It's a strange situation where the political party with more ex-wives than candidates, that houses and defends a disturbingly amoral network of fundamentalist operators is regarded as the protector of the sanctity of the family. They're anything but.
I think I understand, though — it doesn't matter what you do, all that matters is what you say. The Republicans support a version of marriage that rests on tradition, authority, and masculine dominance, and everything they do props up one leg of the tripod or the other. Public piety reinforces religious tradition; the insistence that there is one true form of marriage, between a man and a woman, which represents a legal and social commitment is part of the authoritarian impulse; and of course, if a man steps out of the matrimonial bounds, it's an expression of machismo and patriotism and entitlement.....
I've been married for 31 years, and my relationship with my wife is solid. Not because I've got her shackled with a prenup, a pile of legal documents, and a willingness to abuse her to keep her in her place, but because we're comfortable together, she with me and me with her, and there's no stresses that might tear us apart. With both of us in academic careers, there have been years where we've had to live apart, and those separations have been made with complete trust in one another — while we've both had times when we've "worked far too hard," and we've been "driven" by passions for our work, strangely enough it never seems to have the side effect of sending us shopping for a different mate.
So, just a suggestion: if you want a relationship that lasts, don't rely on god, lawyers, and social pressure to force it to work. Love and reciprocal trust are the only chains that last, and the only ones that make you feel happy while wearing them.
I think those are the "secular, atheist" values that Newt and his ilk find heretical and threatening. Those values allow me to sit smug and content in a happy home while watching authoritarians discard wives.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Why being married 31 years shows no family values
PJ Myers takes on thrice-married Newt Gingrich: