Today’s post is at The Stream: Why Gmarriage is Worse than You Think: The government can only reinvent marriage when we believe that men can be gods.
Before we begin, it’s gmarriage to indicate government-defined-marriage, which is not actual marriage. The neologism allows us to save the language, a precious thing, while avoiding the exhausting process of using scare quotes around locutions like same-sex “marriage”. The g is silent, as in gnostic.
Now we all know that gmarriage is bad, and we know why. So let’s don’t bother discussing what is already understood. Let’s instead discover why it’s not just bad, but awful.
What happened was that, in these once United States, as has already occurred in several other post-Christian societies, and not un-coincidentally every country which has mandated gmarriage was once Christian, man declared himself to be God.
Hyperbole? Not in the least. Here’s why.
Incidentally, as many of you know, writers rarely get to write their own headline. Mostly because we’re bad at it. Headline writing is a skill entirely different than prose writing, and the majority of my attempts are workmanlike at best. This one, but the not the sub, is mine. It’s okay. Kind of Internety.
The prose is largely mine, though somewhat simplified (one of the editors worried about some of my larger words).
One of my key arguments is where? Turns out gmarriage is supported in only post-Christian countries, because why? Because of two philosophical errors catalyzed by the corruption of Christianity called Egalitarianism.
Categories: Culture, Philosophy
Truth died a long time before gmarriage was even considered. The media and politicians now make the truth and people believe what is spoon-fed to them by the likes of Brian Williams, who lied about experiences, as did Hillary. Yet no one really seems bothered by any of this. Okay, they lied. No big deal. Bill lied, Hillary lied, Brian lied, we all lie. Which means we believe and trust no one. A truly admirable trait in a society, it seems. Or so the news told me.
I hope that religious liberty will be protected, and Kennedy did throw in a line or two in that direction. However my guess is that Christians will be pressured to affirm that gmarriage = marriage.
And I believe that I am on the side of truth. There is always anecdotal evidence so eagerly wanting to prove me right! Always.
There are plenty of countries where marriage is done by the state instead of some church. Apparently all those people have been doomed. In Western Europe this was the case since Napoleon.
So why did America bother to ask these people for help after 9/11? Why did America let them enter during the late 1800 and early 1900’s? Why not let them rot during WO I and WO II? Why bother protecting them against the Commies in the 1950’s?
Sander: I don’t think anyone would have objected had the state been in charge of marriage all along. That’s not really the issue here. It’s a demand that an immoral behaviour be called moral that is the problem. It’s not whether or not two men should be allowed to “marry”, it’s whether or not it is equivalent to a man and a woman marrying, which it clearly is not. If it were, there would have been no reason to go to SCOTUS. As for your second question, I’m not really sure why we did such things, considering it lead to the current mess in Greece and the idiocy of propping up that which is clearly broken. I don’t know that we defended the world so much as protected our own interests. Clearly, the US does neither now and is friends with terrorists and encourages looting. Whatever we did in the past has come back to bite us in the anterior portion of our anatomy.
JH: “Anecdotal proof” is an oxymoron.
Dear Dr. Briggs:
I have a work in progress that, among other sins, quotes you – see
telearb.net -click on eaters at the top, and review the “understanding left wing causes” section. Comments will be appreciated. Meanwhile, here’s a critical bit from the discussion of gmarriage:
Marriage, whether carried out with all due ceremony in an Anglican cathedral or as a practical arrangement arrived at by necessity somewhere in an African slum, is always a partnership between men and women for the purpose of raising children. Thus in most cultures, including ours, the sacrament is about the children, not the adults; and most mention of marriage in both secular and religious law is consequently also about the children, not the adults – the tax and tithing breaks almost every society offers married couples are not, for example, intended to support partnerships; they’re intended to make it easier and more attractive for the partners to raise a family.
Partner marriages, in contrast, are about them: the adults, not society and not the children they won’t have: them – and that, not the implied sexual relationships, is what makes the pretended equivalence to traditional marriage seem perverted to many.
Basically calling gay marriage marriage is just double speak – the misuse of a well known term to mean something very different: gays aren’t married, they’re partnered up. Understand the issue on that basis, however, and it becomes clear that our objections should be based on the immoral use of language , not the immorality or otherwise of gay partnership arrangements.
“Worse than we think”, has somehow a familiar ring to me…..
Ah, yes I remember now: climate scaremongers use it all the time!
