Before you read beyond this introduction, understand this post is only for the open-minded. If you are not open to thinking about ideas different than your own, please move along. This post will be of no use to you. If, however, you can agree you will not be a close minded bigot, please consume the words that follow.
Marriage is an interesting thing. It’s the union of a man and a woman in a unique mix of relationship, roles, and responsibility. At least, until recently, that’s what it’s been.
Now there is a VERY vocal minority of people who believe marriage can be redefined. I don’t take issue with the idea of redefining things when those things have changed to the point of needing a new word to define them. That’s how language works. But is marriage one of those things?
Heavens no, you silly goose. This may get a bit philosophical for some, but I think you can keep up.
If I asked you to describe the word “sky”, you’d most likely start by saying, “it’s open air that appears blue,” or something similar. Great. I agree. Your words describe the state of the sky as it is.
But what if I came along and wanted to redefine the word “sky”? Instead of the vast open air that appears blue, “sky” now refers to the stuff beneath our feet (commonly called “ground”). Does the redefining of the word “sky” change the characteristics of the open air that appears blue? Not in the slightest. It’s just as blue as before. We’ll need a new way to talk about the open air that appears blue, as it would be mighty confusing to have two very different things both going by the same name.
We use that word “sky” as a stand in for the thing itself, so when we want to discuss the open air that appears blue, we have a convenient word for it. If we change the word we use, fine. It has no affect on the thing itself.
This idea gets lost in all the talking points about same sex marriage, (which I think is done on purpose). “Marriage” is the word we use to describe a particular thing. It describes a relationship between a man and a woman, sanctioned by the state, with the intention of lasting until one of the parties kicks the bucket. This union doesn’t change because we use a different arrangement of letters.
You are still being open-minded here, aren’t you? Remember, no bigots allowed.
Now we are told the word “marriage” includes same sex couples. Where you stand on this issue is irrelevant to my point. The push is to redefine marriage (remember, redefining words is not a bad thing in general). But what does this accomplish? It simply creates a void. How do we describe the man/woman relationship now, to distinguish it from the same sex relationship that now uses the same word? We now have no way to distinguish between a same sex marriage and a heterosexual marriage.
And that is the point of the movement. Those making this push don’t want the obvious distinction to be made, as though there is no difference in the sexes. “A man is the same in every way as a woman.” Except for obvious physical differences. And physiological differences. And the way we react to external stimuli. And the way our brains process information. But other than all that, you can seamlessly swap out a man for a woman or a woman for a man.
Marriage isn’t the sort of thing we merely define. It’s a particular thing that we see and describe. Change the name if you’d like, but that doesn’t erase the distinction. All it does is muddy the conversations about it, which does nobody any good.