Defining Marriage: Arbitrary or Fixed?

Is the definition of marriage arbitrary, or is it fixed? Does some sort of moralistic logic ground the historical and natural understanding of marriage? On the otherhand, is marriage an ever changing cultural revision?

If "marriage" turns out to be nothing in particular and can justifiably be altered and redefined on the whim of the populus, what are we to make of current debates and amendments browsing through the courts? Even the marriage amendments being implemented through law saying marriage should be granted for same-sex couples is itself an argument for something in particular. Why not allow a successful business lady marry the 4 cats she houses? Are we to marry two parrots (implies male and female still) who mate for life receive governmental and societal approval? If not, why not? Who are we to restrict marriage for human-beings alone? Is this not "humanism" in a post-reconstructive manner? After all love and sexual desire make the core enterprise who demand marriage, right? But of course, same-sex marriage advocates would shout "non-sense" after I made such a remark. They're right, it is absurd. But only if an axiom to marriage exists, does it turn out that wedding a father and his son become absurd. Same-sex marriage advocates cannot, even in principle, object to these marriage amendments on moral grounds.

The traditional view of marriage argues that marriage, from the beginning, has been about children. It defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Why, you might ask? Offspring. Women and men are the types of gender that, when joined together in sexual activity, create other human beings worthy of our protection and respect. Mothers and fathers are what make up a family, not two fathers and/or two mothers.

When marriage is reduced to societal mood swings, it affirms no essential components to what a forms a "family." Instead, terms such as fatherhood and motherhood are, in reality, illusionary at best and relativistic name-games at worst. The historical, originalist view of marriage can make sense of a normative family; that, being a father, his wife (the mother) and their children.

Neglecting children of a mother and father is detrimental to our society. Family, and therefore, marriage aren't terms that apply to any relationship between human beings. But only to particular kinds of relationships; those that at least, in principle, can form the foundational cornerstones of society, which are families. This is why governments have gone out of their way to facilitate a safe envirornment for these families, which are started by marriages, which families are the foundational building blocks to a stable society. The other relationships in society, as valuable as they may be, don't need this kind of social support because they don't function in the same way as mother, father, and their kids function in society.

Cross-blogged at Apologia Christi

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