Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Am I Wrecking Your Marriage?

Is same-sex marriage a threat to heterosexual marriage? Do supporters of same-sex marriage actually simply oppose marriage itself?

Those are the conclusions drawn by David Blankenhorn in the April 2 edition of The Weekly Standard. While he is forced to admit that no one “can scientifically prove that allowing gay marriage causes the institution of marriage to get weaker” and to add that “correlation does not imply causation,” he nonetheless launches ahead based on the discredited research of Stanley Kurtz to argue precisely that the correlation between the legalization of gay marriage and certain statistics about attitudes toward heterosexual marriage implies that gay marriage causes bad straight marriages.

Kurtz is famous for reporting that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Scandinavia resulted in lower rates of heterosexual marriage, higher rates of divorce, and an increase in out-of-wedlock childbirth. The reality is that in Denmark, for example, after a decades-long decline in straight marriage rates, that trend began to reverse itself in the 1980s, and continued to climb after the legalization of same-sex marriage in 1989. The marriage rates in Sweden, Norway and Iceland are higher now than they were before legal protections for same-sex couples were established. The divorce rates in the region are unchanged.

Ignoring for a moment that he’s working from a lethally flawed premise, Blankenhorn makes the assertion that even if correlation is not necessarily causation, there are “recurring patterns in the data” from international surveys about attitudes toward marriage that are significant.

He relies on responses from the 2002 International Social Survey Programme and the World Values Survey. First he presumes either a yes or no answer, then he presumes that advocates of “traditional” marriage will answer the questions a certain way, and then, lo and behold, he discovers that the countries with higher rates of responses that disagree with “traditional” views on marriage are the countries with more progressive attitudes toward same-sex relationships.

The statements to which respondents are asked to agree or disagree are pretty damn silly. For example, Statement 1 is, “Married people are generally happier than unmarried people.” A wise man once said, “Love isn’t the answer to all your problems, it’s a whole set of new ones.” Statement 2 is, “People who want children ought to get married.” I think a clear majority of same-sex couples would agree with that; that’s why they’re suing for marriage. Or perhaps Statement 3, “One parent can bring up a child as well as two parents together.” That largely depends on the two parents in question; as the majority opinion in Hernandez v. Robles pointed out, heterosexuals can have children by accident. Two people not responsible enough to avoid an unintended pregnancy are not necessarily going to be ideal parents. And some relationships – even married, heterosexual ones – are dysfunctional, unhealthy, and unhappy. Only someone with an extremely limited, narrow and simplistic life experience could possibly respond to any of these statements with anything other than a “Yes, but…” or a “No, but…”.

Buried under all this is the unsupportable presumption that the absolute worst, most dysfunctional married heterosexual parents are better parents than someone like Mary Cheney, who has been with her partner for 14 years and has made the conscious decision to raise a child.

Blankenhorn tallies up the responses to these surveys and notes that “a rise in unwed childbearing goes hand in hand with a weakening of the belief that people who want to have children should get married.” That statement may be true, but Blankenhorn ends up resorting to “giving up the search for causation” – his words – in order to claim that gay marriage causes heterosexuals to have children outside of marriage. Huh?

Then he makes the extraordinary claim that “people who have devoted much of their professional lives to attacking marriage as an institution almost always favor gay marriage.” He cites Judith Stacey, professor of sociology at NYU, saying she champions same-sex marriage “precisely in the hope of dethroning once and for all the traditional ‘conjugal institution.’”

Note, please, the placement of the quotation marks above. “Dethroning once and for all the traditional” is 100% pure Blankenhorn. What Dr. Stacey actually said, in testimony before Congress, was, “Subjecting the conjugal institution to this sort of heightened democratic scrutiny could help it to assume varied, creative and adaptive contours.” Then she urged them “to value the meaning and quality of intimate bonds over their customary forms.” [Emphasis added.]

Having worked now for nearly two years for the organization singularly most responsible for the advancement of gay rights in the United States, especially same-sex marriage, I have to tell you that my co-workers are not even remotely cynical about marriage. Marriage – both its legal rights, responsibilities and protections as well as its social and symbolic benefits – is extremely important to us. We are not in any way interested in attempting to “undermine” marriage; “for decades, heterosexuals have been doing a fine job on that all by themselves” – again, quoting Blankenhorn.

