Government should butt out of personal moral issues involving consenting adults.
As a life long proponent of individual liberty, I've never felt that governments in nations such as the U.S. should be involved in things such as marriage, which I see as a personal and/or a religious decision to be made by individuals on their own or by those who are members of or who accept the rules of religious and other groups of which they are a part.
And, in this regard, I've always believed and have always preached that people should be able to associate with or not associate with any others as they want and for any reasons they want.
That's one of the reasons why I've written columns in support of individuals and groups who practice polygamy. I think it's their right to engage in whatever relationships that they themselves think are appropriate. I also see these folks being persecuted by bigots and haters, who have other religious views, and who are hiding behind so-called secular laws and trying to destroy them.
As far as gays go, the same principles apply.
A moment's reflection will inform you that many of our laws relating to moral issues are really religious laws, or world views which substitute for religious laws, and that these are often dressed up (perhaps I should write that they are often "in drag") in secular clothing.
Few thinking people want people of some other religion, or people who have a different world view than their own, imposing their ideas on them. What gives some others such a right? Are we their slaves or servants? Are they better than us? Do they own us? Most thinking people will say that they'll choose for themselves, thank you very much. Each of us has the natural and inalienable right to so choose.
Notwithstanding the above, however, many thinking people reject individual freedom arguments to justify gay marriage and, instead, support traditional marriage for a number of reasons, not the least of which (even if they don't form this thought consciously) are subconscious philosophical views on the nature of existence, which are to be seen throughout nature.
1. Words have meanings and shadings of meanings. You can say that a pair of "pants" is a "dress," but the plain meaning will tell you they're not the same. As thinking beings it is important for us to be able to discern differences. Our language should assist, not hinder this. That's why our language consists of more than a few grunts and groans.
Many believe that the word "marriage," as traditionally used, implicitly carries within its meaning nature's (or God's if you prefer) command to go forth and multiply. For our species this requires males and females to mate. Again, the legal union between a male and a female for mating and ensuring the best outcome for children produced in that union has traditionally been called "marriage."
So long as state governments in the U.S. are going to be involved in marriage (remember, they really shouldn't be), then the age old use of the term "marriage" as defined by government to mean a certain type of legal relationship between one man and one woman is proper, and other relationships should not carry this name but should have some other name.
So, what about the aforementioned polygamists and my support for them and their marriages between one man and many women? Aren't they in the same boat as gays?
Most polygamists treat marriage as a religious rite. They don't ask the government to sanction what many call "celestial marriages."
Generally, polygamists reluctantly obey the dictates of the state and have one government sanctioned marriage between one man and one woman, and all the rest of the "marriages"--the celestial marriages--are not government sanctioned. They are strictly religious marriages.
These celestial marriages also have none of the government's protections found in laws relating to one man/one woman unions and they don't even have any of the protections found in civil unions between gays. The parties involved in these polygamous unions are generally bound by their own religious or group laws. And, that's the way it should be. It's just not the business of government.
Unfortunately, many of these polygamists (unlike gays) are being persecuted by the state under overbroad, vague and probably unconstitutional bigamy laws. In fact, bigots and haters are using bigamy laws right now to arrest polygamists who are in "celestial marriages" that aren't even legal marriages. In other words, men who may have one legal wife, and other women they see and support, are being arrested and prosecuted if they claim that these other women are also their wives even though there are no marriage licenses involved.
However, men (many legislators included, no doubt) who have mistresses are not being prosecuted for doing the same thing because they don't call these affairs marriages and they often don't fully support the women or their children. And, gays who may be in a domestic partnership or civil union are also not being prosecuted for doing the same thing.
2. The present controversy over gay marriage is really part of something much larger, and it's good that it's out in the open since it relates to the relationship between society and the individual.
A one-size-fits-all nation that tries to be all things to all people must ultimately fail to allow all citizens the ability to follow the dictates of their consciences and realize their deepest hopes and aspirations. Take the schools in such a nation as an example. What is to be taught to young kids? Remember, young minds are minds that can be conditioned this way or that.
Despite protestations to the contrary by gay activists, a gay life style would be taught--sometimes in subtle ways--in grade schools if gay marriage became acceptable and normal, and there are already a number of children's books in wide distribution puffing such a life style.
Many parents don't want their kids to be conditioned to accept a gay life style as just another choice the same as any other choice and they don't want to send their kids to public schools where this may be done.
This leads one to ask why it is that some parents might not want their children to consider a gay lifestyle as just another choice. Is it blind hatred or bigotry on the part of the parents and a desire to trample on the rights of others? Although that may be what gays say to gain sympathy, the reality is probably different.
The real answer, even though not often vocalized this way, is probably wrapped up in basic instincts for the survival of the parents through the genes they pass on.
It ultimately does come down to the basics of nature and life and even the nature of existence itself. All living things survive by reproducing. There is no other way. Those beliefs and practices that further reproduction, help ensure survival. Those beliefs and practices that do not further reproduction, do not help ensure survival.
Parents who have children--within the same genotype and phenotype--who, in turn, grow up and reproduce, survive on a genetic level, while those who don't have children, die off.
We are our genes and our genes are us. If you don't have children, you're a dead end.
Thus, as a matter of survival of the individual and his or her genetic group, "marriage" as a male/female or male/females institution should be thought of as the norm since it has the highest probability of leading to new life that survives and also reproduces.
Homosexual marriages are not a good survival strategy. There is no go-forth-and-multiply inherent in them. Instead, there is only subtraction. From two, come none, instead of from two come more.
Polygamous marriages, on the other hand, are the male/female unions that are producing the most children and are thus the best as a survival strategy.
# # #
THREE BOOKS BY HARD TO PIGEONHOLE H. MILLARD
All three books are now listed on Amazon.com.
The lefties at the OC WEEKLY said Millard is one of OC's most frightening people.
"Millard is an important writer" New Nation News
"I consider H. Millard one of the most brilliant writers and analysts
Ourselves Alone & Homeless Jack's Religion
ROAMING THE WASTELANDS
THE OUTSIDER - (ISBN: 0-595-19424-9)
|Views expressed by guest columnists, reporters and external links not necessarily those of the editor of New Nation News but hopefully of some interest|