The Northwest Arkansas Times' marriage announcement policy, 21st Century America and the “definition of marriage” | Street Jazz

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Northwest Arkansas Times' marriage announcement policy, 21st Century America and the “definition of marriage”

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Well, that’s a clunker of a title.

Then again, so is the policy of the Northwest Arkansas Times when it comes to printing wedding announcements. Much has been made of late of the two young men whose wedding announcement was turned down by the Times due to the fact that . . . well, these guys are gay, and gay marriage is still not recognized in the state of Arkansas.

Ironically, because the NWA Times declined to print the announcement, the wedding has gotten a whole lot more attention than it ever might have otherwise, perhaps. Way to go, Times. By hiding behind an archaic policy, you created the news.

Ah well, unintended consequences.

I have been giving the matter some reflection, and thought I might begin this piece by going down the various and sundry ways that marriage has changed over the thousands of years that human beings have trod upon the earth, but it all began to look like pretentious twaddle.

Then, of course, I could resort to statistics - the first refuge of the intellectually incompetent. I’ve been there before, but didn’t feel like rejoining their ranks this morning.

It honestly, seems to me that if we want to talk about the state of marriage in this country, we need to throw the statistics out the window - a very high window - and even forget about how marriage has evolved over the years, but instead, mine our own lives , something many us of are chary of doing, because of the risks involved.

I have been married to Tracy for over ten pretty happy years (hey, she bought me a TARDIS and a sonic screw driver!) but life before Tracy, of course, my life was like so many others.

I was engaged to a young woman in 1976 who broke up with me a couple of days before Christmas, and so I promptly became engaged to the next woman I dated, Bobbie Jean (that’s as far were going with that - you know who you are), a marriage that was pretty much doomed from the start.

We have these experiences in life when we screw up, or even when we crew up the lives of others that we have come to refer to as Learning Experiences. This is a bloodless, antiseptic term for all manner of things, some better never talked about.

Bobbie and I argued a great deal, to put it mildly. At one point my father-in-law, who loved his daughter very much, suggested very strongly to me that I needed to exert the hand of discipline on my wife. It was just one of the many cracks in the mosaic, letting daylight in, telling me that this really wasn’t a marriage in any sense of the word.

I know a lot of folks with wonderful marriages; I have one now, and you probably have one. But we also know so many who have lousy marriages. People who get married on the rebound, as I did, or folks who stay in unhappy relationships “for sake of the children” - yeah, so the kids will learn that they should stay in poisonous relationships for sake of their kids - and even abusive relationships.

High divorce rates - though I won’t mention statistics.

Infidelity, which can be a serious affair, or just a one-time fling.

Sexless marriages.

The entire definition of marriage has become so twisted out of all historical proportion that we hardly recognize it anymore. Which brings us back to the Northwest Arkansas Times.

Hiding behind the line that the current law only allows marriage between a man and a woman is letting yourselves off too easily. Sometimes progress takes an act of real courageousness. I understand the business of operating under the control of others, but somebody, somewhere, should push for this policy to be changed.

We all lead by example.

******

Am I the only one in the world repulsed by the ad for the Porsche 911

I have been seeing the ads on TV for for the Porsche 911, where the announcer intones “ . . .everything we fight for . . .”

Every time I hear that phrase, I am filled with a sense of moral revulsion.

*****

Quote of the Day

A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education. - Smiley Blanton, MD

sdrake@cox.net

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