Yet somehow we are expected to believe that the gay community’s desire for permanent, meaningful and legally protected commitment is at the heart of the heterosexual community’s myriad relationship failures. In order to make that argument, people like Blankenhorn have to claim that to “value the meaning and quality of intimate bonds” is perverse and less important to stability than genitalia.


Jade said...

Am I Wrecking Your Marriage?

:) No, and I don't think I'll ever understand how other people's belief or non-belief in marraige is in some way supposed to affect me and mine. Maybe I just don't care what other people think, but you know... everyone has their own level of set of beliefs in what marraige means to them. I have friends with open marraiges, I also have relatives who think marraige is a great excuse to throw a big party with lots of booze, then get a divorce a year later - none of that is going to change just because Steve and Bob down the street decide to have their own ceremony.

Gino said...

" Two people not responsible enough to avoid an unintended pregnancy are not necessarily going to be ideal parents."

flat out wrong.
the ability to count days, or avoid heats of arousal, is a different type of self-discipline not related to commitement or calling to a task.
my first was unintended, in a big major way. (we were both already seeing others).
but when the rabbit died, the level of dedication to good solid parenting was not our shortcoming.
we both agree: if we had to breed again, a better mom/dad couldnt be found.
not that we were perfect. nobody is. but lacking we definately were not.

Gary said...

I don't know much about Blankenhorn or Kurtz I am just responding to your post about that article. I read the Slate response to Kurtz as well and, as always, it is a good thing to have critics. In my view, Blankenhorn was not saying that homosexual marriage weakens the institution. He was saying that, "A rise in unwed childbearing goes hand in hand with a weakening of the belief that people who want to have children should get married. High divorce rates are encountered where the belief in marital permanence is low. More one-parent homes are found where the belief that children need both a father and a mother is weaker. A rise in nonmarital cohabitation is linked at least partly to the belief that marriage as an institution is outmoded. The legal endorsement of gay marriage occurs where the belief prevails that marriage itself should be redefined as a private personal relationship. And all of these marriage-weakening attitudes and behaviors are linked. Around the world, the surveys show, these things go together."

In other words, when homosexual marriage shows up on the radar (marriage has already been undermined e.g., cohabitation, divorce prevalence, etc.) there are these other social behavior patterns and attitudes that seem to be around too. I wonder if maybe the first comment made on this post illustrates that point.

just my 2 cents...

Andy said...

Gary: you are correct about what Blankenhorn is saying, and he's careful to emphasize that correlation is not causation. Still, he's trying to claim that there is some kind of relationship between increasing support for same-sex commitment and decreasing support for heterosexual commitment. That just doesn't even make sense, unless you buy into the myth that what gay people really want is to "undermine" and "redefine" marriage, which they don't. It's like arguing that military enlistment is declining because more gay people want to join, or essentially saying increased interest in the institution is somehow indicative of a decline in interest in the institution. It's nonsense.

High divorce rates are encountered where the belief in marital permanence is low.

But that turns out not to be true. The highest divorce rates in the United States are among the so-called "family values" voters in the rural southeast; the lowest divorce rate is found in the only state in the country where same-sex marriage is legal. Similarly, which country in the EU has the highest divorce rate and the lowest birthrate? Italy. Kurtz' data isn't data at all, it's "research" that was intended to produce results that mirror conventional conservative wisdom.

little-cicero said...

I'd like to make a comprehensive statement concerning my thoughts as of now. As you can understand, I am weary of concerning myself with the opinions of my confederates as they are often wrong-headed, not to speak of the apologists at hand necessarily.

I believe that most conservatives would get over the passage of gay marriage as law with greater ease than today's attitudes would suggest; if only it were passed democratically. I have spoken here of the major point that marriage is a social construct, and it ought to be defined by society for that reason. I think there is a sense of that among all of those who care about this issue, but all too many are willing to reverse said noble philosophy when a court case comes in sight to justify their own ends. The majority of these cases have involved liberal initiative for judicial intervention.

I am a fan of judicial review, but not judicial legislation. When Sandra Day O'Connor, for example, votes against the juvenile death penalty because other nations have done so, THAT is judicial legislation.

