June 16th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Reflections on the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx

EDITORIAL Significance of report into shooting down of MH17

CANBERRA OBSERVED Lee Rhiannon: too Bolshie or not Bolshie enough?

POLITICS Wading further through the Greens party bilge

ECONOMICS Vatican document nails some of the causes of the GFC

POLITICS Greens promise to keep Australia legally stoned and welfare dependent

ENVIRONMENT Scientist sacked for challenging claims of demise of Great Barrier Reef

REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE Humpty Dumpty has his way with words

CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIETY Tradition, Christianity and the law in contemporary Australia

EDUCATION Ladybird, ladybird: adventures in literacy

OFFICE LAUNCH NCC Sydney: a new chapter in a continuing story

ASIAN AFFAIRS Indonesia takes religious syncretism to the nth degree

WA RALLY FOR LIFE 3300 crosses in Perth poignant reminders of abortions

HUMOUR News snippets

PHILOSOPHY Bendigo initiative

MUSIC Gain is loss: Where is there left to discover?

CINEMA 2001: A Space Odyssey: Unsurpassed 50 years on

BOOK REVIEW The house that could not stand

BOOK REVIEW Australia's first official war historian

LETTERS

EDITORIAL China's pivotal role in Trump-Kim summit

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REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE
Humpty Dumpty has his way with words


by Dr Lucy Sullivan

News Weekly, June 16, 2018

Now that fluid gender marriage is upon us, perhaps we should pause and consider how this extraordinary distortion of a timeless, universal, contractual undertaking of the human species, embedded in clear, biological imperatives, could have invaded an entire civilisation.

While the LGBTI Humpty Dumpty has worked to make
the word “marriage” mean just what he chooses it to mean,
neither more nor less, the reality behind the word continues
to exist and might seek a home with “Holy Matrimony”.

For survival, species must reproduce. In humans, reproduction is sexual (that is, it depends on the mating of two sexes. Reproduction in species without two sexes is called “asexual”. More­over, in humans, reproduction is called procreation.

The human infant takes years to grow to maturity, physically and mentally, and needs adult devotion for this to be possible. “Falling in love” of the man and woman provides for this together with the mutual parental love of the child “of their loins”.

 

 

Ritual always accompanies ‘instinct’

Whereas what we call “instinct” provides the necessary behaviours for survival in other species, in humans, in everything beyond the basic instincts, instinct has to be directed and supported by ritual, ethical belief, custom and, in the extreme, law. Marriage rituals, beliefs and customs support the instincts of human reproduction in every human culture.

While not entirely identical across cultures, in ways suited to that culture the rituals, beliefs and customs ensure the survival of children: first, by identifying the biological parents; and, second, by placing responsibility for the children in their hands.

The ritual of marriage exists to protect procreation and is motivated by sexual love only as an adjunct to this primary goal. The Christian marriage ceremony (Holy Matrimony) has this entirely right when, for example, the Church of England Book of Common Prayer says it exists, first, for the procreation of children, second, to prevent sinful living (that is, fornication, which obscures true parentage and thus the true locus of parental care, and third, for the comfort and care each ought to have of the other, in raising their children to adulthood. Marriage primarily serves procreation, not sexual and asexual attraction and congress detached from procreation.

How did we fall into this false attribution of the significance of this collaboration of instinct and ritual which has been central to human social ordering for at least several thousand years. Is this what “Enlightenment” means: separating the two components of a biologically integrated system without cognisance of their essential evolutionary unity. The liberation of its restrictive terms in the name of equality has erased its primary functions.

The erasure of children

This has been the trajectory of moving the primary regulation of marriage from the church to the state, with the latter forcing the former into its own chosen profile as far as may be. It reached its apogee in Australia in 1975 when the Family Law Act made cessation of sexual relations for a year the definition of the breakdown of marriage. The presence of children of the marriage was of no significance and neither party could be held responsible for their care and maintenance, though within little more than a decade the cost of assistance by the state to the custodial parent was so great that a measure of contribution from the non-custodial parent was put in place.

In the first half of the 20th century the state’s chief welfare effort in supporting procreation was by recognising the greater income required for a family to live decently, compared with a single person, via the introduction of the “Basic Wage” as sufficient for a couple with three children.

After World War II, this provision, taking a “welfare” turn, was refined to provide for the couple with children as compared with the childless couple, by the introduction of child endowment and tax rebates per child, a system that fully supported the conception implicit in marriage: that the biological parents have autonomous care of their children.

This system was dismantled through the 1970s and ’80s so that singles became the wealthy and families the poor, and welfare money went to unmarried and divorced parents (and the unemployed) rather than enabling the married couple to procreate and flourish.

By the mid 1990s the falling birth rate forced attention back to the needs of the family and some measures of support for the couple with a family were restored.

Meanwhile, actually being married had become irrelevant to receiving family benefits. All that was needed was evidence of domiciliary care of children and/or cohabitation. Biological parenthood was irrelevant. With this as the baseline for state recognition of family benefits, it was an easy step to claim them for same-sex relationships and to seek to embed the claims by calling those relationships marriage. This marked a volte-face by the gay lobby: from denigrating family and procreation in the 1970s, to lobbying for inclusion by the late 1990s.

Thus by the 21st century, what was called marriage had been stripped of the defining elements of Holy Matrimony. It was not for the procreation of children but to advertise a copulatory relationship; it was not to discourage profligacy, as the term “illegitimate” was abolished and ex-nuptial birth was considered insignificant and marriage thus became irrelevant to guarding knowledge of genetic descent (and further, reproductive technology allowed the obscuring of genetic origin); it was inconsequent in civil society, as it was not pivotal for family income support; it was not binding as divorce became the individual choice of either party, weakening the obligation of the parental couple to raise their children to maturity.

Through this development, Christian marriage continued as the apparent doppel ganger of secular marriage under state law, although any essential identity had ceased to exist.

It is clearly time for the two to make a formal separation: Holy Matrimony, with its three principles, plus the fourth implicit in its terminology, that it can only be between a man and a woman, can be chosen by those who wish to remain within the City of God. If they eschew the secular state marriage registration, this will not deny them state family benefits, as these are already awarded in de facto circumstances. But they will be bound through faith by those of Holy Matrimony, which will be clear and distinct from its degraded version, “marriage”.

In establishing the mindset necessary for the comprehension of his theory of evolution in Origin of the Species, Darwin reminds us of the necessary reversal of the cause-effect attribution made by a Greek philosopher that “rain falls so the grass can grow” to “grass grows because rain falls”. The three principles of Holy Matrimony are the rain that allows the grass to grow. As they have been dismantled, the signs that we have entered a drought both in procreation and transmission of culture are already clear.




























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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm