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john blumenthal

john blumenthal
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California,
Birthday
January 05
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john_blumenthal (On Twitter)
Bio
Curmudgeon. Formidable braggart. Comedy writer. Eight books, 2 movies. Former associate editor at Playboy Magazine. Movies include "Short Time," (major flop), and "Blue Streak" (huge hit, no idea why.) Last three novels were "What's Wrong With Dorfman?" (St. Martin's Press), "Millard Fillmore, Mon Amour," (St. Martin's Press) and "Three and a Half Virgins" (Finalist, International Book Awards.) Latest book -- a spoof of romance novels called "Passing Wind of Love."

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Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 24, 2009 10:49AM

What the Hell Does “Sanctity of Marriage” Mean?

Rate: 60 Flag

"Sanctity of marriage" is a meaningless phrase concocted by bigots and religious fanatics who are terrified that gay marriage will lead to moral decay, since it says so in the Bible, which it doesn’t. Men, they  say, are supposed to marry women. Period. It’s God’s will.

  

Fact is, in Biblical times, if there weren’t any women handy at the oasis, you flirted with the closest attractive goat, or the nearest cute guy in a robe. It’s lonely in the desert, and you can’t have a very satisfying sexual experience with sand. Also, there’s nothing in the Bible about coveting thy neighbor’s goat.

  

And nowadays, just because a priest administers the marriage vows doesn’t sanctify the process, especially if the priest in question has an important appointment with a “troubled” twelve year-old later in the afternoon.

  

According to my dictionary, “sanctity” means, “sacred.” I’ve been married for quite sometime, but there’s never been anything that sacred about it. It's just an ordinary marriage and it’s full of normal unsacred marriage stuff like getting bawled out for not putting the toilet seat down, being forced to dance, having to watch “Sex In the City,” listening to her oohing and aahing over McDreamy while I’m secretly oohing and aahing over Scarlett Johansson and having to repeatedly hear phrases like “that’s what you’re wearing?”

  

Ironically, a lot of the idiots who actually think heterosexual marriage is some kind of holy rite, got married in Vegas by a guy in an Elvis wig, flanked by two random, half-drunk ghoulish witnesses. These young newlyweds are probably divorced within a year and living in separate trailer parks. The bride posts a twenty year-old picture of herself on Match.com, and hubbie is probably onto his third wife, who he physically abuses on a regular basis. Or he hasn’t found another wife, and is satisfying his carnal needs on his cousin or the livestock.

  

In fact, the term “sanctity of marriage” is off-limits for anyone who’s gotten divorced, because when people get married they take “sacred” marriage vows. One of those vows is, “until death do you part,” not “until you meet somebody better.”

  

Anti-gay rights activists are also terrified that, if gays are allowed to serve in the armed forces, the result will be sexual chaos. Right. I can just see some gay G.I. making a pass at a non-gay G.I. while their Humvee is being blown to smithereens.

  

Besides, military recruiters are so desperate to increase the ranks, they’re enlisting 18 year-old morons and rushing them through boot camp by limiting the curriculum to loading guns, putting on a helmet correctly and learning the military tactics involved in badminton. I don’t know about you, but if I were in Iraq, I’d rather have a well-trained gay guy watching my back than a dimwit with his helmet on backwards.

  

Then you've got the truly demented, sanctimonious types who have this inane idea that gay people can be talked out of being gay. That’s like trying to talk an albino out of being pale.

 

And there’s the old saw about how gay teachers will somehow talk their students into being gay. How does that work exactly? By exclusively teaching Oscar Wilde and Truman Capote? Playing show tunes? So what’s the heterosexual kid supposed to say? “I love Truman Capote and he was gay so maybe I should try it?”All of which is irelevant because the potential victims of this imaginary concept are all busy texting each other, so nobody’s even paying attention anyway.   

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There may not be mention of goats, but I do think there's something in the Bible about not coveting thy neighbor's ass, though.

Lewis Black does a great bit about how the beastiality laws in the Bible came out..."No, you can't marry a camel! I don't care how in love you are!"
Yes, you make good points. Marriage is sanctimonious only to those who wish it to be exclusive, for some ridiculous reason.

Oh, and why can't you have a very satisfying sexual experience with sand? There you go being close minded.
"Fact is, in Biblical times, if there weren’t any women handy at the oasis, you flirted with the closest attractive goat, or the nearest cute guy in a robe."

Hmm, I never saw that in the Bible? Wow, thought you were intelligent!
I learned what "sanctity of marriage" is firsthand when I fought for my husband's life during his 8-month hospitalization. It's the people themselves who sanctify a marriage, not anyone who officiates. And it's the people themselves who perform the marriage and seal the deal, not anyone else who bestows a blessing. That's where the sanctity comes, from within. It's sacred, the way the relationship between a parent and a child is sacred, not that it's perfect, but that it's precious, fragile, easily broken, and at its best, can only be held in the secret places of one's heart. Your mileage might vary.
Hah! Ask my youngest how good the hot sand felt when she was four years old.
Very embarrassing for the adults but the kids couldn't have cared less.
I believe that if certain churches don't believe in gay marriage, then they should be allowed not to perform the rituals. Hell, if certain pastors don't want to marry a couple--gay or straight--then they shouldn't, BUT let people have the legal rights of marriage.
You said it in a much funnier way.
As you well know John, we're told that more than half of the heterosexuals who have walked up the aisle to say their vows of sanctity found themselves going back on it later in divorce court. Four out of three of the naysayers on the other side just make up these statistics on the spot to support their own viewpoint nearly half the time.
Excellent rant, John. I like how nimbly you jump from point to point.
Funny and right on. Good combo.
That "until death do you part" clause always seemed a bit harsh to me. I asked my ex-wife (while holding a rusty axe) if she wanted death or divorce. She chose divorce.

