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Marriage is for The Few

June 19, AD2014 30 Comments

The coffee is finally done! Why does the first cup in the morning always take so long to brew? Finally, it is really Saturday morning. Thank you Lord. What a week. It just seems that I wasn’t able to please anyone this week. Why do so many things go wrong at the same time? I should have been a history teacher like my mother.

The excited voices that always seemed to be in the air now slowly, involuntarily gained his attention. His attention was moving from self pity and enjoyment of the relief that the weekend gives, to the two small but piercing voices coming from the backyard.

“Let’s play NASCAR.”

“NO…that’s stupid,  I want to play Jump-on-it.”

“Okay…I’m first…I see a pile of leaves near a bench.”

The rules say that nobody can start to run before the poor object of pleasure is described well enough that anyone could find it. After that you have 5 Mississippis before anyone can move. The girl looks for clues as to the pile’s location as her brother strains to follow the second rule. At the last second she exclaims, “I see it!” They’re off, and both try to be the first to stomp on the wind-collected, now to be disturbed, delicate small pile of unsuspecting dry maple leaves.

Taking another sip of coffee, his mind turns unavoidably back to the week’s problems. He works for the Country Clerk and besides the usual week of trying to correct errors, serve the public at the counter, and continue the long overdue project of digitizing old documents into the computer, he was told that starting next month they must now issue marriage licenses to same gender couples. The elected boss herself has not said much on the subject, just that they are required by their job description to follow the law. Some of his fellow workers though had thoughts on the matter that they were not shy about expressing.

Another sip.

I can’t sanction this attempt to change what marriage is by taking part in this.

How is it any different from what my kids are doing right now? One wants to imitate adults and play NASCAR without a NASCAR car. The other wants to play a game that is active fun and where you can make the rules.

He smiled at the word “rules” because it reminded him of his best friend and those crazy poker games. By agreement the dealer gets to define the game. Well, if you get bored or want to make everyone suffer because you are down 18 bucks you declare, “Okay. Nines or better, Queen is high card, 1 cent anti, red 4’s and the king of diamonds are wild. Seven card stud of course.”

He continues his reverie.

As our once mortal enemy and head of the Soviet Union moves closer to God through Russian Orthodoxy and back on the right path, the United States appears to have moved from a solid basis for making a workable society that won’t morph into the war and suffering that Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe experienced in the 20th century. We simply have decided that we can now guide our existence alone. Where once we looked to God for guidance as the Declaration of Independence declares, now we look to the most popular among us. We look to our charismatic earthly law givers to satisfy our desire for total control of our existence, when they don’t even have a clue as to why we exist in the first place. High School popularity style socializing continued without any mature oversight. So it makes sense that marriage would become just a pretend activity for those who desire it be changed according to their rules, while necessarily rejecting God as our creator. We have substituted science for God as if science can do more than explain the workings of some of the things God gave us.

He ignored that his coffee had gotten cold while taking an automatic sip.

This recent development is not static, social changes are called movements when they differ from present existence and require argument to convince others. How can we possibly continue along this divergent path away from a recognition of our purpose? Marriage itself will eventually self destruct as we slowly recognize that marriage has become unnecessary and meaningless—like a crazy dealer’s choice poker game.

If love is all there is to it then why not be married to several people? Why not to the whole world of people? Are we not told that we should love everybody? Why not marry an animal? If Evolutionary Biology considers us just another primate that can only be differentiated from other animals by physical characteristics and very limited behavioral ones, like how ancient primates might have acquired their food, then the desire to be married to another animal becomes just an argument regarding legality as the present homosexuality argument has become.

The argument has degenerated into a plea for judges to force the states to issue a marriage license to, at present two persons, because they want to try an legitimize disordered sexual behavior by a small minority of people as if that behavior doesn’t already exist without marriage anyway. The argument goes, that the state should include those persons not for reasons that strengthen marriage, but because those persons want to be included and the reason doesn’t matter. The state should always support personal desires is the judicial principle, even if that means changing the meaning of marriage, and by extension family, for everyone else—the 97 or so percent.

