Letter: History of marriage

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to John Bambenek’s Dec. 9 column, “The wrong question.”

Conservatives like Mr. Bambenek like to claim they are the defenders of a marriage tradition that has remained unchanged since the dawn of Christendom. The truth is that until fairly recently in Western history, marrying for a reason as frivolous as love would have been considered peculiar, if not scandalous.

If Bambenek thinks we need to have a discussion about what marriage really is, I would like to weigh in against traditional marriage. I do not want to go back to a tradition in which my parents would choose a wife for me, and in which neither she nor I would have much of a say in the matter.

On his own blog, Bambenek writes of why he married his wife: “I married her because I want a relationship with her; I value her companionship and her company … There is something about the human heart that wants to be shared completely with only one person.”

It seems to me he already knows what marriage is. For some reason, he just feels those same sentiments, when held by Americans who are not like him, are deserving of less respect and protection.

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    Eric Olson

    University employee