Sander: since the ‘Enlightenment’, Reactionaries have sought to undo all major social changes, so what you cite is covered by that. Marriages are religious ceremonies ordered before Divine Witness. They are only a subject for the state insofar as the priesthood is a functioning component of the state, which unfortunately has not been the case in the Christian world for a long time.
Hans: Fallacious argument. Just because the term “worse than we think” is used by climate scientists and is wrong there does not mean the term is wrong everywhere. Just like the claim that being persecuted for religious beliefs means you’re right in those beliefs. It’s not one-size-fits-all.
There are plenty of countries where marriage is done by the state instead of some church.
Actually, marriage is done by the procreative couple. The priest or justice of the peace is simply a witness for the larger community — inasmuch as a marriage is a contract between the couple and the community that the former will assume responsibility for raising any offspring that might result. To suppose that the State is the minister of marriage is to invalidate all marriages in bands, tribes, or chiefdoms, or indeed in states that lack civil marriage. In Western Europe, states began to take control of marriage only in the mid-late 1800s. Were there no marriages before then? Official Church ceremonies began in the 12th century. Were there no marriages before then?
It’s a weird paradox – Today we’ve become so sophisticated that we now accept as normal that which previously was considered depraved, while at the same time we’ve become prudish in how we speak about others. For instance, it’s far too offensive to call anyone a ****** anymore, but we can screw them however we want, whoever they are, and they don’t need to be who they were born as anymore. Ask Peter Singer if same sex marriage is ok with our pets yet, pet monogamy or polyandry is a lesser question, of course. It’s the post-enlightenment era of depraved prudery.
I’d like to bookmark a couple of questions for our next generations, although at present we don’t have a need to attend to these. Naturally they should be decided by popular vote as in Ireland, or by discovery of previously unrecognised meaning in judicial decrees as in America.
1 – Do the laws against incest apply to two clones of the one person?
2 – Is a clone of a person permitted to be a different gender than the source?
Marriage has traditionally been a contract of sale of a woman’s procreative potential (and labor) between one man (the socalled father) and another man (the so called son-in-law). For awhile in our society the various christian churhes sort to tax this sale by insisting it could only lawfully (ok they called it morally but moral is just a churchy word for law) happen in their buildings not outside then the state got in on the act and removed the church’s monoploy. All that is happening now is that the state seeks to broaden its reach.
Mr. Kennett: You have a strange and ideological notion of what family-formation was during the millennia since humanity emerged. Muntehe was largely a practice of the upper classes, for whom there was much at stake. The Church did not assert any sort of monopoly, even in Europe — let alone in Jewry, India, China, Islam, and elsewhere.
Family formation was a free-enterprise sort of thing, and to this day both the Catholic and Orthodox communions regard the couple themselves as the ministers of the marriage. The Church’s role is as a community witness primarily to address two evils:
1. Consanguinity. Germanic clans lived in communal longhouses and under those circumstances close relatives were often in close proximity, leading to cousin-kissing and the like. So the Church established rules for who could marry whom. Such rules also existed in other civilizations. Hence, the “banns of marriage.”
2. “Woods marriages” occurred when the man made the offer and the woman consented in private. (Often, off in the woods, hence the common term.) The problem was that without witnesses, the man could say the next morning he had made no such commitment, or the woman could say she had not consented. In the freer, more open culture of the Middle Ages, when Friedehe was replacing Muntehe, the opportunities for this were much greater. So the Church required that the offer be made in public and consented to in public. And “public” in the Middle Ages, meant in the Church: hence, the “marriage ceremony.”
The Church further encouraged — and wrote into canon law — the maxim that “consent makes the marriage,” that is, there is no marriage unless there is freely-given consent. The Germanic tribal law had held that “the act makes the marriage,” so that a woman who has been seduced or raped is by that act married to her seducer or rapist.
Some useful references:
For those who think that clergy will be immune from officiating at same-sex marriage ceremonies, see the following:
The Russian Orthodox Position. on marriage of what ever
The U.S will need to realise the Russians have a different outlook on many things according to a French magazine quoted on sputniknews on line
Noting Bob’s link: I think we can say with utmost certainty that it was a complete LIE about this not affecting other people, can’t we? It never was about gay marriage, it was vindictive and spiteful and power-grabbbing. There is no love in this at all, just hatred.
That other day when I saw all the “Love Wins” posts
(I was totally offended)
I thought of Tina Turner (a woman ahead of her time)
If I read his piece correctly, Dr. Briggs seems to reject government’s power to define marriage.
I urge Dr. Briggs to consider distinguishing between the sacrament of marriage and the legal institution. At least in my lifetime it has never been the case that those of us who believe in the former considered it to be coextensive with the latter.
