This paper has originated from my emotional response to learning about ‘The same sex marriage bill’ which has just been legislated in Australia. I somehow managed to miss all the preparatory talks about it. Naturally, I heard about the phenomenon before but somehow never put it in the context of reality, my reality; while traveling in France and Spain (which at that time had already endorsed same sex “marriage”) I gave no thought to it. That is exactly what is being said about same sex “marriage” by the way, that it would change only the reality of the sexual minorities and not of the straight majority.
For reasons unknown to me, when I heard the words “same sex marriage” in application to the country where I live now, here and now, I experienced a rather strange reaction. It was the sense of violation of normality, not subjective normality of comfortable enough dwelling in certain satisfactory conditions but of objectie existential normality, combined with a sense that I see it and they – do not, that I know what is truth and they – do not, the truth so self-evident that “to explain it” is to degrade it and furthermore – to degrade the listener because a normal person must be able to recognize the truth by himself (or herself).
I have experienced this emotion before. This paper is essentially a reflection on two opposites joined by the emotion caused by the denial of the truth.
Although my position re: the same sex “marriage” must be clear by now, from my use of commas and from what I have said above, I will expand it. I understand marriage as a union of man and woman, two opposite principles, male and female, Yin and Yang (no, I do not endorse Feng Shui, those words just nicely highlight that my position has no basis in my faith – my opinion was exactly the same when I was an atheist in the U.S.S.R.). But what are my grounds?
Curiously, it is quite easy to explain something that appeared recently, like the theory of quantum mechanics, but almost impossible – something that seems to be around for all the visible history of humanity and that produced me and my audience. Probably marriage is “man and woman together” because it has been so for all the history of humanity without any need to be “defined”. Only an attempt to “re-define” marriage makes it necessary to define it – this points to the fact that the intuitive, inborn knowledge of this phenomenon is lost, erased by amnesia, at least in those who want definitions. One may argue that the state had “defined” marriage in the past. My response is that the variations of definitions have dealt with form and not with the essential biological reality: marriage is the union of the opposites sealed by sexual intercourse. There can be one men and several woman (polygamy) or vice versa (polyandry) but the essence here is untouched, given “from the beginning”. Whether you believe in God or not, it is always he and she and their offspring, and at some point of history it was called marriage and was recognized as the “primary brick” or nucleus of the human society. It would never be recognized as such if it was not producing a new life. Homosexual unions at some points of human history (in Sparta etc.) were considered to be “nobler” than marriage but never been recognized to be marriage as such, precisely for this reason. Hence the primary archetypes deeply engrained: he and she, bridegroom and bride, husband and wife, “they lived together happily and died the same day”, “you will see the children of your children” etc.
An archetypical marriage has the following necessary features:
- mutual attraction [a desirable but not necessary quality]
- union of the complementary opposites, male and female [a necessary quality]
- biological/natural grounds for procreation rooted in the opposites [a necessary quality]
A same sex “marriage” has no union of the opposites and no possibility of producing offspring; it has mutual attraction only. Infertile marriage, often used as an argument pro- same sex “marriage”, is still the union of the opposites which correspond to father and mother figures. The babies brought up by the same sex couples, another argument against “no possibility of producing offspring”, are not the natural outcome of the same sex “marriage”; they are deprived of either the father or the mother and of growing and developing within the union of two opposites.
So we have two phenomena which correspond to each other as + and -; each point is the exact opposite of another and effectively cancels it:
non-necessary attraction versus necessary attraction
union of the complementary opposites - & + versus union of the same
+ & +/- & -
biological/natural ground for procreation versus no biological/natural ground for procreation
Hence “redefinition of marriage” for the purpose of fitting homosexual unions into its frame can only be done via annihilation of the reality of marriage, something that I suppose the “primitive people” sense. One cannot “redefine” marriage; any “redefinition” will do away with marriage entirely. Via calling the same sex “marriage” marriage one simply hijacks the word, strips it of its meaning and attaches it to something else – “union” perhaps. To put it simply, the tag “cat” being simultaneously put both on a dog and a cat cannot last without causing cognitive dissonance, in the healthy mind of an observer. To deal with the discomfort, either the wrong tag must be removed or the wrong essence, via various mental exercises, must be brought, in the mind of an observer, to “resembling enough” the phenomenon conveyed by the tag. The first method is “highly offensive”; the second is “nice” but requires constant maintenance of the denial of reality.
