“If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does it have?” – Abraham Lincoln (attrib)
So the Supreme Court decided that it could wave its hand and redefine marriage. Beyond the horrific precedent this sets, this is so flawed on its own (lack of) merits, that I find myself stunned in spite of the fact this is the exact outcome I was expecting. All over my FB timeline and in my personal life people I thought were sane are celebrating as though Christmas came early. I can’t call them “F*cking Idiots” to their faces, but perhaps I can explain, here, why this is so bad.
First we have to settle a question: is marriage something created by Man which could have been created however we want, or is it something that exists on its own whether we like it or not? Is it, in fact, mere custom, or is it a natural Law on the order of 2 + 2 = 4?
Let us see what we can discover.
Biologically, men and women are different. This is important, because it takes both a man and a woman to bear children. Further, for the time she is pregnant, the woman is especially in need of protection and care – protection and care which she cannot provide for herself. Once the child is born, the child also needs exceptional protection and care until he or she is old enough to care for him- or herself. If men impregnated women and then left them unprotected, child birth and survival rates would be low enough to jeopardize survival of the species. Since every species is compelled to ensure its survival, it seems likely that ours would adapt accordingly, and that men would have an urge related to the urge to procreate which would cause them to care for and protect, to some degree at least, the woman who bears their children, and those children.
Sociologically, it is true that every society of which we have any inkling of their practices has embraced the same, or at least very similar, definition of marriage- it is a union between a man and a woman. Without getting into the intricacies of polygamous societies, none of them have accepted or condoned homosexual relationships. Few have even accepted or condoned heterosexual relationships between adults and adolescents. This virtually universal definition of marriage served to protect women – protect them from violence, from poverty, and from abuse – and children, while providing the best chance for young single males to have a chance to procreate (and, thus, continue the species).
So it seems that there is good evidence that marriage is just a word we use to describe a natural phenomenon – the coming together of men and women to bear and rear children and thus propagate the species. If there is evidence that we “just made it up,” I am unaware of it.
Now, if it is true that marriage is something that exists in nature, then the following is a true statement: It cannot be redefined. You cannot redefine marriage any more than you can redefine gravity or 2 + 2. You can warp the language. You can ignore the truth. You can claim to believe a lie. But you cannot change what marriage is.
So for all of those who are going to rush to get “married” to their homosexual partner: You still won’t be married. You will never be married. You can call your relationship whatever you want. You can refer to your partner as your “husband” or “wife” or “potato.” I won’t matter. I am married. You are not. You cannot change that, no matter how much you wish it.