Because of the crime and poverty implications of appropriate child-rearing environments, secular society has a legitimate interest in providing a range of supports and strictures to the family unit. No one knows what the optimum set of such supports and strictures are and what the optimum requirements of the unions to which they may be applied are. But that doesn’t militate against attempting to adopt them, and I would suggest that such attempts are a legitimate role of government and that the choice involved is a quintessentially political question.
Unless I am willing to impose my religion on my fellow citizens, therefore, I have to admit that for the purpose of applying those strictures and supports the state can adopt a definition of what family groups will be considered marriages that differs from my religion’s. And I believe that my country’s unfortunate inclusion of homosexual unions has been caused in no small part by opponents’ failure to admit that fact and by their failure to point out instead proponents’ logical errors and the likely deleterious societal effects of embracing such units.
In short, I don’t think that arguments such as Dr. Briggs’ have been helpful.
Joe Born: “No one knows what the optimum set of such supports and strictures are and what the optimum requirements of the unions to which they may be applied are.” What worked for thousands of years is suddenly no good? How did you come to that conclusion?
Again, this is NOT about marriage. Why is it that people are so blind they cannot see that? You may not be willing to impose your religion on others, but these people most certainly are and are quite willing to demonize and punish all who dare question the godlike status of their beliefs. Yet you somehow believe it’s wrong to impose your beliefs on others? How can you then support this? It’s all about imposing and punishing. You are encouraging people to impose their religious and other beliefs on others. So you won’t do it yourself, but you cheer on those who do? Really?
Another interesting question based on Joe’s comment:
It is now okay and even admirable to use children as lab rats in a great experiment to redefine society?
I agree with you about the intolerance of same-sex-marriage proponents.
However, conditions upon which divorces will be granted, intestate-succession rules, and, if I’m not mistaken, consanguinity restrictions have in my country varied from state to state and in a given state from time to time. Presumably there’s an even greater variation between those rules and those under, say, any such rules of the Qin dynasty, the Institutes of Justinian, the Code of Hammurabi, etc. Some of those included polygamy and, maybe, polyandry. Who is to say which society’s collection of rules for formation were best?
I’m merely arguing that secular society always has adopted rules regarding the family unit to which it will attach its various rules for supporting and restricting its most-basic unit and that denying the state’s possession of that concern is not helpful.
I think the argument you want to make is not that defining that relationship is falls outside the state’s powers but that it is highly imprudent to adopt a form that has not previously been adopted for any significant length of time by any society successful enough to have left an historical record–even thoug that a number of societies did embrace sodomy much more enthusiastically than modern Western societies had at least until recently. That’s one I would certainly make.
Joe: I agree with some of your analysis of my argument. However, the main argument I have is this behaviour was designed from the beginning to punish people who did not agree that homosexuality was “normal” and “right” and to make sure religious freedoms were curtailed. It was never about equality. It still isn’t.
As far as the government and marriage, I would have been completely fine with the government taking it over and calling the contracts civil marriages. Then, anyone who wanted a church wedding could have one. However, since this is not about fairness or equality, that was not acceptable to any of the activists out there. This was about forcing people with religious beliefs to violate them or go to jail, be fired, etc, and to punish these people for having dared say anything was wrong. I cannot condone such actions. Nor can I pretend that there were other motivations when there clearly were not.
Dr. Briggs seems to reject government’s power to define marriage.
Up through the mid-1800s, governments did not claim that power. What a hell-hole those places must have been! Civil marriage came to be in Austria in 1868, Italy in 1873; Switzerland in 1874; The German Empire in 1875; and France in 1881. The opening of State-run secular schools with mandatory attendance policies also dates from about this time. It has taken governments only a little over 100 years to fiddle with and break it.
Because of the crime and poverty implications of appropriate child-rearing environments, secular society has a legitimate interest in providing a range of supports
What “crime and poverty implications” would those be? Of course, secular society has an interest. Check out the code of Khamurapi to learn what that interest was. (Hint: No government until the present collapse has thought to define marriage; they only insisted that the copulating couple accept responsibility for raising whatever offspring might result from their enthusiasms lest they become a burden on the king’s purse. Heck, without marriage, you might have a plethora of single mothers living in poverty!
Unless I am willing to impose my religion on my fellow citizens, therefore
Religion has nothing to do with Darwinian proclivities and the struggle to reproduce, except for devising ways to react to them. However, the sacredness and mystery of reproduction has led people the world over to regard marriage with awe. What religion did the Greeks impose, or the Chinese, or the Iroquois?