Hence the ultimate way of dealing with the “non-matching ends” of the essential structures of the phenomena is to make them relative – and this is why my argument above has no meaning whatsoever either to those who endorse absolute values and norms or to those whom are proponents of “life in hypertext”.
It is probably a consequence of my living in the West for some years that I bothered to analyse the norm – the norm thanks to which I am typing these words while those in Parliament legislate the anti-norm. I will try again to restate my position: there is no reason for me to doubt that marriage is a union of man and woman and this is the ultimate norm, the norm of norms. Same sex relationships do not fit this norm hence they cannot be called “marriage”. Hence “same sex marriage” does not exist in reality. From here it follows – entirely logically – that the notion of “same sex marriage” violates my reason to an even greater extent than Putin’s propaganda does – and this is how I suddenly saw the former reflected in the latter and vice versa, “backwards, totalitarian, patriarchal Russia” in the “rotten, perverse, deluded, hedonistic West” and vice versa.
“To an even greater extent” because a fresh bubble, the “same sex marriage”, being a lie, lent some truth to Russian propaganda about the “rotten, devoid of human feelings and hopelessly stupid West”.
However I got carried away. Let us consider some pictures.
Christianity did not invent marriage, so as Judaism or other faiths; marriage invented itself (according to atheism) or it was ordained by God (according to the Abrahamic religions). The latter does not exclude evolution by the way and the fact that humans, man and woman, had come together without knowing about God’s order.
I can (as I did above) speak of marriage leaving God aside. However, because I am a Christian it is more natural for me to consider marriage [or any other phenomenon] in the metaphysical landscape i.e. in the context of eternity/God and this is what I am going to do. The reader should not be alarmed though: the argument still will be transparent without assuming the condition of faith in God.
Please note that it is fundamentally with the truth and lie categories represented by marriage of a man and woman and “same sex marriage” respectively that I am dealing with in this paper. I am also exploring preparatory stages for a radical departure from the truth of a fact, when the term “same sex union” [that is the objective truth of a fact “two persons being together irrespective of biological norms and morals”] is swapped with “same sex “marriage”.
However one looks at the story of the relationship of Adam and Eve, its essence is undistinguishable from the normal human experience: man and woman engage in a sexual relationship [get married] and start a family; their offspring spread repeating the original pattern indefinitely (biblical accounts of incest, multiple wives etc. do not undermine in any way the essence of the natural process i.e. that a marriage is about a relationship of man and woman with their offspring as a natural outcome). Undeniably, this natural pattern is the way the whole creation (or “matter”) had evolved and continues evolving.
Noteworthy, when God decided to interfere with this natural order, via Incarnation of Christ, he did not violate the realm or the normal relationships of humans and their free will but affirmed them. Thus, firstly, He needed to obtain the freely given “yes” from the Virgin Mary to become the Mother of His Son. He did not deceive her hiding the truth about Who and from Whom she would bear Him. Neither did He leave her to bring up His Son alone [one could easy imagine the Mother of God being given a palace/ servants/”anything” to “compensate” her for her aloneness – I leave the reader to ponder what attitude such an action would convey], but provided her with a human spouse instead, a spouse who (according to the Eastern Orthodox Tradition) already had his own children and was old enough, fit enough to take care of her without feeling deprived of a “real marital life”. While some may say that the Virgin Mary was deprived of some aspects of a human marriage [to which the answer is that many people are deprived of it, voluntarily as well, for the variety of reasons including serving others/ultimate fulfillment in God, and that Virgin Mary was dedicated to God from her birth] it was her free will to do so. The Gospel story does not give any sense of her will being suppressed or her person being used in any way. God was able to enter the human realm via sacrificial love; God’s desire to sacrifice Himself for humanity needed a similar intention from a human being, the Virgin Mary – and this self-forgetfulness or selflessness was completely natural to her.
