There is an acquaintance of mine, and older lady who has been acquainted with my family for far longer than I’ve been alive. I am on her emailing list, and I think forwards take up a good portion of her daily life. Some are cute and funny, others are probably more enjoyable to the over-70 crowd, what with the saggy-boob jokes and all, and then there are the others. She forwards many things that have a, shall we say, leftist tendency. I love a good debate, but when someone’s claiming Moveon.org as their reference, there’s not a lot of logic or reason to pit myself against. I have asked her in the past to remove me from her list for such articles (and the men-are-stupid jokes), but apparently my email address crops up anyways…
So, with nothing left to do, I engage.
Today’s was an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by a Jonathan Rauch on the many ways gay marriage is good for America. You can read it in it’s entirety here.
… imagine your life without marriage. … imagine your first crush, first kiss, first date and first sexual encounter, all bereft of any hope of marriage as a destination for your feelings. …Imagine that in the law’s eyes you and your soul mate will never be more than acquaintances. ….What is this weird world like? It has more sex and less commitment than a world with marriage. It is a world of fragile families living on the shadowy outskirts of the law; a world marked by heightened fear of loneliness or abandonment in crisis or old age; a world in some respects not even civilized, because marriage is the foundation of civilization.
[On the argument for private contracts for legal matters]…No private transaction excuses you from testifying in court against your partner, or entitles you to Social Security survivor benefits, or authorizes joint tax filing, or secures U.S. residency for your partner if he or she is a foreigner….Marriage, remember, is not just a contract between two people. It is a contract that two people make, as a couple, with their community – which is why there is always a witness. Two people can’t go into a room by themselves and come out legally married. The partners agree to take care of each other so the community doesn’t have to. In exchange, the community deems them a family, binding them to each other and to society with a host of legal and social ties.
… Marriage makes you, on average, healthier, happier and wealthier. If you are a couple raising kids, marrying is likely to make them healthier, happier and wealthier, too. Marriage is our first and best line of defense against financial, medical and emotional meltdown …. its absence can be calamitous, whether in inner cities or gay ghettos.
… society has a powerful interest in recognizing and supporting same-sex couples. It will either fold them into marriage or create alternatives to marriage, such as publicly recognized and subsidized cohabitation. Conservatives often say same-sex marriage should be prohibited because it does not exemplify the ideal form of family. They should consider how much less ideal an example gay couples will set by building families and raising children out of wedlock.
Nowadays, even opponents of same-sex marriage generally concede it would be good for gay people. ….
….America needs more marriages, not fewer, and the best way to encourage marriage is to encourage marriage, which is what society does by bringing gay couples inside the tent. A good way to discourage marriage, on the other hand, is to tarnish it as discriminatory in the minds of millions of young Americans. Conservatives who object to redefining marriage risk redefining it themselves, as a civil-rights violation.
…gay souls and straight society are healthiest when sex, love and marriage all walk in step.
To which I had to reply:
Interesting op-ed. Of course, there is at least one thing I have to point out…
Marriage, remember, is not just a contract between two people. It is a contract that two people make, as a couple, with their community –
I think herein is where the author misses the point entirely. The religious conservatives in his bullseye view marriage very differently (at least, I do). Marriage is not a contract between a couple and their community. Marriage is a covenant, made between two people and God. And God is the one who came up with the ‘one man and one woman’ thing.
Please don’t misunderstand; what people do is their business. But when gays (or Marxists, or secularists, or pagans, or space aliens) want to redefine marriage so they can ‘feel like everyone else’ and gain some sort of recognition or legitimacy, then it stops being their personal choice and business. Their business morphs into a legally-sanctioned requirement for me to abandon my belief in the meaning and purpose of marriage and God’s order. Suddenly what was holy and sacred for me (marriage) is reduced to a community contract so Social Security benefits can be passed on.
Why do they pursue marriage so much? Why not limit the pursuit to a Community Contract of some sort? It is still problematic, but wouldn’t carry the added insult of basically blaspheming God’s plan for marriage. In CA this past week I heard a gal quoted: “we’re just like everyone else.” Um, no, you’re not. You’re seeking either a.) to call your relationship holy and sacred, which, by definition of The Definer, it can’t be, or b.) to reduce that which is holy and sacred to the ‘contract’ level. We Evil-Conservative-(Religious)-Hatemongers have a problem with that.
Now, I do not pretend to have my finger on the pulse of the homosexual community, and I suppose you might not either, but you probably have a better idea than I do… Why is ‘marriage’ so pursued?
To be fair, Rauch does say, “or create alternatives to marriage, such as publicly recognized and subsidized cohabitation” in answer to which I can only choke and sputter on my home-brewed organic Kombucha. SUBSIDIZED cohabitation? The SAME democrats who want to tax the middle class into oblivion, part of which involves a marriage tax penalty would like to subsidize??? cohabitation??? of gays???
Any reasonable explanation you have for me (I know you’re probably not good friends with the author, but give it a try, please?) would be very welcome. You believe in this enough to forward the article around, PLEASE help me make sense of this.
I promise to get back with any reasonable explanations, but don’t hold your breath. However, if anyone out there has some reasonable explanations they would like to offer, you’re welcome to. I’d love to hear them.