Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thinking more about marriage

Something occurred to me the other day, and I thought I'd post it here.  (Some of you will be greatly relieved that this will not be a long, complicated argument.)

Here it is:

If marriage is a private commitment between two people who love each other, then gays have had the right to marry all along.  They can be married simply because they choose to be married.  

If marriage is something greater -- a divinely instituted thing, or even just an institution based on long-standing tradition that stands at the core of human society, then we'd better not be so hasty to change definitions.  

You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t say that just because two people love each other they can get married, and at the same time claim that the state has a greater right to dictate whose marriages are legal.  (So, then, making it necessary to change the state's definition of marriage so that homosexual unions are now considered marriages.)

This, by the way, is at or near the root of the increasing practice among both heterosexuals and homosexuals to simply shack up together once we fall in love.  Our practice says that we have decided cohabiting with whatever degree of commitment is our right, that the perks of marriage belong to us just because we want them without cost and without permanence.  The children of these temporary unions are reaping the devastating consequences of this belief.

If marriage is a purely human institution, then majority wins.  If marriage derives its reality, its definition, from something greater than simple human opinion, we have no right to change it.

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