Another Word on Terminology
The response to my post, A Word on Terminology has confirmed my intuition that I am correct to abstain from using the term “same sex marriage.” Three things have led me to conclude that my instincts are correct about this:
1. The wailing, weeping and general indignation meeting being held all around the Left side of the Blogosphere.
2. My friend, Bill May, of Catholics for the Common Good, confirms my opinion. (I always listen when Bill talks.) He pointed me to a tract that his organization has written on the subject, a tract which I highly recommend to all Regular Ruth Readers, Friends with Wrong or Right Ideas.
3. Finally, and most importantly, in the aforesaid wailing and indignation, advocates of the redefinition of marriage have, perhaps inadvertently, revealed just how radical they really are. See for instance, comment #12, which states in part:
“the assertion that some ideal pairing of gendered individuals is essential to marriage rests on gender stereotypes. It also conflates sex with gender and assumes that there is some magical combination of certain gendered characteristics belonging to each sex that can never belong to the other sex. This is patently false.”
The complaint here is that ANY gender differences at all are no different than mere stereotypes. The fact that women contribute the egg, men contribute the sperm and that each contributes distinct genetic material to their child, is considered no more significant than pink and blue booties. I have said for some time that the advocates of marriage redefinition are attacking the very concept of sex differences. Here we have someone flat out saying so.
See also comment # 32,
The definition of marriage that you are using has not existed for centuries. But only for half a century. Until 1967 – it meant not marrying someone of a different race. Marriage has evolved as society has evolved. Its just taking the next logical step.
This basically equates the dual gender requirement for marriage, with the racial restrictions which existed in some place at some times, evidently forgetting that in most times and places no racial restrictions existed. Hence, racial separation is absolutely not crucial to the understanding of marriage.
Likewise, see comment # 41:
Restore marriage to men owning women? To women legally subordinated to their husbands? To the impossibility of marital rape?
Evidently, the commenter thinks these are essential, even defining features of marriage. These folks don’t really seem to like marriage very much, if these are their primary images of marriage.
But this is the revolutionary mindset on display: describe existing institutions and their past, in the most heinous way, in order to justify abolishing them. David Horowitz points out in his pamphlet “Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution,” that Marx himself summed up the passion of the radicals, saying, “Everything that exists deserves to perish.”
All these factors reassure me that I am doing the right thing to refrain from using the terminology invented by the Other Side. We surrender far too much intellectual and philosophical territory by using their language.