Waiting for Our Overlords

Today, Americans wait in eager anticipation for their nine overlords to define marriage for them.wayne_glass

Look, I understand the emotional positions held by folks on both sides of the gay marriage issue. But let’s take a step back and consider the absurdity: we’ve essentially empowered five judges to define one of societies most basic relationships for all 350-plus million people in the United States.

Why?

Why do we want these particular nine federal employees to make this decision? Seriously, does your relationship with your significant other really depend on the opinion of Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

I understand the benefits involved, the importance of “official” state recognition and all of those issues. But it seems to me we’ve created that dynamic by intertwining marriage and state. Maybe we’d be better off untangling that unholy alliance instead of begging our overlords to define it in the way we want, while bludgeoning our fellow Americans who view things differently.

Here’s my question: why have we made EVERYTHING about the state?

I don’t hear it as much any more, but the phrase, “Keep the government out of my bedroom,” used to come up pretty often in political discussion. And yet, at the same time, we invite the government right into the bedroom (and every other nook and cranny of our lives) by insisting it define, control and moderate every social institution.

While we debated “separation of church and state” across the political aisle, we turned the state into a church, with federal courts  sitting in judgement as the supreme ecclesiastical authority.

Human beings can organize in so many different ways. The centralized state simply stands as one social institution among many: families, religious institutions, fraternal organizations, business organizations; the list goes on. And yet more and more we are becoming a people that turns to the state for everything. And here in America, we’ve centralized that state to the point that nine men and women (really just five of those nine) essentially dictate everything we do.

Not too many years ago – my marriage would have been illegal (Note this was a construct of the state. ) Many people still don’t approve of interracial marriage. I don’t care. I don’t need the Supreme Court, the state of Kentucky, or quite frankly – you – to validate my relationship.

Now I admit, I’m glad that within the context of the society I live in,  the state recognizes my marriage now…simply because of the benefits involved. And in that sense, I commiserate with those in same-sex relationships who simply want that recognition. But I would much rather see us spend less time begging our overlords for permission where none should be required, and spend more time disentangling ourselves form the church of the state.

 

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