I was invited to a barbecue on Satursday and ended up speaking to a guy I’ve met many times at similar functions. He’s a married professional with two children. He’s also a volunteer fireman. A good guy. He was making fun of Obama by asking for anything and everything and labeling it “change.” Could I have the ketchup? This burger needs change. You get the idea.
Soon, talk came up about the election and I offered that California just got a little bit better for McCain because the gay marriage referendum would bring out conservatives. And then he said an interesting thing. He said he didn’t think gay marriage was a big deal.
Really? I asked.
He said he didn’t get why it was a big deal because it’s not like they’re forcing heterosexuals to do it. Why do I care, he asked, if two guys want to do whatever.
I asked about the institution of marriage and he essentially scoffed at the idea that there was an institution at all, not in a mean way but as if he didn’t understand what I was saying.
And then it hit me that the reason marriage has been defeated is not because it’s being attacked by homosexuals but because we stopped caring about marriage. With 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce and adultery a common problem, perhaps we simply don’t treasure marriage anymore.
How many people do you know who live together and view marriage as “just a piece of paper?” They take their relationship with their spouse seriously but not marriage. So many young people, who are often products of divorce, see marriage as antiquated.
Even those who see it as an eventual goal see no difference in living together and marriage. Premarital sex isn’t just accepted. It’s expected.
Even the Church has handed out annulments like candy in some areas. In other areas it’s criticized for not making it easier. Pre-cana is something of a joke in many areas with little or no effort to increase the people’s awareness of something holy and sacred taking place in a marriage.
That which is not treasured or defended will be taken away from us. It’s as simple as that. And I don’t think we’ve treasured or defended marriage for quite a while.