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Joe Mariani

Rejecting Our Biological and Cultural Heritage
June 30, 2003

You'll find this out as you read further, but I want to let you know that I have no particular ideological axe to grind with gays. The fact that some people are different is okay by me. Nor am I particularly religious. As someone who has been studying history, sociology and cultural anthropology most of his life, however, I've learned that no viable, vital, growing society has ever been based on gay "marriage" -- an oxymoron if ever I've heard one, right up there with "jumbo shrimp", "civil war" and "good morning" -- or vegetarianism being considered the norm for that society.

Several million years ago, our ancestors were chimpanzee-like creatures living primarily on fruits, nuts and leaves... much like chimpanzees today. They had to spend almost all their waking hours foraging, because it takes a LOT of energy to survive from day to day. Occasionally they'd come across a picked-over kill from some carnivore, and have a real feast -- meat contains an incredible amount of stored energy compared to leaves and vegetables. It's more efficient to eat meat.

One day, some chimpanzee Einstein -- the guy should have a statue somewhere, but it would look like a set from "Planet of the Apes" -- figured out how to kill his own meat instead of waiting for something else's table scraps. It probably resembled the scene from "2001: A Space Odyssey", but without a singing Monolith hanging around causing trouble. With all the leisure time and surplus energy our ancestors suddenly gained, they began to think about how to improve things... and created language, art, cities, and cruise control (the ultimate development of automotive technology to date). Eating meat gave our ancestors the ability to raise nations. The need to ensure their genetic survival gave them the drive to do so.

Human and animal societies have always been based on family units banding together for the mutual protection of their children, going back to the earliest days of our ancestry and beyond. Pre-Cambrian organisms in the warm protein seas struggled to pass on their primitive DNA, single- celled organisms banding together to form multicellular organisms. ("This modern DNA makes life too easy," the prokaryotes lectured the eukaryotes, "We really had to struggle in my day, when we only had RNA and none of those fancy nuclei.") Family, defined by genetic relationships, is the base that civilisation as we know it is built on. Blood ties have proven more important than ideological ones time and time again. Genetic continuity is the root of all our deepest hopes and aspirations as a species -- the need, reinforced by a million generations, to pass on our own particular combination of genes to the next generation and protect our young is what drives our civilisation forward. Marriage -- the union of two people capable of passing on their genetic inheritance -- is civilisation's vehicle for doing so in every viable culture. It's a way of binding parents with a responsibility -- legal, religious or both, depending on the culture -- to each other, and to their children. That, all religious implications aside, is the purpose of marriage: to provide a cultural framework within which to safely pass on the genetic inheritance of that family. Even childless couples are part of that tradition in an extended sense, maintaining that framework for future generations to see and recognise as an essential part of "our culture".

If you remove that essential link between family and society, what can be the result but chaos? We've already seen the beginnings of this in the breakdown of the traditional family. Children with no strong parental bonds tend to grow up to have no strong societal bonds. We all feel the need to belong, to feel that we are helping to make sure our group grows and prospers. With weak or absent ties to their own families, young people tend to form familial bonds with any group that promises to fill that need: a religion, a gang, an ideology, or a political group.

That's what Liberals want to happen. They want the government to replace family ties, to fill that need we all have to belong to a group. They already encourage more governmental involvement in our everyday lives, don't they? (As David Osborne writes in the preface to his book often called the "Bible of the Clinton administration" Reinventing Government, "We believe deeply in government. We do not look at government as a necessary evil.") Legalising same-sex "marriages" would remove the family as the basis for society and weaken the drive to prosper within it... without the link between material and marital increase, our needs to compete and succeed would diminish. Our children would become even more susceptible to the siren song of letting the government care for all their needs and dictate how they live. There would be no cultural outlet for our drive to pass on our genes to the next generation, because marriage would lose its essential meaning. Children would become even more disassociated from their families -- there would be even less sense of the family as a cohesive unit. In the same way that vegetarianism denies what made us what we are as human beings, same- sex "marriage" would deny what made us what we are as a society (you thought I was going nowhere with the vegetarian thing, didn't you?).

There should always be acceptance in our society for people who are different; being different is usually a personal choice, and often a courageous one. That's what makes America what it is. But acceptance is not endorsement. That which is different from the societal norm is just that... different. The problem as I see it is that some people who "embrace their differences" refuse to accept that they are differences. Moreover, they demand that the rest of us embrace their differences as well. Liberals insist that the only valid form of tolerance is active support, but that's another of their multicultural (by which is meant anti-THIS- cultural) lies. I'm fine with people having freedom to become vegetarians if that's their taste or decision. But please don't demand that I pretend your tofu burger with bean sprouts is as "normal" to ME as a thick, juicy steak. That's MY taste, and MY decision.

Or maybe I'm just tired of being told by Liberals that I'm abnormal for being so... normal.

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