by Robert E. Meyer
We had a Marriage Amendment referendum in Wisconsin this November, as they did in several other states. I have to admit that for a while I was pretty concerned that the outcome of the vote was in doubt.
Last spring, I was having breakfast with a man who has been very influential in my life over the past several years. I complained to him about the indifference and complacency that I noticed on the marriage issue. At that time, I saw Letters to the Editor every week arguing for voting "no" on the amendment referendum. I saw very few rebuttals. It would be more than generous to say the arguments against the amendment were very specious, but they were cleverly presented to appeal to the emotions, and dupe anyone who was not doing their own independent research.
In Wisconsin, as well as seven of the eight states with binding referendums on marriage, the amendments passed, taking the question of the legal composition of marriage out of the hands of judges.
After the vote, editorial sections of regional newspapers I read, were teeming with sour-grape diatribes by those who had voted against the Marriage Amendment. They spent their editorial capital either ridiculing the ethic, or trying to shame the "backward majority" who had voted for the amendment.
One such letter was composed by a man in his late twenties, who took a futuristic approach in his effort to scold "narrow-minded" readers.
He imagined that it was the year 2056, and that he was an incontinent senior citizen, who was trying to get someone to change his soiled diaper. He reminded the current generation alive then, that though the state of Wisconsin had passed an amendment legally sanctioning only traditional marriage, he was one of the "enlightened" progressives who didn't vote with the rest of the ignorant yokels.
I responded to him in my own Letter to the Editor as such…
I write in the hope of offering Mr. Doe (pseudonym to protect his identity) some comfort about his future as an incontinent senior citizen.
In doing so, I offer my own prophetic Orwellian scenario. Mr. Doe won't have to worry about who changes his diaper in 2056, because, by then, they won't allow anyone to live past the age of useful contribution. Someone will be cloned to take his place.
They won't be barbaric, though; they will merely encourage the elderly to exit with dignity, and only "terminate" those who selfishly fail to make way for the next generation.
By 2056, no person will contemplate the mythological whim of a life after death, but we will figuratively live on since our bodies will be recycled into a food supplement like "Soylent Green" that feeds the world.
In this secular utopia, Mr. Doe and other "enlightened" souls won't need to fret over the definition of marriage; it simply won't exist in 2056. But you will be able to view documents of antiquity known as "marriage licenses," in museums that were once called churches.
Relationships still exist, though. Communal polygamy is honored for its economic utility. Sexual relationships between adolescents and adults are viewed as positive mentorship. By then, we will finally have overcome our aversion to innate proclivities and will have ceased the senseless persecution of "behavioral minorities."
The concept of personal morality is taboo, as cultural utilitarianism is the cherished ethic of this erudite age. The mean-spirited dissidents, who insist on making moral distinctions, will be rounded up and sequestered inside padded cells of asylums for the criminally insane. There they are experimented upon, and studied carefully to determine what genetic malfunction made them "go wrong."
So, Mr. Doe, in your "brave new world," you will fortunately never need a diaper.
Mr. Doe's type of writing assumes the "Escalator Myth," an assumption that society, out of necessity and nature, moves in an upward sloping linear direction. Society at large gets more enlightened all the time, he supposes. Technical advancement is exceeded only by the velocity of moral progression. He assumes that future generations will laugh or find disgust in the ethical plateaus that many of us consider to be our moral high ground. This analysis is very one-sided to say the least. It could also be true that a more enlightened generation a half-century from now will look back, and say to themselves, "those barbarians butchered their own young," as they critically evaluate a phenomenon known as "the right to chose."
Rest assured that the elitist Mr. Doe would never have considered that possibility.
Robert E. Meyer is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.