Ye Olde Statistician: “What “crime and poverty implications” would those be?”
If you don’t recognize what effect child rearing has on crime and poverty, then there is little point in my discussing this with you.
Having said that, I was probably not as clear as I might have been in referring to it as the state’s place being to define marriage; it may have been better to say that, since the state has always had to execute laws that depend on the marriage status, it has necessarily decided who was married–even though for a long time in the West its decision was simply that anyone was married who the Church said was married.
The point is that there are various legal incidents of marriage, including property rights, intestate succession, etc., that the state enforces, so it has to decide who is married. The bases on which those decisions have been made have varied widely, and there is no clear answer, so it is appropriately a political question.
The argument should not be that the state has no place in making that determination but that making it in such a manner that unions of homosexual are included is likely to weaken our society–as has the loss of the taboo against out-of-wedlock conceptions.
“Unless I am willing to impose my religion on my fellow citizens”
I am aghast at how many Christians have so willingly adopted a view completely alien to what Christians believed for all the time following Christ until the ‘Enlightenment’.
The state is a structural support beam for the nation, and in Traditional terms, a nation has its religion. This religion is thus enforced upon the nation at large. We have this today, believe it or not, except it is a new religion, that of the Progressive worldview.
In short, religious worldviews will be imposed on a nation, WHATEVER the case. The question is the nature of that religion. I am puzzled by Christians who would actually oppose the founding of a distinctly Christian state. There is a distinctly Jewish state, there are distinctly Muslim states, and distinctly Buddhist states, and with the current trajectory there will be a distinctly Hindu state. Ours is the largest Faith on the globe. Are you seriously telling me there cannot be a state that enforces a Christian legal system? Sounds a little like that old adage about ethnic ‘diversity’, “It’s only positive when it happens to white countries.”
If you don’t recognize what effect child rearing has on crime and poverty, then there is little point in my discussing this with you.
Which certainly relieves one of the obligation to specify the effect. For example, a great aunt of mine reared 13 children, and none of them were poor or criminal. Likewise, one set of grandparents child-reared seven and the only effect on their poverty came from federal monetary policy, which exacerbated an ordinary bank panic into a decade-long depression. In fact, reviewing all those child-rearing couples within my ken, I can’t say I’ve seen much effect on poverty and crime. A one-time neighbor had a son who went away for murder, and likewise a cousin of my wife. There was a house at the corner that was notorious for sheltering gang-bangers, but the woman who ran it made her living from foster children, not from actual married-child-rearing.
The point is that there are various legal incidents of marriage, including property rights, intestate succession, etc., that the state enforces, so it has to decide who is married.
This has been the case for centuries and only in the strict sense for just over a hundred years (during which marriage was defined as having the state’s permission. In the early 20th century this was formalized in various State eugenics programs, yet marriage has existed for millennia! How was that possible?
Of course, it is also possible that the State simply recognized and regulated a pre-existing biological fact. There’s a notion for you!
for a long time in the West its decision was simply that anyone was married who the Church said was married.
That was likewise not the case, since marriage existed in Greece, Rome, and the Celtic and Germanic tribes long before the Church came into existence. The Church, like the State, simply recognized the pre-existing facts, expressed the sanctity of it, and sought to protect women from its worst abuses. Remember, in the Church, the man and woman are the ministers of the sacrament, not the priest.
As far as inheritance of property goes, there are inheritance laws to deal with it. Sear and Roebuck could inherit their partner’s interests without the State declaring them married.
As always, your logic is impeccable and your arguement compelling. I can admit this, even though I don’t agree with you – the law of the land is “by the people,for the people” and “justice is blind”, so therefore before the law (although not before God) we should not discriminate based on sex, color, creed or religeon, therefore (legally) marriage – and all the benefits therefore accrued before the law – should be between two consenting adults, period.
Note that this makes the distinction between legal and moral – legally, I would argue, there should be no difference. Morally, I leave to others to decide and make no public comment.
To throw a spanner – or perhaps an additional one! – I would also make the case against the death penalty thusly: Are there people who, by virtue of their acts, are deserving of death? Undoubtedly. Yet there are also those who, by virtue of their acts, do not deserve to die and yet do. Unless and until we can give back life to those who deserve it, I cannot support removing it from those who deserve THAT.
Likewise, I do not judge the works of previous generations by todays standards – to do so means that those that come after me are also free to do so, and I am confident that I have done the best I can to act in a morally upstanding manor – others may not, but that is their choice and they must live with the consequences, as must we all (rightly or wrongly – c’est le vie).