I love some animals. I can buy one, why not marry one? Just another movement. Not impossible just look at Germany?

He finally realized that the coffee cup had served it’s purpose and put it down.

I think I want to seriously consider how I can go back to school and maybe teach history. Maybe study religious history or theology and more sociology. That would be good. I could explain the importance of recognizing a creator in our lives, hopefully before we finally destroy ourselves as we almost did in the last century by ignoring God, ignoring why we were created, and ignoring how we were created to live.

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” (Last line of the Declaration of Independence 1776)

Filed in: Marriage • Tags:

About the Author:

Howard Lee Duncan is a senior citizen widower in his 8th decade of life (70s) who was married for 36 years to his only wife Jill. He lives on 40 acres of the Great Basin Desert in an owner built solar powered home. He has three children who have left the nest and are now too far away. After an Episcopalian childhood, his teen years brought on the disease of agnosticism with occasional bouts of atheism. He entered the Church in 2010 and says he has felt at home ever since. His working life included Forest Fire Truck Driver, Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa building schools, Motion Picture Cameraman in industrial films and while in the U.S. Army, production assistant to a Producer in Hollywood, Professional Still Photographer, Photo Lab Technician, Postal Service Letter Carrier, Computer Systems Analyst in business and government, Computer Consulting, Owner of an Internet business, Web site creation. His educational background is mostly self directed reading and experiential but does include; A graduate of the London School of Film Technique, London, England, AA degree in Business Data Processing with an additional course in accounting, Seminars and technical classes. He now spends his days in local parish church work and Right to Life groups, Internet conversations with new friends and old enemies of the Church.

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  • james

    As I finish my coffee, I think about Gaius Caligula, the Roman emporer who made his horse a senator because he thought it could do a better job.

    • Howard

      My, my….how things never really change
      .

    • jamey brown

      Then we could elect a chicken for President. One of those smart ones that play tic tac toe. It could do a better job.

    • james

      Yes, a true American revolution would be to try and elect anything unorthodox
      for the purpose of making a point.

  • John Darrouzet

    Wow, Howard! You are a screenplay writer for sure. And with a purpose beyond entertaining us. Congratulations! More of this. We want more.

    • Howard

      Meaningful because it comes from you.

  • Guy McClung

    Warning! Do not read all the Declaration Of Independence-it describes our current tyrant; and then you will want to Petition the Queen to take us back. Guy McClung, San Antonio

    • Howard

      I haven’t the energy to declare all that the DOI says to me.

    • PalaceGuard

      I would never petition the Queen to take us back. OTOH, if the Scots could find a monarch (other than the current French Stewart remnant who is a Scot the way the first Georges were English), I might consider that as an option.

  • Birgit Atherton Jones

    Well said and entertaining to read!

    “We look to our charismatic earthly law givers to satisfy our desire for total control of our existence, when they don’t even have a clue as to why we exist in the first place.”

    This piece reminds me of Archbishoop Fulton Sheen’s admonition, “…this is the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion–one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God’s.In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God.”

    • Howard

      AB Sheen, maybe St. Sheen soon, could speak to anyone and be heard. I remember watching him with my non-Catholic parents instead of entertainment on TV.

  • ME

    Unfortunately, when it gets bad enough, people will return to the correct meaning, when they see enough destruction. It will take a Long time though. Look at the consequences of the sexual revolution. It’s bad, but it is starting to turn around. But has a long, long way to go

    • Howard

      “when they see”

      Precisely what has to happen.

      I like “The Big Bang Theory” (the T.V. program not Genesis1) because it
      successfully uses stereotypes to illustrate human motivations. I don’t
      attribute any noble motivation to the adolescent writers because there are way too many potty jokes and sexual situations.

      These characters slide through their lives guided by various personal drives
      adopted sometime in their past but not having been modified by the teachings of their creator – or any useful moral direction at all.

