Saturday 20 July 2019

Marriage has special status for good reason -- children

David Quinn

Having wrecked the economy, our leaders are now doing their best to wreck society itself. Why leave a job half-finished?

One way they are helping to wreck society is by destroying the special status of marriage.

Last Saturday, Cardinal Sean Brady delivered a major homily in Limerick in which he criticised government plans, backed by the opposition, to legislate for same-sex civil partnerships.

Of course, being a bishop, at least half the public will automatically turn against whatever he has to say regardless of the merit or demerits of the actual argument.

But as the cardinal rightly pointed out, what the Government is proposing to give to same-sex couples is virtually marriage, despite the gay lobby's protests to the contrary.

He said that what was being planned would hugely change people's concept of the family, and for the worse.

What we have done to the family in Ireland over the past few decades has been to increasingly detach getting married from having children.

Mind you, the middle class don't usually do this.

They may be liberals in theory, but they are traditionalists in practice because the vast majority of middle-class people wait until they marry before they have children.

Deep down, they know that this is best for children, and best for the couple also.

Going it alone, or being forced to go it alone, is very difficult -- on both the adult and on the children.

It is much more in working class areas that having children has been detached from marriage, and with often devastating consequences as the gangs frequently step in and take over the role of 'dad' to the boys.

Liberals are fond of goading conservatives for claiming the roof would cave in following this or that liberal reform.

The roof hasn't caved in, they say, society is still fine. But by this reckoning you might as well say the economy is fine.

After all, unemployment may be soaring towards 17pc but the vast majority of us will still have our jobs even when things hit bottom.

Apart from higher taxes, the economic meltdown will actually leave very many people relatively unscathed.

However, this doesn't alter the fact that the economy is in a disastrous state.

The same kind of analysis applies to the often baneful outcome of many of the liberal reforms of the past few decades -- namely rising crime, rising suicide, substance abuse and family breakdown.

Most of us will never be a victim of anything but petty crime, if that. The vast majority of us will never come directly into contact with suicide, thank God.

Only a smallish minority will use drugs or abuse alcohol. As for family breakdown, most of us will also remain untouched by that.

However, the number of couples whose marriages have broken down has risen 500pc in just 20 years to 200,000 couples, plus their children.

More importantly, one in four children is now raised without the benefit of both a married mother and a father living under the same roof as them.

So it's true that social breakdown, like the economic breakdown, doesn't hit everyone equally hard, but it's happening all the same, no matter what liberals may think.

In some parts of society, the roof has completely caved in. Having detached having children from getting married, we are now preparing to detach having children from heterosexuality itself.

This is absolutely stunning.

The Government, admittedly, is not about to permit adoption by same-sex couples in the short-term, but it will follow inexorably from permitting a form of civil partnership that is all but marriage.

That is the logic of it because the political establishment has completely forgotten why marriage has historically been given preferential treatment -- special status -- by society.

Historically, marriage has received such treatment because of children and more precisely because of our desire to try and ensure that as many children as possible enjoy the benefit of being raised by a married mother and father who love them.

When you think about it, compared with marriage, every other kind of relationship, and not just same-sex ones, is "discriminated" against.

But, in truth, it is not discrimination to treat different situations in different ways and no relationship is the same as marriage from a child's point of view because no other relationship can give a child a married mother and father.

Therefore, marriage between a man and a woman deserves special treatment.

The gay agenda completely turns this view on its head.

It says there is nothing special about heterosexual marriage and there is nothing advantageous in having a loving, married mother and father.

It insists that two men or two women will do just as well.

This is what the gay agenda does.

It persuades us that children have no need of a mother and father and no right to a mother and father, even in theory.

This is an offence against natural justice, and the Government has no business helping this agenda along.

dquinn@independent.ie

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