The bottom line: God, while conducting His supernatural action, did not violate the normal structures of human existence, attachments, in any way however grand His purpose was. The Virgin Mary was not “thrown away” after Jesus was born or grew up or ascended to heaven – she remains the Mother of the Son of God for all eternity. Even being nailed to the Cross, the Son of God cared about her as His Mother and, as a normal son, gave her someone to care for her on His behalf (again, as He put it, “a son”, i.e. a person, not “material provision”, “compensation for trouble” or whatever the word “power” devoid of any trace of love may bring to a mind), His beloved disciple apostle John – and, correspondingly, gave to heartbroken John something of Himself, her. This action of Christ, of giving His Mother another son however does not signify a change in His relationship with her, even after He assumed His place on the right of His Father, in heavenly glory. God does not obliterate, cancel, or change normal human attachments/relationships neither does He force human being to conduct acts unnatural to the normal human psyche.
I went into the details of those two accounts, of Creation and Incarnation, to demonstrate the obvious, that being taken as “stories” they speak of normal human attachments of children to parents, heavenly and earthly, biological and step-parents both.
A few important preliminary points: Jesus Christ knows His heavenly Father and His earthly [step] father and His mother intimately; he, so to speak, has the full story about his parents = about Himself. The human and divine orders are not in conflict here, being joined by the selflessness of all involved, from God to humans. The outpouring of this selflessness [which reaches its pinnacle in the earthly life of Christ and His death] is an integration of all, children into families and families into God and is the exact opposite of the spirit of abandonment that was hovering over humanity since its voluntarily separation from God. The Gospel is sealed with the ultimate counter-abandonment, the post-Resurrection promise of Christ “I am with you until the end of times” [bought by His voluntarily horrendous self-abandonment, on the Cross].
Also noteworthy, the Gospel story would immediately fall apart if God wanted to incarnate for His own pleasure so to speak or if St Joseph would treat Jesus not as his own son but as a burden or if the Virgin wanted her Son entirely for herself and so on. The Incarnation of Christ would never happen without the reality of selflessness, in the human heart and in God’s heart.
What I am saying here is that the whole Scripture can be initially grasped, by a normal psyche, via simple the notion of a child (humanity) being not abandoned but rescued by a parent (God) who acts via earthly parents and the selfless love of parents for their children, that love which reflects God’s love. If one removes that notion of selfless love, in God or parents or both, one will inevitably end up, sooner or later, with a psychologically (or physically or both) abandoned child – the process observed in pathological families. Below is the representation of two such families in which either the mother or the father are a narcissist.
Now compare it with the extreme of the same sex “families”, of two homosexual males and two homosexual females who went for the option of maximally “their own” children i.e. made via artificial insemination/IVF/surrogacy. Please note how same sex couples who adopt orphans cannot fit this picture by virtue of their selfless action.
The features typical of a narcissistic family are present here to the exact degree. Interestingly, it appears that the very structure of the “same sex family” with “made” children determines the narcissistic vector, unlike in the normal family where the vector is determined by a narcissist. Hence another curious factor: what in a frame of a narcissistic family appeared to be definitely morally wrong (suppression of a spouse = father/mother, treatment her or him as a “tool” for obtaining baby etc.) in the frame of a same sex “family” becomes somehow more acceptable or “morally neutral”, probably because of the fatherless/motherless quality inherent in the structure.
We also see something new in the same sex “family” constellations, namely a definite move towards “spirit becoming flesh” i.e. from “psychologically no father/mother while he/she is present” to “literally no father/mother, in all senses of those words”. And even further – not only “no father/mother literally” but “no father/mother can be, ever” “no father/mother is needed, ever” hence the notion moves, from a situation that has some correspondence to normal marriage, when a father, let’s say, left a pregnant mother, to a situation which has no correspondence with a normal marriage whatsoever, into the realm of pure ideas, principles, and so on (on the pic. interpreted in the language of metaphysics).
Another interesting feature: two same sex “parents”, by the virtue of their usage of the biological father/mother of the child and by their same sex, are indistinguishable from a narcissist (corresponding to them) from the pic. above who treats her/his spouse as a sperm donor or “a womb”. They, on the pic., appear to be “a double narcissist”, a narcissist who does not have any opposition whatsoever, even the symbolic opposition conveyed by the different gender of his/her suppressed spouse.