Rated for laughs.
I have always held the humble opinion that marriage is between to humans.
I don't understand some of the BS out there, and you have detailed it well here with comedy to boot John.
I thought of my kids at the end, texting. So true.
Though I agree with a majority of your post, I see no corrolation between gay and well trained. Recruiters are actually tightening their enlistment standards due to meeting their accession goals for FY09. Though I disagree with the current policy of don't ask don't tell, this has nothing to do with the quality of Basic Training, which is moving from 9 to 10 weeks. Know of what you speak before you speak it.
As for the sanctity of marriage, it is no less or more holy than my left thumb or the fly on the nose of a dead camel in the desert. All things are equally sacred, including our disenfranchised gays.
Funny John, but true. I don't believe anyone should be considered legally married unless they are married by a judge. Church marriages are religious rites and not law (and also separate from the state).
"Sanctity of Marriage" means your first wife has not moved to Hilton Head to work on her memoirs.
Question for Mission:

You meant between TWO humans, correct?

If so, why stop at 2?

I'm not asking sarcastically. I have no objection to 2 consenting adults of the same sex being allowed to marry.

I also have no objection to polyamorous consenting adults being allowed legal recognition of their relationship - if they want it.

The people who object to these things call it a slippery slope. My question to them would be a slippery slope to what? Tolerance?
Great post. Well-written. Interesting. Smart. Funny.

I disagree on one point. I believe marriage is sacred in the sense that interconnecting human relationships are sacred. I believe that the human experience is both sacred and profane and that these work in harmony. I also believe that laughter and humor are essential in a marriage. Laughter can also be sacred.

But I do create my own definitions which often differ from the mainstream. ;)
Marriage can be as sacred or profane as the people involved want to make it. What they want, of course, can be subject to change. That's true whether they were married by a priest in a Cathedral or an Elvis impersonator at a drive-through Nuptialiteria. And if we had gay teachers assigning Oscar Wilde and Truman Capote, American students might actually learn to write!
Yes! thank you. you make me laugh, and that's really good this far into the week!
What I meant to say, and perhaps I didn't make it that clear, is that it's the blowhards like Sanford and Gingrich and Ensign and their ilk who rant on and on about the sanctity of marriage, then hypocriticallay violate those vows. And many of them bust the sacred pact between a child and its father as well. It's these guys that piss me off the most. And divorcess, as I said, have no right to even use the term.
You're so right about the hypocrisy of those wrapping themselves in the statement for political gain, John. Dead on.
John, I'm not sure which Bible your reading but there is plenty of teaching that establishes "marriage" as between a man and a woman.
Old Testament:
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”
(thus establishing two seperate sexes)
Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave His father and His mother, and shall cleave unto His wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
(thus establishing marriage between a male and a female)

Jesus' teaching on both marriage and divorce:
Matthew 19:3-12, “The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away His wife for every cause? And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to His wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. (thus re-validating the Old Testament teaching)
They say unto Him, why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away His wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (thus establishing the term under which divorce is ALLOWABLE)

In Malachi 2:16 God proclaims: "For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, 'for it covers one's garment with violence,' says the Lord of hosts. 'Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously'"

But one must not think that just because they ARE divorced that they are not capable of being forgiven: Psalms 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” (redemption IS available to all and He will remove your sin)

However, you must not think that divorce will take place in a vaccuum: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (if you choose to plant the seeds of infidelity you will suffer the consequences)

Summary: God hates divorce, Jesus laid out the reasons you COULD get divorced but does not say you MUST, God and Jesus both establish the traditional form of marriage as between one man and one woman, divorce is sin but it can be forgiven.
Great giggles, John! You made something that has been bantered about repeatedly, new and refreshing. Your humor is tickling my funny bone.
@DJohn,

Last I checked, the United States was a secular society with a legal separation of church and state.

You are free to practice your religion, along with it's definition of marriage.

I believe the writers of the document you use as an avatar wanted EVERYONE to have that right.
DrJohn: I'm referring to the Bible that says "Love Thy Neighbor." It doesn't specify what gender that neighbor might be.
Doesn't it mean that the wife will change the sheets every week?


" ... are all busy texting each other..." BTW, the kids are "sexting" each other.
Excellent statement throughout John, right down to the above comment of yours.
I thought the title of this was "What does the SANITY of Marriage Mean?". What? No Benjamin Franklin references today? I bet he would have a lot to say about this. But I can't picture him saying it as funny as you do.
Hmm. While I completely agree with your point, I'm a big believer in the sanctity of marriage in the sense that it implies inviolability from the outside. As long as it's not harming anyone else, who else should get to judge it or alter it? If in your mind it's an agreement between you and Jane or John Doe, it's pretty exclusively your issue. If it's an agreement with you and Opposite-Sex Roe and G-d, it's an issue between those three parties as well. I'm of the opinion that it shouldn't have anything to do with your tax status, your right to health insurance, who holds your powers of attorney, and so on.

(Caveat: I also believe the state has a STRONG responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children, who can be beneficiaries or victims of a marriage but are not parties to it.)
it's all strawmen bullshit so we have something else to hate each other about. the strict biblical text supposedly against homosexuality is not about loving the same sex or not. it's about not objectifying a human being or using them strictly for lustful/disrespectful purposes. the big thing the Old Testiment frowned on was human animal hybrids brought about by laying down with the livestock, etc.
O'Really?: I think you're developing a Ben Franklin crush. You want his number? Just don't tell him to go fly a kite. That drives him nuts. (No, not in a sexual way.)
The "Sanitary of Marriage"? Why should marriage be sanitary? It's much more fun when it's sweaty and dirty. Sanitary is so confining, so difficult, it requires bleach and handi-wipes. Being clean is nice but ...

