Linguistic Gymnastics

Commenting on the decision made by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured below) that Clinton's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, I have pointed out that

The logic of the Attorney General’s argument goes a lot further than merely attacking traditional marriage. Just think about it: a definition of ‘marriage’ that includes both heterosexual unions and same-sex unions, still excludes unions with animals, polygamous unions, or ‘group marriages.’ But doesn’t this discriminate? After all, if someone is bisexual, then in order for their sexuality to be fully expressed, their ‘marriage’ must include a minimum of at least one person from each sex. At least, that is where the argument against “discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation” could go.


Suffice to say, any new definition of marriage that Obama may wish to proffer opens the door to an endless series of redefinition in the years to come. This is because what is true of the word marriage is true of any noun: to define a word as one thing is necessarily to exclude that word as being some other thing. A noun that can mean anything is a noun that can mean nothing.

Consequently, if we say that it is unconstitutional for the word ‘marriage’ to exclude anyone or anything, then we are beginning a process whereby the word must necessarily be eventually emptied of all content. Suffice to say, if DOMA were set aside, then not only would a union between one man and one woman no longer have a monopoly on the term ‘marriage,’ but in principle any definition of marriage (even one broadened to encompass homosexual unions) could eventually be challenged as unconstitutional by an extension of the same logic.

In short, the word ‘marriage’ must finally come to cover anything we could possibly imagine. However, to do that would render the term incoherent, and that is something that not even the homosexuality community wishes to see happen.

To read more about this, visit my article 'DOMA and the Definition of Marriage.'

One thought on “Linguistic Gymnastics

  1. The following are a few qouets: Other things may change us, but we start and end with family Anthony Brandt “A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another.”-Buddha “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” -John Paul II “As to the family, I have never understood how that fits in with the other ideals or, indeed, why it should be an ideal at all. A group of closely related persons living under one roof; it is a convenience, often a necessity, sometimes a pleasure, sometimes the reverse; but who first exalted it as admirable, an almost religious ideal?” -Rose Macaulay We live in a time where words and ideas are no longer our own. I find it funny how we have words that are pitched around without an understanding of the true meaning behind them. Words that have become loose in meaning have been translated for us and dictated to a norm that is to be our own, i.e. people are defining them for us. Take the qouets that are stated above. What do they have in common? These qouets show us some of the constitutions derived from the embodiment of a complex idea in the form of one word: family. Which brings us to the beg the question: What is a family? A family according to all lingusical sources is a union of a group of individuals who share a mutual place of habitation. Before we continue to dissect the issue further let’s stop here for a second. Take everything that is floating in your mind behind this idea of family and anything else that may be there as well and put it away for a second. Clear your mind. Find a blank white space in your subconscious and picture one thing: a dog. I want you to picture this canine and only this particular one. Concentrate. What an intelligent and magnificent creature. One of purity and strength. With its shortly trimmed brown fur, its stubbed cut tail, majestic pose, a splash of white on its torso, and its genetic black snout that hangs on its sides. I think we can all agree that the dog that we are all thinking about is the boxer! Or is it ? Were we all picturing the boxer before I began to describe it to you? Or at the end did I just inject my dog into your mind and made you think for a second that at the end the dog was a boxer. Take this very same example, but lets change one thing: change the dog to a family. What do you picture? As we went a bit astray from what we are trying to understand in this introduction, it was essential to take you on a short detour so that you can further understand this argument that will be discovered. The meaning behind words in today’s society have taken a turn for the worst as we uncover a different understanding: one of the individual. For years we lived by a meaning that was dictated as a norm for our society, i.e. words were being defined for us and not by us. Who is to tell you what dog you should be thinking about? Who is to tell you what a family is?This idea that a family is constructed of a mommy and a daddy and the children and grandparents, etc., is an idea that was defined for us to be the norm for our living. Society, its many institutions [religions], and its rulers [“elected officials”] created this idea of an Ozzie and Harriet family in which its a perfect union of its members. But what gives them the right to tell us or anyone for that matter what a family is? “Sorry Billy who lives in an orphanage but those kids that you live with are not your family.” “Hey sorry Jen, but those lesbian mothers of yours and yourself do not make a family.” Would anyone in the world look into the eyes of these kids and tell them this? Lets look at one more thing: marriage. When we think about marriage we think about family. They run parallel to each other. Sure a family can be formed by the union of two people who love each other but a family in the eyes of another can not form a perfect union of love? The rule only applies to a man and a woman. Oh yea and a man and his PS3 and a woman with her cat but two women or two men getting married to each other, we can’t have that! I find it funny how religion and our political leaders like to step in and give their 2 cents to this assertion of marriage, but look at the qouets stated above. Since when should a marriage and a family be defined by our government/religion? Where does it say that a family can only be made up of a man and a woman in marriage? No where. Then why can we except LGBT families but not marriages? Problem is that unfortunately those two cents of Bull$#% that they feed us is worth gold in this society and people are afraid to give it up. Just like the dog example, the family is this day and age is the boxer.

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