Thursday, May 10, 2012

Judging This President By a Higher Standard

I knew that Republicans would always set a higher performance standard for this President. That goes without saying. He's the first African-American President, and it's their own unspoken statement of racist intent.

I never thought, however, that people from the Left - most notably, the Progressive element, who hasten to insist that they are not in possession of one racist bone in their bodies - would equal the Republicans in setting an impossibly high achievement standard.

Because, really, as the terminally whingeing and eternally snarky Ana Marie Cox proves in her Guardian column, whatever this President does, will never be enough and won't go without a snide comment from the Progressive demographic.

You can read this columnload of snark here.

Looking through the online responses to this column, I was struck by the comment made by wh1952, which summarises beautifully what I said earlier about what the real definition of marriage is:-

In truly secular countries marriage has two stages - a civil marriage which is compulsory if the couple want the legal benefits of marriage, and a religious marriage which is a matter of choice. Religious marriage in itself does not confer legal rights. So in a country like Holland a religious couple turn up at the Town Hall with close family and their appointed witnesses for a ceremony to register the marriage and then head off to the church for the full shindig.
Strikes me that were we to adopt this approach all across the world we would solve a lot of issues.
On gay marriage, the marriage that everyone goes through for legal purposes is effectively the civil partnership most people are willing to grant to gays. If the churches and mosques want to stand on their interpretations of God's will that's up to them, I'm sure gays will be able to shop around for a less prejudiced religious celebrant if they feel a religious ceremony is important.
On recognising minority religions' marriages, that issue goes away too. No religious marriage is recognised as legal, religious marriages are the couple getting their God's approval. It even solves the problem of those faiths that permit polygamy. Marry as often as you like in the eyes of your God, but wife #1 is the only one the state will accept as the legal spouse.
Of course it does mean the Bible thumpers won't be able to impose their worldview on everyone else, but that's a small price to my mind.

So there it is: Marriage is a civil contractual union.

I feel vindicated.

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