Oh ... never mind!
I did not realize I spelled two 'to'. Of course I meant two. TWO humans.
I am not religious and care nothing about what the holy books of any religious system state is their personal belief.
The US of A has no religion. It is a completely secular state.
I see no relevance of the Christian rules of marriage in this post.NONE.
Lea: Clearly you're not Jewish. I like to be bathed in Purell myself.
This is a terrific post, one of your best. You really mixed your humor in with an important idea and you did it so well that both your humor and the important idea come out stronger for it.

I have been thinking about marriage a lot, weighing what's true and not true about what they say about it, since I'm in my first 4 months of it. I have also been thinking about the fact that if I loved a woman instead of a man, that love would be treated totally differently by society.

P.S. I want to be the half-drunk ghoulish witness at a Vegas wedding overseen by a guy in an Elvis wig--not. Oh and I'm apparently also bringing back the use of "not" in that context.
So true, not a black or white issue is it? Sanctity I thought was another word for sanctions? via that the root of the word san-tity would some how revolve around sanction, of course let me further disuade myself from my true belief. Sanction would also lead me further to belive that in-santity would be far off tract, since many of the explanations are far removed from logical thought. But more supreme example of regular ordinary people end up in some pretty bizarre conduct all due to not being entirely sure of their officials roles, robes, smocks, and other items that are catagorized for the sole purpose of making a mockery out of ideas and ideology that translates for better or worse, except in cases where true rational thought exists. But before that process has taken place another type of service is necessary, one that officiates the end of life and interpretation that is pretty useless on most planes of thought, other wise stupid people would use it to not make such errant choices, and just think they think I'am just a dumb bird.
People are just full of shit, and when to people...I mean 2 (two)... get married (by someone who is also full of shit), they get to share special shit that they don't share with others..which makes it sacred. And, anatomically speaking, I'm pretty sure all our shit comes from the same place, regardless of what's on the other side...which means homo or hetero, we're all in "same shit" marriages.

You are a funny man...
John: purell and vibrating autoclaves are masturbation equipment in this country.

(for future reference)
Those puritans got there hooks in us good, didn't they?
nofrills: Will somebody please tell me what masturbation is? Should I know this? I once won a debate contest and I was awarded the title "Master Debator."I that it?
Since others have picked on mission for mis-spelling "two", may I just ask if there is a single person besides me on the whole Interwebs who knows how to spell (or pronounce) "bestiality"?
I think Buffy nailed it when she wrote about the "sanctimony" of marriage. There's a lot of that going around these days. Great post.
They don't call it the Missonary Position for nothing. Actually these days the Missionary Position means man on top alter boy on the bottom.
The Bible is pretty explicit in describing when divorce is allowed, and even then it views remarriage after divorce as usually off limits. So those who speak of the sanctity of marriage need to consider the full implications of what that means. An awful lot look only at one aspect of it, an aspect that is addressed by the Bible a good deal less than it addresses heterosexual marriage and divorce.
Well, it's hard to craft a serious response to a comedy act, but I'll give it a try.

First, I see that this piece received an Editor's Pick, an honor bestowed by the editors here. Had the author written something just as good in behalf of the concept of the sanctity of marriage, it would have had absolutely zero chance of receiving an EP. I don't know why, except that for some reason the OS editors have a bias against anything conservative or traditional, perhaps because that's what the larger audience here wants. But it is an interesting question why there is such an obvious bias in the EPs and covers, especially among a group of people who are so adept at detecting bias in others.

I always find it ironic that the people most in favor of expanding marriage to include gays (and possibly every kind of relationship) are almost always those who most denigrate the idea that there is anything sacred about marriage.

They'll spend page after page talking about what a crock the traditional idea of marriage is, and then another page ridiculing the idea that there even is a traditional idea of marriage, and then another page on how ludicrous and awful and outdated marriage is, and then another page on what dupes and dolts religious people are for thinking that marriage is sacred, and then another page detailing the many failures of marriage.

And after having beaten marriage to a bloody pulp, dragged it through the street, spat on it, and thrown it into the dumpster, they then conclude that gay people must be given it as well. Left unanswered is why gay people would even want to be involved in something so outdated and laughable.

Now if someone suggests that we could have civil unions that would give gay couples all rights and opportunities that married people have -- pensions, Social Security, everything else -- but we just wouldn't call it "marriage," then that person would be called a "bigot" and "hater" and "homophobe." No, the argument is that gay people MUST be able to be married.

And why? Because most people (at least most people who aren't members of Open Salon) know instinctively that there IS something sacred about marriage. They know that after all the jokes and the Vegas weddings with Elvis and the adulteries and the divorces that there really is something sacred about marriage, at least for those who believe in the possibility of anything being sacred. And if a promise between two people to love, honor, and cherish one another, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, until death do them part isn't sacred, then probably nothing is. Of course, if people want to go into marriage as a joke, then it's a joke. If they want to go into it as a temporary contract, then it's a temporary contract.

In the anti-traditional marriage rhetoric, heterosexual marriage is always portrayed as a joke, a business deal, or a disaster, and the failings of hetero couples are explored in detail. The hetero man is either out fucking goats, beating his wife, or jerking off to internet porn, while his wife is on the prowl for someone else, right before they head out to thump the Bible with some pedophile priest.

