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It's Our Turn: Hang on! It's going to get ugly!

Wars are terrible, disgusting, horrific things - however, sometimes war is necessary.

We are now engaged in a great battle, one that many do not think we should be fighting. In eight months, Minnesotans will have the chance to decide if they will amend the state's Constitution to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.

The time between now and then is going to get ugly and be filled with lots of name calling, accusations and emotional pleas.

In a battle, it's not likely that words will change the mind of your enemy. In general, people decide what they are going to believe and then ignore any evidence to the contrary. So why waste words on the issue?

Because when you're attacked, sometimes it is necessary to defend yourself. The resulting battle may be messy, but to ignore it could be even more costly.

Contrary to what you will hear, it's not those in favor of the amendment who are on the attack. Just last week the governor of Washington signed a bill allowing same-sex marriage in that state. New Jersey, last week, nearly did the same. Those who believe in traditional marriage have been forced to take a defensive position against those who are trying to trivialize, erode and redefine marriage.

That's what it's all about. The next few months are not about tolerance, prejudice or fairness, but about redefining a word. It's about taking a word that has a specific, measurable meaning for most people, and changing it to mean something completely different.

Some may not think that's a big deal, but what if someone decided to change the definition of some other much less significant words: What if we changed the meaning of the word "work" to include reading and watching TV? Or what if we changed the definition of "stealing" to mean taking something that you don't need? What if we changed the definition of "food" to include alcoholic beverages?

It's all about definition.

We often hear people ask how redefining marriage would affect you or me. Of course, those who ask that question don't really want an answer; they want to argue; they want to show that any reason given, no matter how logical, is irrelevant. They've already made up their mind what to believe.

The answer, of course, is that marriage and family is and always has been the basis of every civilization. We tamper with that foundation at grave risk.

A writer in the Star Tribune recently noted that all it will take is time before same-sex marriage is accepted by everyone.

Yes, all it takes is time:

It took time to get to the point where we decided it was perfectly fine to have sexual relationships outside of marriage. It took time to become normal and acceptable to have children without being married. It took time to get to where marriage was no longer about commitment, but only about convenience. It took time to get to where we are now, being forced to consider this amendment. And, after that, it undoubtedly will take time to get to the next step on our downward spiral.

The question is: How far do we want this depressing experiment to go?

Redefining marriage will not benefit anyone. If marriage is redefined, it will at the same time only become more meaningless for everyone - including those who want the redefinition the most.