Strange to post two blog posts a day, but this one has also been bubbling around.

If you ask any fundamentalist what they’re really trying to do when they oppose gay marriage, they use one excuse above other: “protecting marriage”.

And when you ask them what it means, the statement is followed by a whole lot of nonsense.

You see this meme often when you browse FSTDT. Here’s one example:

Marriage literally is the beginning of the greatness of mankind. It is perhaps our greatest invention because it created society itself.

And the definition of marriage, the definition that those early people created, has remained unchanged for tens of thousands of years. Perhaps longer. It has always been between a man and a woman.

Now we have to change it? You are asking us to change the very definition of mankind.

(I’m not going to address to the whole ball of insanity here, but some interesting parts.)

This is how the fundamentalists define society. Society is all about marriage. Nothing in the world happens without marriage. Forget the invisible hand of capitalism - the real reason the society thrives is that there’s the invisible hand of marriage.

I’ve said this before in FSTDT, and I’ll say it once again in this blog: this is not how society is defined these days. I don’t know how historically accurate the idea that marriage got the society rolling is - even when it, too, sounds incorrect - but it’s not how democratic societies that have been built around modern definitions of human rights work. Our civilisations are maintained on achievements of individuals… and groups of people who are equally governed by the same human rights.

(Also, how civilisation came to be has zero bearing on how civilisation ought to be run. Like I’ve probably said before, creator-worship is stupid - you have much bigger worries on facing the challenges of today an tomorrow.)

I don’t remember the exact details of what happened when I decided to check this thing out, but if I remember correctly, there’s pretty darn few mentions of marriage in the Constitution of Finland. Something about it being one of the ways to attain the citizenship, and that’s it. (And I don’t think superfundienuts like that part of the constitution. Immigration. Purely anti-Christian activity, according to them. Defiling God’s own homeland and chosen people and all that.)

But if you read it, there’s one thing that the Constitution keeps babbling about… the rights of the individuals.

Go ahead. Take a look at the US constitution too. I’m still looking for the juicy marriage bits one of the fundies alluded to.

Here’s how it works, dear fundienuts: Democracy is attained when individuals are able to freely work toward betterment of the society. If one defines the freedoms, rights and responsibilities of people, then by extension, you have good grounds to start defining the freedoms of groups of people - from families to societies to companies. Unless people have basic rights, then you can’t secure the rights for groups of people either. Simpler put: can’t polish a turd.

The folks who advocate “traditional family” seem to assume that anyone would want to return to the society where they have to get married to vote, because, uh, only the husband can vote, or something. Nobody asks anything from random bachelors. Shit, now that I think of it, I really should check if bachelors could vote before the universal suffrage came to be. Would the results of that query be inconvenient to this discussion if it turned out that marriage had nothing to do with voting? Hmm…

Another example from a louder person:

“In 5,000 years of recorded human history… neither in the east or in the west… has any society ever defined marriage as anything other than between men and women,” [Michele] Bachmann said during the latest installment of the Iowa Family Leader’s presidential lecture series. “Not one in 5000 years of recorded human history. That’s an astounding fact and it isn’t until the last 12 years or so that we have seen for the first time in recorded human history marriage defined as anything other than between men and between women.”

This is another pretty frequently heard meme from fundieland. I’d like to bring the fundies’ attention to the fact that I’m sitting in a country where civil unions between same-sex couples are legal. I’d also like to point out that this is by far not the only country where this is happening.

And I’d, of course, like to point out that the whole point is moot because democracy has taken a pretty firm hold over the past couple of thousand years, too. We’re not threatened by the change in definitions of marriage, because the power belongs to the peop… …OK, let’s not digress…

Nitpicking fundies will probably mention that this unviolable thing refers to church marriages. Which, I’m pretty sure, are possible in quite a few places too. But before fundies start needlessly splitting hairs over what true marriage supposedly entails (because the true definition of marriage is, after all, unchangeable according to them and people keep referring to the wrong things), I’d like to point out another inconvenient fact that fundies always seem to forget.

Marriage is primarily a legal concept. Well, at least the part the fundies keep harping on is a legal concept.

That’s right - fundies keep ranting about the sacred, inviolable legal concept of marriage. Somebody forgot to tell the legislators that marriage law cannot, and will not, be changed. They just keep treating it like any other law in the book. This annoys the fundies to no end, of course.

You see, there exists two things that people call marriage: the religious concept, and the legal concept. Religious concept is about that mysterious union of souls and commitment and love and all that stuff. Then there’s the legal part, which is basically a lot of paperwork that deals with a lot of dreadfully boring stuff like rights and responsibilities that the marriage gives to people. This boring legal part has to live with the times, because there’s so much baggage there that it just boggles your mind. It cannot be unchangeable. Hence, as far as law is concerned, the definition of marriage can and must change if necessary.

And now, a bonus thingy:

Bachmann delivered a scathing critique against the Department of Education, “along with a few other agencies, by the way, that I think we can live without.” Those include the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce.

Here’s a completely free science fiction novel premise. Feel free to write this thing. No need to pay me, or anything. If no one takes the bait, I’ll probably do my take on this, when one beautiful NaNoWriMo comes.

THE TIME CORRECTORS

It is the year 2062 in the dark corner of the world known as Megachurchchristian Megacorporate America. Following the complete shutdown of the US government, the free market thrives on. But few people, besides the powerful CTOs, even realise what problems are seething beneath the slick surfaces of the latest technological marvels.

Few people know exactly how they can even tell the time. Following the closure of the NIST and all universities, the competing corporations took over the timekeeping. Normal consumers don’t really think of the matter; they just wonder why they get strange time signals that all seem to be off, why everyone seems to come to meetings at different times when their clocks differ, and why they need to sign up for Mega Premium Time Correction Services when signing up for TV so that the network schedules actually work.

The Protagonist and his girlfriend are Time Correctors - elusive hitmen whose job is to “fix” “issues” relating to the time signal competition. Competitor trying to synchronise time signals without a contract? Unfortunate accidents happen. Counterfeiters using foreign time services? Manufacturers and users get crucified. But when a rebel timekeeping group they got wind of seems to have ties everywhere, the Protagonists suddenly find the guns pointed at them - and a simple assignment turns into tragedy of errors as the world wakes to realise that standards aren’t so bad after all…