I just woke up from a dream I was having. In my dream, aliens came to earth. They were hominid and blue, and looked like Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen, 10 feet tall each. There were only three that came down. The first and second, (the main one being Thor – why yes my subconscious is that unoriginal) met with the United Nations and gave us lots of inventions, and things that would improve many areas of technology, like power generation, food growth, etc. Things that we really would be thankful for if we were given (well, most of us – I suspect if everyone on earth could be saved from starvation today, some people that live under the mantra “overpopulation” would be quite disappointed – the suffering of millions is a good thing when humans are a pestilence).
Then, they brought in the third. The third alien was quiet, and had a special gift to give us, Thor announced. His gift was that he could make everyone in the world forget a word just by saying it. Its definition, its connotations, its etymology, basically that it had ever existed in our vernacular in the first place. To the smarter people in the room, it wasn’t clear how the gift would be given or who should decide what words we should forget. But someone in the back yelled “Marriage!” and the third alien said it without hesitation (at the opening of his mouth, many started to voice their protest, only to stop as soon as he finished the word), making everyone in the room forget what the term signifies. Thor beamed at the confusion at his next sentence, when he said “You don’t know what marriage is.” “What does it mean??” someone yelled. Thor replied “It means you can… be with somebody you like, under law.” One ambassador burst out “I want to get married to Dan,” speaking of his Ambassador friend from Israel. And with our new ability to define the word marriage, everyone in the room clapped and cheered at the new marriage taking place on the UN floor.
This dream meant many things to me. Foremost, it gave me some perspective on the historical significance of the word marriage. Marriage was created evolutionarily as a means of raising children in the most positive environment possible. It evolved to be this way. Which doesn’t mean it is right, but does mean that if it is a trait which gives us the ability to propagate the species successfully (which, I think an argument can be made that functional marriages allow the most successful rearing of children), it should not be discarded at the will of a minority. But more important than that, the law can never codify love. Love between two people cannot be recognized by a court of law, nor should it be. But that is what marriage is about – fostering a relationship toward the end of raising the next successful generations. Civil marriage is a distraction from what marriage is and has always been about. The human race did not wake up one day and decide that marriage should be an institution in which man and woman unite, where gays should be excluded. That is the way marriage has been for thousands of years. It is not until today that it is ‘discriminatory.’ Yet the purpose of marriage still stands – to raise the next generation in an environment of love. Of course, the argument will follow that “not all people have kids!” That is true, and people can choose to do so (even if it is wrong to do) or may not have the ability. But exceptions do not make policy, nor should we change policy to reflect exception…
I don’t know what the answer is, but I know what it is not – the government redefining marriage to mean whatever we think it should. It already means something, and we cannot forget the purpose of it because we want everybody to feel the same. We are already forgetting what marriage means (divorce and single motherhood abound), and it is destroying our society. If we lose our history as a human race, or decide to create our own, we lose what it is to be human – simply because many of our circumstances developed for a reason. No legislation can change that. The noble purpose of marriage is children, and the history of marriage speaks to the fact that it was created not to discriminate, but to bestow responsibility, duties, and life-creation. To forget that in the name of equality and political correctness frustrates one of the better aspects of the most unique organic creations of all of the creatures on earth.
Maybe the solution is removing government from the business of marriage altogether, somehow. I have heard the idea proposed, but don’t know enough to comment about its solvency.
I don’t feel incredibly strongly about this position, but more than anything, I felt suddenly sad when the whole purpose of marriage was erased from the human mind in my dreams so that a few people did not feel left out. Sure, love can exist between two women. But does that mean that environment equates with a mother-father relationship as far as parenting is concerned? I don’t think so, and no matter how politically correct you are, I don’t think you can honestly say it does. It has worked for thousands of years, and has only started to decay recently. Should we risk it fraying completely? I am skeptical of that type of reasoning, where equality supersedes all other values.
After the first, I had a dream that one of my best friends grabbed a fistful of bees. I don’t know what that one was about.