June 11, 2014

No, Attacks on Natural Marriage Did Not Cause the Santa Barbara Shooting
(Mostly because there is no such thing as natural marriage)

So, in case you all missed it, there was a shooting in Santa Barbara, California. It left two women and four men dead, and thirteen others wounded.

Many people have attributed the shooting to a variety of causes. Gun control. Mental illness. Misogyny.

Ken Blackwell of the "Family Research Council" has a different theory. According to Blackwell:
Blackwell blamed the shooting on “the crumbling of the moral foundation of the country” and “the attack on natural marriage and the family.” 
“When these fundamental institutions are attacked and destroyed and weakened and abandoned, you get what we are now seeing,” Blackwell said, arguing that people who are “blaming the Second Amendment” are “avoiding talking about what is at the root cause of the problem.”
I have news for Mr. Blackwell, though. No one's attacking natural marriage.

That, my friends, is because natural marriage does not exist.

The dictionary defines marriage as:
the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.
Wikipedia explains that it is:
socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws
Psychology Today introduces its section on marriage by saying:
Marriage is the process by which two people who love each other make their relationship public, official, and permanent. It is the joining of two people in a bond that putatively lasts until death, but in practice is increasingly cut short by divorce. 
So marriage is social. It's legal. It's ritual.

None of that is "natural". Marriage, like many things that we do, is not a natural part of being. Neither, for the record, are things like living in houses, attending church, or listening to iPods. They are just things that we do.

In fact, there are many ritualized things that we do that are not natural behaviors. We bury our dead, and remember them for long periods. We experience religion. We create art and music and literature.

That doesn't make any of it "natural".

Every social construct changes. Marriage, Mr. Blackwell, is doing the same.

And now, I leave you all with one of my favorite clips regarding marriage, of all time.

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