Redefining marriage is the path to anarchy

Brad Delong has a fantastic takedown of the right’s hand-wringing about marriage. National Review talks lovingly of Athenian philosophers and uses them to oppose Teh Gay, which is … well, let’s just not go there.

But seriously, this argument that changing marriage is putting us on the road to anarchy? Just rewind a couple hundred years and imagine the same tale:

Marriage has always and forever been one thing and one thing only: A sacred contract between a husband and his fathers-in-law, whereby a girl ceases to be the property of her father and becomes the property of her husband, subservient to the prior wives in the marriage. And a marriage like this is a key means of cementing tribal alliances and settling blood debts.

Yes, it may seem unfair to make these arrangements without the consent of the bride, but this is the way things have always been done, and it is the way they must continue to be done. Why, if we could not settle a blood debt by giving a daughter away as chattel, how could we end a vendetta? Without chattel marriage, anarchy and murder would reign!

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