Observations: Addendum

I hadn’t read this before I wrote the post below, but Ross Douthat echoes many of the themes I mentioned in his excellent post in the NYTs today. An excerpt:

[Traditional marriage] is a particularly Western understanding, derived from Jewish and Christian beliefs about the order of creation, and supplemented by later ideas about romantic love, the rights of children, and the equality of the sexes.

Or at least, it was the Western understanding. Lately, it has come to co-exist with a less idealistic, more accommodating approach, defined by no-fault divorce, frequent out-of-wedlock births, and serial monogamy.

In this landscape, gay-marriage critics who fret about a slippery slope to polygamy miss the point. Americans already have a kind of postmodern polygamy available to them. It’s just spread over the course of a lifetime, rather than concentrated in a “Big Love”-style menage.

Definitely worth a read.


2 Responses to Observations: Addendum

  1. I find the confession that marriage is defined culturally (and relatively recently at that) rather interesting.

  2. jackhudson says:

    I am not sure how that constitutes a ‘confession’. The fact that we have a certain cultural view of marriage doesn’t mean that our view of marriage isn’t based on certain truths and or realities about human nature.

    Our understanding of giving birth and childrearing is culturally defined as well; that doesn’t mean there aren’t better or worse ways to give birth and raise children.

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