Is there a strong secular case to be made for the state’s exclusive recognition of traditional marriage? If so, any arguments for a deviation from this accepted, well-established standard should be equally as compelling.
Please consider this brief introductory summary in support of traditional marriage. The case made is purely a secular one. [Note: Featured quotes are that of Iowa Congressman Steve King, whose sentiments were recently featured in National Review Online].
First, there was never a need to officially or explicitly define marriage as an exclusive institution between man and woman. It was understood. As it stands, “To marry, two people must prove they are of opposite sex, not related, of age, and not married to anyone else.”
It is vital that we fully understand the historical precedent behind government’s recognition of such a uniquely designed and specifically defined category/status/classification (i.e. marital). Ultimately, there must be a widespread societal benefit, based on ‘credible and relevant empirical evidence,’ to justify governmental support and/or recognition (which is specifically what Chief Justice John Roberts has requested as the matter comes before the Supreme Court).
Demands for specials exceptions based on personal perceptions of entitlement should not be the primary driver of public policy. It’s these personal demands that have enabled the legalized slaughter better known as abortion. Where is the equality in such barbarism? If advocates of same sex marriages truly seek ‘equality,’ they may want to make the rights of defenseless infants part of their social/political platform and agendas. Regardless, the established reality remains: “There is no requirement for proof of enduring love, comingling of finances, or even intent to cohabitate. To ask the government to certify any of those things would offend all Americans who jealously guard their individual autonomy.”
There’s a reason why the government has never permitted relatives to marry, nor upheld the legality of polygamy. However, baseless propaganda efforts are tactically deeming those who remain exclusively committed to traditional marriage “phobes.” Their efforts are breeding an atmosphere by which even the most reasoned restrictions will not go unchallenged.
Before we enable calculated slander to shape public opinion and force the hand of government, we must carefully examine the health statistics, in particular the high incidences of STDs among the gay community (as verified by the CDC). We are living in a day where government is being forced to comply to the special interests of fringe minority groups at the expense of a time-honored, clinically proven gold standard.
Traditional marriage is the naturally and scientifically verifiable familial foundation (defined gender roles: woman/wife/mother-man/husband/father). On what grounds is THIS essential biological/foundational model overridden? Ultimately, ”government has a compelling interest in a legal record of procreation (this is further indicated by the doctrine of presumed paternity), and in creating a lasting environment where children will thrive. The fact that one must obtain a court order to divorce and the existence of tax-based incentives for marriage are other effects of the government’s interest in marriage.”
What is the justification for dismissing these realities? And why would polygamy and incestuous marriages remain exempt under this new model?
These are questions that must be definitively answered before this is taken any further.
Marriage cannot be redefined without recklessly dismissing the essential natural realities that have shaped our culture for centuries. Sound decision-makers must apply reasoned analysis to reaffirm that “Marriage is the stable platform from which families are launched.” Just as important is the clarity achieved with the realization that “Government surely has a compelling interest in ensuring the stability of that platform…”
A stable and successful nuclear family dynamic has always been the central barometer indicative of a thriving America. That dynamic is in danger of being methodically and irresponsibly dismantled.
But lets not stop here. We need to follow the demands for same sex marriage to its ‘illogical’ conclusion.
It seems we are headed down a disturbing path in which ‘equal’ = ‘same’. It’s as if we are being pressured to relinquish any adherence to or acceptance of defined gender roles altogether. Gender distinctions are becoming obsolete as the roles become more and more interchangeable.
We are beginning to be confronted with a variety of unforseen and pecuiliar scenarios. Calls for equality are coming from multitple directions and threaten to shake our foundations. Actually, our foundations are being tested to see if they are sound as the opposition seeks cracks or weaknesses they can exploit.
We are swiftly entering a realm where the question will be asked: Should there be any limits or restrictions in any area of life based on gender? As the quest for full equality advances, will we be forced to dismiss the idea of gender roles altogether? And if a genderless society becomes the ‘new normal,’ will all boundaries and distinctions be removed? Will gender-based expectations become a mere reminder of a ‘repressive’ social standard held in former days?
As gender-based barriers and restrictions evaporate, we will be ‘free’ to raise our sons to play with dolls and wear dresses, while a man who perceives himself a female will be able to freely take part in all aspects of female-oriented activities – and vice versa.
In a ‘genderless’ society, the marriage institution must remain open and available to all forms of alternative arrangement. Once a nontraditional precedent is set, we may no longer logically place any restrictions on a marriage arrangement, since to do so would be discrimination. No longer will there be a reasonable way for a line to be drawn.
The recognition of same sex marriage ultimately sets a precedent in which gender roles and human desires are relative and accessible, based on a form of equality that removes naturally defining qualifications as needed. A greater ‘good’ is being promoted in the name of ‘sameness’ via state-sanctioned opportunities that neutralize defining characteristics for the sake of fairness.
Are we sure we want to go down this road?
* I dedicate ‘Building on the Secular Case’ to Mr. Bill O’Reilly, on behalf of “Bible Thumpers” everywhere.
Photo credit: loungerie (Creative Commons)