by Deana Chadwell 8/11/14
A while back I posted a video to Facebook – a video of Ryan Anderson explaining with great clarity and precision why it was fair for marriage to be legal only when it involved 1 man and 1 woman. My post, of course, rubbed some of my FB friends the wrong way and it quickly became clear that no cogent conversation was going to happen in FB mini-bites. I promised I’d write something more complete – I see 3 main reasons why gay marriage isn’t a good policy.
I have a differing attitude from my young friends because I’m old, and can vividly remember living in a society where divorce was rare and frowned upon, where getting pregnant outside of marriage was shameful, where the vast majority of children grew up in 1man + 1 woman households where the moms made their lunches every morning and the whole family ate dinner together in the evenings.
I don’t, however, bemoan the present state of affairs (pun intended) out of nostalgia and some latent Leave-it-to-Beaver fetish. My concern is much more practical.[pullquote]Sexual/romantic attraction is atomic-bomb powerful, but it is not the cornerstone of marital bliss and longevity.[/pullquote]
In the first place Leave-it-to-Beaver wasn’t easy. The girl who got pregnant in high school either quit and married or went to a Catholic home for unwed mothers and gave the child up for adoption. That was no small task. When a husband turned out to be a good-for-nothing jerk, the wife generally, as my mother did for many difficult years, made the best of it. When a person felt attracted to the opposite sex he/she kept that quiet, living either celibate or clandestine lives. Some quietly lived together, like the two middle-aged men who bought and restored an old mansion in the tiny town where my grandparents lived. Everyone knew that their passion for decorating with fine antiques separated them from the farmers who populated the county, but I never heard anyone speak ill of them. Nevertheless, it must have been tricky living that way.
But let me start where my gay friends were most distressed – they were sure Anderson was being illogical, so let me address that:
This is Anderson’s syllogism in a nut shell:
traditional marriage = 1 man + 1 woman + sexual exclusivity + lifetime commitment ± children (usually through natural procreation or adoption)
same sex couples = 1 man + 1 man (or 1 woman + 1 woman) ± sexual exclusivity ± children (through in-vitro fertilization or adoption)
Therefore – Marriage ≠Same sex couple
None of the conditions in Anderson’s first premise match the conditions in the second premise, i.e. no parallel exists. Not unless you distort the definition of marriage. Gay advocates do this by oversimplification – “If two people love each other….”
Note that the word love is not mentioned in the syllogism. The notion of romantic love as the only defining factor in marriage is a relatively recent development. And it’s a truly lovely addition to the mix, but it isn’t necessary. For most of human history marriages were arranged, and in societies where that is still practiced the divorce rate is not any higher than it is here in movieland.
Love (eros), as C.S. Lewis so eloquently explained in his tiny book The Four Loves, is only one of the four, the most fleeting, and the one that is not really a virtue. Sexual/romantic attraction is atomic-bomb powerful, but it is not the cornerstone of marital bliss and longevity. Having been married almost 50 years I can attest to that – a successful marriage demands heavy doses of all four loves.
In addition, look to the other parameters :
Exclusivity – a very high percentage of same-sex male unions are sexually open arrangements often involving scores of additional partners.
Lifetime commitment – 86% of female same-sex unions end in divorce
Procreation – none, unless done through artificial means, which is another Brave New World nightmare all its own.
Look back at the syllogism – if you add up all the parts of the first premise you also get societal stability and at least population replacement. If you add the components of the second premise you get instability and no net gain in population. (Those worried about the sustainability of population growth need to realize that negative population growth produces economic collapse – another nasty kettle of fish.)
There’s no unfairness here – we’re talking about 2 entirely different kinds of relationships. There’s no moral equivalence, no production equivalence, no stability equivalence.
Secondly, being gay is not the societal equivalent of being black. I keep hearing that argument. This confusion has caused people to lose their jobs and spend time fighting lawsuits, but it’s nonsense.
One is born black, but one is not born gay. There is no moral component in one’s race, but there is in one’s sexual behavior. Long term studies on thousands of pairs of identical twins in Australia, Scandinavia, and here in the US, have shown that only 14% of the pairs were both homosexual. Since DNA is exactly the same between identical twins, it is not possible for gayness to be a genetic issue. Some event, or some reaction to some event that was exclusive to one twin must be the catalyst, but gays can’t claim the kind of discrimination the black population has endured. Gayness is a behavioral matter; blackness carries no moral component at all.
In addition, all African Americans have wanted is an equal shot at doing what all people are designed to do – to work and be paid decently for that work. The gay population wants to do what they are not designed to do. The gay lifestyle (and it is either a lifestyle or a handicap – it can’t be both), goes against the natural design of the human body and results in serious health concerns – the incidence of HIV/AIDS in young male homosexuals is skyrocketing. You’d think that with the trend heading toward gay “marriage” that the disease would be dwindling, but that is not the case.[pullquote]One is born black, but one is not born gay. There is no moral component in one’s race, but there is in one’s sexual behavior. Long term studies on thousands of pairs of identical twins in Australia, Scandinavia, and here in the US, have shown that only 14% of the pairs were both homosexual.[/pullquote]
No doubt someone reading this somewhere is reacting and calling me a homophobe. It’s another term designed for use in heading off actual, productive discussion. Am I unreasonably afraid of those who are attracted to members of their own sex? No. Many are amongst my favorite people. I am reasonably afraid of what same-sex marriage will do to our society. And I don’t have to guess about that. We aren’t on a slippery slope – that happened in the 60’s – we’re now plunging off the cliff and call me names if you must, but I can see the rocks not far below.
And I’m not guessing, but citing facts. The Scandinavians have traveled this path before us. It’s been over 20 years since Sweden, Denmark, and Norway legalized same sex marriage. By doing that the concept of marriage was watered down until it became meaningless. In all three countries most children are born to unwed parents, a statistic that skyrocketed right after the legal sanction of same-sex unions.
I doubt you can blame all that on gay marriage. These countries, like the US, have been flirting with sexual abandon for quite some time — the advent of birth control pills in the 60’s set it off, and then the legalization of abortion in the 70’s and now the gay movement. Meanwhile our divorce rate climbs – the last census showed that of 1,000 people 6.8 would marry and 3.6 would divorce – over 50% of marriages fail (though we should note that the divorce rate amongst evangelical Christians and Catholics remains below 30%, and for Bible-studying Christians only 18%). In black communities close to 80% of children are born out of wedlock and other groups are not far behind. So what? Juvenile crime is up, drug use rampant, high school graduation rates are low and getting lower (another stew that needs stirring) and we don’t have a handle on any of it.
So, we’ll do what? We’ll fold to the loud demands of only 1.6% of the population by legalizing gay nuptials and put more nails in the coffins of both marriage and family. Then we can sit back and watch stupefied as groups of three or more want to file joint returns, as pedophiles want to “marry” children, as all imaginable combinations vie for their fair share of public acceptance. That argument angers my gay friends, too, but I’m not equating homosexuality with pedophilia or bestiality. It’s just that the dominoes are falling and I don’t want to think about the misery and dysfunction that will be our lot when the last one goes down.
Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com.
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