Words mean things

Words mean things

One of the arguments against the creation of gay marriage is that you can’t just re-define things to suit your preference. Marriage, is by definition, a union between a man and a woman (although historically, it has included one man and multiple women). You cannot call a union between two men or two women a marriage any more than I can validly call a rock a plant.

The problem with this argument is that we’ve already surrendered it on much more fundamental matters. For example, a guy or gal gets a sex change operation and everybody now calls them by the opposite sex. A local firefighter is being hailed as the “first” woman on the force because a guy changed his plumbing. If I were a woman, I’d be offended that he gets to claim being the “first” woman. The problem is that whatever outward changes you make, a guy still has X and Y chromosomes and a woman still has X-X chromosomes. And even if, in the far future, they develop technology to change that, ontologically, in your very being, you are what you are. But that doesn’t matter to our society. Now these guys in women’s clothesinto ladies bathrooms and fitting rooms and nobody’s supposed to care. Yet where is the outcry over this?

Shouldn’t we be at least as concerned at the damage done to society by undermining the essence of our being as we are concerned at the damage to be done by same-sex unions?

How about another pernicious re-definition: life? For all of human history, whenever someone saw a pregnant woman, it was recognized that she was carrying a baby inside, another human being. But now we have re-defined what it means to be alive and to be human. You are only human if the mother decides you are human. How about Terri Schiavo? Common-sense observation says she’s alive, but a judge, a death-angel lawyer, and a philandering husband can re-define the meaning to say that she’s not alive.

The gay marriage debate is only the latest battle line in the fight for civilization. But the root cause can be found in the fight to re-define sex. You see, sex is supposed to be a loving, completely self-giving act between a husband and a wife, but in the middle of the 20th century, the Supreme Court threw a monkey wrench into the works with its Griswold v. Connecticut decision that legalized contraception and created the “right to privacy” precedent at the heart of Roe v. Wade. Now, with sex cut off from its ultimate purpose, the sexual revolution was free to begin.  Sex without consequences (so they thought), abortion, acceptance of homosexuality, no-fault divorce, euthanasia, and so on.

Unfortunately, “we” opened the door and now we can’t close it. “We” got the re-definitions we wanted, and now we’re trying to keep others from getting theirs. Until we start setting those things right that created the environment of re-definition in the first place, it’s only going to get worse. Maybe one day they’ll re-define freedom and citizen and life and we’ll find ourselves on the wrong side of that definition.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli