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Tradition Is Not Always a Good Thing

September 13th, 2015

I’m still hearing conservatives argue that one-man-one-woman is the “traditional” form of marriage, presented as logic as to why gay marriage should not be allowed. The accuracy of that dubious statement aside, my question is—and I’m sure it has been asked many times before, but is worth pointing out again—why is tradition a reason for not changing something? Slavery is a tradition as old as marriage; does that mean we should fight to preserve it? “Slavery has always been about one master and many servants! These new laws redefining slavery as unjust are an abomination!”

Clearly, just because something is traditional does not mean it is virtuous or good, just as “the Bible says so” is not a good reason to make civil statute—which is ironically relevant, as the Bible also records and sometimes supports the tradition of slavery as well, an argument used against abolitionists of the day.

Some traditions should be changed in the light of modern—and more rational and compassionate—understanding.

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  1. Troy
    September 16th, 2015 at 21:48 | #1

    “biblical marriage” is what the Mormons were doing.

    if you want to live your life modeled on a shitty bronze-age desert goatherd society . . . knock yourself out, but leave me & mine out of it. Likewise if you think the alleged writings of a nobody in the late 1st century are the last word on what you can and can’t believe.

    but this really is a pyscho-social issue. Some people are inward-looking liberals while others are inward-fearing conservatives. They don’t trust themselves so they need ‘tradition’ and patriarchies to tell them how to act.

    And the Straussian neocons believe they need ‘tradition’ and ‘religion’ to keep the masses in order and complaisant in the existing social order.

  2. Tim Kane
    October 3rd, 2015 at 16:58 | #2

    Once you recognize the humanity inside of someone who is gay, how can you deny them the logical outcomes and fulfillment of their relationships?

    I won’t get started on Straussians, but they are clearly dangerous people.

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