You and your confederates tend to assume that all of your opponents are angry about Same Sex Marriage because we are against gays, but that is largely not the case. In truth the anger comes about because we are against lawyers! Whether judges or litigators, those defining marriage are currently lawyers.

As for marriage in general, you misunderstand entirely the defense of marriage argument. It is simplistic to frame it as "wrecking your marriage" although I know that to be in large part satirical. The argument is simply that you are redefining (call it a cliche- there is no more accurate phrasing the longest standing ceremony in human history next to the funeral, as well as the institution that has bound man and woman in a sacred and traditional bond.

Do not get me wrong, as always I argue separately the legal argument, but to deny the traditional and religious significance of marriage is naive. By opening so long-standing a definition to tweaking you are undoubtedly wreaking havoc on the traditional and religious foundations of marriage. You do so by legal means, but not by societal consent- and being that marriage belongs to society, that is as unethical as trimming your neighbor's shrubs without asking.

Legally there is probably no argument to be made in defense of marriage. Science needs not be employed in this question any more than in the case of the neighbor who ruined your shrubs (some court case- I know, these analogies are deadly!). It is an argument of possession and consent, not of pragmatism and intent.

Judges are not society. What do you say to a voter-referendum on the definition of marriage and the ending of all court cases that set out to redefine marriage? Yea or Neigh?

Hot Toddy said...

You're wonderful. Can't wait to see you!

Gino said...

i know what he says. he says the views of society dont count.
only the words of lawyers.
the same kind that voted the majority in kelo.

Andy said...

Neigh, LC? That's what horses say. I think you mean "nay," and so do I.

Democracy does not simply mean "majority rule." One of the fundamental principles of democracy is the equality of all citizens, including those with minority status. It is not democratic to say the majority can determine the rights of the minority. Majorities vote to preserve their power; they have rarely if ever been magnanimous enough to dilute their influence voluntarily.

In this country it used to be that only white men could vote. Imagine if we had allowed only white men to vote on whether women could also vote, or whether non-white people could vote, or whether schools should be segregated or interracial marriage allowed.

Jade said...

I wonder if maybe the first comment made on this post illustrates that point.

Gary - when I was a sophomore in high school I had to give a controversial speech in English class in order to get credit for speech without having to take a semester of it. For my topic I chose homosexual marraige (and I was sneaky about it too, by not making it obvious I was talking about homosexual couples everyone assumed I was talking about interracial marraige and agreed with me up until the end of the speech. Ha!) But my point being... way back then (some 16 years ago!) gay marraige was not the hot topic that it is today, and add to that I didn't even know anyone who was gay at the time that I wrote that speech (OK, technically I did, but I was oblivious to that fact) I think I'm just logical by nature and figure if people want to get married, let them. My attitude was here long before this showed up on the radar.

but to deny the traditional and religious significance of marriage is naive. By opening so long-standing a definition to tweaking you are undoubtedly wreaking havoc on the traditional and religious foundations of marriage.
LC - which traditional religious foundation are you talking about though?
This whole thing about homosexual marraige changing the meaning of marraige is something I just don't understand, and it was my point in my first comment although I don't think I made it very well. Various religions already have their own sets of beliefs for marraige and what it means to them, and they disagree with other churches. My marraige was done in a restaurant by a preacher - it wouldn't be recognized by the Catholic church, and yet I still call myself married, and would introduce myself as married to someone from the Catholic church. So, why is it homosexuals having their own ceremony is an idea people point at and yell "redefining!" and mine isn't? (I use the Catholic church as an example because that's the background my parents have... but this argument would work just as well looking at Pagan traditions... my ceremony wouldn't be considered legit by Pagans either)
Today, right now, people get married by going to the state and getting their license and having it signed by whoever is given the power to sign by the state - the religious part... walking down the aisle in a white dress a spouting vows... is all just pomp and circumstance specific to one's religion (and today's fashion trends)

Dagon said...

Do you ever feel like refusing to participate in this debate?
I find the Kurtz argument to be so shoddy that I tend to see it as a simple disingenuous manifestation of homophobia...

Jarred said...

...my ceremony wouldn't be considered legit by Pagans either

I find that hard to believe. I can imagine Pagans saying, "It's not the way we do things." But for the most part, we don't think our way of doing things is the only one, either.

Andy said...