But when the conversation turns to gay marriage, everything changes. The gay couples are unfailingly loving, committed, truly beautiful people, salt of the earth, and we can almost hear flutes and violins playing in the background. The fact that around 75 percent of gay couples are having "three-ways" or "nights off" or other sexual adventures is never mentioned (except on gay web sites and discussion groups).

Look at John's soldier comparison: the straight soldier is a " dimwit with his helmet on backwards." The gay soldier is "well-trained" and trustworthy. Of course.

So we always end up with the nutty Jeezus Freak heteros with their fucked-up "sacred" degenerating marriages trying to keep the rational and morally-superior GLBT folks outside. I don't know why it is that the case for gay marriage is so often made at the expense of traditional marriages. But on Open Salon it's par for the course -- and sometimes even with the blessing of OS staff and management.
Big thumbs up the goat's ass. Or, something. :-D
Apparently, sanctity of marriage means that I was supposed to forgive my ex for 'just happening' to sleep with numerous of her friends. For some reason though, we're supposed to deny this holy experience from gay people. You ask me, us "breeders" shouldn't be allowed to marry either.
I'm for banning this whole straight marriage idea. I mean, just look at it! Living together, joint custody, sharing of property, inheritance rights... It sounds like part of the socialist agenda to me, downright un-American. It'll never fly.
@mishima
That's a strawman argument. I'm one of those people who occasionally bash traditional marriage (I just did above), and I have no illusions whatsoever about gay marriage and violins. I can't imagine why gay people would be any happier or unhappier than straight people, and frankly I don't personally care whether gays actually marry or not. For me and probably most people here, it's merely a question of fairness and equal rights. If gay people want to marry, I don't feel qualified to deny them the right to seek bliss - or misery. THAT part is up to them, not me or you.
Those sanctity of marriage people are full of shit. I know my wife and I are both happier that our good friends M & A recently went through a "civil union" ceremony (it's not technically called "marriage" in the UK but it's legally equivalent). So how does that threaten our or anyone else's traditional marriage?
"I always find it ironic that the people most in favor of expanding marriage to include gays (and possibly every kind of relationship)"

This is where you're wrong. Proponents of gay marriage, who are working on this issue in the mainstream, are not in favor of "possibly every kind of relationship" being included in marriage. This is a convenient straw man, but it is just that.

I think my marriage is sacred, but I also don't think that gay marriage will take anything away from the sanctity of my marriage.

"Left unanswered is why gay people would even want to be involved in something so outdated and laughable."

And yet, many do want to be involved. They're asking for a chance to do it.
Thank you for this post, John. As usual Mishima has to start up...xox
This too much for me. I'm marrying the goat.
But John, that wouldn't be sanitary.
Sandophilia is more common than you think. And three thumbs up for Wilde and Capote!
You're all invited to the wedding. We'll be serving roast beef and tin cans.
tregibbs writes: "I know more married hetero couples who are "swingers" than your so-called 75% of gay couples having 3-ways. What's worse than making shit up? YOU lumping individuals into ONE category."

If you know that many hetero swingers, all I can say is that you run in a different crowd. As far as the 75 percent -- that comes not from Focus on the Family but from gay web sites, in particular therapists who help gay couples navigate through various kinds of relationships not involving monogamy. In what I've read, some gays actually define "monogamy" to include sexual encounters outside of the relationship. Concerning lumping individuals into one category -- guilty as charged, but in discussing social issues one has to operate at a certain level of generalization.

tregibbs: "And people like you are in NO position to tell anyone else what their rights are."

Actually, when same-sex marriage comes up for a vote people like me are exactly the ones who tell others what their rights are. Like it or not, that's democracy. And when something comes up for a vote that involves my rights, YOU get to vote on my rights. Democracy again.

Alan writes: "For me and probably most people here, it's merely a question of fairness and equal rights."

That's why I support civil unions with basically all economic and legal rights that married people have.

Jeanette writes: "Proponents of gay marriage, who are working on this issue in the mainstream, are not in favor of "possibly every kind of relationship" being included in marriage."

Yes, the mainstream position retains the two-person aspect of marriage. Not far out of the mainstream -- some of whom are OS members -- people do recommend legalizing most any kind of relationship. I look at it this way: if traditional marriage involves a relationship between two people of the opposite sex, and we eliminate the opposite sex requirement, what justification is there for the two-person aspect? Stated differently, if we say that "love is all that matters," and three or four people all love each other, then why not three or four people? So far, I've never heard a proponent of same-sex marriage actively argue AGAINST bringing poly-relationships into marriage. Perhaps you would like to make that argument? If so, I'd love to hear it.

Jeanette: "I think my marriage is sacred . . . "

So you disagree with most of the opinions expressed here, right? I think your marriage is sacred too. In that regard you and I have something in common, and ours is a minority opinion on Open Salon.

Robin writes: "As usual Mishima has to start up...xox"

Hey, somebody has to! Otherwise you guys would get lazy.
I think whoever came up with the phrase "sanctity of marriage" probably came up with the phrase "sanctity of life" that is used that has been taken over by the "pro-choice" folks.

We're doing some strange things to language.

