Wednesday 20 November 2013

Dr Who impersonators against same sex 'marriage'

                                   Bertrand Russell contemplating a fifth marriage

As comet ISON appears in our skies, triggering all sensible folk to bewail their manifold sins and wickedness, the Scottish Parliament will doubtless agree later on today that it 'agrees to the general principles of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill'. In other words, another major stage of the introduction of same sex 'marriage' to Scotland will have been passed.

Although there is important business to be done by our legislators in ensuring -as far as possible- that Catholics and others won't be sacked or end up in the jug for daring to go on resisting such nonsense, I shall spend today's post lobbing the verbal equivalent of turnips at our betters, not because I think it will do any good, but simply to let off some steam. (Those with a taste for more serious engagement might start here , here or here.)

So, to start off with, that well-known  sky fairy worshipper and William Hartnell impersonator, Lord Russell:

But for children, there would be no need of any institution concerned with sex...[I]t is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution. [Marriage and Morals]

                                              Derrida with sonic deconstructor 

Or we could have Jacques Derrida acknowledging the nature of marriage (and dreaming about getting rid of it):

If I were a legislator, I would propose simply getting rid of the word and concept of 'marriage' in our civil and secular code. 'Marriage,' as a religious, sacred, heterosexual value -with a vow to procreate, to be eternally faithful, and so on-, is  concession made by the secular state to the Christian church, and particularly with regard to monogamy..

                             A young Roger Scruton ponders travelling back in time

Finally, we have Roger Scruton:

And some of us are troubled by the shallow reasoning that has dominated the political discussions surrounding this move, as though the threadbare idea of equality were enough to settle every question concerning the long-term destiny of mankind and as though the writings of the anthropologists (not to mention the poets, the philosophers, the theologians, the novelists, the sociologists) counted for nothing beside the slogans of Stonewall. Are we entirely wrong in this?

Other Doctors were unavailable for comment.


  1. I know you are angry. But can you not consider, just possibly, that monogamous gay couples (my husband and I, respectable lawyer and teacher in respectable middle age) can contribute to society and have their rights recognised by the word that (outside your religion, which has no right to the definition of the word for us all) accurately describes their relationship.

    None of the many who rejoice at this decision seriously wants to harm your practice of your faith (I would dispute your right to force it on children, especially gay ones, but that is a separate issue)? Your churches are safe spaces for you. There is now no need to fight. And if you do fight, you simply continue the alienation of the younger generation.

  2. It would be rather a pose for me to describe myself as angry: frustrated perhaps because I regard the intellectual case for same sex ‘marriage’ to be extremely weak and yet it seems, despite that weakness, to have swept the board almost effortlessly in the Scottish Parliament and elsewhere.

    Clearly there are questions about whether the practice of my religion is safe (and I note the implied threat to the education of my children). But I agree, let’s put that aside for the moment. My rejection of same sex ‘marriage’ is not a matter of faith but a matter of the understanding of marriage as an institution whose primary purpose is to ensure a stable environment for the procreation and education of children by a man and a woman. Whatever the worth of your relationship, it is not that sort of relationship and therefore it simply cannot be a marriage.

    Now I suppose you would simply deny that a marriage has to be that sort of procreative relationship. In which case I am at a loss (as indeed was Lord Russell) to see why the state should have an interest in this other sort of relationship. There is clearly a social interest in ensuring that children are reared as far as possible by their biological parents who remain committed to each other during the education of the child. There is absolutely no social interest in keeping a romantic partnership going. (Indeed, in encouraging people to keep to a pattern of relationship designed for wholly other purposes, it might be argued that society is seriously damaging their well being.) You have a monogamous life long partnership. Other people want open relationships with more than one person etc etc. Why should the state privilege a particular pattern of romantic relationship over other patterns?

    You mention the alienation of the younger generation. Well, possibly so, possibly not. But truth is not well served by trimming one’s views in order to curry favour particularly with the immature.