Guest blogger Todd Unctuous is top commentator for MSM. With a degree in Media Studies from Scranton Community College, Todd writes for many papers and websites, and is known for his incisive writing, objective reporting and razor sharp comment.
Marriage is one of humanity’s great institutions, and as the father of the bride usually says in his wedding speech, “Who wants to live in an institution?” All joking aside, I am myself a great supporter of the institution of marriage. I have been married three times and found each one of those experiences to be fulfilling and enjoyable.
It is with great joy, therefore, that I witnessed last month in the State of New York the marriage of two of my friends. My ex wife Nancy and her English partner Georgie Samsonite finally tied the knot. As you may have guessed, Georgie is a delightful Englishwoman. With her tweed jackets and jodhpurs she cuts a dash on the riding circuit, and when they first met at the English pub in downtown Manhattan Nancy was smitten. “It was the way Georgie puffed on that pipe and dropped Oscar Wilde one liners that really killed me,” Nancy enthused.
There was not a dry eye in the Justice of the Peace office when Nancy and Georgie finally made it formal. Some of the tears, however, were not tears of joy. Nancy is a devout Catholic and she knew her so called ‘Christian fellowship’ would reject her new choice in marriage. They say that their faith is all about love and tolerance, but there was no love and tolerance for Nancy and Georgie on their special day. And where, I may ask, has the American tradition of freedom of religion gone? There was no freedom of religion for Nancy and Georgie on their wedding day. Instead Georgie (who is Church of England) arranged for a wonderful service of blessing in the local Episcopal Cathedral. It was truly a rainbow event with all of Nancy and Georgie’s collection of delightfully eccentric friends present. I was privileged to meet Gene– a friend of Georgie’s who turned out to be the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire. Everyone was calling him ‘Vickie’ and having a terrific time together.
In conversation with Gene I began to realize is that marriage is a cultural construct. We make marriage. It doesn’t make us. We define marriage by who we are, not by who someone else expects us to be. Marriage, after all, is built around the beautiful love we have for one another. Therefore, who do these religious fundamentalists think they are to restrict marriage to one man and one woman for life? This is not love. This is a sentence of life imprisonment. Can true love be so restricted by man made rules? No. Surely love is free, not bound by man made rules and regulations. That homosexual couples should wish to find new expressions of marriage is surely a good and wholesome thing.
At the wedding reception I happened to share a table with a delightful threesome. Eddie and Flo had been trapped in a conventional marriage when Eddie realized he was bi-sexual and fell in love with Steve. Instead of leaving Flo, Eddie invited Steve to move in to their home and before long Flo realized that she was also in love with Steve. They described their open relationship as ‘polyamory’ and explained that the three of them were hopelessly and happily in love with each other. I must admit that I had tears welling up in my own eyes as I witnessed their true happiness. They gazed at one another constantly and Eddie said, in a moment of rare impassioned candor, “I don’t see why this beautiful love we have couldn’t be expanded further. What if Flo meets a wonderful person and a fourth might join us?” Steve joined in quietly and said, “And why couldn’t we all get married? After all, we love one another and all we ask is to have our love blessed.”
Which leads me to the case of the notorious polygamist in Texas named Warren Jeff. Here is a man who has trampled on the sacred institution of marriage by having multiple wives in his disgusting Mormon harem. Who does he think he is defining marriage according to his own terms? Marriage is an institution established by the government in order to control the beastly urgings of men like Jeff. What is worse is that he seeks to invoke God’s blessing on his cult like ‘family’. It is just like the religious fundamentalists to make up their own rules, bring in religion and demand that everyone else accept their strange beliefs and repugnant customs. Then they demand “religious freedom” and would force the noble laws of this land into new and strange configurations just to please themselves. When will this intolerable tyranny of the few over the majority cease? When will the forces of law and order crack down on the intolerance and bigotry and decadence of people like Warren Jeff who flaunt the law and re-make marriage according to their own whims?
The problem in all of this is religion. I am not myself a religious man, but I respect those who are devoutly religious like Jane Fonda and my ex wife Nancy and her new partner Georgie. I would stand up and defend the freedom of religion with my dying breath, however it is the religious fundamentalists like Warren Jeff and the Pope in Rome and the Taliban in Iraq who give religion a bad name. The sooner they default on their debts and go out of business the better it will be for those who wish to live by a higher creed of tolerance and admiration for all. This could, of course, be brought more speedily to the right conclusion by having their tax exempt status revoked. Why should the American tax payer subsidize homophobic, polygamous and bigoted groups? Why should old, out of touch white men like Warren Jeff and the Pope in Rome get special treatment?
The persecution of homosexual people is the same as the segregation of the African Americans. They supported slavery with verses from the Bible too. This prejudice and injustice in the name of religion must be stopped–even if force is necessary.
Todd Unctuous is 42.
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