property and they had a complaint filed against them to the Human Rights Commission. Did it affect them?

Remember when e-harmony dating had to provide services for same-sex dating? Did it affect them?

A Kodak employee responded to e-mails about "coming out day" by asking that they not be sent to him because he found it "disgusting and offensive." Kodak ordered him to apologize or be fired - he selected to be fired. Did it affect him?

Sandia National Labs employees were asked to remove photos of their wives and children because they offended "homosexuals" who weren't allowed to marry. Did it affect them?

I have a large list of these types of things which prove that same-sex fake marriage affects all of us in a negative manner.

Stan said...

I heard about a B&B in the UK that refused to allow unmarried couples to share a room. When an unmarried homosexual couple tried, then, they were refused. They sued and the B&B owner lost. I hadn't heard about the Illinois account.

And, of course, it is abundantly clear that anyone who holds that marriage is the union of a man and a woman will receive the unmitigated wrath of those who disagree, so obviously that will be an effect.

I'm quite baffled these days when they try to convince me that it will have no effect when the simple fact that there is so much furor over the whole thing has such a major effect. So, we've redefined "tolerance" to mean "the approval of what I do even if you disagree" and "judgmental" now means "if it's you, but not me doing the judgment". They're trying to redefine marriage. I guess we'll also need to redefine "effect" as something like "if it agrees with me and disagrees with you, you are not allowed to recognize any effect". I don't know. It's getting really complicated.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I tried to find more on that Illinois B&B case, but I guess from what I found they have gone beyond the HR complaint and now suing.

As I said, I have lots of these examples which I compiled for my old social commentary blog that I shut down a few months ago.