I was on Huffington Post(The only reason I actually frequent this site is to argue with people in the comments box:D.) the other day and saw this article-huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/20/historical-marriage-definitions_n_4589763.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-marriage-The article essentially argues that marriage has already been redefined many times over and therefore redefining it again would not make any difference. I was hoping for some good arguments against this article. I already have some up my sleeve but I was curious to see what arguments others had.
The author of the Huffington Post article failed to recognize the important distinction between the definition of a term and the properties of various instances of that term. For an example in a different area, consider the automobile. A person from the early 20th century could say that the common definition of an automobile is a vehicle with four wheels and an mechanical power source for locomotion. That person might not be able to imagine the changes made in automotive design over the next century. Cars today have bluetooth, anti-lock brakes, and look very different from Henry Ford’s Model T. But that does not mean that today we should consider a two-wheeled motorcycle to be an automobile. The essential parts of the definition still allows us to tell an automobile from a motorcycle.
The same goes for most of the author’s citations of various ways in which people got married. That changed the character of marriage for those societies. But it did not change the definition. The few examples the author gave about true same sex unions in history are still in dispute, as can be seen from many discussions in CAF. So I would not take them as proof that the definition has already been commonly changed.
The article lacks proper scholarship and makes vulgar allusions. The 1950s style ‘nuclear family’ remains as the best current “model” of a family. Just because certain groups of people did things differently in the past has no impact on that idea. The Church has clearly outlined the benefits of a married mother and father raising children, and that gay couples, who are married through force of law, should not raise children as it does violence to them.
The fundamental building block of all societies is the nuclear family.
I’ve used the following article quite a bit:
Also, I’ve written an blog article or two on the general topic. The following link will take you to the “homosexuality” label of my blog where there are 5 articles. The 2 that best fit your OP are the first (which is probably at the very bottom) titled “*Secular Arguments on Same-sex “marriage” Rights - Refuting Senator Diane Savino *” and one written by a Priest-friend titled, “Gay “Marriage” Won’t Affect Me, so What’s the Big Deal? (by Father Edwin Palka)”.
I haven’t read the article but the argument that marriage has already been redefined many times over has some truth to it. For most of history, of course, for millennia, marriage was always between man and woman. Mankind was composed of men and women, and the state recognized that, even if it recognized polygamy.
Marriage has only really been redefined, though, during the last half of the 20th century and beyond. It began with contraception, separating marriage from children. That enabled promiscuity; and it led to a great increase in out of wedlock births. The sexual revolution encouraged sexual license and impermanence and divorce, further eroding one of the foundations of marriage. The three pillars of marriage—permanence, fidelity, and openness to new life, have been increasingly undermined in just the past 60 years.
So yes, in practice, marriage has been redefined in many adverse ways in recent decades. And that redefinition has led to a host of social ills. I don’t find it a compelling argument though, to say that since marriage has been increasingly undermined, we should just continue the process until it is completely dead.