Getting the Milk for Free

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Tuesday 2 June 2009 7:24 pm

gettingmilkforfreeIn light of my recent divorce, I wanted to share an essay I had written about marriage and the concept of gay marriage a couple of years back. Not surprisingly, I found it relevant.

I remember sitting with my father when I was a boy. At the time, I had skinned knees and most of my mind was spent collecting baseball cards; however, girls were on the cusp of entering into the picture. My father realized this and had prepared a short dialogue that would help prepare me toward a path of manhood. “Son,” he said, “Don’t buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.”

My father was a wise man and I am an idiot. I am married now. Don’t get me wrong my wife is a good egg. She is kind, cute, and many of her brain cells appear to be working in unison much of the time. I love her, and I have done well in finding a compatible mate. She has assured me there is a reason why we should have gotten married, but I don’t get it. Things are different since my marriage, but not necessarily in a good way. There is a cost. My legal marriage invites the government into my relationship. They have opinions on how we handle our taxes, our insurance, and if things do not work out, our break-up.

So why do any us of us get married? I’m sure at the root there is some crusty Judeo-Christian ethic about boiling adulterers, but times have changed. Marriage has not. Furthermore, times have changed so much so that the once closeted gay America is demanding equal rights. They want what the heterosexual world has: nebulous legal partnering at a 60% failure rate. I just don’t get it. I am also not a homosexual. I don’t get the gay thing either. So when the subject of gay marriage becomes the topic, I don’t get it. My wife is looking over my shoulder as I write this; she is outraged. I don’t think I will be “getting any” later. It all leads me to the question, why does anyone in modern society want to get married, gay or not.

Having read both articles by the opposing viewpoints of Thomas Stoddard and Lisa Schiffren, I must admit a bit of confusion. Stoddard’s pro-gay marriage argument shows how there are terrible injustices in the world. Gay America wants to proclaim their love in an open way. They want what everyone else claims: a legal contract of love that protects the rights of partnership. However, marriage is not the only way to combat this problem. Gay America could do this with other legal documents without having to invite the oppressive law-makers of California and unsupportive federal government to overshadow the union of two consenting adults. Who wants that? It seems that gays are so concerned with being “like us” they forgot that marriage in the heterosexual world is nothing to throw a wedding about.

In the beginning, marriage worked because marriage was rarely about love. People needed each other for dowry, overcoming struggle and making babies. Life was different and men and women’s rules were defined by powerful moralist values based upon America’s conservative Puritan history. Homosexuals have it good. Besides, the average conservative is unwilling to be supportive of gay marriage as part of their moralistic non-culture. As long as we have loud bible-thumpers, gays in America will unlikely receive equal status in the minds of a closed society anyway. Homosexuals are looked down upon by certain segments of society, namely members of the Christian right. However, they may be a benefit. Those willing to stand outside of these moral parameters will receive the rewards of creating a subculture of their own making. Instead of trying to force themselves into a construct that doesn’t want them, they have the ability to make their own party and own rules that govern it. Spend more time making wills and rights of survivorships. Work at companies that help provide insurance to partnerships. Yes, times have changed dramatically giving gay America more rights than ever. There is no real need to marry.

Going back to the specifics of Stoddard’s argument, one of the chief examples cited shows separated lesbians due to illness. This is awful. However, the argument pretends that we live in a just world. This simply is not true. Most people’s lives suck. Throughout the world, most people spend their time trying to eat and avoid getting caught in the crossfire of wars they didn’t create. Life is not fair. The plight of gay marriage is a problem of quality.

On the other hand, Lisa “chicken little” Schiffren suggests that “same-sex” marriage is not in-line with our cultures definition of marriage. She is right. But, she is only speaking from her limited cultural experience as Dan Quayle’s speech writer and a history that produces that sort of narrow-mindedness. This perspective is too limited to have any value in a modern world or to put limitations on that which she doesn’t understand. It puts her in a position to speak from the conservative Christian point-of-view only. As an outsider to her construct, her arguments lacks the perspective and understanding that there are now many ways the word, “family” is now defined, like it or not. Her cowardly views toward same-sex marriage, what she calls “a radical experiment” (which is a really a wonderful way of describing America’s beginnings), is merely evolution at its finest. She and her Bedrock allies can not stop the tides of change. This process is already in motion. My words of advice would be, “Watch out soul sister, the wave of change is moving too quickly for the obsolete dinosaurs of the past, like yourself and your fearful ideals.” Furthermore her decision to stand under the Judeo-Christian umbrella only draws attention to a highly-flawed and questionable dogma that uses power to assert its correctness. Just look at the last two-thousand years of wars in the name of god. Because of this, the world is turning progressively more secular and more frequently abandoning old ways for new and accepting ideals.

As for me, I still don’t get it. However, it would be inappropriate to cast a vote against something I don’t understand for the sake of not understanding it. Really, it is none of my business – it’s not anyone else’s business either. This is why we are theoretically blessed with the separation of church and state. The people who should be deciding if gays should marry, are the particular gays considering the repulsive act of paying for the milk.

No, I won’t be getting any tonight.

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