Power. Money. Marriage. No one likes to admit it, but these are the only issues at hand.
In the State of Washington a law was recently passed defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman. This definition is not a huge surprise after seeing the backlash caused by the events in Vermont and Massachusetts, where Vermont validated homosexual civil unions, and Massachusetts legalized gay marriage.
In the triumph in Washington, however, the results are a little bit of "be careful what you wish for."
The language in the Washington law also defines that the State has a vested interest in seeing that married couples procreate. This language is one of the principal tenets of the anti-gay-marriage movement across the country, which reduces further the surprise that such language exists in the law.
And the history of marriage did have a little something to do about procreation. Societies have always been concerned about their own continuation. But, particularly in the US, we don't have to worry so much about our children dying before they are one year old. We don't need to have ten children any more, in the hopes of having three of them live to the ripe old age of twenty. And trumping all issues of infant mortality, money and power (usually the control of money). Even "ancient Hebrew law required a man to become the husband of a deceased brother's widow." (1)
Furthermore, in "The History of God" by Karen Armstrong we learn about how Catholic priests lost the right to marry over five hundred years ago because of, that's right, power and money. Way back in the day Catholic priests were not only the caretakers, but the owners of their parishes, and if they had no sons when they passed away, their wives took control of the parish assets. Rome is smart. They eliminated a priest's ability to marry, the priests passed away, and the control of the parish assets went where? To the Church. Brilliant.
But marriage is about having children, right? The language is right there in the Washington law. So a group of savvy folk are mounting a ballot campaign to further define marriage. Using the language of the law passed the new ballot initiative stipulates that a man and woman intending to marry need to prove that they can actually have a child, and then they need to make good on that intention within the first three years of marriage.
Yes, the details of this are preposterous, but when you look at marriage in its historical context, so is the language of the Washington law -- and the people mounting this new ballot initiative know this.
The lead lawyer from the campaign to pass the last law is incensed at this maneuver, sniping that these people are anti-father, and anti-mother, and anti-this, and anti-that. She's missing the point. She's missing the point, but the people waging this new campaign of changing the law get the point. Marriage is not about those things; it's about who's in control, who has the power, and who keeps the power. And there are a lot of people very afraid of losing that power.
Who ever said that education was not important? Who? The people in a country where most people on the street have no idea what the name is of the current Vice President.
Originally published at: http://bentspoon.net