Cornerstone of Civilization

New York State has joined a literal handful of other US judicatories and about the same number of international jurisdictions in approving marriage equality, to take effect in about a month.

The response has been elation on one side (my own) and the expected warnings of doom on the other, led locally by the Roman Catholic bishops of New York, who question the state's interference in what they call "the cornerstone of civilization." That this comes from a group of celibate men, who none-the-less appear by all standards to be relatively civilized, does not appear to have dawned upon them.

When it comes to cornerstones, civilization has more than marriage to rest upon. Most social scientists and historians credit agriculture and animal husbandry (quiet in the back!) as more central to the establishment of civilization than marriage — and in fact, most marriage law may more likely be seen as an outgrowth of civilization than its cause.

It is also evident, from the historical record (including the biblical one) that "one man / one woman marriage" has not been the only "civilizing" form even of marriage down through the years. As a reminder, allow me to share once again, my "Biblical Wedding Cake Toppers Bookmark" — suitable for keeping one's place in the tangles of the Torah or the Pauline Epistles.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

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