I have tried to pack everything into one post but my mind keeps rebounding and tangenting. I spent most of the day yesterday and a good amount of time today writing about Gay Marriage, then Marriage, then Sex, then Love. I wanted to do a DenBeste but I'm going to break it up. So here's the first installment off the top of the massive essay (which is broken down into segments anyway).
I've come to some fairly solid conclusions about what I think about the prospects for Gay Marriage. Basically, I think the idea is doomed. There is nothing fundamentally changing here and people need to calm down and think it through. I have and I've come to see it in the context of the following several themes. This is going to be a big post, so pack a lunch.
Rule #1. There is Marriage and there is Everything Else
Marriage, as I've said before, is an institution ordained of God, and by Marriage I mean the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. If you modify the vows, it ain't marriage. But I need you to think about it backwards.
The central proposition to the institution of marriage which makes it more than just a relationship is its aspect of permanent committment the basis of which is central to family. This is the essence of what is sacred and critical of Marriage, without which it is nothing more than a formal acknowledge of a relationship between people. So it is not religion that makes marriage sacred though we refer to it as Holy Matrimony, rather it is the transcendent aspect of love embodied in the ideals of Marriage that gives religion appropriates as a sacrament. That is why Marriage is universal and religious rites center on its transcendant aspects the most important of which are permanence and fidelity.
When I say 'central to family' I mean it in the context of the understanding that the Wedding Vow althought it denotes the love between two, connotes the role of parents. DINKs are Marriage Lite. Voluntarily sterile DINKs are life partners for sure, but that's not what we mean by marriage. If it were nothing more than a blessing on a 'significant relationship' then we'd respect the host of the Dating Game (or any of its variants) as much as ministers who marry.
There is a historical majoritarian argument about Marriage which makes it permanent in the culture. The experience of husbandhood is a subset of the experience of married fatherhood and it is this experience of married parenthood that informs what families pass on as knowledge about life. It is a fundamentally and extraordinarily challenging role in whose execution most of us ask ourselves, how the hell did I get here. Honoring of the wedding vow is critical in the enhanced morality and standing of Marriage.
It is this honor which is part and parcel of the transcendence of Marriage. In that way it is much like a soldier's vow or a doctor's creed. For the sake of not only the union of those dedicated but for the sake of others (children) the sacrifice is made.