March 26, 2013

Definitions matter and words mean things.

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By Rick Green

words mean thingsWould it make any sense for a rock and roll musician to demand acceptance to the Classical Music Hall of Fame because he has decided that the definition of “Classical Music” includes his method of smashing guitars after a good Van Halen style riff or two? 

Of course not. He or she needs to stick with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland because words mean things and definitions matter. 

Homosexuals are trying to change the definition of marriage when they absolutely, positively do not fit the definition. Marriage has meant the union of one man and one woman throughout history. Distorting that definition to also mean two men, two women, one man and 6 women, or any combination other than one of each is simply mislabeling the package.

“words mean things and definitions matter”

A grocer can put a label that says “steak” on the chicken or pork all day long, but it does not change the contents. It’s simply mislabeled and creates confusion.

No matter what the Supreme Court decides in the cases being heard today and tomorrow, a homosexual couple cannot equal marriage without completely distorting and changing the word and the institution. They do not seek acceptance, they seek destruction of the institution of marriage so they can recreate it in their own image.

This effort to ask the court to force all Americans to change an institution that has stood for thousand of years makes about as much sense as asking the Supreme Court to force the Classical Music Hall of Fame to accept rock-n-roll-hall-of-fame-421x300Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, and David Lee Roth simply because these very talented musicians have, on their own, decided that their music should now be defined as “classical” rather than “rock and roll.”

If you were attending a classical symphony (not that I’m capable of staying awake in one, but just pretend for a moment!), and David Lee Roth suddenly swung in from the rafters on a rope (picture the music video for “Jump”) and then the curtain in the back of the stage rose to reveal Rick Allen of Def Leppard miraculouslyjamming out on a huge drum set with his one arm, followed by one of those floor opening, stage rising decepticon like entrances by Nickelback, Daughtry, or some other rock band…would anything seem a bit out ozzyrick-allen-def-leppard-drummerof place to you? (Now you know what fantasies are going through my mind when I’m forced to dress up and attend a formal event.)

While this might be an extremely entertaining evening, especially watching the horror on the faces of the classical music lovers, it would NOT be a classical concert regardless of any decree from the Supreme Court.

Picture the formal scene of the Vienna Philharmonic with Maestro Carlos Kleiber conducting. The packed Hall is full of formal dresses and tuxedos enjoying Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 when Ozzy Osbourne walks onto the stage in Ozzy leather and chains, stands right beside Maestro Keiber, and conducts his famous biting off the head of a live bat.

imgres-1Something feel strange in that moment? Anything out of place? We should feel the exact same way when we see a picture of two men or two women being “wed” at the altar. It just doesn’t fit because it is absolutely, positively out of place.

The bottom line here is that gay couples are at the wrong concert and asking to join the wrong Hall of Fame. The court should tell them to enjoy the freedom of having something that is not the norm, but our free society allows them to have. It’s not marriage, it’s gay co-habitation or domestic partnership or even a “civil union.”

It is what it is. Stop trying to call it something it is not.

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  • Shelley Brooks

    Good argument — I will use it!

  • Michael Pelletier

    Agree with you on all points, Rick.

  • Clint B

    My, what a bunch of incoherent nonsense! Marriage equality is not a threat to “traditional” marriages, in principle or in fact. It is no longer an experiment – it is a fact in places like Canada, Massachusetts, Spain, Argentina, Vermont, etc. It has not resulted in any adverse social effects on anyone.

    • Stuart Marsden

      Aren’t you forgetting something? In all these places that have gay marriage, the government and the courts have divorced -all- heterosexual couples and allocated new, same-sex partners without their consent.

      Oh, wait. The fear-mongering has no basis in reality.
      Phew, I was getting worried for a moment there.

  • highlyunlikely

    Once the writer has resorted to the term “throughout history” or one of its various permutations, that writer has lost the argument.

  • Alencon

    Actually, marriage meant one man and multiple women for far longer than it meant one man and one woman.
    We’re talking about 2% of the population. The impact of gay marriage on American Society would be roughly equivalent to the impact of throwing a pebble against Mt. Everest.
    I might point out that Green’s argument would be equally “valid” against interracial marriage and interfaith marriage. In other words, it’s not valid at all.

    • Andy_Kreiss

      I’ll bet he feels pretty stupid, having written what he thinks is a very authoritative, game-winning piece, then having it pointed out that he’s completely unaware of something as much a part of common knowledge as historical polygamy.
      Bigots just don’t do much thinking above the neck.

  • Thomas McCabe

    It’s riff not rift you idiot

    • Andy_Kreiss

      Ha, I noticed that too, but that’s the least of this meathead’s problems.

  • Malfouka Malfouka

    While the last few days have been full of entertaining crazy, this essay is, hands down, my favourite. The funniest thing I’ve read all day. Keep up the good work guys!

  • Samuel Edward Konkin III

    Marriage has been throughout history between one man and a multiplicity of women.

    • Rick Green

      Actually, that has always been a perversion of marriage, whether in the Bible or elsewhere. It’s design was always one man, one woman from the beginning.

      • Tracy

        Not true. Many biblical men had many wives and there is nothing that states it was a perversion of marriage.

  • Phoenix Dirk

    What bothers me is that the Supreme Court is trying to rule on it. I think that people need to read the 10th amendment and realize that it’s up to the states to decide. That’s the main thing that bothers me.

    I don’t support lgbt marriage at all because it is a slippery slope of what “marriage” is to be. Could someone marry a dog then? How messed up is that? I would stick with the definition of what is the most helpful. Children from households with 2 parents of opposite sex (as homosexuals can’t reproduce) are FAR more successful in life than the others. Not sure why we’d change “marriage” to include detriments.

