Politics of Sex and Marriage – Preamble
If marriage and family are in states of dysfunction, deterioration and deviance, the fault lies not in the Estate. If marriage is in decline, so is intellectual integrity, the state of mind and culture, concern for neighbours and for the common good, social cohesion, the state of free market economies, public finances, political will and wisdom, justice, the vitality and virtue of the Christian Church, etc. There exists an underlying demise of ethics and ethos that pollutes, corrupts, corrodes, erodes and destroys all endeavours and social entities in which ethical conduct and attitudes are integral and important.
To fault marriage or its ‘traditional’ principles is akin to claiming friendship as being now obsolete and flawed because contemporaries reduce friendship to networking; means of self-advancement and self-aggrandizement. Or that many abandon friends in a lurch or when they falter or undergo foul weather. Or that many ‘friends’ betray.
However, that greater concern exceeds the scope of this enterprise. The thesis of this project proposes that another reason for marital deterioration is the enervating and detrimental effects of external interference upon this most private estate and mini-society. In almost clearly delineated historical succession, external interference emanated from family lineages, ecclesiastical organizations and now civic authorities. Although the notions and principles upheld by these entities are often sound, the overall effects of coercive intrusions on the independent autonomy of the participants of marriage or on the Estate itself, whether in negation or in ‘positive’ role, always weakens and spawns travesty and deterioration.
Obviously writing in the context of an apparent winding down of the same-sex marriage debate in the last remaining bastions of resistance in the West; the terms of that debate has been framed in simple-minded mantra and muddle-headed reason by both factions. Contrary to the self-delusional propaganda that legalizing same-sex marriage constitutes a liberalization of the institution in the name of individual autonomy and civic equality, it is as much a detrimental intrusion upon the Estate of Marriage as every other element, foisted by Enlightenment liberalism.
I would contend that marriage more properly belongs to those non-enumerated, inalienable Rights (Ninth Amendment) upon which civic authority shall make no law respecting (First Amendment). And although a purist implementation of non-interference of marriage is practicably impossible, as has been found for all inalienable Rights; wisdom recommends that external authorities should strive to minimalize intrusive regulation over the Estate.
These are not mere echoes of libertarian sentiments, although I will not deny a personal desire to self-govern, free from mediocre notions imposed by Lilliputians. But these sentiments are accompanied by concerns that the imposition of any single vision about marriage upon society and all factions within it, by either hard legal proscriptions or soft economic incentives/disincentives, constitutes social tyranny that is bound to unravel social cohesion and disturb the civic peace. The same-sex marriage issue becomes just another flashpoint in an accumulating bag of flashpoints of a hitherto cold Kulturkampf (culture war).
Sexuality and this most intimate of interpersonal relationships are of profound importance to the individual person. A mutinous resentment to external interference will be more acute in this aspect of human existence than in others, even economic affairs. But the importance of sexuality and conjugal relationships, contrary to the obtuse and ill-informed assertions of social and religious conservatives, is not as immediately threatening to the survivability, viability and prosperity (in the greatest sense of that term) of society and the state. The noticeable decline of the family in ancient Rome (1st Century B.C.), for instance, preceded Rome’s social chaos and political crisis by four centuries (3rd Century A.D.). However, civic discord, caused by the arrogant folly of factions attempting to impress their interests and consciences upon all others, whether they be secular and liberal or religious and conservative, does pose a grave and immediate threat to civic unity and peace.
Explicit legalization of same-sex marriage or even its prohibition threatens social cohesion and peace, which will become more apparent in years to come. For, contrary to the self-deluded belief and propaganda by same-sex advocates, who modeled their campaign on the coattails of the black civil rights movement, this issue will not go away. Unless there is a complete collapse of the conservative and religious faction; like the Roe v Wade issue, it will remain a divisive and schismatic bone of contention.
Black civil rights ultimately triumphed, largely because both Bible and Constitution was on its side. Despite hermeneutical contortionism by same-sex advocates, the Bible is consistent and clear about its perspective on sexual relations between same sexes. Unless a sect or denomination is already in self-destruct mode, compromising or capitulating on this issue cannot be but seen as tantamount to the existential annihilation of the vitality, orthodoxy and viability of that denomination.
Legalization of same-sex marriage indirectly threatens the constitutional and inalienable right to belief and conscience, to expression of belief and assembly; amongst other considerations. Expectation, that encroaching statist governments and social opprobrium with economic and sociopolitical consequences will cripple the livelihoods of religious and conservative factions, cannot help but result in social and civic tumult. Most, who purport to be Christians, are not pacifistic. And history finds that the insidious motions of human nature tend to undermine and overcome, even religious beliefs and spiritual values for most; even pre-existing pacifist belief.
The problem is less about same-sex marriage. Rather the problem lies in the arrogant folly of any external entity to zealously define and legislatively regulate the Estate; or to be given the right to define and legislatively regulate the Estate. Attempts at increasingly minutiae regulation of marriage has historically only caused uproar, ultimately brought disgrace to the external entity that attempted it, led to travesties and some atrocities, and devastated the state of marriages and collaterally families. It is utter stupidity and madness for modern busybodies to attempt to repeat the same mistakes and expect different outcomes.
Copyright © 2013 John Hutchinson