Thursday, November 29, 2012

What the Marriage Debate is Really About

The Public Interest has an important article by R.J. Snell  on the real issue in the fight over same-sex "marriage." This is why we, at A Shepherd's Voice always distinguish between real man/woman marriage and counterfeit "marriage."

Reason and Compassion in the Marriage Debate

Discourse about marriage is often short on reason and compassion. Arguments and objections can be mercilessly logical, forgetful of persons behind the positions; at other times reason seems to have taken a holiday, replaced with a kind of shrill indignation.

Perhaps failure is inevitable when marriage means too many things. Interlocutors cannot avoid speaking at cross-purposes when terms are in flux, and positions cannot but appear arbitrary if marriage is formless and mutable.

Given the confusion, it is understandable why the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy article “
What Is Marriage?” by Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson drew so much attention, because they asked the marriage debate’s vital question. Definitions clear away weeds, clarity fosters productive disagreement, and subsequent rejoinders to the essay were numerous and pointed—a good sign that tackling the definition was needed.

Given the conversation stirred by the article, this winter’s release of
What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense by Girgis, George, and Anderson is welcome (eBooks go on sale today; hard copies in early December). Augmenting and developing their earlier arguments, the book responds to objections, while tackling an impressive range of philosophical, legal, and social-scientific issues in a relatively slim volume.

The authors explain why debates over gay marriage are only indirectly about homosexuality; the real issue is “not about whom to let marry, but about what marriage is.”

Read the full article here.

"What Is Marriage: Man and Woman: A Defense" is available here.

Our friend Bill May, of Catholics for the Common Good, has just released a book on the same subject, called "Getting the Marriage Conversation Right." You can find that book here.

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