In recent weks I’ve seen alot of posts about the “Deline of marriage”, and the “breakop of marriages” and the drive to legalize gay and lesbian marriages, and a whole host of things about how bad it is in this country for marriages, and I have a few things to say about marriage that I think really ought to be considered before taking any side in these various debates.
First of all, we live in a country that sees itself as a bastion of freedom. Now, I think that fact is critically important when regarding the subject of marriage. Historically, marriage has been a purely political institution, all but unnecessary for the common people, and had been frequently been used as a form of low-impact slavery even up to the present day. Throughout the third world, there still are girls basically sold off by their parents into arranged marriages, and the draconian laws on many books make it nearly impossible to escape from a life that has been imposed on young people–both men and women in some cases–for fear of being ostracized, persecuted, or worse.
In our own country, people often fare as bad, as, up until the 1960s and ’70s, teenagers who had sex outside of marriage were persecuted, and in some cases prosecuted for it. Now we stand at a threshold where sex between consenting adults is acceptible, and a portion of our teenagers are sexually active in high and grade school, and we decry the failure of marriage and the breakdown of morals in our schools. Why is this a problem?
Rest assured, there are alot fewer problems in the jungles of South America, where the native tribes don’t deal with political infrastructure or organized religion. These are what really turn marriages into prisons to begin with. As a political institution, marriage involves a unification of personal property, a legally binding contract, and in most cases, a religious recognition and vow. It is a process of bringing together two lives under contract, and in no cases has any built-in guarantee (or, often any association at all) of love.
Love, you see, is the point of this pathetic story. Marriage, as an institution, is no guarantee of love, and the fact is, marriage is not necessary in any way for love. So, in effect, if two people truely want to be happy together, you can get rid of the “Institution” of marriage altogether, and this country will be perfectly fine. We would eliminate the spectre of messy divorce, we could stop wasting millions on marriage counseling, and we could probably put those pretty white dresses to even more creative and fun purposes.
The point is that we don’t need marriage at all! We don’t need to worry about teenage sex. We need to worry about keeping people who are happy together safe from religious and political institutions who want to control them for political ends! This is PRECISELY what happened during the 14-16th centuries when the church imposed harsh penalties (Burnings, beheaddings, hanging, torture) for extramarital sex, and forced couples to marry “Forever”–i.e., no divorce. Back in those days, the peasants had it easy in that area–more wealthy families arranged marriages for political gain. Anyone remember the marriage of Charles and Di? Plenty of politics there.
In short, the political ramifications of marriage poison the concept of marriage, and that’s not something that the divorce rate or gay marriage have anything to do with. If marriage is in trouble in this country, it is not because someone is having sex outside of marriage, or because someone wants to marry a gay lover. It’s because we live in a free country, and we don’t have to live with your political poison anymore.
Long live the people! Down with “political institutions!”
SASS has Spoken.
— the SASS Man