Dagon: Oh, all the time. But I'm a bored, lonely guy. This is often as close as I come to conversation.

Andy said...

LC: Why shouldn't we redefine marriage, then? What's the big deal?

little-cicero said...

Gino- your candid and controversial way of putting things reminds me of myself when I started coming to this site. Unfortunately, these guys politically castrated me a long time ago! :)

Jade- This is why I hesitated to use the word "ceremony"- because it indicates aesthetics rather than fundamentals. By that word I meant "traditional institutions" to be more accurate- for that is what marriage and burial are. Take away the trappings and you have a publicized and solidified commitment between a man and a woman- there have been all sorts of precedents contrary to other points besides, but the definition I just stated has always been the case, no matter what the religion or culture. There have always been shaky marriages and homosexual relationships outside of marriage, but it has always been of the same definition. To be clear, governmental marriage is entirely separate, but just as government marriage was based on traditional marriage in its original construction, there ought to be consideration in its redefinition.

Andy- I maintain what I said and will not revoke calling you a horse. I will stand by this comment to the end, my friend.

Further I will congratulate you for acknowledging with all intellectual honesty that equality and liberty are often contradictory, and that the Left leans toward the former in this struggle whereas the Right leans toward the latter. Do you confirm this (just for my philosophical indulgence- probably not for this discussion!).

The difference between this and discrimination is that discrimination concerns individuals and groups, whereas marriage definition concerns just that: marriage definition!

Jade said...

LC - but the definition I just stated has always been the case, no matter what the religion or culture. The Judeo-Christian definition has perhaps always been man+woman, but to say "no matter what religion or culture" is a very bold statement. There are plenty of accounts of homosexual unions within other cultures, some that continue to this day. So, how could we be redefining something that already has so many meanings, depending upon which culture or religion you are looking at?

And yes, governmental marriage is separate, and in legal matters it's the one that counts (meaning, I can walk down the aisle and have a priest say anything he wants, without the signature on the state's paper, it's not legal). So how does opening up legal unions to homosexual couples affect heterosexual couples in any way? Is it going to stop hetero couples from getting married just because homosexual couples can do it too? Is it just a game of semantics? Using the word "marriage" is somehow sacred to Judeo-Christian hetero couples and nobody else gets to say that word to describe their ceremony?

Gino said...

you are wrong.
the catholic church still veiws your marriage as a marriage,both valid and binding.
its just not done 'properly', that is, if you were a catholic, which you aint.

i been down this road. i know that of which i speak.

LC: aint a knife anywhere big enough to castrate me.

Jade said...

Gino - :) I was born into a Catholic family, I just haven't been to church in a good number of years. I couldn't get married in a Catholic church beause I wouldn't go to the pre-marriage counsling, I was already living with my finace, and I was on birth control pills at the time. I do have relatives who think I'm not really married because it wasn't "done right" (yes, well legally you are married I guess, in God's eyes you're not) but according to them I'm going to hell anyway.

Gino said...

i dont know all yer personal situations, but i assume you been confirmed? if so, vows made as an adult to the faith(confirmation) carry great weight when deciding the sacramental nature of marriage vows.
from my life example:though my first marriage was nullable(done in a protestant church to one of theirs), it was not a slam dunk, as we had the marriage blessed later by the catholics when i returned to faith.
in order to marry #2 in The Church, she will need to seek annulment(through the Church) of her first marriage. she, and her ex, are both baptists. the Church holds this marriage to the same standards as that of two catholics.
annulment of this previous marriage of hers is a big long shot.
until this is done, she is not free to marry anybody in the catholic church, even if she converts to the faith herself.

the Church upholds the sanctity of ALL christian marriages, whether those other churches recognize it or not.

Jade said...

Gino - I never made it to confirmation. So the Church as a whole would recognize my marriage, it's just my extended family and their cronies who think I'm not "really" married.

until this is done, she is not free to marry anybody in the catholic church, even if she converts to the faith herself.

Ahhh.. but she can marry anyone she wants (any man she wants) she just can't do the Catholic ceremony, and it's likely the Catholic church would not bless the marriage later unless her first marriage was anulled.

