The Definition of Marriage is More Than A Defintion
The definition of marriage is not just an arbitrary conglomeration of words with no meaning. But that is exactly what those seeking to redefine marriage are trying to make it. Opponents of traditional marriage believe the definition is too narrow and exclusive, so they are seeking to broaden the definition in order to be more inclusive.
The problem is that by broadening the definition of marriage, these self-titled liberals and progressives would also erase any actual or perceived definition of marriage. Marriage is inherently the union of one man and one woman for one lifetime. For example, the Webster online dictionary defines marriage thus:
“The act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony.”
That of course was the 1913 edition of the Webster dictionary with a near universal and historically held definition of marriage. But the newer, much more politically correct dictionary.com defines marriage as:
“…any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world toform a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participatingpartners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example, opposite sex marriage, same sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage.”
When one views such a definition of marriage the only question that comes to mind is “What is NOT marriage?”
Herein lays the problem. As opponents of traditional marriage have fought to secure rights for homosexuals to marry, they have either inadvertently or quite purposefully sought to remove any inherent meaning in marriage. After all, if two men or two women constitute a marriage, why doesn’t a man and three women, or two women and a man, or a random group of people? If the definition is so arbitrary and malleable that it can be altered at whim of culture, then truthfully it never held any real meaning.
One of the principle aspects to marriage that has gone largely ignored during the effort to redefine marriage is children. The central purpose for marriage has always been to bear and raise kids and continue the heritage of a family. That aspect is largely ignored by homosexuals who not only want to marry, they would like for society to provide them with the children they can’t bear naturally. The result is not just a loss of meaning for marriage but a loss of meaning for family as well.
Consider a recent trend called “Co-Parenting.” Far from a hip way for a mother and father to creatively tackle the trials associated with parenting, this is nothing more than random strangers getting together for the purpose of having kids. A recent article comments on the rise of this trend:
“Today, co-parenting is largely popular among homosexual men and women who want to have children. However, co-parenting also appeals to individuals who want to experience parenthood without the ‘trouble’ of committed, long-term marriage relationships…Overall, the premise behind co-parenting is that parenthood does not have to be based on love and commitment, but can instead be founded upon a contract where both parents share child-rearing responsibilities.”
I didn’t realize long-term, committed relationships were “trouble.” I always thought of such relationships as the environment wherein children thrive while being raised by their biological mother and father. If I can now have kids with a woman simply based on shared interests, what’s the point? What is there to keep me from running off and doing the same with a dozen other women across the country?
This is just the tip of the disturbing iceberg. In a separate incident a federal judge granted legal co-parenting status to two friends who don’t live together, are not romantically involved, but wanted to adopt a child. In this case the child, identified as “G,” believes the man is her father and the woman is her mother. With this in mind the judge ruled in a landmark case that two friends can be co-parents. Listen to what the judge wrote in her ruling:
“G. calls KAL ‘Mommy’ and LEL ‘Daddy,’” and “although they live in separate households,” they “have created a nurturing family environment for G., including a well-thought-out, discussed and fluid method of sharing parenting responsibilities between their homes.”
This is a disturbing thought. The judge is saying that two people that are not married or romantically involved and living in separate houses can create a “nurturing family environment.” The judge is admitting that she does not believe marriage or even living in the same house is necessary for a family to exist and raise children. In this case I suppose orphanages are “nurturing family environments.” And once again no one is thinking of what would be in the best interest of the child.
The bottom line is that the effort to redefine marriage is having disastrous consequences on the definition of family as well. The ones that will suffer will be the kids, as usual. While selfish adults fight over their rights they give almost no consideration to the needs of children and how they will be impacted by these court decisions.
It needs to be understood that marriage and family are not arbitrary words that society is free to alter at will. There is inherent meaning in these words that not even society can undo just because it doesn’t like the inherent meaning. We would be better off if we adhered to the meaning of these words rather than tried to make the words fit our image of what they should be.