In the beginning of this chapter normal human structures/attachments were considered in the context of metaphysics = God. It was established that, even in the case of dramatic supernatural interaction of God (Incarnation), the normal scheme of parents – children relationship always remains preserved and even more than preserved – it tends towards selfless love. It is fitting then to consider now how the same sex “families” who opt for unnatural = “supernatural” means of making their “own” children fit that scheme.
The two phenomena, a normal family and the same sex “family” appear to be in exact opposition to each other, especially in their intentions (selfless – selfish) and vectors (receiving a given child – taking a child). I labelled the same sex “family” as the “same sex union” for the purpose of making the next step, in the argument to whether the “same sex union” [a truth] must be called “same sex marriage” [a lie].
However, even if we had the tag “family” attached to the pic. of “same sex union” above it would not alter the sense of randomness conveyed by the constellation of figures. The desire of two women/two men to obtain a child against a natural order of things, although they are labelled as “family”, does not have the weight of the rule or of a right. The word “family”, although we all know what family is, has far too flexible boundaries (consider “human family, Christian family, extended family, nuclear family etc.) to impose anything concrete. The “logical” step towards obtaining the necessary rule/right, i.e. adding to what we have here the word “marriage”, will alter the whole picture radically as we shall see.
There is no longer room now for the “accidental” entry of the opposite sex, even if only in the thoughts of the “made” child. It also gives to the “married” same sex couple the right to have children, by whatever means. Essentially, the word “marriage” adds that what was lacking before: the sense of completeness and “norm”.
Without this label, the “same sex unions” defined as such do not yet deny the normal “he – she”, “father – mother” dichotomy. It is quite possible, for Nick to explain to his child “look, I live with Bob because I love him, it is not a common thing and it is not marriage. I was married to your mum but then I understood I cannot be with women. Yes, it is a drama but at least you have me and your mother. I understand your pain but remember – you do have father and mother, as everyone.” It is irrelevant here how exactly Nick got his child from the child’s mother – what is important that the child is not caught in the clash of the total abnormality of the “marriage” of Nick and Bob against the “non-marriage” of Nick with his child’s mother. A child is a product of [whatever activity] of Nick and child’s mother and it is far more natural to call this activity a “failed marriage” or at least a “sexual interaction” than to call “marriage” a biologically fruitless union of two men. But I forgot – there is no option of calling this a “marriage” in our example yet. Now let us compare the situation when this option is in a place.
Nick: “You have two fathers; your two fathers are married to each other. Yes, you have a mother somewhere – but now it is not important. Marriage is primary you know, nobody needs a mother, you can think of one of us as your mother if you wish... he does not look like mother? – It is OK, biology is irrelevant.” It sounds bad enough but it can be still worse. “Yes, you have two fathers… I do not know who your mother is, it was some woman we paid to carry you in her tummy. It is irrelevant. Who of us is your father? – Well, we extracted our sperm and mixed it to be fair to ourselves so we do not know. Then we injected it into some random woman and here you are! No, you do not need a mother, what for, you have us. You think it is not normal? – But we are married, just like those who are man and woman. We are equal. That means you missed nothing.” Even if we imagine a situation when a child meets his surrogate mother he must accept that, for whatever reason, she gave him up, in the overwhelming majority of cases being paid to give him up. There is here an undeniable violation of the primary attachment of a child to his mother (the violation of which is responsible for the majority of personality disorders including narcissistic personality disorder), the cruelty towards a mother and a child, and the degrading of all involved, the child in particular because he is not a product of anything natural but an unnatural, mechanical action. The only people who were not apparently degraded are the two “married” men, and it is precisely the word “marriage” that makes them morally non-culpable. As “married” they “have a right” to have children. No one can deny a married (or unmarried) couple the right to have a child. In a normal situation, children “happen” whether they are prohibited or not. In an abnormal situation they are made, with the sanction of the state.
The same argument is legitimate in the case of two “married” women. The “same sex union” leaves room for the father (even if only a notion) and cannot yet completely turn him into “a sperm donor”. The term “marriage”, by its virtue, excludes all but the two “married” women rendering the man in this situation as totally irrelevant. Paradoxically, the synonym of completion is attached here to something that is intrinsically biologically incomplete.