Gino said...

actually, this very thing has happened.
protestant couples have entered the faith with previous marriages in their past. these marriages must first be dealt with in accordance to teaching before a blessing of the present marriage can take place.

there is also the pauline clause, taken from scripture.
IF a married non christian(jew/muslin/pagan etc) enters the faith, he is still bound to the spouse, and may not leave the marriage. if the non converting spouse leaves the marriage, the convert is free to marry another within the faith.

in catholic teaching: the bond of marriage takes place when vows are made, and is sactified by this act of the two. the Church merely acts as witness. the priest doesnt perform the marriage. he presides. its the couple that performs the marriage.
this standard the church applies to all marriages, a sort of default.
the annulment process deals with the possibility that maybe the sacrament didnt take place, although it appears to have been valid to eye.

the satndards are fairly consistent, but its the acts of people that gum up the works, and adds complexity to application.

Trickish Knave said...

Yes, Andy, you are wrecking my marriage.

I hold you responsible for the lack of sex I get now that our 8-month old refuses to sleep more than 2 hours a night, the dent in my rear bumper that my wife nags me about to get fixed, my leaking toilet, the lack of funds for me to buy a brand new Canon 30D, and the fact that my wife cannot make a decent enchilada.

I blame you and all your homosexual compadres. While I'm at it, I think I will blame all the obese people for my inadequate workout routine.

Have a great weekend. Homewrecker.

DJRainDog said...

Actually, dagon, I'm frequently bored of this "debate", so I here pronounce the final word on it in the World of DJRainDog:

Actually, yes, I oppose marriage itself. I think it's a foul, dreadful, disgusting, heinous thing to do, an abominable obsolescence that should be outlawed as an institution and replaced by legally-binding contracts. (LawFairy and her cohorts need more work, dontchaknow!)

HOWEVER, as long as SOME people have the right to fuck up their lives that way, ALL people in this nation have to have the right to fuck up their lives that way, through the same (legal, anyway) procedures, with all the same rights, responsibilities (such as they are), and terminology, however flawed they may be.

And while I'm talking about flawed language, the Roman Catholic Church, on the matter of annulments and the semantic and unknowable possibilities of the occurrence of Sacraments...Oh, never mind. I'll come back to this when I finish my Th.D. in a few years.

kr said...

Gino, do I properly understand that you are Living In Sin???
I wouldn't have thought, staunch Catholic that you are on the blogs. Color me surprised.

DJRD: For what it's worth, I think a (the?) major reason my Dad won't come back to the Catholic Church (I think he was confirmed as a kid) is because he thinks the whole annulment thing is bullshit.
A Th.D. attacking marriage? Interesting proposition. All the biblical imagery of God as bridegroom might complicate the thesis ;).

Ashtrays cause early death.
We know this because most of the people who die from heart attacks, stroke, or cancer (or being burned alive in their own home) before age 60 owned ashtrays or lived with people who owned ashtrays, and longer exposure to ashtrays is statistically directly proportional to chance of early death from one of those diseases.

"Analysis" doesn't equal accuracy, and correlation surely does not mean causal relationship. Grrr.

Especially if your data aren't even real data. Grr grr.

Why do these people get press??

Gino said...

i'm a theologically conservative thinking catholic. i adhere philoshically to the strict pronunciations as Truth.
i never said i was good at practicing it.
and i'm never seen in the Eucharist line, unlike some others who know better.
but, i do make regular confessional visits.

living in sin? depends how you define it, i guess. i am happily married. i live alone. my marriage is active.
and i was sinner before i ever met The Blond.

no, i havent aired all my sins and faults on the blogs. just like i dont expect others to. but in discussing ideas,thoughts, and values, i have those that i defend.

little-cicero said...

Another example of post-moral philosophy hindering discussion by way of guilt and hypocrisy. In this case, considering your own flaws in a discussion of ethics can keep you from contributing to your fullest capacity. For the time being, forget about your own sins, but when it comes time to pass judgement or impliment your ethical philosophy, don't forget to confer with morality.

Grow Up said...

What traditions of marriage are conservatives like LC trying to preserve?

Is it the tradition of "until death do us part?" The divorce rate has been 50%, for over 40 years.

Is it the tradition that the woman should stay in the kitchen and be pregnant for her whole life? Good luck trying to keep that tradition.

Is it the tradition that ONLY the man can "bring home the bacon?" I suppose we need to keep that tradition so we can continue to underpay women.

