Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And a light shone in the darkness...

I am perverse enough that I'll curse the darkness, nay rejoice in it, rather than light any candles.



But, I am also inconsistent. So, Monday after work found me standing on a street corner, candle in hand, joining others around the Bay Area in a candlelight vigil to underscore that the passing of Proposition 8 is not right nor just nor, in any way, does it defend traditional marriage.



People (Catholic bishops included) have become very fond of this phrase "traditional marriage". Perhaps it might be valuable to ask the multitudes of women how they were served over the millennia as victims of "traditional marriage". This, using the word "traditional" in its dictionary meaning as long-established custom.



How did being counted among the sheep and goats as property serve them? Or as a door prize in some political deal between rival heads of state/province/stupid-little-patch-of-ground.



And how can anyone, as the Catholic bishops did on November 5th, say that such marriages provide the optimal environment for raising children?



Marriage has for most of human history been a socio-economic affair with political overtones. This marrying primarily for love is a late arrival for society as a whole.



And, even with that, here it is again being used in a political way.



The Catholic bishops, usually so distant from things physical, suggest that marriage requires the "plumbing" to be different - for so nature has intended. Let me not look too closely at the Catholic Church's track record with natural science.



Rather let me state quite strongly that nature has nothing to do with marriage. Marriage is a societal construct. Nature is indeed concerned with mating and, please don't tell the bishops, sex. But not marriage.



Why my focus on Catholic bishops? Sorry, Roman Catholicism is my tradition - something that has been part of my life since childhood.



And they make it difficult, sometimes more than others.



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