Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Is "Traditional Marriage"?

Blogger Archie Levine passes along an excellent editorial in the wake of the recent decision overturning Prop 8:

Traditional Marriage Perverts the Tradition of Marriage

...which traditional definition of marriage do we want our Constitution to protect?

...The one from Book of Genesis when family values meant multiple wives and concubines?
...Or the marriages of the Middle Ages when women were traded like cattle and weddings were too bawdy for church?
...Since this is America, should we preserve marriage as it existed in 1776 when arranged marriages were still commonplace?
...Or the traditions of 1850 when California became a state and marriage was customarily between one man and one woman-or-girl of age 11 and up?
...Or are we really seeking to protect a more modern vision of traditional marriage, say from the 1950s when it was illegal for whites to wed blacks or Hispanics?
...Or the traditional marriage of the late 1960s when couples were routinely excommunicated for marrying outside their faith?

No, the truth of the matter is, that we're trying to preserve traditional marriage the way it "was and always has been" during a very narrow period in the late 70s / early 80s - just before most of us found out that gays even existed: Between one man and one woman of legal age and willing consent. Regardless of race or religion (within reason). Plus the chicken dance and the birdseed.

Read it. Read it all. It's worth the time it takes.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

An Old Fable, Updated:

Latest Newspaper Column:

One day, Chicken Little was out for his walk when an acorn fell from a tree and hit him on the head. Chicken Little was a very silly chicken, so he immediately thought the worst.

"The sky is falling!" he screamed. "I have to go tell someone!"

So Chicken Little ran and ran until he came upon Foxy Loxy.

"Where are you going so fast, Chicken Little?" said Foxy Loxy.

"The sky is falling!" Chicken Little said. "I have to go tell someone!"

"Why don't you go on my television network?" said Foxy Loxy. "You can tell everyone that the sky is falling. And get your friend Henny Penny to go on the radio, and your friend Goosey Lucy to start a blog. Tell the people that the sky is falling, and that it's all the president'sfault. He and all his socialist buddies."

"What's a socialist?" Chicken Little asked.

"Who cares?" Foxy Loxy said. "It sounds bad, and people are afraid of it."


"How about if I pay you a lot of money?" Foxy Loxy said.

"Why didn't you say so before?" said Chicken Little.

So Chicken Little called Henny Penny and Goosey Lucy, and they all started going around on TV and radio and the Internet, insisting that, not only was the sky falling, but that it was all the fault of the President and the socialists.

Chicken Little often broke down in tears on camera because, he said, he was so afraid for the country. People were badly frightened, butthey kept tuning in. They often sent the things they heard to everyone they knew via e-mail, so the fear continued to spread.

One day, Chicken Little went to visit Foxy Loxy.

"Some people are beginning to say that the sky isn't falling after all," he complained.

"Looks like someone's drunk the Kool-Aid." Foxy Loxy laughed.

"What?" Chicken Little said.

"It's just a meaningless expression," Foxy Loxy explained. "You say it when anyone says the sky's not really falling."

"Some people are saying I was just hit on the head by an acorn."

"That's part of the liberal media conspiracy," Foxy Loxy said. "You can't believe anything they say."

"But if the sky is falling," Chicken Little asked. "Why aren't we all dead?"

"Chicken Little," Foxy Loxy said, "Do you like getting your paycheck?"

"Sure," Chicken Little answered.

"Do you really think there's any money in telling people the sky is NOT falling?"

"I guess you're right," Chicken Little said. "But aren't there other things we can scare people with?"

Foxy Loxy looked suspicious. "Like what?"

"Like I heard that there are people who are making big messes and poisoning the water and the air. And some other big companies are cheating people of their money."

"Chicken Little," Foxy Loxy said patiently, "Those people are big advertisers on my TV network. If you make people afraid of them, they might demand that the government do something about it. If the government does that, they'll make less money. If they make less

"We'll make less money?" Chicken Little said.

"Exactly. And only a socialist would want something like that to happen. You're not a socialist, are you?"

"Heck, no!" Chicken Little said. "I don't even know what that is!"

"Very good," Foxy Loxy said. "So what do we tell the people?"

"The sky is falling. And it's the president's fault. Him and the socialists."

"That's my boy," said Foxy Loxy. "Now get out there and spread that fear."

So they all got back to work telling everyone that the socialists and the president were all part of a big conspiracy that was making the sky fall. Anyone who tried to say different was told they were Kool-Aid drinking socialists. And they all got rich and lived happily ever after.

Well, Chicken Little and his friends did, at least. Everyone who listened to them spent all their time being scared and angry and mistrustful, afraid that the sky was falling.

But, of course, it never did.