Maybe it's the tradition of biased tax policies that give special breaks to those who seek government approval to live together, or even more tax breaks when they achieve the the tough process of creating another human being.

Is it true, that only two parents (man and woman ONLY) can raise a loving, sane person? If you believe that, you are ignorant of centuries of History of how children have been reared.

Throughout all the wars in History, how many children have been raised without a father?

Do you know any children that have been raised by gay couples? Are those children degenerates?

Society is defining marriage, you just haven't been paying attention. Defend it till your dead, your closed mind tells me you are already dead.

Homosexuals are wrecking hetrosexual marriage? Absurd!

People's lifestyles changed traditional marriage (if there ever was such a thing) long ago.

One has to wonder why conservatives like LC are so afraid of the changes in society, or want to discriminate against those who choose to live their lives differently than them.

No one wants to take away your traditional marriage LC, they just want your type to stop telling them how they should live.

The government has no business defining one union as legal, and a different union as illegal.

Traditional marriage was kicked to the curb a long time ago. Catch-up with society, living in the past is unhealthy.

Gino said...

i have never claimed i was an orthodox practicioner. in fact, i mentioned my multiple marriages more than once when i thought such info would be helpful for illustration of a point.

also, i have not condemned anybody else's soul for disagreeing with me.

there is a lot more detail to my 'story', and how i got to where i am, but why should any of it matter but to God and myself and the two Blondes? decsions made and acts taken 25+yrs ago still affect my life today. i've accepted that after i've gone on to my asswhipping before st peter, my image is not likely appear as an icon swinging from your rear-view mirror.

there are things known only to my confessor. i prefer to keep it that way. but i see no reason why any of this should preclude me from an exchange of ideas.

kr said...

Gino: I hope my comment did not come across as judging. Really, I was just surprised; I remembered quite a lot of your marital backstory but had missed that piece. I am impressed with what you say here of your choices in dealing with returning to the Catholic Church.
It's not like any of the rest of us live in full-exposure on the blogs, either.

LC, wasn't last Sunday's Gospel the "who among you will throw the first stone?" one?
Another thing to keep in mind, the people who have made mistakes and faced them are generally more qualified to tell other people about why they are mistakes. Gino's contributions on subjects related to marriage are generally more pertinent than yours ;).
In the New Testament and in most 'Lives of the Saints,' Christians' mistakes are not only recorded, they are vital parts of the stories.

Gino said...

KR dear ;),
to be fair, i really didnt think cicerino was passing any kind of judgement on me.
my response post was for the public at large, and those who frequently like to call names and throw the H-word around, along with other moral judgements of another man's intent behind his thoughts.

ya know, i am morally opposed to artificial conception control, but does that preclude me from relations with the Blonde, who had a hysterectomy before i even met her? or the first blonde, who was spayed(against my wishes, but with my blessing) before i ever became a christian?
or does it just preclude me from from believing what i find to be a moral Truth?

given this:as a catholic, i will never know the spiritual fullness of marital relations. the loss is mine. and further evidence of how previous actions have long lasting affects,and hinderances, to furthering a deeper relationship with the Creator.

"Gino's contributions on subjects related to marriage are generally more pertinent than yours"

but that doesnt necessarily make them more valid. Jesus never married,either.
paul's advice was best: "it is better for a man to not marry...", although his reasons might be a tad different from mine. ;)

all this aside, having been where i, and others, have been: no sane man would want to get married. and all this evidences that those who are pushing for marriage between two men must just be plain crazystupid.

per KR's excellent proclamation:"Gino's contributions on subjects related to marriage are generally more pertinent than yours "

having been married twice, ya'll better listen up when i tell ya these things.

little-cicero said...

KR, you are without a doubt utterly misinterpreting my comment. Please reread it! It was saying the opposite of what you thought it was saying (you might say it was a plug for a recent post of mine).

little-cicero said...

Grow Up: You are talking about the quality of marriage, not the definition of marriage. If you like apples and you bite into a rotten one, there is no serious negativity among apples as they are defined "apple" but rather there is a negative association with the quality of apples. If you find that you dislike apples in general, you should eat something other than apples, because it is the very definition that you have a problem with. You don't call a fruit you enjoy, such as pears, apples so you can call yourself an eater of apples.

