I have long argued that the real target of much of the Christian right is not abortion or homosexuality, it’s contraception. Michael Orsi, a chaplain and professor at Ave Maria Law School, confirms this by tracing marriage equality to the availability of birth control.
Christians have always recognized children as one of the main purposes, or at least properties, belonging exclusively to marriage. The Bible, in the Book of Genesis, commands men and women to be fruitful and multiply. However, in every society regardless of religious belief, marriage was determined to be based on the natural law. It was the means for the continuation of the human species and ordained for the good of the state.
Standard-issue bullshit. I have absolutely no idea what that third sentence, “in every society regardless of religious belief, marriage was determined to be based on the natural law,” is supposed to mean. It is literally gibberish.
By separating life-giving and lovemaking through contraception, marriage became more focused on the couple’s happiness. The traditional understanding of marriage waned regarding the procreation of children and self-sacrifice on the part of the couple for them. In fact, children became not only unimportant for marriage, but they became important only if having them made the parties to the marriage happy. This effectively made children a commodity. Finally, marriage lent itself to rationalizing divorce on the grounds of one or both partners being unhappy, even if their separation proved detrimental to their children.
This is quite bizarre. Children are certainly unimportant in some marriages. Lots of people get married and do not have kids. Would Orsi prohibit that? Perhaps not. But he does want to get rid of birth control, which would make it far harder to be married without having kids. What I find most disturbing about this is that there is absolutely no consideration that individual people could possibly have their own ideas about how to live their life or that they should have any right to do so. In Orsi’s formulation, every single person must get married for exactly the same reason, every couple must have children and, once married, they must never get divorced. If that isn’t turning children into a commodity, I don’t know what is.
This is so disconnected from the real world that it could exist only in the mind of a religious zealot. No recognition at all of the diversity of human experience or diversity, or of the fact that some marriages become toxic whether there are kids involved or not. Many times, divorce is the best of a set of bad options and staying together in an unhealthy environment would turn out far worse for the children.
The elimination of children as one of the purposes of marriage cleared the path for sterile, homosexual marriage. After all, don’t homosexuals have a right to be happy, too? Shouldn’t same-sex couples have the right to adopt children if it adds to their bliss?
Yes, they should. But note the straw man. Who has proposed the “elimination of children as one of the purposes of marriage”? No one that I know. Yes, children are one of the purposes of some marriages. They are not the exclusive purpose of all marriages, as Orsi so absurdly claims. Nor should they be.
Justice Kennedy further stated, “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”
These words are extremely dangerous for those churches that maintain a traditional understanding of marriage.
No they aren’t. Churches that maintain a traditional understanding of Marriage are more than welcome to keep believing that and acting on it until the end of time. This ruling has absolutely nothing to do with them. It doesn’t change one tiny little thing for those churches. But theocrats like Orsi can’t separate the church from the government because they view them as one and the same thing.
And like all theocrats in every religion, what this really comes down to is a desire to control women. That’s what the elimination of birth control does, it enslaves women to be nothing more than incubators with no control at all over when or if they give birth. And that means all of the advances of the last few decades in equal opportunity for women are systematically dismantled. Birth control is the single most important development in history for the emancipation of women. No wonder they want to stop it.
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