By the way, the video has been added to my post. I went into more detail in my response to your comment. Hope you'll return and share your thoughts.
dude, thats some pretty sharp and biting writing, bordering on bitter, but entertaining.
but man, can relate. it would seem at times that marriage become less sacred every day.. a sort of decaying half life.... ouch
I always thought "ball and chain" was too harsh a term until.... uhm.... 6 years of.... nevermind
I guess we can safely say conclude that Johns Missus is not reviewing these posts.....
dude, you better watch your back =|
"That’s like trying to talk an albino out of being pale." Oh I just busted out laughing like nobody's business!! This is great...I love all the commentary too. And if you haven't figured out masturbation yet I highly suggest doing so soon. It will make all of your "normal unsacred marriage stuff" easier to tolerate...or so I've been told. ;)
I guess we move at a slower pace. The "I can't believe you wore that comment" is usually delivered to me after we've rung the doorbell to enter the party.
What can I say that hasn't been said! Great post to read over coffee this morning! The comments are almost as good as the post! I do not understand the hang up with our society in not allowing two grown people who love each other to be as miserable as the rest of us! (ok that was facetious, so don't PM about how happy you are in your marriage, blah, blah, blah)
This is a good post for a Mennonite bible school class. The Mennonites stop over for a mid-week sing-song at the farm. They call the assembly meeting:`
The Cottage House Meeting.
Con C. Conversations are great.
We talk grain prices set by crooks.
Archer Daniel Middlings, banks etc.,
We learn from each other experience.
Mennonites are a Educated community.
At 4:00 AM, they knock on my barn door.
I don't have a doorbell. They knock hard.
If the women ring my inner ding-dong bell?
I yodel:`Come on in. Women smell of milk!
Men smell like manures is still on trousers!
`
Shakespeare wrote of winter:`
When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows~
blows his nail.
It's about autumn cold weather.

I like to hear the farmer plow.
His mule is named Dick. Oops.
Ya hear him yell:`Get up Dick!
Plow!
Love barbs are exchanged here.
Clover, oh Jesus, what fragrance!
Clover, oh Jesus, how sweet!
Clover for only newly wed
who loves her dear husband well;
or the maid penned up in a cell
to safeguard her virgin bed,
yet irresistibly led
astray by lovers' deceit.

Cover, oh Jesus, what fragrance!
Clover. oh Jesus, how sweet!
`
fun read. that's from`No White Choir of Naiads.
It's fun to wonder about old myths of water tails.
fields etc, cosmos ideas pre-tech 21st century day.

I say Know.
Know is to enter within - in a Spirit penetration.
You can Know, and wander to a corn bed to Know?
Conjugal together? You know life is No Rose bed?
You/me can feel/know, and know love is passion?
I'm no expert on such a subject. Have a good day!
John, "sanctity of marriage" means the church gets paid when you get married and the lawyers get paid when the "sanctity" wears off...
Autopsies were held hostage by the church with "Sanctity of the Body". It took grave robbers and science to erase that dogma.
Nothing to add. No smarmy comment. Just wanted to weigh in with my rating.
Thanks for stating my constant questioning of this phrase funny and readable. I agree with Kathy that there is sanctity in marriage if those married to each other create and with marcellqb that a judge should be involved (it is a legal union, after all!). I also like alsoknown as' comment.

I also have a gay brother who had a holy union with his best partner in my basement and has since regretted it proving that gay marriages are no better than heterosexual ones. I really have to wonder if most of the people who take the vows really understand them or, if they do, they have no intention of keeping them.

Personally, I've managed to avoid marriage for 58 years and if I do get conned into taking any marriage vows this late in the game, the words "til death do us part" might actually fit!
"I’ve been married for quite sometime, but there’s never been anything that sacred about it. It's just an ordinary marriage and it’s full of normal unsacred marriage stuff like getting bawled out for not putting the toilet seat down, being forced to dance, having to watch “Sex In the City,” listening to her oohing and aahing over McDreamy while I’m secretly oohing and aahing over Scarlett Johansson and having to repeatedly hear phrases like “that’s what you’re wearing?”

Twenty-four years of marriage for me JB and I can tell you you're spot on. The key is both accepting this and laughing. Thinking the grass is greener is a recipe for unhappiness.

RATED
Bravo, sir, a great post; smart, funny and plenty of bite. As for the whole "sanctity" thing... I don't sanctity is some commodity you pick up off the shelf, like a six-pack, or a certificate the clerk hands you along with the marriage. Any sanctity we flawed humans might encounter would have to be like lightning- bright, quick and gone before we know it. I think sanctity can happen almost anywhere- a late-night confessional between friends, a shared moment between parent and child, a solitary walk in the woods and, certainly, in a telling glance between spouses. But I don't buy for an instant that gender determines the likelihood of sanctity occurring and I'm dead certain religion that has nothing to do with it.
CORRECTED VERSION: Bravo, sir, a great post; smart, funny and plenty of bite. As for the whole "sanctity" thing... I don't see sanctity as some commodity you pick up off the shelf like a six-pack, or a certificate the clerk hands you along with the marriage license. Any sanctity we flawed humans might encounter would have to be like lightning- bright, quick and gone before we know it. I think sanctity can happen almost anywhere at any time- a late-night confessional between friends, a shared moment between parent and child, a solitary walk in the woods and, certainly, in a telling, tender glance between spouses. But I don't buy for an instant that gender determines the likelihood of sanctity occurring and I'm dead certain that religion has nothing to do with it.
"got married in Vegas by a guy in an Elvis wig, flanked by two random, half-drunk ghoulish witnesses"

Hey! That's not nice. Our wedding sooooo pissed my mother off. What's not sacred about that?
Jeez John, didn't you know that once your married you're supposed to pee sitting down for the rest of your life???
I think I hurt myself falling out of my chair and rolling around on the floor when I read

"Then you've got the truly demented, sanctimonious types who have this inane idea that gay people can be talked out of being gay. That’s like trying to talk an albino out of being pale."

