The Thinking 
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Legislator Calls Traditional Marriage Irrational

June 30, 2009


The state senator leading the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania said yesterday that in the many dozens of conversations he has had with supporters of traditional marriage, he has never once heard a “rational” argument for keeping marriage as it is.

Daylin Leach, a Democrat, has introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Though he appears to make friendly overtures to opponents of traditional marriage, he trivializes and ridicules their concerns. He said fears that same-sex marriage could ultimately lead to group marriage or marriage between friends or relatives were silly, comparable to worrying the state might sanction marriage between a man and a lawn mower. 

Leach is delightfully open-minded. He just has never heard a reason for marriage between a man and a woman that wasn’t based on irrational prejudice and religious sentiment. “That’s not my religion,” he said, speaking on Dom Giordano’s talk show.  A civil institution that is thousands of years old, a tradition that predates Christianity, that was alive and well in the ancient world despite open homosexuality, is founded on irrationality and small-mindedness.

Here’s a question I have for Mr. Leach. If marriage between a man and a woman is irrational, why did it ever come into existence in the first place? Why has it lasted so long?

A man and a woman together are the indivisible unit of procreation. Is that wild opinion? Does Leach know of any human being conceived without the biological input of both a man and a woman? 

Studies – not opinions – show that children raised in homes with both a father and a mother fare remarkably better in life than those who grow up with just one or the other. A man and a woman are not just the indivisible unit of physical procreation. They are the indivisible unit of psychological procreation. Are these findings, which confirm over and over, that children have a universal desire and need for a father and a mother irrational? I would like the reasonable senator to explain. 

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Plutarch and the Manly Man

June 30, 2009


Plutarch, the Roman historian, was once the standard fare of any well-bred boy’s education. He was forced on boys for hundreds of years because he instilled important moral lessons in his biographies of figures such as Pompey, Alexander and Julius Caesar. But, it was more than that. Boys liked Plutarch. Here is history filled with conquest, intrigue and political machinations.

My 15-year-old son is reading Plutarch this summer. At first he strongly objected to this assignment. I was destroying his summer. I was ruining his life. Once again.

 But, last night, at midnight, he was busy tapping out written commentary. I may be wrong but he looked like he was having a good time. He wrote the following for a writing assignment on Plutarch’s Julius Caesar:

   Caesar’s extraordinary valor from a very young age paved the road for future success. One story that is most striking from Caesar’s life is his time being held for ransom by pirates.  During his passage back from a long period on the run from Sylla, Caesar was captured and held for ransom by pirates off of the island of Pharmacusa. What is most striking about the tale is his time and behavior during captivity. The boy was far from the timid and submissive nature of most who are kidnapped. He instead was commanding and aloof, a small young man calling a set of burly pirates illiterate and barbarous. He even went as far as to claim that he would one day hang or crucify them (which to the shock of the pirates came true). It was this unconditional valor that led him to be so loved by those he led. From his time in captivity as a boy to moments before he crossed the Rubicon he never once showed true fear. Even after he achieved the title of “dictator for life,” amidst rumors of assignation, not once did he break form. In the words of Plutarch, “When his friends advised him to have a guard, and several offered their services, he would not hear of it, he would not hear of it; but said it was better to suffer death once than to always live in fear of it.” It was through Caesar’s undying courage that a strong foundation for unimaginable heights was obtained.

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