I was raised Catholic. I just knelt 4 times and had a beer while typing that – it’s a Catholic thing. Some might know that I’m no longer Catholic. I resisted the combination of calisthenics and spirituality I guess and became a Zen practitioner. Now I just sit and don’t think – I kinda like it.
I want to talk about something that i think is being hugly misrepresented and has the potential to really damage our country, our kids, and our way of life. The defense of marriage. Yet another Orwellian crafted message from those on the right at the behest of the religious right. I will from now on call it what it is: the affront to marriage. The Affront To Marriage Act.
The basis upon which the right views they are “protecting marriage” completely falls apart upon further scrutiny. They say allowing gay couples to marry would destroy the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is deemed in their religion (nevermind what a minority might think or say) to be between a man and a woman. Here is where they screw up strategically. By not going ahead and just saying “we hate gays”, they mask it by saying “we are defending marriage”. Let’s take a look at that real quick.
The latest statistics I was able to come up with (not an exhaustive search) showed about 600,000 households in the country identify as being same sex. The latest number of divorces in a single year came in at around 950,000. So if one were truly interested in “defending marriage”, wouldn’t you start at the biggest threat and work your way down? It’s statistical analysis 101. Pareto chart. Divorce would be the biggest bar. Are divorces not an attack on the sancitity of marriage? Or is there some other goal here?
Divorce is one and a half times more dangerous to marriage than gay couples. Of course, this only assumes a single year of divorces. If we assume modest growth for the number of gay couples, and the same for divorces, we get a HUGE year over year increase in the threat from divorce. Yet we attack gays.
Back to being Catholic. When I was 4, I was told mommy and daddy were not going to live with each other any longer. My life was turning into one big Tammy Wynette song. I was taught later in my Catholic studies that marriage was ordained by God and was a commitment that a man and a woman made forever. I was also told that sex was for making children and should not happen out of this “wedlock” (forever means you are “locked” into it). At 6, I saw both of my parents marry other people. This brought up an interesting question. How is this possible?
This is when I learned about annulment:
For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed.132 In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged. -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1629
I highlight the above part because these words were used by my parents at some point to explain this complex idea to a 6 year old. Those words horrified me. “If your marriage never existed, then what does that mean for ME?”. I was taught that I came from the love and marriage of my parents. So if this marriage never existed, then how can I exist – or do I? This confusion existed for the better part of my young life as I struggled to reconcile my religion as taught to me with my own life as it existed. It was a real life manifestation of the “One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn’t belong” song. Heavy shit for a kid. This was the first of many cracks that finally tumbled my Catholic facade.
So we can annul half of all marriages and let heterosexuals have a “do over”, but we won’t give gay couples a chance to lower the overall divorce rate. Ah – I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.
The Affront To Marriage movement is about hate. Marriage between two people who love each other and are ready to make a lifetime commitment is about love. Remember that.
Stop the REAL threat to marriage. Join me in the movement to ban divorce and annulments.