Tuesday, December 14, 2004

SSM: Remeber Charlottetown

I agree with David Warren's pessimistic assessment about Canada's elite and SSM:
... like the justices on our highest bench, our ensconced "liberal" ruling class is entirely committed to the destruction of the traditional institution of marriage, and I do not think they will brook mere public opinion. What they can't achieve openly in Parliament, they will then engineer by legal deceits. Nevertheless, with the core institution of our society on the block, and no upside foreseeable in the decapitation, it is time for every decent Canadian to man the keyboards.
What gives me pause is not just the fundamental nature of the question, and that is stirring enough, but remembrance of an political event that most of us can easily recall: The Charlottetown Accord. We simply had to submit to Mulroney's Meech Lake document or the gates of Hell would open, the country would be destroyed, and beer would be more expensive than gas. Did we listen? No. We said, in no uncertain terms: up your nose with a rubber hose, or words to that effect. Did even one of the predicted disasters happen? No. We don't value our constitution more than our families, do we? No, we don't. The difficult thing is that so many can't see the threat at all, they have been so bowlderized with the idea that marriage is about "two people who love one another" and "social status" that their understanding of what marriage is is weak. Two people loving one another is indeed a part of marriage, but it is very important to recognize that it is not the whole of marriage, and social status has nothing to do with marriage at all. There is more than one barrier to marriage - sex is not the only one. People who are already married are not eligible, and neither are brothers and sisters. If love is all there is to it, we would have to remove those barriers too, and more. Let your imagination run wild. The myriad of union types that SSM would eventually force on us would dilute the concept of marriage to the point that it had almost none of its original meaning. The other threat is that this dilution would inevitably lead us to ditch the concept of "to the exclusion of all others." Polygamists would cause that, if gay men don't do it first. Monogamy is not only a powerful glue for men and women, but it is a protection for children. If Dad knows he is the Dad, he is more likely to stay, to provide for them, and spend time with them. In doing so, monogamy keeps strange men away, a rather obvious benefit. So often advocates for SSM will say that married people have already thrown monogamy overboard, so why cling to it? We cling to it because when it works it benefits children. That is not to say that it is easy. To say that something is hard or easy is not much of a case for or against it. How hard is it? What are the benefits? The answer is that it's not that hard and the benefits are huge. A few social bulwarks would go a long way in restoring people's ideas of what is at stake. Ditch no fault divorce. If people knew it was going to cost them big time, they might be inclined to think twice before jumping into a strange bed. Ditch Commom Law marriage, which rewards people for refusing to take charge of their own lives. Often the bond there is weak, and the couple are merely holding on until something better comes along. Or perhaps the couple is waiting until they can "afford" a wedding. Weddings do not have to be expensive. A few bucks for a license, a place to hold it, and someone to preside over it. Voila, done. The most important part of a marriage is the public utterance of the vows; everything else is superfluous fluff. A big reception and a $6,000 bar tab might be fun, but they are no reason to put off the main event. The whole big wedding phenomenon is relatively new, too, probably coinciding with the meaning of the ceremony being hollowed out. I would also ditch gay adoption because gays cannot demonstrate male -female domestic intimacy, which is important for children to learn, since that is where most of them will wind up, regardless of the parents' orientation. All of those suggestions are bound to be controversial, but it pays to remember that we did not reach our current situation overnight. Every one of the changes I mentioned was controversial when it took place. There were good arguments against them then and those arguments are still valid today. Adopting them would wash the encumbered muck off marriage and allow us to see it properly. The other links I mentioned? Veritas makes the point I made on Saturday, that saying no to SSM is not discriminatory if it is really different from traditional marriage. If you are convinced but don't know what to say when you are challenged for your opinion, try J. Budziszewski. He writes as a Christian but makes sensible points I think anyone could use. Finally, let's not allow ourselves to be bullied on this issue. Let's insist the issue be addressed with more than emotion, tears, and name calling. It's too important for that.

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