      They respond to the prevailing dictates of their social structure which rewards self indulgence and introspection. The uneducated bully the ones who earned good grades and didn’t know it was wrong because everyone laughed. The narrowly highly educated ones never learned satisfying human interaction and have remained in a permanent adolescent state.

      Which of those characters would you blindly follow as your political leader. Which current dominant political leader is not leading us in exactly the same way without reference to a higher good – except for pandering now and then.

    • ME

      I read my comment again and understand that I wrote it poorly. I meant to say it is unfortunate that it will need it to get worse, before people begin to see the truth and begin to make the correction. I entirely agree with your analysis of Big Bang Theory. We used to watch the show for the humor, but it became much to crude to hold our interest any longer.

    • Howard

      I got what you were trying to say.

  • Pingback: Why Fulton Sheen? Why Now? - BIgPulpit.com

  • Kim58

    Interesting how all the articles related to showing how absurd homosexual “marriage” is always, always, fail to address how absurd heterosexual marriage has become when most men and women think it is fine to deliberately sterilize their sexual acts. If sterile sex is okay for heterosexual married couples, then you have a mighty hard time explaining why our government ever had any interest in regulating marriage to begin with. I’m willing to bet that most every Catholic writer out there today trying valiantly to defend heterosexual marriage is having a really hard time working around the contraception issue because they themselves have a hard time understanding why the Catholic Church would ever teach that contraceptives are sinful and how that teaching is very connected to our current mad rush to legalize same sex marriage. I say this because if those Catholic writers ever really understood the Church’s teaching on contraceptives, then I would have been seeing many, many articles over the past 10 years or so bemoaning how illogical and absurd our understanding of heterosexual marriage has become since the Lambreth conference of the Anglican Church decided it was okay for married couples to use contraceptives, in contradiction to the unchanging teaching of Christianity for all centuries prior. But I never saw those, and now all we have is a bunch of wistful articles trying to differentiate same sex marriage from what has been typically accepted as marriage for the past 50 years or so…a difficult task when logically speaking there is no difference between those two types of relationships. The only hope we have is that our young generation get the message on contraception and more importantly that they actually live out their marriages without contraception. When they start doing that, they will help usher in an entirely different and much more Christ-centered worldview than the one currently being propped up by well meaning but utterly clueless Catholic Christians. There is hope…at least Archbishop Aquila of Denver recently issued a pastoral letter and clearly identified contraception as one of the factors that has undermined the meaning of marriage. Bravo Archbishop Aquila!

    • Howard

      You are correct. Marriage as practiced by our children, friends, neighbors, and our government has deviated from Church teaching. Yet, a lingering desire for family exists even among homosexuals that seek “marriage”. A family with children – with or without children. As long as the parallel trend of replacing God or the Church with self-determination exists, we will not see a reversal of this trend unless the ridiculousness of having a civil institution at all is understood. When governmental power supported Church teaching we had an influence for the good, that has gone very wrong now.

    • james

      And to throw in the ringer you have NFP which is contraception without a device. And
      to complicate the whole mess you have the new norm of having 2.6 children today as
      opposed to 3.6 in 1957. Cohabitation is also a big challenge to marrriage as the option
      to marry is always open as opposed to the choice to seek a divorce. Pre marital sex
      is a form of marriage to many and has demystified the institution while at the same time giving them a taste of what ‘until death do them part’ means. So what is the glue that secures two people together in such a way that makes them want to remain one – love. The secret is to explain what conjugal love means. That is one set of instructions to a man and another set to a woman. Each hold different keys to secure fidelity which is a bond that must not be broken if one is going to have a seemless marriage. Another
      very important factor is the age of maturity which varies wildly among people and can
      mean a difference of a decade or more before someone is stable enough in growth
      and wisdom to take on such awesome responsibility. Marriage is the only race where
      the couple put on the laural wreath before they have taken their first step to a finish
      line many decades in the future. Would it be natural or expected for someone to get
      married at 21 in the average lifespan rises to 101 ? If two people lived together for
      30 years and got married in their 50’s – even with 2.6 children on board – is their
      race to the finish line any less valid than someone married that long ? These are
      questions and observations that are being considered as we crawl to AD 3000.
      The only thing new under the sun is the collective wisdom of mankind which has
      shed new light on us as a species. At one time certain milestones (marriage) were
      expected to be crossed at a certain age and within certain framework (class) and
      whether you were up to the task or not it WAS expected. No such barriers today
      and this is why the state of marriage, sex and family are in an awful flux. Adam
      and Eve’s fig leaves have been taken off because it seems like shame is not something that is going to be attributed to something as natural as sex. The views
      and or commentaries are in no way meant to be instructive but a rhetorically correct way of generating discussion.

