(Learn More about Rex Bell at his campaign website, Rex Bell for US Congress, D6)
I’ve never been what you would call “athletically inclined”. I did manage to make a basket once when I was on the 6th grade basketball team at Millville Grade School, when my old buddy Stinky Wilmont yelled “shoot it” at the final buzzer. Of course, that shot missed the backboard, but I did manage to hit the first of two free throws I was awarded when a fellow bench warmer from the opposing team stuck his finger in my eye while he was blocking my field goal. Even though I was able to cut the margin of our defeat that game down to 27 points, nobody asked me to play on the 7th grade team the next year, and what little interest I had in basketball faded quickly away.
And then there was that time I hit a baseball and made it to second base, but I only hit it because I was flailing at a bee that was buzzing around my head, and I really only made it to second base because the bee had turned its attention to Arnold Dinkins, causing him to abandon the shortstop position. They say that baseball is the “national pastime”. I guess it is for some people, but I don’t think they ever passed law about it. Yet.
We didn’t play soccer at Millville back then. I really didn’t know much of anything about the game, and I hadn’t ever watched it until my granddaughters started playing it a while back. I still don’t know much it, but I heard that more people play soccer than any other game in the world. I’m guessing that’s so they don’t have to watch it. Anyway, I know a lot of people have a higher opinion of basketball, baseball and soccer than I have, and I’m okay with that, as long as they don’t pass some law that forces me to watch or play. But that’s not what I wanted to write about today. I really wanted to write about marriage.
My wife Susan and I have been married for 36 years. I know I married up, but I’m not sure Susan can say the same thing. And I’m also pretty sure her dad agreed with me on that point. It was probably one of the few things we ever agreed on .
We went and bought a marriage license from the State of Ohio before we got married, because somebody told us we had to. I didn’t think about it much at the time, but looking back, I wonder if it was really necessary. I guess we just accepted that it had always been that way. I found out later on that government involvement in marriage is a relatively new development. It didn’t actually get heavily involved in the marriage business until the 19th and 20th centuries, and then only to control or prohibit inter-racial marriages, and maintain racial purity. For the most part, that’s not really a problem most people really feel needs to be controlled anymore, but like most things the government gets involved in, it tends to hang around even when most people don’t see its need or usefulness anymore.
Nowadays, a lot of politicians from President Obama on down, are scrambling to come up with the most acceptable opinion on gay marriage. I guess that’s what politicians are supposed to do, but I’m not sure that’s what they ought to do.
When it comes to same sex marriage, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t understand the attraction. I guess we never gave it a lot of thought back at Millville. I have several friends that are gay, and I also have several friends that are Republicans and Democrats. (I don’t understand the attraction there, either.) And while I might not understand why some people are attracted to it, neither can I understand why some people are so opposed to it. Apparently some people have religious and moral objections, but some people who favor it cite religious and moral reasons themselves.
Now, I’m just real happy that so many people have religious and moral convictions, but I never thought I wanted the government to define them for us. I suppose it wouldn’t really be a problem as long as the good guys are elected and running things, but as about half of the population will testify at any given time, that doesn’t always happen.
The problem with getting the government involved in anything is that opinion so often becomes law, and law always involves force. In reality, government has no more business telling consenting adults what type of relationship they can have, than it has telling other adults that they have to accept a relationship they don’t approve of. Or telling someone they have to play soccer. Or worse yet, watch it.
The only involvement government should have in marriage is to make sure that contractual obligations are upheld if the need arises.
I don’t know if you agree with that or not, but I’ve been married for 36 years, and I do.
Cross Posted from Rex’s Blog, the Bell Curve.