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The Intellectual Facade of the Case to Redefine Marriage

The intellectual hubris and contempt of the activists seeking to redefine marriage is boundless and, it appears, growing each passing day. They condescendingly scoff at the legal and political arguments supporting marriage, often without even understanding the arguments they so vehemently oppose. But their arrogance and scornful indignation are baseless, for when their arguments are turned against them, their own position crumbles into a heap of rubble.

Here is how the marriage debate typically proceeds: the defenders of marriage, supported by a wealth of anthropological, historical, and legal evidence, demonstrate that the government’s core purpose for marriage has always been to bring men and women in sexual relationships together in legally bound unions so that the children who inevitably result from those relationships will be raised by their mother and father.

The advocates of marital redefinition, in turn, quickly retort that this cannot be the governmental purpose for marriage because the State does not require married couples to have or raise children. On this basis, they wrongly assume that they have undermined the defense for marriage.

But those attacking marriage critically ignore that the government’s concern is not limited to children, rather its focus is the sexual relationship’s potential to create children. So the husband and wife who do not want (or think they are unable) to have children still further the government’s purpose. After all, despite their reproduction-preventive efforts or inconclusive speculation about fertility, a possibility nevertheless exists that their sexual relationship might produce a child, and the government wants that child cared for by his or her mother and father. In this way, the defenders of marriage cogently respond to the challengers’ best-laid charge.

Critically, though, legal scholars and political pundits overlook that the alleged governmental purpose claimed by those attacking marriage does not satisfy their own standard. It, to be sure, doesn’t even come close.

Homosexual activists claim that the government’s purpose of marriage is to recognize loving, committed, and economically interdependent relationships between any two people. Yet that is an unjustifiable claim, lacking any support in law or experience.

To begin with, the law does not require that a married couple love each other. As important as love may be, that is not the law’s business.

Nor, for that matter, does the law require that married couples remain committed. Instead, divorce on demand has sadly become uniform throughout America’s legal regime.

Likewise, the government and the legal system remain primarily agnostic about the economic dependency of married couples. Such couples can maintain separate bank accounts and divide their bills just as readily as they can keep their financial arrangements fused as one. The government, unlike, say, a credit-reporting agency, harbors absolutely no interest in such economic niceties.

At bottom, then, the case against marriage cannot stand up against its own charges. Indeed, it collapses immediately under the weight of its own scrutiny.

So how, you ask, does such a rationally bankrupt agenda exude such condescension and pride? It, quite simply, is a survival technique. Those activists must dutifully trot out (for the purpose of hiding behind) this feigned intellectual superiority, along with their abstract-to-the-point-of-meaningless buzzwords (think of the phrase “marriage equality”) and vitriolic personal attacks (recall those suffered by Olympian Peter Vidmar and former Miss California Carrie Prejean). To do otherwise would risk the scariest of all circumstances: a balanced public discussion about marriage. For if that political climate were to proliferate, the public would inevitably learn the emptiness of their position.

Thus, like the schoolyard bully who hides his fear by creating it in others, the groups attacking marriage display a front of academic superiority, knowing all the while that a breach of that façade will expose the alarming void within.

So the majority of Americans who continue to believe in and affirm marriage mustn’t be fooled: the marriage revisionists’ bold claim of intellectual preeminence lacks rational grounding. Today, as it has since days of old, the case for marriage stands upright, unshaken, and above the empty intellectual attacks of its challengers.

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