by: Amanda Udis-Kessler on August 15th, 2011 | 7 Comments »
Mark 2:23-28: One Sabbath he was going through the cornfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?’ And he said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.’ Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath.”
Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty made news recently by saying that gay marriage devalues traditional marriage. This is, of course, far from a new argument against legalizing same-sex marriage, but it has always struck me as a curious one. Proponents of this argument can never say clearly and coherently how exactly people in opposite-sex marriages are harmed by same-sex marriage – only that marriage itself is somehow devalued, tainted, or offended. And let’s face it: marriage doesn’t care what happens to it. Marriage is not a person or a being; it is an institution. Institutions don’t get their hearts broken. They don’t sing with joy. They are not treated humanely or violently. They don’t protest for their rights. They are, simply, social practices writ large.