Friday 18 November 2011

Killing Care Bears and destroying rainbows

                              Nasty people hurt Care Bears and want to stop gay marriage

In the absence of many good arguments for same sex ‘marriage’, one tactic that’s becoming widespread is, for want of a better term, what I shall call the ‘clubbing Care Bears’ argument. In this argument, the opponent of same sex ‘marriage’ is portrayed as the sort of vile person who wants to destroy other people’s happiness and, if given the opportunity, would club Care Bears.

A good example of this was in Scotland on Sunday (13 November 2011) in a column written by Fiona Leith (not online). Having rabbited on to no good purpose for half the article, she hits her stride with:

Who sits on a church pew or stands at a lochside, as vows are spoken and song sung, questioning whether that pair up there will conform to society’s norms? A wedding day is about acceptance –theirs of each other, and ours of them.

Who indeed? What vile, heartless rogue would do such a thing? Well, step forward Bashir Maan, ‘the enlightened Maan’, according to Fiona Leith’s terminology.

Bashir Maan has been a prominent figure in both the Muslim community and Scottish life in general since the 1960s. He, unfortunately in Fiona Leith’s worldview, also happens to be a devout Muslim who takes his religion seriously on sexual ethics. For making the objection that marriage between partners of the same sex couldn’t perform the purpose of procreation, he is ridiculed by Leith:

How desperate, dour and damning an expression of faith and love is that? What in that recognises the humanity, soul, care and compassion that marriage can bring?...What is the certainty that can be sought from marriage other than love? And even that certainty doesn’t always last. Procreation is biology. Existence. We learn about it next to Bunsen burners and periodic tables. They didn’t teach love and marriage in the classroom last time I checked. For good reason.

It’s hard to make much sense of this, other than a sort of prolonged sob at how lovely the bride looks in her dress (or perhaps the groom in his). Certainly, if Bashir Maan made a habit of turning up at weddings and glowering at unsuitable matches, she might have a point. But the suggestion here appears to be that, just because such behaviour is unsuitable at a wedding, we can’t think seriously about marriage at all.

                     When not destroying couples’ happiness, religious believers also kill seal pups

That argument’s particularly tricky since Leith and other bien pensants are urging a protracted process of legislative change. I say, how dare she? How dare anyone ruin the happiest day of a couple’s life by squabbling over laws, and bills and parliamentary procedure? Between sobs, I manage to continue: what sort of dour, joy destroying creature could talk of law on such a day?

Because this is all nonsense. The hardest thing for anyone upholding traditional teaching on marriage is to know that, in doing this, we are talking about people’s deeply felt and most intimate lives. I would rather leave discussion of people’s love lives to that intimate space where advice can be given: friends, priests, counsellors etc. But the matter has been raised by the pro-same sex ‘marriage’ side: they have dragged their relationships into the public sphere and have demanded the right to that most public and institutionalized form of relationship, marriage.

Tell divorce lawyers and family court judges that they have no business intruding the law into love. Tell psychologists and economists researching into the positive effects of childrearing within marriage that they have no business thinking about something where the only proper response is a nice, big smile. Tell politicians, worried about family breakdown and the effect on the next generation not to dare thinking about such issues. It’s only about love, only about acceptance, only about having a larf.

The one thing you mustn’t do is to think. Just accept. Because as soon as you start thinking, you’ll find yourself wondering why a proposal such as same sex ‘marriage’ with so little going for it in terms of contribution to the common good has got so far.

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