Arizona State University philosopher Elizabeth Brake doesn’t scare easily. An advocate of same-sex unions, she doesn’t flinch when conservatives argue that if two men are granted the right to marry, why not three? Brake boldly declares that marriage should not be restricted to opposite-sex couples, or indeed to couples at all. Her book, Minimizing Marriage, hot off the prestigious Oxford University Press, pushes traditional logic by claiming that “liberal reasons for recognizing same-sex marriage also require recognition of groups, polyamorists, polygamists, friends, urban tribes, and adult care networks.”
And not only does Brake support “loving” same-sex couples or groups, but she claims “loving” relationships — which she calls “amatonormative” relationships (from amor, the Latin word for “love”), should not be the standard by which we judge a “marriage.” She fearlessly claims, “amatonormative judgments are false, and … discrimination on their basis is morally wrong.”
In short, you don’t even have to like someone to have sex with him. Or her. Or them. Or be “married.”
Before terminating his campaign, Rick Santorum was criticized for attempting to frighten us with the prospect of “man on child” and “man on dog” unions should the State recognize same-sex unions. And here is where Brake’s bravery breaks down. Brake assures us that her theory “complies with criminal law.”
Ah, yes; that enduring paragon of morality, “the State” and its “criminal law.”
Of course Brake knows that in generations past, “the criminal law” punished straightforward adultery, to say of nothing deviant perversion or an anonymous hip-hop club orgy. Brake knows that today’s fears are tomorrow’s “progressive public policy,” thanks to daring lawyers and squishy Republican judges. For now, she assures us that “children and nonhuman animals … are not legally competent to consent.”
“Nonhuman animals.” I’m glad she cleared that up. I was thinking about the other kind of animals.
“Legally competent to consent.” For now. Until the law is changed and children are granted the “right” to “consent” to whatever deviants can dish out.
In 1913, the Texas Supreme Court reflected the views of a Christian worldview when it declared:
Marriage was not originated by human law. When God created Eve, she was a wife to Adam; they then and there occupied the status of husband to wife and wife to husband. . . . When Noah was selected for salvation from the flood, he and his wife and his three sons and their wives were placed in the Ark; and, when the flood waters had subsided and the families came forth, it was Noah and his wife and each son and his wife . . . . The truth is that civil government has grown out of marriage . . . which created homes, and population, and society, from which government became necessary [sic] . . . . [Marriages] will produce a home and family that will contribute to good society, to free and just government, and to the support of Christianity. . . . It would be sacrilegious to apply the designation “a civil contract” to such a marriage. It is that and more; a status ordained by God.
Grigsby v Reib, 153 S.W. 1124, 1129-30 (TxSupCt 1913)
Brake knows that Courts don’t speak in these terms anymore. And parents who sit their children at the feet of professors like Brake in secular universities like ASU are planting the seeds of an impersonal world which substitutes anonymous “urban tribes” for a man and a woman who “love and cherish” “till death do us part.”
h/t Roderick Long