Wedding couple

Same Sex Marriage and the Eternal Wrestle with Words

Same Sex Marriage and The Eternal Wrestle with Words

The offerings in this section are never political. The Christian life is open to those who seek it.

Something is projected shortly, though, which could change the organisation of society as we know it and which organisation derives from the Judaeo-Christian ethic. As a result you might want to think about what follows.

The pro-homosexual “marriage” lobby is about to start its media campaign to redefine the meaning of the word “marriage”. But by being redefined so will our perception of marriage and what it means  be changed and, if you like, destroyed. Let me explain.

Necessarily a word does not exist by itself. It has connotations. Take the words “Test” match. We know immediately without saying it that we mean a cricket match for the Ashes between England and Australia and all that goes with it. And so with the word “marriage”.

To change the meaning of a word is to change the word’s connotations and, apart from anything else, any values implied. The end result of doing this cannot be foreseen. Hitler did it with his words the soft sounding “final solution” and thus redefined the murdering of Jewish people. And what a change that was. Hence, if you set a precedent by changing word meaning or usage, things change and the way is opened for other words to be redefined with more change. But why? Our language is flexible and can always find new words to use instead of changing the meaning of current words. Look at “sputnik” and “networking” and “e-mail”.

The word “marriage” as we know it, if redefined, could be changed forever.  And redefining will change the social organising of people implied in the word “marriage”. The arrangement of couples – what is called “marriage” as such – arose to ensure stability and order in the way people lived and brought offspring into being. It also ensured responsibility in those undertaking it. Some variations developed such as extended families but the basic unit remained the same – the permanent joining of a man plus a woman – wherein lay the potential beginning of a child’s birth  by a couple necessarily of different sexes. This arrangement was called “marriage.” It’s an old word; a word understood by all; a word embracing and foreshadowing new lives. A word with many connotations.

And “marriage” is the beginning point of another word used for centuries – “families”. A family has been the accepted pattern constituting the social organising of a nation – its founding arrangement if you like. Hence the consequences of changing Marriage laws in Australia means more than changing a description of a state existing between two people. Those consequences also have the effect of changing social organisation and, with its connotations, the word “marriage”. Changed to what? And what replaces the existing connotations?

Hence, if the present connotations of the word “marriage” – implied from time immemorial – are changed there has to be an effect on society – including children. And so will any redefinition arising from so-called “discrimination'” if that is given as the reason for effecting a change of meaning.

If homosexual couples want legal recognition for unisex coupling that’s fine, – that’s their choice. But why not find a word to describe that union other than by “marriage”?  They can be legally “coupled”, “joined”, “yoked”, “locked”, “paired”, “linked”, or “connected”.

Whatever word chosen would  be soon used as easily as the word “gay” which once meant, in common usage, bright and happy, light hearted and carefree. And the word chosen would have the connotation of a same sex couple. Or don’t the gays want their sameness implied in their coupling word as heterosexuals do at present in the word “marriage”? Marriage presently means different sexes so is change wanted in present connotations and perceptions? And if so why? Interestingly “gay” seems to have been revived, knowingly or unknowingly, from a word used about 1637 when it had, as described in the Oxford English Dictionary, a meaning with overtones of  “immoral”.

It may well be that changing the accepted connotations of “marriage” could well produce confused perceptions in society at large and among children in particular. And, in the forthcoming debate, if that is not considered the debate will really have proceeded from an unrecognised premise by ignoring the connotations which society at large sees and accepts when attached to the word “marriage”. And there are too many to be discarded to suit the desires of a section of the whole society.

Think about this and, if inclined, speak to your local federal member of Parliament and make your concerns known by interview, e-mail or letter. I suggest it matters.

Over to you.


 [SM]