The reader may notice that I speak of extreme cases of artificially “making babies” and not about adoption. I do this simply because IVF and other technology which excludes the normal human involvement in the creation of a baby (sexual intercourse between a man and a woman; even without any noble feeling, such intercourse at least creates a human story that can be tragic but at least it is a human story) provides us with the opportunity to observe the vector of the process, just like understanding the narcissistic personality example is helpful to understand the vector of self-centredness. I also argue that obtaining the label of “marriage” is not enough for these same sex couples (generally speaking); just as true marriage has its vector towards children so too does the same sex “marriage”. This is why the ultimate and inevitable end of the same sex “marriage” is IVF, as the only method to obtain the “ultimate seal of marriage”, ones “own” children. And, just as many heterosexual couples are not satisfied with adoption but go for IVF and surrogacy, there is nothing that may make me believe that the homosexual couples would not do the same. In fact, they already do.
The reader may question why I am not saying anything about heterosexual couples employing IVF and surrogacy. While I consider IVF to be unacceptable in any situation, in heterosexual couples there is no “pushing out” of a father or a mother figure even if the biological father/mother is different from the one who brings a child up. A biological father (as a man) is integrated into the father (also a man) hence the duality man – woman, father – mother is preserved; a biological father cannot be integrated into a mother (lesbian). That said, I am opposed to IVF as such because a child has a right to be conceived in a humane way, because the creation and destruction of “surplus’ embryos is inhumane, to the embryos and to the ones who survive at their price. There is too much deathly selection, inhumanity and just plain death about IVF; it is IVF that provides the final justification for the existence of the same sex “marriage”, with the couples’ “own” children rendering the other biological parent as an irrelevant nothing. The whole affair is saturated with the horror of abandonment.
The bottom line though is that whatever the method is, it is the label “marriage” applied to something that it is not that brings various human relationships and structures to an irreconcilable state. It is, essentially, the inability of a normal psyche to reconcile the notions of what is not marriage i.e. “biological marriage = coming together” of two opposite sexes, male and female for the purpose of producing a baby who must then be given to the same sex “parents” who are in the real “marriage”. It is easy to see that, the less personal/less intimate is the contact between a man and a woman for the purpose of producing a child to be taken away, the less outrageous appears the business of taking him away. What was not too personal can be taken away with “minimal personal losses” and also can be easier to relabel as “our own”. Hence another vector of the same sex “marriage”, towards necessary depersonalisation and further denial of normal human feelings, towards total inhumanity. IVF satisfies this need the best; further developments in science will satisfy it even better I believe.
There is much argument nowadays about having compassion for homosexuals in their desire to marry and to have “their own” i.e. biological = made children. The problem is that empathy here somehow tends to identify only with a narcissistic desire “I will”. It appears that “an empath” resonates only with “I will”/“give me what I want” remaining strangely numb to the needs of the children and others involved, if the fulfillment of that “want” were to take place.
Thus the argument that a child needs both father and mother is waved off on the pretext that “there are families without a parent”. I will not peruse the most obvious (and entirely reasonable) counter-argument, that this situation is never desirable so why start with that which is undesirable, and point out a few interesting aspects of the argument of “the empath” instead.
Curiously, it appears that “the empath” sees only the appearances, one parent in the normal family = the two “mothers” or “fathers” of the same sex family. While formally it can be stated that - = - -/ + = + + - in fact not = but even better, because we have here 2x- and 2x+, the essence behind the numbers (or appearances) is not the same. The crucial difference is made by the feelings and needs, of a single parent – for a spouse and of a child – for another parent, father or mother. Ultimately it is a normal need in the opposite sex attachment, for normal union (adult) or for normal psychological formation (child). Even in the case of a single heterosexual woman who bears a child and brings him up by herself there is still a vector towards a man, even in the case that she has decided “never deal with men because they are bastards”. Her gender and her being non-married to the same sex = her normal intrinsic incompleteness without the opposite gender underlined by the lack of the word “marriage” preserves the normal scheme of human development of her child. Hence even a situation which lacks the loss of a spouse/parent via death or divorce or abandonment (meaning much suffering and more personal loss) cannot be used for the justification of the thesis “my child will be fine with two mothers/fathers”.
