Gay Marriage and Why Words Matter

Traditional ValuesHuman Rights CampaignBy now anyone not living under a rock is well aware of the Human Right’s Campaign’s initiative to raise awareness on the Supreme Court hearing this week addressing equal rights for gay and lesbian marriage. Undoubtedly, someone will notice that I have a conservative values logo on my Facebook profile and instantly label me a bigot. So I thought it best to air my viewpoint here so that there is no confusion.

According to Global Language Monitor, as of January 1, 2012 there were an estimated 1,019,729 words in the English language. They estimate that a new word is created every 98 minutes or about 14.7 words per day. By comparison, or to give a sense of growth over time, in Shakespeare’s day there existed an estimated 60,000 words in the English language.

The Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology describes the history of marriage in Western Civilization as follows:

“Marriage, as we know it in our Western civilization today, has a long history with roots in several very different ancient cultures, of which the Roman, Hebrew, and Germanic are the most important. Western marriage has further been shaped by the doctrines and policies of the medieval Christian church, the demands of the Protestant Reformation, and the social impact of the Industrial Revolution.

When we look at the marriage customs of our ancestors, we discover several striking facts. For example, for the most of Western history, marriage was not a mere personal matter concerning only husband and wife, but rather the business of their two families which brought them together. Most marriages, therefore, were arranged. Moreover, the wife usually had much fewer rights than her husband and was expected to be subservient to him. To a considerable extent, marriage was also an economic arrangement. There was little room for romantic love, and even simple affection was not considered essential. Procreation and cooperation were the main marital duties.

On the other hand, it may surprise many modern couples to learn that in earlier times divorce was often easily granted. Here again, men usually had the advantage when they could simply dismiss their wives, but in many instances women could also sue for divorce. In ancient Rome couples could even divorce each other by mutual agreement, a possibility that has not yet returned to all European countries. Another notable historical fact is the nearly universal stress on the necessity of marriage and the resulting pressure on single persons to get married. This pressure was partially lifted only under the influence of Christianity which, at least for some time, found a special virtue in celibacy. Christian doctrines have, of course, also had their effects on marriage itself.

The rise of Christianity produced a profound change in European marriage laws and customs, although this change came about only gradually. The first Christian emperors were more or less content with the traditional Roman law. However, under varying political and religious pressures, they alternately broadened and restricted the divorce regulations. They also repealed older laws which had penalized the unmarried and childless, since the new Christian asceticism favored virginity and sexual abstinence over marriage. In most other respects they resisted change. Marriage and divorce continued to be civil and private matters.”

The root of the matter for many who share conservative values is the legislation of something that has been held largely as a religious tradition. The fact that there are automatically implied legal implications are frankly the first failing of our government.

That one has to petition the court to receive a “marriage license” is the real issue. All people regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation should be required to petition the court to receive a certificate authenticating a civil union for the purpose of the legal rights associated with the commitment of two people to each other as it regards assets and power of attorney.

Marriage should continue to be a religious ceremony provided by the house of God that the people choosing to enter in to a religious bond with each other.

Words are important. It is because we are an evolved and enlightened society that we continue to evolve our language and have so many degrees of specificity in which we are able to articulate that which we wish to describe. Why then does the need exist to describe something that is not marriage as such? Simple. Because the definition has wrongly been expanded to encompass legal ramifications that should never have come to pass in the first place.¬†Frankly, I contend that the government’s use of marriage is a direct violation of separation of church and state.

People who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle can never really get married regardless of the government’s decision because they cannot be joined in a bond of matrimony via religious ceremony because their lifestyle is a direct violation of the most basic religious tenants. That is simply a fact. I am not passing judgment on that. I am simply stating a fact based upon all religious texts.

I have chosen to live a Christian life. I don’t need anyone to believe what I believe. We live in a free country where people’s right to live a life that should not be infringed upon by another. I am certainly not interested in forcing my Christian beliefs on homosexuals who would like equal rights under the law. Similarly, I am not particularly interested in having a government or group of people force the concepts of my religious values to be shifted via legal decree.

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