    I’m also against sweeping legislation for an average of 4% of the population. It’s 4%! if it was somewhere closer to 30% or more on any subject I think it’s more worth talking about. Right now we’re quibbling over insignificant things. Insignificant?! yes. it’s 4%

    More thoughts that I agree with here…

    • Phoenix Dirk

      If My neighbor wore a wedding ring, and gave a gemstone collar to his dog and claimed they were married. I’d march straight back into the house and say that we have to move. There’s no way that that kind of insanity is going to be anywhere near my children. I believe I speak for MANY MANY people on that note.

      If there’s a homosexual next door, they’re not pariahs. But with the ambiguation of marriage. How many nutcases will now be coming out and doing unspeakably weird things in the name of “Marriage.”

    • Tracy

      Phoenix….no, same sex marriage can never lead to marrying your dog or polygamy. They are 2 different things. Marrying your dog is crazy. I can’t think of anyone who would fight to have the right to marry an animal, do you? Polygamy is already 1. Happening, 2. Proven to be harmful…..incest, forced marriage of young girls to older men, violence against women, etc….in order for polygamy to ever be considered legal, you would have to change these proven facts before anyone (besides FDLS) would ever think about lifting the ban. Again, I can’t think of anyone who would lift the ban, do you? The mere fact that same sex marriage has come so far is because there are no proven cases that same sex marriages will harm anyone. Argue that most religious institutions see same sex marriage against God, and I can understand that, but to argue that legally same sex couple can’t enter into a law binding contract, is truly mind blowing.

      • Phoenix Dirk

        I see what you’re saying Tracy. In a lot of states, same sex marriage has been given all the same things as traditional marriage. I thought that’s what this case was about, but it’s not. It’s about redefining a word that’s been defined as 1 things for centuries if not millenia.

        Yes, Marrying your dog is weird.
        The inherent problems are twofold:
        1) if it’s a constitutional right, then religious leaders who are against same sex marriage CANNOT refuse to perform the ceremony. They’d face criminal charges of denying people their rights. Now you are forcing religious leaders to go against their beliefs which actually violates the 1st amendment which is free speech (refusing) and the free practice of religion (also part of the refusing). It’s a massive stomp on people’s constitutional rights for…4% of the US public. It’s causing more problems than it would “fix.”
        2) If Homosexuals can redefine the word “marriage.” Who’s to say people like the Nambla organization and people who practice beastiality won’t start advocating for change? Why isn’t a “Civil Union” enough?

        My grandmother is homosexual. I love her very much. She knows and understands my plight and also disagrees with redefining “Marriage.” My friend at work has her civil union card and she’s fine with it.

        • Phoenix Dirk

          I apologize. It’s not “a lot of states” It’s a few states and locales (DC).
          I mistyped and decided to try and edit after I got clicky. :) Sorry.

        • Tracy

          I know for a fact that Catholic Churches do not have to marry you. People who are not catholic have to get permission from the church first. If a catholic is not in “good standing” Witt the church, then they don’t have to marry you. A religious wedding IS NOT a legal binding contract in the eyes of the state. That’s why polygamous marriages aren’t really breaking the law if they are performed on a religious level. I have 2 marriage certificates….one that is the legal binding contract between my husband and I, and one from my church, which has no legal standing. I didn’t have to marry in the church in order to be married. When same sex marriages become legal, churches will still have the choice to marry those couples or not. Do you really know of anyone who practices beastality?

  • James C. Foy

    Let’s just admit that this argument has its roots in property rights.
    The idea of going to the government, hat in hand, and asking for a privilege is the substantive underlying question here. And, because it is the more important issue, it won’t get asked, because then people will start to ask why they should allow the government to tax them AGAIN on a property transfer that they’ve already payed taxes on several times.
    Then, we all might start asking why we pay tribute to a bunch of useless bureaucrats who mismanage the public trust on a daily basis, and hand our hard-earned money over to their corporate cronies, after threatening us with jail and the physical abuse in jail, if we don’t pay up.

  • fdr

    how about if we just change the wording….instead of “marriage” just use union….would they rwnj’s be ok than

  • Defnstl

    Marriage is a “natural” family creator. Natural families can ONLY be produced by a man and a woman. Only in real, bona fide marriage can 1+1=1 (union) then 3 (children). In so-called “same-sex marriage” (a true oxymoron), 1+1 will never equal anything other than 2. The two can NEVER become one. And that is marriage–always has been, always will be. The term “marriage” is reserved solely for a man and woman. Green is right…Beethoven will always be Beethoven and no one else.

  • Rick Green

    Alencon, are you really so racist as to suggest that races are as different/unequal as a man is from a woman? My comments ignored race, as it should be. Your comment either means that you see a white man different than a black man OR that you see no difference at all between a man and a woman. So your comment requires one to be either a racist or biologically blind. Which position do you choose?

    • Tracy

      I think you missed his point entirely.

  • Tracy

    I don’t understand the argument that same sex marriage undermines heterosexual marriage. It doesn’t make sense how one marriage undermines another. Also….this argument in particular, is mind blowing. I can’t believe you would equate same sex marriage to rock n roll….two very different things.

  • Ben McLean

    The real issue here is this society’s rejection of the concept of definition: preferring the ambiguous rhetoric of the sophists over the clear definitions of Socrates. In a society where all definitions are malleable and there are no eternal, unchanging truths, liberty cannot survive.