The Importance of Kissing Before Marriage

 Posted by on 16 January 2013 at 10:00 am  Love/Sex, Marriage
Jan 162013
 

WARNING: If you don’t kiss before marriage, this might be your fate:

I don’t want to imagine what the sex was like. *shudder*

More seriously, I think that advocating or practicing abstinence before marriage is not just unwise but morally wrong.

Sex is a hugely important part of a marriage. It’s not the kind of thing that should be a surprise on the wedding night — any more than should be future plans for kids or career.

People can be sexually incompatible for all kinds of reasons. Often, that cannot be overcome. In that case, best to discover that — and break up — before moving in together, making a life-long commitment, merging finances, bearing children, and so on.

P.S. On a funny note, check out the comment that someone posted in reply to my post on this to Philosophy in Action’s Facebook Page:

As it happens, I’m most decidedly not ashamed of myself.

Norman Rockwell and Marital Abuse

 Posted by on 4 January 2013 at 10:00 am  Art, Ethics, Marriage, Rights
Jan 042013
 

This series of Norman Rockwell paintings, compared with photographs used to created them, is pretty interesting. Wow though, I had a huge emotional reaction to this photo and painting:

I abhor that painting, particularly in comparison to the photo.

In the photo, the man is clearly obstinate and angry for unknown reasons, and the woman is concerned, appealing, and uncertain. We don’t know the story of their marriage, but it’s a stark image of marital strife.

In the painting, however, the man has a very black eye, but he looks more aloof than angry. The woman is looking at him in a sly and smug way. The painting seems to be winking at serious physical abuse.

If you think that it’s cute or funny, would you say the same if the sexes were reversed? I think not. The fact is that physical abuse in a marriage is abhorrent, whether perpetrated by a woman or a man. Nothing justifies it. Nothing.

Jul 262012
 

I support gay marriage wholeheartedly, and I’ve long been appalled by Chick-Fil-A’s support for theocracy. However, I’m just as appalled by the attempt by the Mayor of Boston to exclude Chick-Fil-A from Boston. It is a contemptible violation of rights — including of the proper separation of church and state.

The letter from the mayor reads:

To Mr. Cathy:

In recent days you said Chick fil-A opposes same-sex marriage and said the generation that supports it as an “arrogant attitude.”

Now — incredibly — your company says you are backing out of the same-sex marriage debate. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston.

You called supporters of gay marriage “prideful.” Here in Boston, to borrow your own words, we are “guilty as charged.” We are indeed full of pride for our support of same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom to all people. We are proud that our state and our city have led the way for the country on equal marriage rights.

I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it. When Massachusetts became the first state in the country to recognize equal marriage rights, I personally stood on City Hall Plaza to greet same sex couples here to be married. It would be an insult to them and to our city’s long history of expanding freedom to have a Chick fil-A across the street from that spot.

Sincerely, Thomas M. Menino

Such would be a fabulous letter from a private person, speaking his own personal opinions. From the mayor, however, that letter implies a threat of force, namely that of excluding Chick-Fil-A from Boston. That’s terribly wrong.

At this point, I strongly recommend that people boycott Chick-Fil-A. I discussed that in the 12 February 2012 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, in fact. Here’s my 15-minute answer to the question, “Should people boycott Chick-Fil-A for its hostility to gays?”

You can also download the MP3 Segment.

Oh, and see this post from Eugene Volokh: No Building Permits for Opponent of Same-Sex Marriage. As Eugene explains, it’s a First Amendment violation, plain and simple:

But denying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation. Even when it comes to government contracting — where the government is choosing how to spend government money — the government generally may not discriminate based on the contractor’s speech, see Board of County Commissioners v. Umbehr (1996). It is even clearer that the government may not make decisions about how people will be allowed to use their own property based on the speaker’s past speech.

And this is so even if there is no statutory right to a particular kind of building permit (and I don’t know what the rule is under Illinois law). Even if the government may deny permits to people based on various reasons, it may not deny permits to people based on their exercise of his First Amendment rights. It doesn’t matter if the applicant expresses speech that doesn’t share the government officials’ values, or even the values of the majority of local citizens. It doesn’t matter if the applicant’s speech is seen as “disrespect[ful]” of certain groups. The First Amendment generally protects people’s rights to express such views without worrying that the government will deny them business permits as a result. That’s basic First Amendment law — but Alderman Moreno, Mayor Menino, and, apparently, Mayor Emanuel (if his statement is quoted in context), seem to either not know or not care about the law.

Go read the whole thing.

Most Awesome Marriage Proposal Ever

 Posted by on 5 June 2012 at 2:00 pm  Cool, Love/Sex, Marriage
Jun 052012
 

Dear Men of Earth,

You have a new ridiculously high standard to meet if and when you propose. See for yourself:

Of course, you might be really awesome, in which case the love of your life will surely accept your proposal however you ask!

Update: Boo! The video has been taken down due to copyright claims.

May 082012
 

David Deerson writes an excellent blog post on North Carolina’s Despicable Amendment — a.k.a. Amendment 1. The amendment — up for a vote today (May 8th) — would declare that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

David writes:

The amendment isn’t only a strike against gay marriage but also civil unions, regardless of the gender composition of the partners. Depending on the courts interpretation of the language of the amendment, it could:

  • invalidate domestic violence protections for all unmarried partners;
  • undercut existing child custody and visitation rights that are designed to protect the best interests of children;
  • prevent the state from giving committed couples rights to allow them to order their relationships, including threatening their
  • ability to determine the disposition of their deceased partner’s remains;
  • make medical decisions if their partner is incapacitated
  • allow second-parent adoptions in order to ensure that both partners have a legal tie to, and financial responsibilities for, the
  • children they are raising.
  • invalidate trusts, wills, and end-of-life directives by one partner in favor of the other.

Apparently, the people who will be voting for this amendment don’t even understand its legal implications. But based on recent polling numbers, it seems likely to pass by a wide margin. I’m hoping for an unexpected but stunning defeat.

Marriage is Good

 Posted by on 25 March 2002 at 9:11 am  Ethics, Marriage, Relationships
Mar 252002
 

Maggie Gallagher has a good piece on whether divorce is all that it’s cracked up to be. (She’s reviewing Hetherington’s new book For Better or for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered.)

Two interesting facts stand out. First, people usually aren’t better off after a divorce. Many seem to be far worse off, particularly women. They are often poorer, depressed, miserable, embittered, and so forth. Second, most people don’t divorce “to escape from violent hellholes” but rather because “they are lonely, bored, depressed, dissatisfied.” A “minority of divorces” are the result of the three A’s: adultery, abuse, and alcoholism.

People make all kinds of philosophical mistakes in their marriage that make divorce seem like an attractive option. They expect the other person to fill all their needs. They develop bad habits. They don’t think creatively about how to solve their problems. They dwell on minor problems, blowing them completely out of proportion. They ignore critical issues, allowing them to become entrenched and difficult to resolve. They focus on the other person’s problems, rather than their own. They think that the mere change of a divorce will alleviate their troubles.

Given the amazing and wondrous potential of a good marriage, such failures are depressing, precisely because they are usually so unnecessary.

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