Before I express my opinion on your post, I would first like to congratulate you: Congratulations! Although I blatantly disagreed with what you had to say, your argument was so well written that I couldn't help but appreciate your polite but firm position.Thanks, Sophie! I like you already. ;)
However, I would like to prove you wrong on two counts:
Firstly, on your idea about the "manipulation of language" on both the words "Marriage" and "Gay". According to the dictionary, the word marriage has several definitions, none of which directly pertain to a man and a woman. These definitions are as follows:
"The state, condition or relationship of being married; wedlock.
The legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities
A relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other, in the manner of a husband and wife."
You will note the last definition says in the MANNER OF, not ONLY PERTAINING TO.This is interesting, Sophie. First, I was not directly discussing dictionary definitions, as those can change even year to year (especially in these politically correct days!). What I said was: "marriage" has always been known as one thing (male/female). In other words, there was never a time in history when "marriage" was commonly understood to mean two men exchanging vows and having sex (or two women, or even a human and an animal). It has always been understood to mean man/woman (until this very recent push). Do you disagree?
But since you brought up dictionary definitions, let's talk about it. I don't know the issue date of your dictionary, but even an old dictionary never needed to specify that "marriage" was specifically man/woman, because, again, it was understood to be just that. And as far as the term "in the manner of" ... let's take your implication to its logical conclusion: Two brothers could "pledge themselves to each other, in the manner of a husband and a wife." Would you call that "marriage"? If not, why not? It fits your interpretation of the dictionary definition, right?
Now for the word, "Gay." It isn't like someone just up and decided, "Hmm, today I think I'll change the definition of the word 'Gay.'" It happened over a period of many many years. As all the Literary Professors I have ever been taught by have reminded me, "If you can't roll with the evolution of language, stop using it." One must learn to adapt to the new definitions of words.I guess I would like to know what your understanding of "many many years" is? I do know that my husband has a relative who was named "Gay" in the 1950s. By the time she was a young adult in the 1970s, she had taken the drastic step to change her name. Is such an abrupt and dramatic re-definition really an "evolution" of language? Also, we all have certainly "adapted" to the unfortunate new definition of "gay" here in America, as evidenced by the fact that no one in his right mind would name a child "Gay" anymore, and yet it was once a lovely name.
Also, if anyone is giggling at the word "gay" in Christmas Carols, they are most likely about five years old.You are right on this. I went back and looked at my wording. I should have used the word "children" instead of "young people," even though I thought that was implied. (*Update: I'm rethinking my answer here. I have a five year old son, and he wouldn't giggle because he has no idea what the word "gay" means. As it should be. Hopefully there aren't many circles of five-year-olds who would giggle, since they should be clueless about homosexuality at their age. And if you think older kids and teens don't laugh at the word "gay" in Christmas carols, then I'm thinking you don't know many people that age? So, I stand by my original term, "young people.")
Secondly, I would like to point out that though you say you "simply don't understand," I think it goes deeper than that. It looks like you are discouraging Homosexual marriage because you dislike the idea of it, not just because of the so-called abuse of literary devices.You are absolutely right that I believe homosexual activity to be immoral, just as I consider pre-marital sex to be immoral, and adultery, etc., etc. It's no secret to anyone reading that I am a devout Catholic who believes what the Church teaches. But I am also a lover of distinctions. True, I don't believe in homosexual activity, but I also don't believe in manipulation of language to further a political agenda. In this case, I was discussing my objection to redefining the word "marriage" to describe homosexual unions. It would be another subject entirely to discuss why I believe that homosexual activity itself is wrong. It's easy for all of us to go off on tangents, so I try to commit to one subject at a time.
I have thoroughly enjoyed posting this to you. I do hope I can continue to keep up a friendly debate with you over this, as I have several good points on the subject.Thanks, Sophie, I would love to hear them! And maybe you could answer a question for me that Gwen (a previous liberal commenter) would or could not:
Do you believe it is okay to change the meanings of words in order to advance a political agenda?
Blessings to you!