As I’ve said before, I’m ambivalent about the Marriage Amendment. I’m still not entirely sure how I’m going to vote on it.
But I did encounter the least convincing argument against the amendment of all the other day:
[Any amendment supporter] is teh heppocreet! They are teh divorced! How can they limit marriage for others when they don’t take their own vows seeriously? That is sucks!
This argument drips stupidity on almost too many levels to count. But I’ve built a bit of an unremunerated career cataloging stupidity that drips; it’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
- Divorce is an awful thing – but sometimes it happens for a reason. Even the Bible allows a couple of grounds for divorce – cheating, and being abandoned by a non-believing spouse. I said “allows”, as opposed to “encourages”. Society has added a few more; people are only expected to give so much leeway to addicts, abusers and the like.
- By the way, that “hypocrite” argument only stands up if one assumes gays will have a divorce rate of zero.
- The fact that one has been divorced – leaving the cause aside (see 1, above) – doesn’t mean the person doesn’t believe in traditional marriage, or plan to make sure their next attempt is one.
- If you’ve been out drinking, and have had about six too many, and are about to head out to your car to drive home, and a friend whom you know to have had a DUI 10 years ago says “give me your keys, I’ll give you a ride home”, do you say “You are teh hipocreet! You had a DUI! You can’t tell me about teh rules of driving!”? If you’re not one of those people who says “Divorced people who support the Marriage Amendment are hypocrites”, you’re probably smarter than that.
- A key tenet of the Christian belief that animates so many Marriage Amendment supporters (and enrages the opponents) is the idea that we are all imperfect; we all fall short of our ideals. We are forgiven via God’s grace and the salvation He sent us via His son. We err. We sin. We repent, and try to do better next time. Christ, we believe, doesn’t tattoo sinners with scarlet letters that follow them the rest of their lives.
- If you’re a DFLer – your party supported, and still supports, no-fault divorce. Careful, your leadership will spank you for being a heretic.
There is a debate to be had about the Marriage Amendment. The Amendment’s opponents have largely done a terrible job of making that argument.
But this one is the dumbest of all.