From the United States Constitution to the French Revolution, from the Emancipation Proclamation to the 19th Amendment, from the Civil Rights Act to last week’s Supreme Court decision affirming the right to gay marriage, the world has taken (by a vote of 5 to 4) another great step forward on the road to universal equality and justice.
That’s what the pundits would like us to think. Except that it wasn’t a step forward.
And, more important, it was never about the right to marry…
As an institution, marriage created a moral structure upon which all other moral structures found purchase: Partnership, self-sacrifice and, perhaps most critically, respect for the natural boundaries and limits imposed by the design of the universe in which we live. Human beings took for granted the imperative to conform to nature’s laws and nature’s plan. Individual desire and ambition learned to submit to a higher reality and universal truths. Personal gratification was not the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong in a society that required cooperative spirit and collective commitment to ideals that extended beyond oneself.
#1 by TG on July 1, 2015 - 11:48 am
“Or perhaps it’s too late to avoid the precipice that lies ahead.” I suspect that the gay-marriage decision was just one of the sights along the way as well plummet into the chasm from the precipice.
For all the faults of the Roman Empire, they always had a god-emperor who could assert moral authority to contain the chaos. What does modern secular society have to stay the chaos?
Thanks for the insightful piece.
#2 by Yonason Goldson on July 1, 2015 - 12:11 pm
The Talmud says to pray for the welfare of the government, for without it man will swallow his fellow alive.
Even a wicked ruler is preferable to anarchy. Now we seem to have the worst of both worlds — leadership that institutionalizes chaos. Thank you for your comment, TG.