The sanctity of marriage

Sunday, 14 November 2004, 19:00 | Category : Other Stuff
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They say this was one of the big reasons not just for the defeat of John Kerry, but also for the passage of the marriage amendments in many states. Don’t get me wrong, I believe marriage is a great thing. I just can’t help thinking the United States is more than a little hypocritical about this. We fixate on the seemingly unending series of marriages of various movie stars and pop harlots, even though many last only a matter of months, or weeks even. It’s a rare celebrity marriage that lasts long enough to have any anniversary numbered higher than one. Yet magazines pay millions for photos and exclusive interviews of these productions – because they know we’ll buy the forthcoming issues by the thousands. And that’s not even the most glaring example of the American version of revering the sanctity of marriage. The TV shows “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”, and their ensuing sequels, are consistently among the highest-rated shows on television, across the country. These shows surround a chosen man or woman with a crowd of potential mates from which they’ll make a choice at the show’s end, based on time-honored relationship-building activities such as huddling together in a hot tub while being filmed, or perhaps based on a vote of the viewers. Sanctified!! Seriously, I’ve never heard or seen a word of disapproval of these shows from any of the conservative Christian groups that were so vocal about preserving the sanctity of marriage. And given the wide popularity of the shows, I would suspect that many good church members that voted overwhelmingly in favor of the marriage amendments also anxiously awaited each episode of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”. I’m not sure how I feel about gay marriage. I’m not saying people who supported the marriage amendments were wrong. I’m just saying, either marriage is sacred, or it’s a civil thing only. You can’t play both sides of the street. If marriage between gays is wrong because God intends marriage to be a holy union between a man and a woman, then a staged competition to pick a spouse is just as much outside the realm of holy. And if marriage is such a casual thing that we endorse such televised arrangements, then on what basis do we disallow a union between any two people?