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The evidence of thousands of years of human history suggests traditional marriage is good for SOCIETY.  Without legal and social incentives for lifelong male-female unions, children grow up without fathers. 

Having said that, I agree that social rejection of same-sex unions is unkind to homosexuals.  This is true not just for homosexuals. Advocates of every lifestyle which differs from what is considered "mainstream" (whether it's Vegan-ism or living in a Bio-Dome), want their preferences to be recognized as valid by the rest of society.

But voluntary homelessness, recreational drug abuse and defrauding the system by claiming a nonexistent disability are also "lifestyle choices."

If we are going to thrive as a society, we have to discourage those behavioral choices, and even penalize them. 

So you could argue, discouraging voluntary homelessness is unkind to someone who prefers to scavenge for food from garbage bins.  It's unkind to the person who likes to get high, and still wants to drive.  And it's unkind to drop benefits to the person who wants taxpayer money for doing nothing. 

It probably has no impact on YOU personally when someone makes those choices -- unless they happen to crash into your car or pee in your doorway.  But the relevant question is not, "How does my lifestyle hurt YOU?" as much as it is, "If a majority of people did this, would society be better or worse?"

If you are under 40, you may not remember a time when "living together" was frowned on.  It was called "shacking up" in those days, and girls who did it were seen as Not-Too-Bright.  "Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?"  People thought she obviously doesn't understand if a man is getting his physical, nutritional, recreational and sexual needs met, nothing will motivate him to marry her and raise a family.  

That was back before we all started pretending males and females are the same.  We knew, from observation and experience, that males are wired up to want a variety of sexual partners.  So when a man actively decides to go against his nature, it is a demonstration of a higher standard of love. 

I know, it sounds crazy now, but as a society we used to reward higher moral behavior, because self-sacrifice and other-centeredness aren't even a little bit "natural."  It has to be inspired.  We don't WANT to put ourselves last, but sometimes we do for a greater good.  

Firefighters rewire their instinct for self-preservation to charge into a burning building and save lives.  Mother Teresa's treatment of the low and outcast in Calcutta was not "instinctive," but a choice made to love to a higher standard. 

So, what does this have to do with same-sex unions (marriage equality)? Over the last decade, Western culture has come to believe there is no benefit to actively promoting male-female legal unions.

If traditional unions are not necessary, or even worthy of the effort required to go the distance, then more and more people will choose to remain in their natural state of self-centeredness.

One has only to look at Europe where childbearing and marriage has been declining for years.  A huge number of people now choose a lifestyle with a singularly selfish perspective: "Having kids means less time and more limited resources for ME."  European governments now PAY couples to have babies.  (What kind of ninny believes THAT will produce caring parents?)

Celebrities who become single mothers ON PURPOSE, likewise are only thinking of themselves.  When interviewed, she usually says, "I want a kid and I can afford it," completely oblivious to the fact that she is robbing her child of the influence of a father -- his money might be coming in, but his unique contribution is discarded as irrelevant.  

Ask any kid who grew up with no Dad if HE think his Dad's contribution was "irrelevant."

And that brings me to same-sex unions.  Is it better for society to have MORE children raised in homes without the influence of the opposite sex?  More kids with no dads?  More kids with no mom?  People who favor "marriage equality," insist it won't make any difference AT ALL if you get one parent of each gender.  It only matters if there are "lots of people" around who love a child.

I've spent a lot of time with juvenile delinquents who were raised by a single mom. For years I've been asking, "What would be different if your dad was around?"

Every one of those boys loves his mom.  But every time the answer is, "I don't think I'd be here [meaning a detention hall or juvy camp].  I know how to get around my mom.  If my dad was around, I wouldn't have gotten away with stuff."  

Those boys don't know they're supposed to believe a father is irrelevant.  

My response to marriage equality, is, "I'm happy you got what you wanted, but I think there are going to be negative consequences you can't possibly imagine for the next generation."  

My own generation de-stigmatized living together... which means we are responsible for the 73% of African-American children born into homes with no dad.  Fatherlessness is linked to drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, criminal activity, teen pregnancy, lack of education, gang-related behavior and inability to sustain work or relationships.

We never thought THAT would happen just because we insisted people treat our "significant other" as equal in status to a "spouse."  How is that any different from marriage equality?

I'm happy for Ellen and Portia, and the male couple on Project Runway who got what they wanted... but I wonder what their happiness will cost the next generation, and the next.
 


Comments

Karen (the author)
01/02/2014 10:53am

I wrote this post before the A&E v. Duck Dynasty controversy. I hesitated to post it because I know it will draw fire. But after most of what I heard on both sides, I decided it was a point of view not expressed.

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Bob Bae
01/03/2014 6:38am

Another symptom of a "me "
centered culture that continues to gain the acceptance of not only the secular society but of some churches as well. Pardon this crass sounding comment but it seems that with each new generation there seems to be more boldness to give God the finger. Thankfully Christ is still willing to bridge that incredibly huge chasm that separates us from God.

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01/20/2014 10:55am

Once again, Miss Karen, you are spot-on. I love your caring, logical, loving point-of-view.

When I grow up, I wanna be just like you.

Much love,

Chana

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