Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ballot Question 6

The wording of Ballot Question 6, on redefining marriage in Maryland, demonstrates secularism’s deceit and our cultural misapprehension of human sexual nature.

Seventy-one of the ballot question’s 96 words address so-called “religious exemptions,” which many Maryland voters will find comfort in while they vote in favor of something they know instinctively to be false. What the religious exemptions insist is that the state will tolerate “bigotry” as long as it is confined to religious orders.

Is a wedding caterer a religious organization? Not explicitly. But wedding caterers do hold religiously informed views on marriage. Because they live and work outside religious orders, the state will not protect them if they disagree with the new definition of marriage. Their bigotry will not be tolerated and the state will force them to cater at same-sex weddings by threatening them with fines if they do not comport their views.

Furthermore, public denouncements of same-sex marriage made outside of religious orders will be prosecuted as hate speech. Trials have already started in Canada, which redefined marriage in 2005.

One is tempted to ask: If defending marriage is hate speech, why carve out exemptions? The answer is simple: Radical change cannot be sold to the public wholesale. Liberty is more readily surrendered piecemeal.

How plastic are we, to view the state’s current definition of marriage, constituted before Moses’ time, as bigotry! Marriage is a procreative union between husband and wife. Without marriage, women bear and rear children alone (or abdicate the responsibility to the nanny state), and “liberated” men prowl a sexual wilderness with no long-term connection to their surroundings. Marriage is the logical answer to satisfy both men’s and women’s needs in the sexual economy. Every stable, productive society has been predicated on marriage.

This wisdom used to be widespread, but over time it has been marginalized, giving rise to new prevailing theories of sexuality.

The current fad is “sexual orientation.” No marriage statute to date says a word about sexual orientation. What “gay and lesbian couples” in Ballot Question 6 means is same-sex couples. No proof of their sexual orientation will be required to obtain a marriage license. I could go with any one of my male friends down to the county clerk’s office and get a marriage license, even though we both fall under the category of “straight.”

What causes this dissonance?

Sexual orientation, despite its popularity in our culture, is impossible to specify practically, let alone legally. After all, what is sexual orientation? Is it one’s feelings towards specific persons of the same or opposite sex? In that case, there are 7 billion orientations to account for. Is it one’s sexual behavior? If so, actress Meredith Baxter and former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, both of whom have children with former spouses, are in fact straight, despite their public statements to the contrary.

It is in this state of confusion that close to a majority of Marylanders will vote to redefine marriage this November.

Compared to gender, sexual attraction and behavior are far less attributable to biological determinism. Pederasty was widespread in ancient Greece and ancient China. It's more likely those cultures inculcated looser sexual mores than they had high prevalence of a homosexual gene, of which scant evidence exists. Culture and circumstances play a major role in sexuality. It is not the monolith the “born this way” crowd claims it is.

Ironically, proponents of same-sex marriage, such as President Obama, take the opposite view of morality, which “evolves” in response to gut feelings and pagan justifications. Who knows what marriage will be in 2050, or 2150? The agitators for redefinition today may very well be the bigots and prudes of tomorrow.

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