The analogy is not a parallel, but it should help you think what I am thinking. I advocate civil unions because they allow a separate institution for something that is in the truest sense separate. If Same Sex unions are not truly "marriage" and you are looking for an SSU, look to some other union for your purposes. If you dislike the quality of marriage, look to some other union for your purposes.

kr said...

LC--Ah. Yes, after reparsing it, I think I caught it this time. I'm having an unreasonably difficult time following your prose lately (which is a lot of the reason I haven't been contributing over on your blog--besides, why intercede in the first coherent conversation I've ever seen between you and Time?). Sorry. Probably largely my fault--paying attention to other things, etc (baby due in less than a month). (No snotty comments about hormones affecting my brain: I am not stupider, I am just prioritizing other mental puzzles. No surprise to you, I'm sure, understanding you has never been intuitive for me ;). )
Your apple analogy is hilarious, and I think clearly illustrates the p.o.v. you espouse ... but misses the point that the part of the meaning (perception) of the word "marriage" that SSU folks want is all the emotional overtones and social connotations and it's underlying concept of union. You are only arguing for a very small part of the meaning (perception) of the word "marriage." I don't think it can be argued that the word (in any language!) has ever been limited to that narrow meaning. A concept that resonates with (and in most cultures is some kind of definition of) Sex and Love is not going to be tied down that way in the general human psyche.
English example: the common usage "a marriage of ideas" (union makes new/more; intimate intertwining usually also implied ... disparate parts, too, which trends toward M/F implications but certainly doesn't rely on them)
Extremely pertinent historical example: the common analogy in the Bible to the realtionship of God to human(s) being somehow marital. (I am sure you can see how this rather specifcically expands the "marriage" concept beyond "a committed sexual relationship between one man and one woman," as God is neither ;). Also, El is decidedly portrayed as Male, but most of His portrayed intimate relationships are with men ... although of course the Nation of Israel and The Church are both portrayed as women.) (So(!) many tangents I here neglect ... ;). )

Gino--sometime, you and I should get into the concept of Social Sin--I think the last time it went around here at Andy's was pre-Gino. It'll be fun ;).

(I think LF might buy a plastic figure of you for her dashboard. I'd be tempted ;). Surely you have a traditional saint's awareness of personal sin, which is better than most folks nowadays, for getting onto the shortlist. You never know. Watch your back ;).)

TTYL :).

Gino said...

i think if lawfairy had a figure of me, it would be for a pin cushion.

Gino said...

start a blog.
personally, i think social sin is a hogwash concept used to justify socialistic govt, and taking from one to buy the votes of another.
its also a marketing gimmick used by millionairs business such as starbucks to appeal to self- serving social-conscience saints to make even more money for themselves.

"it's not self indulgent to pay $5 for a 50 cup of coffee because you are helping people (and increasing our socially conscious bottom line)"

these are too often the same poeple who call 'sinner!sinner!' at SUV drivers, and meat eaters... but claim the right for a women to have her baby's head peirced with a knife and its brains sucked out into a drain.

they sob at the sight of a homeless bum, but punish the business owner who works his ass off with govt regulation.

they take 50% of a mill worker's overtime, but then expect him to drink artificially overpriced coffee out of compassion.

no thanks.

all sin is personal sin.
anything else is changing the definition of the word.
it is how we will be judged, or damned.

societies dont go heaven. people do. or dont.

The Law Fairy said...

i think if lawfairy had a figure of me, it would be for a pin cushion.

Well, you ARE a man ;)

Andy said...

Law Fairy lives, yay!

The Law Fairy said...

Andy, hehehehe.

I was on vacation. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, vacation. The bummer is that I missed this awesome post and discussion while I was gone. Damn!

kr said...

nah, Gino, I wasn't speaking of the current secular concept of social sin

I was speaking of the older, Christian (pre-schisms) version--I think Augustine was big on it, among others, and I'm pretty sure it's still current in Church theology

all sins are primarily personal, yes

but when you sin or I sin we bring down the overall morality of society (even if those sins are hidden) ... and more secularly, if I interact with you, and you are falling/failing personally, your damage is likely to overflow onto me

I'll leave it there, as this isn't my blog ;).

Gino said...

that one i'll go with.

kr said...

Gino: :).