Thank you for that visual image! Rated!
Marriage is a religious concept, especially as "sacred". It's an early, early Catholic concept, and in reading the history of Catholic Christianity, it's easy to see that marriage was conceived as a means of social control. The Catholic Church always had cushy arrangements with the kings, militaries, governments, etc. in that the Church helped controlled the people by focusing on their "sinful" sexual behavior, and in turn, the king left the Church alone to pursue its own corruptions. But of course, such an arrangement meant that the Church, in turn, could not speak against the wars, poverty, exploitation of the people, etc. created by the king. Instead, sexual behavior and the sanctity of marriage became their focus. Think of Ireland. The Church never once spoke against the oppression of the Irish by English rulers that existed for centuries, even though the Irish were reduced to poverty and virtual slavery.

Another point: my sister is not legally married, but she and my "brother-in-law" have a monogamous, committed, loving relationship, and have had for 31 years now. THEIR relationship is the true definition of marriage, not some contrived definition as decided by the corrupt and evil Catholic Church or any other religion. Organized religion is a curse on this planet, anyway!!
Tregibbs writes: "There will be a day, soon, when marriage is equal for ALL citizens - plain and simple - equal rights are as American as apple pie."

I think you are probably correct in a demographic sense. Same-sex marriage is more of an issue for older people than for younger. As we geezers pass on it is quite possible that a majority of people will favor same-sex marriage.

But concerning the idea of same-sex marriage as a right . . . . it has only been found to be a right under a couple of state constitutions. As far as I know, in most states in which cases have come before the state supreme court no such right has been identified. It no longer is a right under the California constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has never found that there is a right to same-sex marriage. Since no new "suspect class" has been identified by the Supreme Court in several decades, I think it is highly unlikely that such a right will be found in the U.S. constitution.

If a right is not in the state or federal constitution, the only way it can be granted is either through the state legislature (elected by the people) or through a popular vote of the people. You may believe or insist that there is such a right, but in the "real world" I think you're going to have to make your case before the voters. So far same-sex marriage has never been approved by the voters; quite the opposite.

tregibbs: "You speak in generalities and skew facts to represent only one side of an argument."

But at least I'm MAKING an argument. Most of what goes on in the pro gay marriage rhetoric doesn't even involve an argument. People just assert things -- "There is a right to same-sex marriage, and if you don't think so you're a bigot!" -- the discourse often does not rise above that level. Concerning social policy, I don't know how to discusses these issues except through generalities.

tregibbs: "But you keep having fun on those gay websites.... ;)"

I think the gay web sites are a great source of information, and I always urge anyone interested in gay marriage to check out those web sites. They contain information on research studies, reviews of books written from the gay perspective, personal stories of gays and lesbians, and so on.

As I have argued before, in the real world it is likely that the issue of same-sex marriage will be decided by the voters. That being the case, voters should educate themselves on the issue by understanding how gays themselves understand relationships and sexuality. It is really the only way that voters can understand what it is they are being asked to approve, and people will find information there that will never be presented in campaign literature.

Soap Box Amy writes: "Organized religion is a curse on this planet, anyway!!"

That's a great line. And next time you campaign for same-sex marriage by trying to convince conservative religious voters to vote for it, I suggest you use that line. Let me know how it works for you.
I like the conflict here, but are you guys writing posts on my post? Will there be anough space if this continues? I'm new here. I don't know this shit.
"
As I have argued before, in the real world it is likely that the issue of same-sex marriage will be decided by the voters."

Id interracial marriage had been decided by the voters Sidney poitier and Jaonna Shimkus would never have been married all these years.

" That being the case, voters should educate themselves on the issue by understanding how gays themselves understand relationships and sexuality."

What in HELL do you want to know?

My lover and I have been together for 38 years.

Any questions?
oh, mishima666, always the same old tired arguments. i wish conservatives would come up with something either original or smart...

the constitution does not enshrine right of an individual, it limits the rights of government. if you don't see a right listed it doesn't mean you don't have that right. all rights are implied.

that being said, ALL people have the right to marry. that means everybody. Conservatives argue that gay people are asking for additional rights or special rights. Yet, the situation right now is merely limiting the rights of certain people. Gay people simply don't want to be restricted or denied a right that everyone has.

As to your polygamy schtick, the reason most people want to limit it to two people is to keep it as simple as possible. It is much easier to divide assets between two people than between three or more. Perhaps people would press for three-or-more marriages but i doubt there is lot of call for it. No reason why we should expect the government to make this so complicated. If they want to, I'm not against it. Perhaps it would afford some legal protection to the polygamist wives in those horrid mormon compounds.

Better yet, relegate marriage to contract law, that is what it is.
Here's an idea: How about we just ABOLISH state-sponsored marriage??
All of this stuff is about fear, right? Gay marriage, Obama was born in Kenya, etc. Since I am not afraid of African-Americans, or gays, or gay African-Americans, I am pretty relaxed about these issues.

By the way, I'm 99% certain that gay marriage will lead to gay adultery, gay divorce, and gay disagreements on which movie to watch.
(Rated)
I'm not religious so the "sanctity of marriage" does mean much to me. I usually think of it as being a mutually exclusive bond of trust and respect. In response to BuffyW's comment, I don't really care what other people do in their marriages, but I don't think it is ridiculous that my husband and I choose not to sleep with other people. Everybody should have the right to choose what works for them without judgment.
This is great. Just great. :)
" normal unsacred marriage stuff like getting bawled out for not putting the toilet seat down, being forced to dance, having to watch “Sex In the City,” listening to her oohing and aahing over McDreamy while I’m secretly oohing and aahing over Scarlett Johansson"

Lol. Sounds like my marriage. He dances with me and I'm reconciled to picking up his socks. It's a small price to pay.

