Marriage: Why It Matters

I’m astonished – and gratified – that today, the California Supreme Court recognized its responsibility to uphold the law.

The vast majority of my Facebook friends are predictably aghast, and the whole issue is likely to return to the ballot box, where, eventually, defenders of traditional marriage will lose. This issue has moved beyond the realms of an activist judiciary and into the ballot box, where traditional marriage opponents have managed to frame the issue as one of fundamental civil rights. Americans are a tolerant, kind, and essentially decent people, and those who would redefine marriage have managed to exploit that good will to bypass critical thought on an issue that matters more than just about anything else.

It matters more than high taxes or high deficits; it matters more than what the military is doing; it matters more than just about anything else that any government anywhere can possibly inflict on us.

This is the erosion of the foundational principles of civilization, and by the time that is universaly recognized, it may be too late to save it.

In terms of the language, we’ve already lost the battle, and most likely the war. Every time someone says “gay people can’t get married,” they’re not telling the truth. I think very few of them are openly lying; most are simply mistaken. But when I say, as I have on this blog numerous times, that gay people can get married anywhere, anytime, anywhere, people look at me like I’m nuts. It never occurs to them that accepting the premise that homosexuals are somehow banned from marrying requires them to abandon any fixed definition of marriage.

Suppose, for instance, that I were to complain that I have no right to sing. You might scoff, but I would insist that it’s true – Simon, Randy, Paula, and that new chick won’t even give me the time of day. The more we talked, the sooner you’d realize that I define “singing” as “performing on American Idol,” and you would point out that they’re very different things. Not so, I say – we’re all singers, and it’s just not fair that some singers and younger, more talented, and better looking than I am – why should they get to go on Idol, and I can’t? For that matter, why should Kris Allen get to win the thing, and not Adam Lambert? I still think Melinda Doolittle was better than all of them, and she came in third two years ago!

This analogy is deeply flawed, but the premise is that I don’t get to choose what “singing” means when I complain about how my right to sing is being denied. Yet the Left has convinced even many who disagree with them that the word “marriage” no longer means what it has always meant – a unique relationship between a man and a woman who stand at the head of a family. No one’s civil rights are being denied here. A gay man is still a man – should he choose to find a woman to join him at the head of a family, he has as much right to enter into a marriage as any other man on the planet. We’re not talking about seperate water fountains or sitting in the back of the bus. The institution of marriage is what it is; we choose whether or not we want to participate.

So what happens when gay men don’t want to be shackled to a woman to whom they are not physically attracted? They demand the rules be changed. They won’t come to the institution of marriage; they demand that marriage come to them. They have a right – not just to marry, which they’ve had all along, but the right to determine what marriage is. And by conceding that somehow something has been denied to them, we who support traditional marriage unwittingly throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Folks, marriage is not solely an expression of love. It provides the most basic structure in which we live our lives – the family. Since the beginning of recorded history, human society has acknowledged that the ideal circumstances involved in the raising of children involve a mommy and a daddy. Marriage provides that framework. It also tames men into caring for their children and eschewing multiple sex partners, things for which they are not biologically hardwired. Marriage requires considerable sacrifice from both parties. It is not trophy or a shiny toy. It is a demanding institution that often requires us to do things which are difficult, uncomfortable, and unpleasant – because that’s often what your spouse or your child needs you to do.

When did marriage become the equivelant of getting pinned, of going steady, of going to the prom?

Implicit in the assumption that marriage can be redefined is the assumption that both a mommy and a daddy are unnecessary. Two mommies is the same thing. Two daddies are the same thing. Maybe three daddys – or one mommy. (Most single mothers will still concede just how daunting a task it is to raise a child without a father.) Or no parents at all – let the state raise your kids!

These concepts would have been unthinkable fifty years ago. Now, they’re part of the mainstream.

I know the names that are coming for those who disagree. I’m a bigot; I’m a homophobe; I’m filled with hate. You learn to live with that kind of scorn. This is an issue that has now passed outside the realms of rational discourse, so no one realizes just how shaky the intellectual premise of “gay marriage” is.

They will, though. It’s coming, and so are the inevitable consequences.

Eagles in Concert
Religion, Politics, and Holy Matrimony

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