A reader writes:
“What the institution and policy of marriage aims to regulate is sex, not love or commitment.” - National Review
At the risk of awkwardness, clearly the editors of National Review have never spent an hour in a divorce court. There they would find judges mediating all-out wars in which sex and children are just two forms of ammunition, along with money, houses, jobs, travel rights, and every kind of material possession. Most of the parties are not there because of sex, per se; they are indeed driven by love, commitment, jealousy, envy, and emotions more dark or inscrutable.
Marriage is entirely about emotion and commitment. A marriage without children (or even sex) can survive, often quite beautifully. But a marriage without love or commitment is doomed. Here again, divorce court can be instructive.
By elevating biology above emotion or even values, the NR editors have advanced a strikingly adolescent view of marriage.
You wrote: "If your concern is children, why does the process by which a couple obtain a child matter more than the quality of that child's upbringing?"
We have wrestled with this for years. I am a married, heterosexual man born sterile. We conceived our children via IVF using donor sperm. When we learned that the (Catholic) church would not recognize our children because they represent a "gravel evil act" we instantly removed ourselves from anything remotely connected to the church. We were not going to contribute/participate in a community that recognized our children as EVIL.
The church was not, is not interested in helping its members raise children. The church is not interested in knowing my kids. The church is not interested in teaching. It is interested in its place in history and itself.
And THAT is why we are out of the Catholic Church. It sees itself as the thing to be praised as opposed to god, good works, charity, compassion, etc.
As a married man (twice divorced) on his third marriage, in a marriage that will never have children I wonder what the “defenders of traditional marriage” have to say to me?
More to the point, what would they say to the fact that my marriage is not traditional in another way since it would have been illegal in the state where it was contracted had it been contracted before 1967. Similarly, my parents’ marriage, in London, back in the 1950s would also have been illegal in Georgia for the same reason. I find the idea that there’s some “traditional” marriage which must be defended from you both pathetic and annoying. It’s under much more threat from me (and I’m the father of two grown children, both born in wedlock).
A final reader:
I just read your post about the NR cover story. Linked to the article and read it. I wonder what the NR has to say about my marriage ? My wife and I were married 10 years ago the end of this month. We had kicked around the idea of having children but in the end we BOTH decided that we do not want to have any children. I underwent a vasectomy in May of this year and just got the "all clear" today from my Dr.
Does this mean that my marriage is null and void since we are not procreating? Not being gay I was able to marry the person of my dreams without a hitch. When we applied for our marriage license no one asked if we were planning on having children and it was a requirement to getting married. Marriage is about one thing. Love. That is what the other side of this argument is fighting against. Love. That is why they are loosing the argument because Love will always win in the end.