There is something else here. The argument that “children do well with same sex parents” implicitly denies the importance of the father/mother just as the very structure of the same sex “family” does so there is nothing unexpected about it. What is a bit more interesting is how the argument tends to go on i.e. not out of hot emotions, of hurt or hatred (as it happens during divorce etc.), but out of no emotions, out of a cold “I do not understand, why my child would be unhappy without a father/mother?” Is it perhaps because the speaker has never been emotionally attached to that hypothetical father/mother (an opposite sex spouse) so she/he transfers her non-attachment onto a child? “I do not have”/I do not feel so my child will not have/does not need.” Needless to say, the inability to comprehend the necessity of an attachment to the father/mother points to the deficiency of such attachment in the life of a speaker. Whatever it is, the lack of empathy with the needs of the child is quite stunning.
It is possible to pile up such statements but I will not bother – what strikes me here is the artificiality and dismissal of normal human emotions and feelings, entitlement and absolute self-certainty. What strikes me most of all though is the absence of introspection i.e. that a person is totally oblivious to the fact that anyone who thinks about the good of a child would never deliberately deny to him or her a father or mother [or even better, the felt need for such], together with the story of their actual father and mother – and if they did they would feel at least a bit uncomfortable about it. “I am entitled to have a child (even if I cannot, biologically) and I do not care if he or she will be unhappy – I will make him or her believe that he or she is happy.” That notion, “making him believe “, rings too familiar to me but I leave it to the reader to come up with his own associations.
Although the Holy Family was present in the last two pics I said nothing “specific” or “out of the normal human realm” about metaphysics/God as such. It appears that it does not need to be added. As I promised in the beginning, bringing God into the picture changes nothing in the essence of the argument of this paper because God’s scheme of relating to humans and the scheme of normal human relationships are in perfect conformity; the ultimate way of this relating, the Incarnated Christ is the epitome of the fullness of human being whether one “approves” His actions or not. Hence, in normal relationships, God is already present even if He is not acknowledged. Whether someone believes in Him or not it is possible to explain to the other the things about God, including His self-revelation, on the example of normal human relationship.
In the case that a person (being a narcissist) does not understand what a normal relationship is, he will not understand the real meaning of the Incarnation, Atonement and so on even if he possesses the academic knowledge of theology. The whole New Testament with its sacrificial love of God and humans for each other will be lost on him. He, however, will be able to grasp something of the Old Testament, identifying himself with God the Father, the all-powerful One. In the case of the new breed of people, the propagators of same sex “marriage” and the children “made” within it, they will not understand anything at all because the notions of the father and mother (and of the whole realm of normal human relationships) is lost on them (hence already existent attempts to make a “genderless God” out of God the Father etc.). In this respect, on the metaphysical road, they go further than simple narcissists because they do not identify with the gender which represents power (God the Father or the Mother Goddess) but identify with something quite sexless or both sexes mixed, androgyny or even better – with sex-blur.
Typing that definition brought to my mind the soup of meaning from my paper ‘The Conductor’ that was about the Russian state creating a “soup of meaning” in the minds of its citizens made with hypertext and endless swapping and mutual cancellation of meaning, like counter-positioning “death is love” “war is peace” and so on. The sex-blur is something that is entirely missing in this soup, two well-defined genders are still standing rock-solid in the stew, and I understood it only now – probably because before I took them for granted.
These two figures, man and woman, could never before be considered as a ground for the moral non-culpability of Russia but they can be now. Via destroying the definition of normal human marriage = family Australia (and the others in the “perverted West”) lost it all.
Without this given basic reality and basic continuum [cosy little houses, Queen Elizabeth, he – she – their three children in a Ute in the Outback etc.] the “freedoms” of the West may look far less appealing to many and the opposite camp – far more appealing. There could not be a better way of devaluing the humanistic values of the West which, while being supported by basic human normality appeared definitely more compelling than the same human normality but without humanistic values, in the opposite camp.
Curiously, the only phenomenon which can stop those who long for the basic normality of the human family from turning to Russia is the One depicted on the Russian banners, Christ, that Christ the proponents of the “sexual-blur” hate so much.