Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Nation is Sinking, Save the Sacred Institutions First

There are more than a few times every week now when I think about how lucky I am that I found my fourth wife. My third wife divorced me after her miraculous recovery from an illness that she had shown no signs of before we were married. My second wife was still calling me up weekly and asking for more child support. Eventually she tired of that and sent me the kids to finish raising. Fair enough, her turn had lasted until they were teenagers; mine will apparently never end for which I am occasionally grateful. When I see my grandkids for instance, or they graduate from college or get a job that will give them some valuable experience.

My first wife was a sweet young girl when we got married and I was a high testosterone jerk with a serious attitude. We both breathed a sigh of relief when she decided to leave me in charge of my only asset, my aggressiveness. I could never be aggressive around her so I found myself tied in knots every time I raised my voice and that ďI am in painĒ look crossed her face. Life with Nene is the best, and the only time that I ever felt like marriage fitted me properly.

Now I find myself bemused by an ill-read Presidentís defense of an institution more honored in this nation in the breach than otherwise. I am talking about Marriage and Divorce if you canít tell. Divorce is so painful that the only way to deal with it is to keep laughing whenever you can. Marriage is mostly more fun than Divorce. Marriage is most fun for men if you just sneak off and do it in the dark of night. Women are more fond of the ceremony; men just want the comfort of knowing that someone is always there. Men often need a wife to bind their wounds and send them back out into the fray. Today, she probably has her own career, and may need a little binding herself daily.

In my experience most of the damage to marriage occurs because of failed communication processes. The second greatest problem in marriage is money. The third is probably sex or child rearing or one of the other endemic difficulties that descend on you when marriage gets real. In spite of 3 divorces, marriage has finally worked out for me. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get the government off my lesbian daughterís back so she can marry her partner when they decide to tie the knot.

You see marriage has not always been such a solemn institution as this President seems to think it should be now. Jumping over the broom together was enough in Britain in years gone by. Divorce consisted of one party jumping over a dead cat, which brought death between them. Only the Church tried to sanctify marriage and though it often succeeded it also quite often failed. Marriage in the upper classes was more about economic liaisons that anything else. The modern idea of romantic love as a basis for marriage would have been laughed out of town in a village in the middle ages. What part of this history does this President neglect when he tries to make this adaptable and venerable institution rigid and a tool of economic suppression?

My daughter and her partner exist without any legal standing in regard to building their life together. They have stayed together longer than I and all of my first three wives combined lived on the same side of the cat. My daughter has completed her military service, and graduated from a great college as has her partner since they got together. I doubt that their sexual acts are anybodyís business but their own. But their love and their economic future are tied up in the way this nation discriminates against people of the same sex who love one another. Romantic love for a young pretty woman that lasted a couple of years was a perfectly legal basis of marriage for me.

But romantic love and dedication to a relationship that has survived several years is not any basis for marriage for her. How else can that be described except as the formalization of prejudice into law? That the prejudice in our nation against relationships between people of the same sex is religious in source cannot be doubted. I certainly remember the tales of Sodom and Gomorrah and the horror on the nuns face when one of the kids in the class asked what those people were doing that made God kill them all. How are we really going to reconcile installing religion based prejudice in our Constitution with that great documentís denial of any governmental recognition of religion?

Perhaps we will all grow up a little in the coming years while the fate of my daughter and her lovely intelligent partner is debated by those who know nothing beyond their own prejudices. Meanwhile I have to watch her be used as a tool of Karl Roveís drive to reelect this incompetent leader we have today. It makes me wish that life was as simple as it was a hundred years ago, when bitch slapping a jerk like Karl would have gotten me a beating by police and a few days in jail. Now I would probably be shipped off to Cuba and interred with another class of people who are being denied basic human rights. In any case I hope the great people of this nation find their balance once again and refuse to damage our Constitution by installing prejudice in its bosom. God bless and keep you all safe from the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah whose civilization was destroyed, some say by the hand of God, others by earthquake and volcanic fire. If ours is destroyed as it may ultimately be, it will not be destroyed by the hand of God, sHe has gone out of the destruction business the last time I checked. We no longer need Godís help to destroy ourselves. Our nation will far more likely be destroyed by the force of our own prejudices and the dominance of hatred and ignorance over love of our fellow man than any act of God. God bless you all, even Karl and if you can ask Dick Cheney how he can sleep at night while these devious men he works with harm his daughter in this way.

Posted by Henri Reynard at March 6, 2004 4:07 PM