    • Howard

      “collective wisdom of mankind”

      I have heard this said quite often but I don’t really believe it exists as it is meant. Usually the thought stops with “mankind” as the originator of the wisdom, each person contributing a smidge from his/her inner self, so that the whole pile of wisdom, because it is a big pile, appears to be worth something. Bigger is better! Big gulp, super-size, 40% more.

      A vote for voting for sure. But a vote for ideas worth following?

    • james

      then I’ll substitute the collective information of mankind.

    • Howard

      LOL. You are too easy James.

    • Kim58

      Contraceptives allow a couple to engage in sex while at the same time deliberately blocking the fruitfulness of the act. NFP doesn’t block anything, just as someone who abstains from eating Twinkies isn’t doing the same thing as someone who eats the Twinkie and then throws it up to avoid the consequences of eating an unhealthy food. Admittedly, there are many couples out there who are tempted to use NFP with a “contraceptive mentality.” However, the fact that some will abuse the method doesn’t make it immoral. Plus, unlike contraceptives, couples using NFP with a contraceptive mentality have to re-examine their reasoning at least 12 times a year…at least that gives the Holy Spirit some opportunity to work on their hearts and make them more open to children Couples using contraceptives, on the other hand, tend to be fairly closed minded about welcoming more children into their family. With all due respect, I think people who equate NFP with contraceptives tend to sound like “holy than thou” types. If the Catholic Church has approved NFP (and many dioceses require a class in NFP as part of the marriage prep), then who are you to judge either the wisdom of the Church or the prayerful considerations couples give to their choice to postpone a pregnancy through NFP methods?

    • james

      ” … then who are you to judge either the wisdom of the Church or the prayerful considerations couples give to their choice to postpone a pregnancy through NFP methods.”
      Gee, did you ever think how many( Catholics and non ) will adopt this much safer way so as to not have to refrain from having sex. The major health reasons alone make it viable without necessarily buying into the religious aspects ? “Who am I to judge ?” !! It’s an opinion dear, once
      echoed by someone much holier than moi.

    • Pam

      Heterosexual marriage is not absurd because of contraception and does not justify homosexual unions because it is sterile. Contraception has shown its fruit however and it is not good. But a complementary union is never absurd it is just unfaithful to truth when it contracepts while a non complementary one always is absurd while at the same time being unfaithful to truth..

    • Kim58

      I said our understanding of heterosexual marriage has become absurd, not that I think heterosexual marriage itself is absurd.

    • Pam

      Please read your post, “….how absurd heterosexual marriage has become.”. Perhaps that’s not what you meant to say.

  • NDaniels

    How ironic that it is atheistic materialism that has led to the sexual objectification of the human person; the denial of the personhood of the son or daughter residing in their mother’s womb, and the reordering

  • NDaniels

    The denial of The Filioque, is the source of all heresy; there Is only One Word of God, thus there can be only One Spirit of Love Between The Father and The Son, in the ordered, complementary Communion of Perfect Love that Is The Blessed Trinity.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    The Big Christian Churches have turned themselves into spiritually idiotic entities by refusing to acknowledge the FOUNDATIONAL IMPORTANCE of God’s WORD in the life of each and every individual. All evils that flourish in today’s world are related to this sinful neglect.