The point here Briggs, is that while everyone is free to advocate for what they believe is right and proper (and I admire those with such firm convictions their fortitude in the face of popular disapproval of those opinions), at the end of the day God gave us free will, and the imposition of laws preventing individuals from making choices that do not affect others (except their moral outrage) is repugnant – God gave us all this choice, so who are you to take it from me?
As always, your logic is impeccable and your arguement compelling.
Yet few in the Late Modern Age are swayed by such things as logical arguments.
we should not discriminate based on sex, color, creed or religeon,
We discriminate all the time, otherwise how would a rabbi know who get bar mitzvah and who gets bat mitzvah? How would the government know who is eligible for affirmative action? A doctor must discriminate between the hale and the ill; a jury between the guilty and the innocent.
therefore (legally) marriage – and all the benefits therefore accrued before the law – should be between two consenting adults, period.
Like many Late Moderns, you are thinking that these things are graces bestowed by the generous and open-handed lord of the manor, and not a fact of nature with which the lords of the land must deal. Thus, to you, marriage is not a state of life that imposes by its nature duties and obligations upon a procreative couple for the benefits of potential children, but rather a recognition by the Totalizing State for conferring of goodies and benefits on adults. (The Enlightenment model had no place for women and children.)
Two consenting adults? You bigot, you! Why must there be only two? Why must they be adults? Why indeed must they give consent? (That was a Christian imposition on the pagan North and we must not impose religious beliefs!)
Note that this makes the distinction between legal and moral
So you do discriminate.
I would also make the case against the death penalty thusly: Are there people who, by virtue of their acts, are deserving of death? Undoubtedly. Yet there are also those who, by virtue of their acts, do not deserve to die and yet do. Unless and until we can give back life to those who deserve it, I cannot support removing it from those who deserve THAT.
Let’s try as substitution of variables:
Unless and until we can give back money to those who have lost it, you cannot support removing it from those who must pay a fine.
God gave us free will, and the imposition of laws preventing individuals from making choices that do not affect others (except their moral outrage) is repugnant
Since all choices will in some way affect others, this is a recipe for both absolute monarchy and anarchy. Most experiments are failures, so don’t suppose that efforts at “intelligent design” of society is going to end as well as starry-eyed libertines believe. The Church thought that admitting gay men to the priesthood would not affect others, for a celebate gay man is operationally indistinguishable from a celebate straight man. And we all saw how that did affect others. So don’t suppose that because in the euphoria of Phase I (“How could it hurt?”) you can’t see Phase II (“How could we have known?”) that there are no consequences affecting others? In product design we are taught to consider not only the immediate effects, but also the long-term ones as well as the side-effects.
God gave us all this choice, so who are you to take it from me?
Do you know what a No Parking sign is?
WHAT you choose may matter more than THAT you choose.
Ye Olde Statistician,
Is it possible that people, the Late Modern Age or not, have different reasoning processes, for whatever reason? For example, some people reason that Michael Brown deserved to be shot to death by the police in Ferguson. (Is it correct? Not according to my value system).
Furthermore, when people don’t accept your premises and axioms, they do tend to reach a wrong concision (in your opinion).
Typo – “conclusion,” not “concision”
Is it possible that people, the Late Modern Age or not, have different reasoning processes, for whatever reason?
‘Tain’t that, McGee. When reason is deployed one may debate the premises and the validity of the syllogism and so on; but the Late Modern has rejected reason entire and goes with his feelings instead. It is the triumph of the will that Nietzsche did foretell and which Barzun took note when already in the 1950s he observed that “I feel that…” was replacing “I think that…” in discourse.
Ken: I am pleased to see you are arguing for polygamy, polyandry, etc. Someone really has to do this. I do agree that civil marriage is not religious and should be called “civil marriage” so as to make it very clear it is NOT morally correct to everyone. Had this been done, however, freedom of speech could not have been so clearly and easily removed as was the case with the moral argument, and the final goal would have been thwarted.
I would argue the death penalty is self-defense on the part of society. Would you remove the right of self defense from society and leave it with individuals or remove self-defense altogether?
Again, the belief that choices do not affect others is physically impossible unless you live completely alone, or childless, or both, on an island. This is a very poor argument to use in “society”, a term that clearly implies interactions and all being affected to some degree. The truth is had this STAYED in the bedroom, there would be no problem. Taking it out and dressing up your 8-year-old and having him prance down the street in a gay pride parade clearly is not affecting just the 8-year-old.