The constitutional system does not imply that we vote on people's rights. There was a decision at the time that the Constitution was adopted that certain rights would be spelled out. That was the Bill of Rights. What was important was that, while every right now recognized is listed, the rights of the individual were weighted equally with the rights of government. Over the years, certain rights have been defined by the courts as "fundamental." These rights are not necessarily written out in the constitution or acquired through legislation, but have over the years been determined to be obvious by the Supreme Court. There are not that many of these "fundamental" (the legal term) rights. One of them is marriage.

The reason that no one has to present an argument (although there are good ones) as to why gays have the right to marry is that fundamental rights to not have to be justified, only identified. The protection of fundamental rights takes the form of limiting what the government may legislate. The government says who may marry, what age they must be, where they must reside, how they can be related, and so on, because the government may make laws regarding a fundamental right which regulate it as needed for orderly administration. However, the government may not deny a fundamental right for any but a "compelling" reason that cannot be achieved any other way.

Once it's clear that gay people wish to get married, the legal question is not "why" but "why not?" How does the denial of that right serve a compelling government interest? That the right has not been recognized before is not a good enough answer.
"...enlisting 18 year old morons..." As a combat veteran with a father, brother, wife and son who are also combat veterans I do not see what denigrating our service members does for your post. Gay individuals serving in the military is a political issue not a service member issue. Have you served your country in any capacity? You sir are a schmuck.
David writes: "If interracial marriage had been decided by the voters Sidney poitier and Jaonna Shimkus would never have been married all these years."

The Supreme Court found that race is a "suspect class" with respect to the equal protection clause of the Constitution. No such finding has ever been made for sexual orientation.

David: "What in HELL do you want to know?"

I wanted to know what gays themselves thought about monogamy and other issues related to marriage.

Danny writes: " . . . if you don't see a right listed it doesn't mean you don't have that right. all rights are implied."

Well, it's not that simple. For example, you probably can't marry your sister, your mother, or your motorcycle, because state law doesn't allow it. You may live in a state in which you can't legally possess marijuana for medical purposes. You probably live in a state in which you can't take advantage of physician-assisted suicide.

Just because people assert that they have a right doesn't mean that they have it. Earlier in your comment you complain about my "old tired arguments." At least I'm making arguments. You're not making an argument; you're making an assertion, but it is an assertion that generally is not true. You may want or wish it to be true, but it isn't. In that regard I would say that a tired argument is better than a false assertion.

emma writes: "I don't really care what other people do in their marriages, but I don't think it is ridiculous that my husband and I choose not to sleep with other people."

I think we have to distinguish between the marriages of individuals vs. marriage as an institution and social policy. The ideal of traditional marriage provides a model for how married people should live. They may fail to live up to the ideal, or they may reject the ideal, but the ideal is still there.

But if you open up marriage to an entire class of people for most of whom monogamy is an "option," and probably not a very desirable one, then you basically change the nature of marriage.

As I always tell people, read the gay web sites, the books and articles written by gays, etc. In that community you'll find that monogamy is an "issue" totally unlike anything in the hetero community. You'll find articles and posts such as ""Gay Monogamy: Does it Exist?" "Are Gay Male Couples Monogamous Ever After?"

Here's some interesting information in an article titled "The 'M' Word," written by a gay man who runs a gay spirituality blog: "The majority of gay men, it seems, see the defects of sexually exclusive relationships. . . . Studies of gay male couples have shown that as many as 75 percent are non-monogamous. . . . "
http://gayspirituality.typepad.com/blog/2005/04/the_m_word_mono.html

And he goes on to discuss a couple of research studies showing the low level of monogamy in long-term gay couples. But he sees the non-monogamy of the gay couples as a positive thing, something that even hetero couples could learn from:

"Nimmons’ approach to the issue of monogamy is to celebrate the gay male lifestyle as a cultural innovation that can even serve as a model for spicing up the sex lives of heterosexuals. He approvingly quotes a British gay liberation text: “Our heterosexual detractors betray their limited vision by their mistaken assumption that promiscuity is incompatible with lasting relationships.”

Some gays redefine monogamy: "“We only do it in three-ways,” said one man. “It’s OK if neither of you knows the person,” said another. “Just on our designated ‘boys’-night-out,” said one couple. “Only when we travel,” another couple remarked."

Others want to eliminate the negative connotations related to words such as "adultery" : "Might we one day erase the words ‘cheating’ and ‘betrayal’ from the matrimonial script? Indeed, might the very concepts slowly evaporate from a more humane marital vocabulary?”"

Sirenita writes: "However, the government may not deny a fundamental right for any but a "compelling" reason that cannot be achieved any other way."

That's true only for classes of people defined as "suspect classes." Outside of those, laws merely have to pass the "rational basis" test, a much lower standard than "compelling interest." As I mentioned before, the Supreme Court has never found sexual orientation to be a suspect class, nor have the great majority of state courts. So you're back in the business of having to "make an argument."
Rutilus Extraho: Yes, I served my country by helping to keep people from going to Vietnam. And what does that have to do with it anyway?

I wasn't denigrating servicemen. I'm proud of the troops. But there was, as you may recall, a period of time during the Iraq war, when the military was so desperate for new troops, it seemed as if they were enlisting everyone thay could find and rushing them through boot camp.

