The true cost of gay marriage

Happy CoupleGay marriage is here. It’s legal in many countries, it’s been approved by an ever-increasing number of US states, and the UK has now announced the date when same-sex couples will be able to get properly married, instead of separate-but-equal not-really-marriage.

Unsurprisingly, the dire predictions of terrible consequences should people of the same sex be allowed to get married haven’t come to pass. Polygamy, incest and bestiality remain as illegal and taboo as ever, existing marriages have persisted despite the claim that this “redefinition” threatened them in some way, and society is yet to collapse.

But it’s not true to say that this change has had no lasting consequences. There’s one thing that has changed dramatically, and possibly forever. Since the Church of England’s scaremongering, disingenuous claims and special pleading have been shown up so clearly for what they are, the church has seen a dramatic reduction in its authority. And it’s only going to get worse.

It’s not just that the church (or at least the established branch of it, and the noisier parts in general) holds an unpopular opinion, or that the church’s view has been ignored. Their approach, as even Justin Welby admits, is perceived very negatively by the younger generation in particular. As society moves on, people come to treat same-sex marriage as normal and the prophecies of doom continue to go unfulfilled, the church’s opposition will look increasingly backward.

Even when the church catches up with the rest of society, as it surely will, this opposition will be remembered for a long time, and it won’t easily be forgiven. The sensible, moderate religious voices will be forgotten, but the extremists will go down in history, like the rigid, resistant, rule-bound people who have opposed every single advance in society and ended up looking ever more ridiculous as everyone else moved on.

Who’s allowed to get married isn’t the issue. It’s important for society and for the people who want to marry, but in this context, it’s both a symptom and a cause of the church having lost its authority. People don’t simply accept “God says” anymore. Your opinions don’t carry more weight because you wear a pointy hat, or because you can point to an ancient book to back you up. In future, the church will have to promote arguments on their merits. On recent evidence, that may be a struggle.

Image courtesy of svilen001, used with permission

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About Recovering Agnostic

I'm Christian by upbringing, agnostic by belief, cynical by temperament, broadly scientific in approach, and looking for answers. My main interest at the moment is in turning my current disengaged shrug into at least a working hypothesis.

8 responses to “The true cost of gay marriage”

  1. jasonjshaw says :

    Or maybe they will start to understand the concept of love that Jesus taught. Especially considering that is what they are supposedly in the business of doing.

  2. ninasusan says :

    I cannot listen to resistant, rule bound,rigid people…there is nothing they have to say that could have an affect on my life or how I think…other than to have contempt for them.

  3. coastcontact says :

    To put this in specific words, your marriage will not impact my marriage. You should be free to marry anyone you love.

    • Al Pound says :

      coastcontact,

      should a man be allowed to marry his mother or father or brother or sister?
      there are people who would do this if allowed.
      should a man be allowed to marry two men or two women?
      there are men who have done this. those found out have been prosecuted
      and second marriages have been annulled.

      using love as the rational for allowing someone to marry is illogical.
      this is why same-sex marriage will ultimately be done away with or all constraints on marriage will have to be lifted.

      • Recovering Agnostic says :

        On this narrow point, I agree with you – love isn’t a sufficient reason for people to be allowed to marry. The rest is the same old stuff, though.

        The reason for mentioning love is that it requires a good, powerful reason for obstructing the legal recognition of that love. That is available in the case of incestuous marriages (although I would argue that where the marriage would be infertile, the taboo has no rational basis), but no such reason has been offered for obstructing same-sex marriages. That, as I’m sure you know, is the difference.

  4. Al Pound says :

    As a gay man who has moved from Christianity to a form of deism, I don’t think you need revealed religion to know that “gay marriage” isn’t good for mankind and our societies.

    Marriage exists to compel men and women to form stable relationships to raise children. And the marriage contract allows societies/governments to bestow incentives/benefits on these men and women to raise families.

    In all cultures through all history, until recently, same-sex marriages never existed. We will eventually come to the conclusion that we shouldn’t have them either. But just like communism, it will take time for people to understand the true cost of same-sex marriage and see the folly of their ways.

    • Recovering Agnostic says :

      These arguments have been thrashed out and completely trashed every time they come up. Couples are currently married even if they have no children, no desire for them and even no ability to procreate. By stating that marriage is about procreation, you deny the validity of many existing straight marriages. Any attempt to dodge that fact amounts to special pleading.

      The argument from history is another one that’s tired and discredited. By this reasoning, what is currently understood as marriage shouldn’t exist either, as it’s a recent invention. And many wonderful and sensible advances in society would be consigned to the scrapheap. Imagine using that argument to support slavery, or to oppose universal suffrage, then take a long, hard look at yourself.

    • Claude says :

      What’s your opinion on elderly couples who marry long after they’re no longer capable of reproducing? Or people who are impotent/unable to procreate for one reason or another? What do you think should be done about married couples that can’t/don’t yield children?

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