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“Love is love”, why not 3?


This is not meant to be a political post, nor is it an angry rant that the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of homosexual marriage. This has been expected for a long time, so really, nothing shocking occurred. Rather, it’s a personal rumination and critique over how in our being so cliché, we are actually being very inconsistent and harming society. I want to get at the reasoning behind the ruling, and why it is not carried forward to other types of ‘love’. This blog is more explicit than I am usually comfortable with, so reader discretion is advised.

I am not interested in debating whether or not I think it should be legal or not for homosexuals to marry, as I’m not online to discuss the human rights aspect of things. The same freedom that allows homosexuals to marry is the same freedom that allows me to practice Orthodoxy in North America. Really, I want to get at the issues underlying everything: total superficiality, a worship of ‘rights’ and a forgetting of ‘wrongs’.

Most people can readily accept that the early constitutions both of Canada and the United States were based on Judeo-Christian laws. Consequently, there was no difficulty accepting bans on polygamy, incest or bestiality. I would like to play ‘devil’s advocate’ and ask a simple question: if homosexual civil unions are now ‘blessed’ by the state, then why are these other three still seen as taboo? If two consenting adults feel that they ‘love one another’, why is it that the state can refuse them? If a father and a daughter (or son) who are of age feel that they are in love, then what is the problem?

Let’s look at polygamy first. People already have casual sex. They also have friends with benefits. They also sometimes have ‘open marriages’. Why is this ‘practical polygamy’ acceptable to people and the state, but a person who wants to formally commit to loving many people restricted from doing so? I mean, a person who legally marries someone is held accountable to that commitment, and if he or she breaks that commitment, the severed partners are held accountable for financially supporting one another. This is more responsible, when you think of it, than this free-for-all love affair with no strings attached. If more than one adult is content to be married to the same person, then why is the state restricting their quantity of love? How dare anyone tell them that their love is not real, or that their love is not right? Is it a matter of “love is love” but you can only love this much?

Indulge me further with the case of incest. If two adults consenting to one another want to formally commit to one another in marriage, then based on the same reasons that homosexual unions are allowed, nobody ought to tell them that they cannot. Someone might argue: there’s a risk of disease. Perhaps, a higher risk of disease than the general public. I would retort that the same was true at one time of homosexuality, and people figured out how to make it safe. Actually, if a man engages in sexual activity with his son, or a mother with her daughter, all the fears of disease can be allayed, right? I would also argue that there are general members of society who genetically are statistically more likely to transmit genes that cause disease than incestuous relationships, but we do not ban them from ‘expressing their love’. Ought we to do genetic screening of all people before they can engage in sexual activity to ensure that what they are doing is safe? Ought we to require them to practice certain rules in their sexual lives to ensure they do not transmit diseases in any way? Should we do that to all people who can spread diseases? If that seems like nonsense, then why are we upset if two people want to commit incest? Where are the lines? Is there such thing as common sense? Please, remember that I am playing devil’s advocate and that I do not actually approve of any of what I am proposing.

I changed my mind about discussing bestiality, but I hope by now you get the point. If the “harm” (however that “harm” is defined”) can be resolved in some way, then ought we to restrict anyone from loving anyone or anything and wanting to formally express a commitment of some kind to it? Does society have any real reason to say ‘no that’s wrong’? Because if the problem is just disease, well, we can solve that. Or is the real issue that there is no such thing as wrong and right anymore? I am not saying that bestiality and homosexuality are the same thing, before someone attacks me in that regard. I am attacking the lack of reasoning that is behind these decisions.

Today, however, the government and society are saying that we have no right to judge someone’s love. The Christian model is not ‘right’ for everyone. Okay, no problem. But who is deciding what is right now? Popular vote? If such is the case, then ought those desiring polygamy to go demonstrate and lobby? Or ought the law to make love a non-state issue and simply permit people to unite to whomever they want so long as they obey certain rules? Do most people you know feel comfortable with such a proposition? Guys, wake up! We all shout the most cliché things without ever stopping to think about what such statements mean. “love is love”. Okay, if you believe that then practice it. We don’t, though, we put a bunch of restrictions and wait for people to be loud enough to express how they feel, then realise that we made a rule that we’re not allowed to disagree with one another. What utter nonsense!

To me, the ruling is not an issue of legalities or “how could they” or long rants about how homosexuality is going to destroy us. No. To me, the issue is that the moral decay of society has now taken over rationality. We are an emotional people who care very little about critical thinking or about our collective commitment to one another to ensure some kind of moral standard. We care about how things “make people feel” irrespective of the consequences. The decision to let everyone decide his or her own morality has resulted in a general consensus that no morality is a better norm. This may seem ludicrous, but you can test this by telling anyone on the continent who disagrees with your ‘personal moral code’ that you believe that they are wrong. Not misinformed, but wrong. Yeah, we used to be able to do that comfortably. I don’t mean just Christians could, I mean everyone could. Aren’t we all right, after all? Are we really all ‘saying the same thing in a different way’? We’re not.

But more importantly than that, is that society is fixating itself on irrelevant issues and ignoring the biggers questions about whether we should care about the conduct of people. We are ignoring whether or not we have duty towards one another not only to agreee but to disagree when appropriate. We are ignoring that a family exists to instill beliefs and morality and ethics into this micro-piece of a larger society. Instead, we just say random things and hug each other and hand out anti-depressants to resolve how we really feel.

I think the real issue that led to this ruling is that gay marriage was not seen as an issue because the institute of marriage itself fell apart. The nuclear family has failed. Consequently, new definitions of both love and family, or rather, synthetic ones, have and will take its place, even if it’s wrong. The questions to you are: are you awake? Do you know what’s going on? Do you care? Do you have a sense of morality? Are you afraid to disagree? Do you have conviction about what you believe? Wake up, my friends, wake up your mind to challenge yourself and your society. We say a lot of things, but so little do we think about their meanings.

When the Lord comes, will He find a few faithful? In the words of Abba Antony,

A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, “You are mad, you are not like us.”

Lord, have mercy.

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

June 27, 2015