Why not leave marriage to the pressure groups who want to change its definition to include themselves in it?

When institutions that are part of our civilised heritage and ought to be above ideological taint are captured by minority pressure groups, the correct thing for the conservative (or anyone of commonsense) to do is to abandon them. Walk away. Act as though they didn’t exist any more. Leave the ideologues to infest them like vultures and jackals in the ruins of some sacked city of antiquity.

The ABC a miasma of Leftist bias and inaccuracy? Don’t watch or listen to it. None of its programmes – particularly those it makes itself in television current affairs or “comedy”, which tend to be rip-offs of BBC productions without the talent – are so compelling that time spent absorbing them wouldn’t be more profitably expended on a good book. There are plenty of balanced alternatives to television and radio for finding out what’s going on in the world. Conservative politicians in particular should ignore the ABC. Those who can’t resist its siren call to be interviewed have only their lust for publicity to blame if they are put in the stocks by shrill half-educated harridans who don’t know the meaning of objectivity (and have probably been taught in their half-education that there is no such thing). 

The “quality” press more like Pravda in its heyday with fashion tips and burble about food thrown in? Join the trend and don’t buy it. Your children taught nothing in class except white guilt and climate change? Home-school them. Don’t go to university unless it’s to study medicine or engineering or some other matter-of-fact discipline that hasn’t been distorted ideologically by Left-wing “educators” (not that they haven’t tried, with “queer” mathematics and “African” physics). Above all avoid the “humanities” like the plague. Teach yourself (as a famous British imprint exhorted its reader to do when going to university was still the exception). A liberal classical self-education is fun and fixes itself in the mind. It is also universal, as opposed to nonsense about gender and post-structuralism, or whatever this week’s prevailing academic fads are (it should never be forgotten that German universities in the 1930s taught Aryan superiority as a serious subject). 

With education and the media captured (or in Gramscian terms marched through) it looks as though marriage will be the next citadel to fall. Of course this has already happened in lots of places and would already have happened here if media wishful thinking could be transmuted into law. How should conservatives respond? Well, if they’re thinking of getting married to found families and bring up children and they don’t want their marriages equated to the unions of gays and lesbians on vanity trips, then there’s a simple solution. Don’t get married. Leave marriage to the pressure groups who want to change its definition to include themselves in it.

In rejecting marriage as the foundation of a family one wouldn’t be doing anything more than nearly half the child-rearing heterosexual population is doing already. In Australia, according to statistics quoted in the Australian, a third of babies are now born out of what used to be called wedlock (in England there’ll soon be more children born outside marriage than in it). I know we’re always being told that marriage is the stable foundation of a home etc., but (a) often it’s clearly not, and hasn’t been in Australia since Senator Lionel Murphy and others got to work on it during the Whitlam revolution and made divorce a simple matter of dumping one’s spouse, with or without the spouse’s approval; while feminist pressure turned ending a marriage into a financial trap for husbands and their superannuation; and (b) no one can deny that there are plenty of stable loving families where mum and dad haven’t tied the knot (look around among your acquaintances).  Not every unmarried family is ipso facto dysfunctional. 

Not get married? Although in our society enthusiasm for marriage has flagged except among gays and lesbians, who have suddenly discovered themselves to be its keenest supporters, a not inconsiderable number of people still see a sacramental element in marriage and believe that to have sex and children outside marriage is wrong. What about them? The answer is just as simple as not getting married: don’t get “state-married”. You can still have your marriage in church, but it ought to be purely a religious ritual, like baptism, not something that carries the imprimatur of the state. For that to happen, the Christian churches would be well advised to renounce their faculty to celebrate state-sanctioned marriages. Clergy would give up their licences to act as agents of the state but would continue to celebrate Christian opposite-sex marriages for their flock, as they do in France and other places where the marriage that counts in law, as opposed to the eyes of God, is the secular one, celebrated separately from the religious rite.  In fact ecclesiastical abandonment of the legally delegated faculty to solemnise weddings would pull the rug out from under the feet of same-sex marriage agents provocateurs seeking to use the law to strong-arm clergy into conducting their pseudo-nuptials or face prosecution for “discrimination”. 

But what if you’re not a churchgoer and yet wish to have your opposite-sex relationship legally recognized and still leave marriage as newly redefined to the ideologues? Here one might suggest recycling the concept of the “civil union”. Civil unions were briefly the Holy Grail of gay and lesbian “equality” campaigners, who, since such unions became obtainable and were, consequently, instantly superseded by bells and orange blossom as the next bridge to conquer, now deride them as something cooked up by homophobes to fob off lovestruck GLBT couples and deny them their right to full wedded bliss. With the right to be joined together in an alleged real marriage in sight, the up-to-date gay or lesbian wouldn’t touch a civil union with a bargepole. What better vehicle to carry on the traditional concept of marriage without the risk of same-sex campaigners trying to muscle in? True, civil unions are not at present possible in all states, but bringing them in where they are currently unavailable ought to be politically and legally as easy as, in the time-honoured though no doubt infant-abusive phrase, taking candy from a baby, especially when compared to what a minority of same-sex marriage campaigners have managed to achieve in the face of millennia of universal matrimonial practice and tradition.

When, as will inevitably happen, same-sex marriage campaigners and Leftists in general, like spoilt children discarding toys they clamoured to have, tire of their triumph and relegate marriage to what they considered it before – domestic prison, instrument of patriarchal oppression and so forth – perhaps that ancient institution, freed from ideological contestation, will re-establish itself among the wider community as a quaint retro reminder of the way things used to be.

17 June 2015
Published on Quadrant Online 4 July 2015

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