Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I recently heard a debate concerning gay marriage. The debate caused me to consider several things. This essay will not be about gay marriage however. No, this writing will examine why we are what we are as a country.

When our forefathers escaped Europe and settled in the new world, perhaps out of necessity they formed a group. The group dynamic made security more possible. The group was basically a co-op which produced food and shelter for all of the  members of the group. The group formed militias to secure and defend themselves. They chose representatives to speak for them as to the passing of laws and rules. The representatives then enacted laws governing the group’s behavior. The obvious purpose of all this was to allow them to get along with each other and live in harmony with their neighbors. This then was the basis for our current form of government. We rejected the monarchy and we rejected anarchy. We became a compromise between monarchy and anarchy.

With the foregoing in mind, I want to go back to the debate concerning gay marriage. The advocates for gay marriage used the “libertarian” philosophy arguing that the group does not have the right to decide what sort of relationship any other couple can experience. It being none of any one else’s business. Carried out to its logical conclusion, this means that the group cannot decide how any other member of the group can live. Here are some questions that I would ask of this “libertarian” philosophy. Can we, as a group, have standards? Can there be norms? Do we have the right to decide what a marriage is? How about the decision as to when a person is a “legal” adult? Can we have laws against bigamy or polygamy? After all, whose business is it anyway?  Can we have speed limits? Isn’t this a preemptive law designed to prevent a situation from happening before it happens? Simply asked, can we have any laws governing actions of any consenting adult member of the group? Let’s face it, everybody is not going to be happy or satisfied with all of the rules of a society. You can’t please everyone.

The libertarian philosophy is apparently that any legal decision by the majority is seen as tyranny against the minority. That certainly is an interesting position. The problem becomes one of group compatibility.  Homosexual unions are just what they are, homosexual unions. They are not and could never be a marriage. To call such a union a marriage is an attempt to normalize an abnormal situation. That having been said, I personally don’t care  that these unions exist. They do not affect me and as such are not my problem. I do believe, however, that there should be mechanisms for them to contract together if they so choose but, marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the standard the group has decided and there is no reason to change it.

Now, back to the theme of this essay. We are what we are because this is what we have chosen. Persons who wish to live peaceably within this group called America, must obey and adhere to the laws the group has deemed appropriate. If you don’t like a particular law, work to pass a different law. Should you decide that you just cannot obey any particular law, you disobey at your peril. Also there is nothing preventing you from running for office and being a part of the passing of laws. All you have to do is get enough people who think like you to elect you to an office. Then, of course, you have to convince your elected colleagues to go along with your thinking. Not simple, but doable. If your position is so out of the mainstream of societal thinking though, you may have some difficulty. Such is life.

We are a successful republic. We didn’t want monarchy and we certainly do not want anarchy. Our forefathers made good decisions and handed down a form of government that works and has staying power. It continues to be up to us to make certain this government prospers and grows. If we fail, we have only ourselves to blame.

Ron Scarbro March 21, 2012

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