Monday, March 01, 2004

But the type of thinking that drives me crazy, because its such a red meat argument made by people who should know better, is made in yesterday's New York Times by SURPRISE!Lisa Schiffrin, Dan Quayle's former speechwriter!

This is the seemingly innocuous comment that drives me crazy!

"What marriage most certainly is not is a benefits grab. It does not exist for the sake of providing health benefits or minimizing estate taxes."

If you read that against David Frum's list of questions (linked below), all financial in nature, you see what a load of garbage that is.

Marriage, as a institution of the state, is completely concerned with financial issues between the parties, as a means of establishing who is financially responsible for who. To the extent it is concerned with the love and affection of the parties, it is only concerned because love and affection enances pysychiatric stability, which in turn enhances financial stability.

Marriage as a way of self-actualizing love and affection is relatively new as an institution.

One of the problems that we will have going forward is how to uncouple marriage in the eyes of the state from marriage in the eyes of the church. They are linked, but not completely the same.

What worries me, as you can tell from the previous e-mails is this:

That people who call themselves liberals believe that marriage is for the emotional self-actualization of the parties. It is that, but not only that, and maybe not primarily that. It is also for the stability of institutions and the stability of children. Any argument about gay marriages that does not emphasize that it is better for children (or at the very worst, neutral for children) is going to fail.

That people who do not call themselves liberals seem to believe that unless the state interferes at the first sign of change, the entire world will come a-tumbling down. Only problem is, especially after these last two weeks, is that I don't think that people who don't call themselves liberals really know what they want.

I have to move on. I'll try to say this better later