And I disagree about whether it's a military and political issue. The Joint chiefs are involved in the decision. No?
Thumbed and enjoyed.
Mishima, I think you are confusing a couple of legal principles. You're thinking of a legal test that is applied to equal protection cases. A legal test is a tool for decision making, not a definition of a right. There is no need to find a suspect class when the right at issue is a fundamental right, once it is identified as one. There was a case in the midwest, I think Kansas, where a prisoner, a white man, objected to the state's old policy of forced sterilization for violent offenders. The Supreme Court found the procreation was a fundamental right. White men or prisoners are not a suspect class.

The argument does not start with "are you part of a suspect class?" The fundamental rights argument starts with identifying the right, which has been done, and then proving that it is being denied. To take a hypothetical example, if my city charged $1000 for a marriage license in order to make up for the economic disaster, it would be found to be denying a fundamental right to those who cannot afford this amount. However, the city is free to charge that for a business license. No issue of suspect class arises. It is putting an obstacle in *anybody's* way that is unconstitutional.

Put another way, the analysis of equal protection violations have one analysis. Due process is another analysis. Fundamental rights are yet another analysis. Suspect class enters into equal protection, not every issue involving any kind of right at all.
Sirenita writes: "Fundamental rights are yet another analysis."

The idea of a fundamental right to marriage is problematic on several levels. First, in some marriage cases the courts have decided the case on the basis of equal protection or due process while using the rhetoric of "fundamental right" as a kind of window dressing. I would argue that this is what happened in Loving v. Virginia. The Court's appeal to the equal protection clause had already decided the case. Adding "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival," doesn't really do anything more.

Second, the courts never bother to explain why a right to a civil marriage -- which is what we're talking about -- is a "fundamental" right. Civil marriage is a creation of the state. Were the state to vanish civil marriage would vanish. Or, the state could simply abolish marriage or replace it with civil unions (suggestions often heard on OS). If civil marriage were truly a "fundamental right," then the state couldn't abolish or replace it.

Compare that to procreation -- the state could vanish, but procreation would remain, nor could the state "replace" it with something else.

Third, the courts never bother to explain what are the boundaries of marriage. On the one hand courts have affirmed that the states have great leeway in regulating marriage -- deciding who can get married and who can't, the rights and obligations conferred by marriage, etc., and the courts act like it's not a fundamental right. On the other hand they say there is a "fundamental right" to marriage, which implies an extremely limited role by the state. Which way is it? Prior to the court deciding, we don't know, and we end up with a patchwork of decisions.

Fourth, since civil marriage is a creation of the state, the state basically defines the "content" of marriage. In saying that there is a fundamental right to civil marriage, I would ask "what exactly IS civil marriage?" We don't know, because the state has to define what civil marriage entails. So saying that there is a fundamental right to marriage is kind of like saying that there is a fundamental right to a "vacation." What vacation? To where? For how long? We don't know until the details are spelled out.

This is why I don't find appeals to the "fundamental right" of marriage very helpful -- not to mention that a number of state courts have held that there is no such right to same-sex marriage.

Let me put it this way: people can assert that same-sex couples are included in the fundamental right to marry (whatever that is). But so far the Supreme Court hasn't found that, and most state courts haven't either. And a lot of people may end up being disappointed, and if that happens the advocates for same-sex marriage will have to make their case in front of "we the people." And so far "we the people" aren't supporting it.
John: You write "Yes, I served my country by helping to keep people from going to Vietnam. And what does that have to do with it anyway?"
I too was a Vietnam "draft counselor" and a "conscientious objector" and did alternative service at a state mental hospital near Chicago. What we did was wrong but, as long as we don't talk about it, the public is willing to overlook our mistake.
Surely you know that we can protest war but we are to never again criticize soldiers or the military, right?
Good gads, gads kooky? When I got well enough post-`Nam (I laid flat for two months post-Blown-UP... ! ...I went to Jonah House, the Place where Phil Berrigan (Catonsville. Maryland was my local DRAFT BORED # 50. Phil and Dan Berrigan pour goat blood, human blood, ketchup, Red Easter Egg dye ... ? ... on my DRAFT RECORDS! They Catonville 9- protested the `Nam slaughter & draft, and forced military conscription.
Gads.
I am saying I got up on crutches and went to THANK Phil Berrigan etc., for protesting war.
I'd THANK William Sloan Coffin, monks, nuns, humans, a mules who sound flatulence, bumble bees, rattler round wing katydids, common meadow katydids, black hairy leg, bearded, Mennonite Women, rubber crocks, raspy Kentucky voiced cricket/insects WHO were having sex!
I'd thank anti-war sotted crickets who were tapping-on Pine Tree Bushy Katydids!
It is quite a insect!
Ay, Katydid lullaby!
I hate to hear hate!
Afghans/Iraq/Iran?
Fellow human beings!
How'd I get back here?
Thanks for Ya anti-war!
Memories. Pain. Blood!
I get the lingering ACHE!
So- thanks john blumenthal. I Thought woke up to the sound of carpenter frogs sawing logs!
I thought it was a harp, cello,
violin, juice harp? chain saw!
I'll go for a walk?
I smell plastic yellow daffodils!
I'll lay pink flamingoes on graves!
huh? lasso a squirrel with a hoop!
Pull folk close.
Whatever.
test them.
love them.
kiss katydid!
those sounds!
calming tulips.
anti-war-morn.
no harm or kill.
I love your posts. As a gay woman and a Canadian,where we CAN get legally married country wide, it would seem our society has not crumbled into a morass of depravity and the 'sanctity' of marriage has been unaffected (whatever).