The Importance of Marriage

I am so weary of arguments opposing gay marriage based in “the Slippery Slope” and “Protecting Marriage/Celebrating Marriage“.

It is really hard to take Katherine Kirsten seriously on a a generous day…but considering her argument in the linked column is an attempt to argue that the pro-marriage side (i.e. those of us who encourage marriage and think it is a good thing-and gay couples should not be denied this very thing) is that we are saying there should be NO LIMITS to who can marry who.  Of course, those who support gay marriage are not arguing that marriage be redefined as allowing people to marry their sister or their father. Or allow people to marry a 12-year-old, or two people, or someone who’s already married to someone else.

While the area of polygamy is sketchier (and is a older form of marriage than the nuclear family) all the other instances (and hey, if you believe Genesis Creation story about Adam and Eve is a literal fact of history?  How do you think folks multiplied?  So, the incest stuff is sketchy if you are a six day creationist) involve all sorts of issues in health and relationships.  OF COURSE we pro-marriage folks believe there should be limits.

Our public schools face growing pressure to promote unisex ideology — often under the guise of “antibullying” education.

Well, yeah, the culture should not side with religious dogma regarding gays.  I won’t apologize for it.  You can believe whatever you want.  You can teach your kids those beliefs.  The school should not back you up.

Meanwhile, in California, Gov. Jerry Brown is poised to sign a law saying a child can have three legal parents.

Shiver.  I mean, it is not like a kid of divorced parents does not end up with more than two parents.  This could also be beneficial in protecting the child from the state should something happen to the other two parents.  The assumption that this is destructive or chilling is rather interesting.

If that happens, and you believe that children need both a mother and a father, be prepared to be declared “persona non grata” in civilized society. Be prepared to live with a target on your back, proclaiming in bold letters: “Bigot.”

Boo hoo.  It should be okay to call gays sick, perversions,suffering from a mental disorder,cultural cancer, abominations…that is not anything *personal* when people who oppose marriage speak of gays in such fashion.  It’s just that you think “homosexual lifestyles” are sinful.  Nobody should be bothered by that.  But the anti-marriage crowd whine, cry and throw tantrums when anyone suggests their religious view might be bigoted.

In former Viking Center Matt Birk’s column, he states:

Children have a right to a mom and a dad, and I realize that this doesn’t always happen. Through the work my wife and I do at pregnancy resource centers and underprivileged schools, we have witnessed firsthand the many heroic efforts of single mothers and fathers — many of whom work very hard to provide what’s best for their kids.

While I appreciate his recognition that single parents work very hard to do best for their children, his starting point is flawed.  Kids do not “have a right to a mom and a dad”.  That is a biological occurrence, not a right.  Children are best served and helped-mostly-by having parents and other adults in their lives to love and encourage them.  I admit a grand bias, but I think a kid with aunts, uncles, cousins,caring neighbors are better off than the kid who only has a mom and dad.

I think a kid benefits from having parents who love each other and their kids.  The least important thing a kid benefits from in a family is biology.  Two people with no biological connection to a child can love that child with a greater fury that some biological parents.  Parents certainly matter…my gay friends can attest to this… many faced rejection from their parents for coming out…it was devastating.  How different might things have gone if the reaction was love and acceptance?

The effects of no-fault divorce, adultery, and the nonchalant attitude toward marriage by some have done great harm to this sacred institution. How much longer do we put the desires of adults before the needs of kids? Why are we not doing more to lift up and strengthen the institution of marriage?

Allowing gays to marry is opportunity to do just this.  Give kids of gay parents the opportunity to see their marriage recognized as their friends who have heterosexual parents do.  How does Birk think we  address issues like no-fault divorce, adultery, and the nonchalant attitude toward marriage by some?  Do we add an amendment to our state or federal constitutions?  If this amendment is all about protecting marriage… why is it only focused on gay marriage?  Why is that so bad we need it shoehorned into our constitution?  And yet (as my friend Rob noted this weekend) not anti-adultery? Anti-divorce?

Matt makes an importation notation that damages his argument here.

Same-sex unions may not affect my marriage specifically, but it will affect my children — the next generation. Ideas have consequences, and laws shape culture. Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society. As a Christian and a citizen, I am compelled to care about both.

It is his Christianity that really is driving his feelings on this.  And while he has every right to that belief, his religious beliefs should not be enforced by the culture or government.  And that is the problem with the goals of marriage opponents are distinctly tied to religion.  The studies that tend to have results favoring their perspective are usually funded by religious organizations.    Plenty of studies do not favor their views.  It always comes down to religious views in this debate-you cannot oppose gay marriage  or parenting on secular arguments all that strongly, so they end up falling back on religion.

Birk also appeals to the concern of being called a bigot (though in far more thoughtful fashion that Kirsten-a member of the think tank Center of the American Experiment-yeah, the American Experiment-yet they oppose progress).

I am speaking out on this issue because it is far too important to remain silent. People who are simply acknowledging the basic reality of marriage between one man and one woman are being labeled as “bigots” and “homophobic.” Aren’t we past that as a society?

I am sympathetic about civil debate arguments, though I often find little civil about those who oppose marriage.  Birk is making a flawed call here, as many who oppose marriage are guilty of name calling and insulting commentary in the name of “protecting”” marriage, family and children.  It is also a bit false to make this appeal that opposition to gay marriage (and often to gay rights in general) has no elements of bigotry.

Just because it is a religious belief does not mean it isn’t bigoted.  Just because you can point to a Bible verse to back up your beliefs? does not mean they are good beliefs.  Throughout history, Anti-Semites saw the Bible as endorsing negative beliefs about Jews.  That did not make them less Anti-Semitic.

Matt Birk closes with:

I encourage all Americans to stand up to preserve and promote a healthy, authentic promarriage culture in this upcoming election.

I care about kids, marriage and families.  I want to see them thrive.  That is why I am voting no on the Marriage Amendment here in Minnesota.

4 thoughts on “The Importance of Marriage

  1. Seriously, though, we had an interesting service at church yesterday. There were kids that had gone on mission trips to Guatemala and to Harrisburg, PA. I was almost blown away by a female in the latter group saying that she had been having discussions with other kids on the mission trip from other churches and that she had NEVER MET ANYONE WHO OPPOSED GAY RIGHTS before.

  2. Yes… They are scaring you all the time. There is nothing you can say to gays, except – gays. I don’t have anything against them, but I still think that line should be drawn somewhere. We are entering critical field of liberalism, and it will kick us back to head.
    Gay are protected, and they can say or do whatever they want, and if you judge them for their acts, they return in fire.
    I think that a relationship which can not have future (read kids) are not normal, it is a deviation, and I firmly believe it can be cured. Still I’m watching them as humans, and talk to them…

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