Saturday, February 21, 2009

Preliminary thoughts on "gay marriage".

Marriage in this country, as in other Christian based societies, is both a religious and civil institution. Religiously it is a sacrament established by God and is not subject to change. It is between a man and woman as Scripture shows and this is in accord with deep theological as well as biological realities.

In civil terms marriage is an arrangement sanctioned by the State and given special status because of the benefits such arrangements give to the State. It is not a matter of individual rights, because it involves not individuals but specific pairings of individuals. Those parings are granted a license to become recognized as a married couple, as a marriage. Licenses by their very definition are not matters of civil rights. No one has a right to be licensed by the State for any activity unless they meet the criteria which the State lays out and essential. Drivers must be a certain age and have a minimum visual ability in order to having drivers license. This discriminates against ten year olds and the blind. Likewise, mandating that doctors pass certified medical board exams before they are recognized as licensed physicians is also discriminatory, a discrimination which is justified by the very need to recognize and license physicians. Without such discrimination there would be little purpose to licensing.

The purpose of marriage for the State has always been the production of children. The State needs emotionally and intellectually healthy children. If the State could produce them by itself, ala Brave New World, there would be no need for marriages and the licensing of them. People might still be allowed to couple and raise children, but the State would be at best neutral toward such arrangements. But as it is, most governments still recognize the obvious empirical fact that children are best raised by a father and mother who provide the emotional and physical structure and safety for children. Only in rare instances is the State able to do better than a given mother and father, but it is never able to do better than the vast majority of marriages. For this reason, marriages, as a class, are recognized with a license and given special protections and privileges that other human partnering arrangements do not get. These are meant to offset the difficulties that marriages entail. Not all marriages produce children, but optimally they are designed to, and it is more practical and less intrusive for the Sate to treat them as a class according to the basic commonality of a man and woman.

Since homosexual couplings cannot produce children by their very nature they do not strengthen the State in this way. Whatever children might possibly be involved in such couplings must be produced outside of them, which is naturally and statistically proven to be far less advantageous to children. Most so-called gay families require that an original normal family be broken up. And all of them require that either the mother or the father figure, both of which are essential ingredients for healthy psychological devlopment of children, be at best distant. Encouraging this is not to the State's interest.

To redefine marriage as between two men or two women may sound compassionate to those involved, as if marriage were nothing more than an individual right, but it is anything but compassionate to all children in that society who depend upon stable man-and-woman marriages to be supported by the State. Gay marriages make those marriages, and thus all marriages in principle, all about the adults rather than about the children. It questions the very purpose the State has in sanctioning marriage. This is the very reason that same sex marriage threatens traditional marriage. It is a continuation of the weakening of marriage that began within easy divorce. And given that very few homosexuals are really that interested in being “married”, and the stats are already coming in regarding the greater frequency of their divorces, it seems a vast understatement to call the undermining of State support for a millenia old institution at the heart of all human society merely to indulge the whims of a societal minority a rash and foolish act. The political push from homosexuals to grant them marriage is but one more facet of the attempt to remove all recognition that heterosexuality is superior to homosexuality, as if the blind demanded the right to drive. Giving the blind drivers licenses might seem compassionate, but who would then want to drive on the roads?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Just out of curiosity, what's your thought on polygamous marriage?

There is no proscription against it in the Old Testament, per se. Adultery applies to the taking of another's wife. There was never any penalty demanded under the Mosaic Law. Even if it's not an "ideal", it does seem that it was acceptable to God, much more so than divorce ever was.

Given that, I must wonder why our laws don't permit it (other than that the practice fell out of favor as it became to be viewed as misogynistic).