Sometimes simple truths can get lost in the details of an issue. This can especially be true when certain parties are desperate to come up with a good excuse–any excuse–to circumvent what is right and true. In attempting to explain the obvious to someone who is hell-bent on refusing to deal with reality, breaking down the component parts of a matter can often take us far away from plain facts…something those not interested in the facts will also settle for if they can get nothing better. It would be hard to find a more true case of this than that of marriage and modern attempts to counterfeit it.
I can’t count the times I have discussed the unique nature of marriage with homosexual activists, employing not only the moral truth that homosexual behavior is wrong and that marriage was created by God to be between a man and a woman, but also citing a plethora of secular and practical evidences that marriage is something that can only be formed by a man and a woman: scientific, biological, societal, familial, developmental, legal and so on. Such discussions provide a magnificent illustration of the ability of an otherwise intelligent human mind to keep itself completely deceived and insulated from reason. Professionals are by no means immune to this cloistered state.
For thousands of years, human beings have instinctively grasped that marriage can only be formed by a man and a woman, and that it is only for a man and a woman who want to form a family. Unfortunately for those of us who live in modern times, reason, convention and bowing to reality are all states of mind that have been thrown to the wind in a rebellious attitude that seeks to defy nature and science itself. In such a maelstrom, simply understanding the right or wrong of something is no longer sufficient.
If one good thing has come out of this unprecedented attack on the foundational institution of marriage–and if our civilization can survive this corrosive assault–is that a tremendous body of thought is being formulated and recorded which may be of use to future generations. I’ve been taking note of some of these simple yet profound nuggets as I come across them.
For instance, a few weeks ago, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage wrote a brilliant article explaining how modern attempts to counterfeit and hijack marriage threaten to reduce the institution to nothing more than a glorified “friendship registry”–something that, when we think about it, no one really needs or wants in the first place.
Then there was Stephen J. Heaney’s article from the Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse which reduced the profound truth about the redefinition of marriage to a nugget that even the simplest among us can understand (whether we like this truth or not): you can call a dog’s tail a leg, but in reality he’s still only going to have at most four legs. Calling something by a name that it isn’t doesn’t make it so.
I came across another such nugget today at The Land of the Free which used the simple illustration of a chess game played on a tennis court:
Two men wearing tennis whites walk out on the court. Opening a folding table and chairs, they sit down and start to play chess. An attendant rushes up and says, “Sorry, gentlemen, this place is for tennis. You can’t do that here.” Looking up with a scowl, one of the men snaps, “This is how we play tennis. We have a right.”
This is a parable of same-sex marriage and the controversy that accompanies it. On one side: Whatever else it is, it just isn’t marriage. On the other: To us it’s marriage, and we have a right.
Now, of course if you were the bull-headed idiot who insisted on playing chess on a tennis court, you will insist like a spoiled five-year-old that you can do whatever you want. But if you are the person waiting to use a tennis court while a couple of morons play chess there, you’re going to be very in touch with how childish and idiotic is this misplaced and overgrown game of “pretend.”
This same truth comes into even sharper focus if we imagine a couple of people walking into a chess hall and starting a game of tennis–insisting that they, too, are playing chess.
Or if we pay for a steak at a restaurant the waiter brings us cheese and crackers–insisting this restaurant has every right to call this a steak and charge accordingly for it.
How would you react if you took your car down to a dealership and the dealer told you he’d give you $10,000 on your 3 year old vehicle, and then you watched him give another fellow $10,000 for their 20 year old beat-up clunker?
Would it seem fair and reasonable to you if your nice 3,000 square foot house was valued the same as a house down the road which was only 1,200 square feet and in great need of many repairs?
If you took your genuine diamond ring down to the jewelers who estimated it at an appropriate value…only to see the jeweler ascribe the same value to some fake diamond costume jewelry?
How would you feel if, on payday, your employer handed you a bag of grass seed instead of your paycheck. “Sure,” he says, “I know you were hired to receive $3,000 a month for your work, but there are 3,000 seed in that bag, and it’s the same thing to me. Money is green and so is grass, and grass seed for that matter. What are you getting so upset about? How dare you discriminate against my legal currency. It’s as Good As Yours.” Would that work for you? Would your grocer or mortgage company accept the grass seed you attempted to pass along as legal tender?
Would you think it reasonable if you got your Master’s Degree and applied for a job where that was a requirement…only to see a fellow hired alongside you who told the interviewer, “No, I didn’t go to college and get a degree, but I’ve seen them talk about this stuff a lot on TV”?
If you would consider any or all of these scenarios to be unfair or unreasonable, why do you feel this way? It is because you have seen something of value devalued. You have experienced having something that has unique and particular value devalued when something that obviously isn’t the same is given like value and status. You would probably feel cheated for having sought possession of the genuine article, when a fake is valued by others as the same.
Though not quite as profound, another important truth explored here is that of morality. We typically think of stances such as the insistence on performing homosexual acts and calling them “marriage” to be a lack of morality. In the sense that our civilization is built on the Judeo-Christian moral code and that code says homosexual behavior is wrong and that marriage is between a man and a woman, this is accurate.
But it is also true in a sense that a new morality is being crafted. And it also involves the standard which says condemning homosexual behavior is itself immoral.
You see, though many people live what the average American would consider an “immoral” life, few people in the world go through life actually believing they are living in an immoral manner. They usually construct an elaborate and self-serving ethos in which what they do can be rationalized to be morally right.
This new morality is based on the profound and unyielding standard of truth known as “I want.” “I want” is the supreme arbiter of what is right in the new world of this morality.
Says the article at The Land of the Free:
This new morality is a form of libertarianism (people have a right to do as they please) whose fundamental principle is a simplistic idea of fairness (if you can do it, so can I). I learned about libertarian fairness many years ago as a father of small children, whose ultimate argument upon being denied something they wanted invariably was, “It isn’t fair.”
Childish it may be, but it resonates with baby-boomers and members of Generation X, to say nothing of today’s kids. Nearly all of them have been steeped in the conviction that fairness is the all-but-exclusive norm of morality, and fairness means giving everybody what he or she wants — especially if it’s something that somebody else already has.
Yes, it is childish. Yes, it is self-centered. Yes, it has no grounding or loyalty whatsoever to facts or truth. It cares nothing about definitions or standards. It has no regard for the good of society, the strength of the family institution, or the welfare of children. Its only allegiance is to itself.
Will a person of the “new morality” accept these truths? Will a person of the “new morality” be able to see their morality as the fake, self-centered construct that it is? Will the homosexual activist be able to immediately accept that they are attempting to devalue and counterfeit authentic marriage?
The answer to all of these is, of course, “No.” That doesn’t mean that we who understand these truths must not remain loyal to them, and the rejection by some of these truths does not mean we do not have a duty to tell them and insist on them.
But you, the rational person, hopefully now have some things upon which to think. While those deeply invested in the “I want” code of ethics will resist, hopefully you at least have a few more tools with which to appeal to the open-minded fence-sitters in society.
Members of the “I want” cult feel empowered to continue living that lifestyle when grownup society appeases their delusion or at best turns a blind eye to it. You as a rational member of the grownups can refuse to do that, giving no harbor or safe haven to their delusion. You can refuse to accept counterfeits for anything and stop joining the pretend game that imitations are the same as the real thing.
One thing the “I want” cult does understand is peer pressure. Join hands with other responsible members of society to illustrate to the “I want” cult that their petty, self-centered moral code will not be redeemed with you at the same value as the objective one that forms the bedrock of our civilization.