The Christian Monopoly on Marriage and Family

So last night I was listening to James Dobson—you know, the guy who’s always lecturing us on “family values” while he himself worships an unmarried Father, a celibate Son, and a Spirit who got someone else’s fiancée pregnant? Anyway, I tuned in Focus on the Family as I was driving home from work, and let me tell you, Dobson was livid. I’ve been listening to Dobson since before they bought the “Turn Our Hearts Towards Home” tag, and I’ve never heard him so irate. He’d have been shouting if he’d had anybody there to shout at.

The reason, of course, is that a California court dared, dared, to overturn the state’s Christian monopoly on the definition of marriage. Dobson didn’t phrase it in those terms, of course, but that’s the heart of the matter. Christians are all for tolerance and religious freedom, just as long as they can abuse their majority status to make it illegal to adopt any definition of marriage that differs from their own.

As I listened to Dobson rant and rave about how gay marriage would lead straight to legalized polygamy and thus (I kid you not, he really said this!) to THE END OF DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA!!!1!11, it occurred to me that there is a reason why people like Dobson are so panicked and hysterical about losing their monopoly on marriage. And it’s more than just ordinary homophobia.

Here’s the kicker: what if gay marriage were legal, and it failed to lead to the end of civilization as we know it? What if gay couples—and, dare we say it, gay families—turned out to produce greater social stability, greater personal satisfaction, reduced STD’s, and all the other benefits of marital fidelity? Wouldn’t that be absolutely horrible?

Yes, it would, as far as the Dobsons of the world are concerned. You see, for years (centuries even), they’ve been exploiting the “blessings” of marriage as a superstitious argument for faith in God. By claiming that God is responsible for instituting marriage, and thus handing God all the credit for the benefits of marital union, they create an argument that many people find irresistibly compelling. By harnessing the reproductive drive to people’s natural superstition, they create an environment where impressionable children are highly likely to be imprinted, like baby ducklings, on the image of a Heavenly Father.

You can see how horrific it would be for homophobic Christians to confront the spectacle of gay families enjoying the same benefits. The cognitive dissonance would be explosive. “Wait, does this mean that God blesses gay marriages too? that He’s the author of gay unions as well as male/female couplings? But if He isn’t, that would mean marriages don’t need God’s blessing to be happy, beneficial, and productive! Gaaa!”

Christians are really on the ropes here. God lives on these superstitious attributions, since He never shows up in real life to give people an objective basis for believing in Him. The two great Superstitions leading to faith in God are that He is needed to explain Creation and that He is needed to bless marriages and families. Science has crippled the first superstition—it’s still possible to believe in a divine Creator, but it is no longer necessary to do so. If the second Great Superstition also crumbles, what leg will God have left to stand on?

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3 Responses to “The Christian Monopoly on Marriage and Family”

  1. Bacopa Says:

    Is it just me or does everyone else hearing Dobson’s voice imagine an ageing queen in coach shorts, a tank top, and a baseball cap?

    I know that’s mean, but the image just sticks in my mind every time I hear his voice.

  2. Benjamin Says:

    This hits the nail directly on the head; I only wish more people would stand up for Gay Rights (namely more GAY people!)

    Keep it up, I’ve loved the other content thus far.

  3. Rosemary Lyndall Wemm Says:

    If the Focus on the Family group were really concerned about the sanctity of the “family” then they would change their religion. The Christian three-headed god has a sorry history of being quite anti-family.

    The original Jewish God (the so-called Father) was very good at slaughtering women and children and first-borns who weren’t his “chosen” people but he was a terrible father to his preferred people as well. He provided a “test of faith” that must have resulted in severe and permanent psychological damage to Isaac.

    This was not his only failure as a parent. At the presumed beginning of time he showed favouritism towards Able by accepting his gift and rejecting his brother Cain’s gift. They were both culled from their labours and were therefore equal in intent and effort. The only difference was that Cain was a fruit and vegetable farmer and Able was a livestock farmer. Discriminating among your children on that basis is cruel as well as insanely unreasonable.

    This divine father directed that children who did not follow their earthly parents’ instructions were to be brutally stoned to death. What a monster! Why would a family-focused group want to support the work of a deranged child abuser?

    His attitude towards women was also monstrous. He, or his Spirit emissary, raped a virgin simply so that he could father a cross-species half-caste. The woman was forced to become an unmarried mother in a society that usually killed or at least shunned such unfortunates. The divine rapist never apologized for his deed.

    According to some apologists for this god, the half-caste was brought up as an only child in a household by adoptive parents who were in an unconsumated marriage of convenience. Imagine the sexual tensions in that household! This “marriage” did not exist for the purpose of creating children so why would a family-orientated group hold it up as an example of a perfect marital union?

    The illegitimate half-caste grew up showing signs consistent with homosexuality. He never married in a society where failure to do so before the age of thirty was frowned upon. Instead he lived with a group of males whom he persuaded to abandon their responsibilities to their families. How were these families expected to survive when the bread-winner disappeared to do his own thing? If you are family-focused why hold this up as something to be emulated?

    The half-caste never showed any interest in caring for children for more than a few minutes. “Suffer the little children to come unto me” would be better translated as “The little children will suffer if they come to me because I will do nothing to support them in the long run other than pat them on the head, pronounce a blessing and return them to their guardians”. Looking after children responsibly does not appear to be a divine characteristic of this three-headed god. It is just as well the half-caste probably did not father children as his concept of “child support” would almost certainly be to abandon them to the care of the child’s mother and her family. Why would a family-orientated group wish to embrace a person who demonstrates such domestic irresponsibility?

    The “son” part of the divine three-header is thus a really poor model of family centeredness. He fails to provide for his aging adoptive parents, fails to take a wife and have children of his own, prevents his disciples from providing for their parents or wives, is not reported to have spent any significant time with his extended family, took no apparent interest in spending extended time with other people’s children and spent no appreciable time taking care of normal family responsibilities and chores. In fact, the half-man is reported to have spent his adult life completely absorbed in his work and selfishly expecting others to provide him with food and clothing.

    A family-focused group should abandon this travesty of family values and find a much more appropriate role model. Mohammed would be better. At least he was married and apparently cared for his wives and children.