I do. (But you can’t because you’re gay.)

Sunday morning again and the catholics are at it once more. In a letter to be read in 2,500 churches across the country Archbishops Nichols and Smith will argue once again against changing the law on marriage.

I’m not going to bother going to a church to listen to this, so I read it online. There’s a great deal in it that seeks to claim marriage as a fundamentally christian thing. It’s not. It predates Christ and, probably, the old testament.

There’s also a great deal in it about the procreation and upbringing of children – not surprising since the catholic clergy are obsessed with sex. Are the bishops arguing that people who are infertile, beyond child-bearing age or who just don’t want to breed can’t have valid marriages? Probably, yes, since in the penultimate paragraph it says:-

A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. It would reduce it just to the commitment of the two people involved.”

Reduce it? REDUCE IT????? What is the point of marriage if it is not, first and foremost, about commitment to each other? You don’t have to go far these days to find couples that are happily and responsibly bringing up their children outside of marriage. The bishops are conflating marriage and family life in support of their own scaremongering. Procreation and the upbringing of children stem from commitment, but they are not the primary reason that people get married. To suggest otherwise is just the blindness of a dogmatic institution, led by men who, by their own celibacy, can never fully understand the real nature of a committed life partnership.

The catholic church does not “own” the concept of marriage. It is entitled to its corporate opinion of what marriage should be, but it has no mandate to enforce that interpretation on anyone outside of those who chose to follow it. We wait to see whether the catholic laity will rise up en masse and man the barricades. I suspect not. Very many catholics choose to ignore the church’s stance on contraception, and they will probably do the same now.

And what will happen if marriage is redefined?

People will get married.

That’s it, in a nutshell. There will be no collapse of society. Families will not be torn apart. The sky will not crack asunder, blood will not rain down on the earth and there will be no plagues of frogs and locusts.

People will just get married.