Discussing Marriage

June 6, 2014    By: Jeff G @ 12:00 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

Rather than taking the time to put the finishing touches on one of the many posts that I have half-written up, I thought I’d draw a little bit of attention to a fantastic website that launched today: http://www.discussingmarriage.org/

Here’s a little bit from their mission statement:

We support traditional marriage, and believe that traditional marriage norms should be reflected in civil law. Our goal is simple: we want to compile all of the strongest arguments in favor of traditional marriage, and summarize them for a lay audience. “

I would especially recommend watching the youtube videos that they made as they contain interesting information and perspectives which should be of interest to both sides of the debate.


  1. I wish the conjugal view explanation didn’t use a boyfriend/girlfriend couple who decided to get married only after girlfriend got pregnant.

    Comment by IDIAT — June 6, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

  2. As you know, the standard attack on the conjugal view of marriage is that it makes no sense to let people who cannot procreate for whatever reason (age, medical issues, etc) to marry. I didn’t spend time at that site — is there a standard response to that obvious argument?

    Comment by Geoff J — June 6, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

  3. Geoff J, there is at least two sections on that subject. I thought the response went beyond the topic of the site and was actually comforting for couples that can’t have children. Too many already question the status of unintended childless marriages.

    Comment by Jettboy — June 7, 2014 @ 5:58 am

  4. Geoff,

    Some of the resposes were:

    Many do not know they cannot have children prior to marriage, and pre-marriage fertility tests would be an invasion of privacy if enforced.

    Allowing older men to be married (to an older woman) may keep them from procreating when they are not going to be able to serve as a father for long.

    Fertility treatments may be able to allow the infertile to become fertile.

    Married men and women can adopt and supply a father and mother for children who would not have parents otherwise.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — June 7, 2014 @ 6:14 am

  5. The problem with each of those responses is that they can be applied to couples that are infertile because they are homosexual. Except for the older person one, which is hopefully less creepy in the non-one-sentence version. I mean, I guess you could say that allowing LGBT folk to marry may keep them from procreating, but that seems a bit strange (and eugenics-y).

    Comment by John C. — June 7, 2014 @ 9:24 am

  6. Can any of ya’ll tell me who is sponsoring the site? The about page has absolutely nothing to say on the subject (unless I missed it).

    Comment by John C. — June 7, 2014 @ 9:25 am

  7. John,

    But I think you are missing the conjugal / Revisionist distinction. The answers to the infertility objection do not short circuit the initial distinction.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — June 7, 2014 @ 10:21 am

  8. I’m not certain that distinction is necessary. Nor do I think replacing “Romantic” with “Revisionist” gets at the truth because both conjugal and romantic are too focused on the nuclear family to really describe what traditional marriage (in the thousands of years sense) really was: a merger between two families/business operations.

    Comment by John C. — June 7, 2014 @ 10:54 am

  9. Here’s a hint, John. ;-)

    Comment by Jeff G — June 7, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

  10. John, yeah, this thing seems to go off track right off the bat in proposing a bizarrely modernist concept of conjugal marriage, and then reading that back into history.

    Comment by DCL — June 7, 2014 @ 11:14 pm

  11. Jeff, I disagreed with that post when it showed up on M*, back in the day. If none of my comments there survived, well…that’s M*.

    Comment by John C. — June 8, 2014 @ 4:46 am

  12. Wait…are you saying that this is Jeff Thayne?

    Comment by John C. — June 8, 2014 @ 4:47 am

  13. Pretty sure.

    Comment by Jeff G — June 8, 2014 @ 8:29 am

  14. Does it even make sense to discuss what traditional marriage was or wasn’t without talking about concubines?

    Comment by DavidF — June 9, 2014 @ 8:53 am

  15. I don’t think you guys are really giving their perspective its due.

    For starters, marriage was never nothing but a business contract between two families. Nor are the videos suggesting that what they call “traditional marriage” is marriage as understood within all traditions. The central point they are making is that marriage is more than a mere expression of emotion.

    Comment by Jeff G — June 9, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

  16. Once the video established a false dichotomy between two specific models of marriage, I determined that neither it or the organization that created it deserves anymore of my time.

    Comment by Eso — June 9, 2014 @ 9:47 pm

  17. What false dichotomy?

    I must say that I’m really taken aback by how dismissive and nonchalant ‘naclites are being about these videos. I don’t expect anybody to really change their minds about SSM, but I at least expected them to have a little more interest in an argument which supports one of the church’s least popular positions.

    Comment by Jeff G — June 10, 2014 @ 3:31 pm

  18. It’s established 15 seconds in with, “there are two different views about what marriage is…”

    The first is summarized as marriage is for having children, the second is summarized in which “everything” about marriage is subjective.

    It is shown that a marriage based on procreation necessarily features “permanence, exclusivity, and fidelity”. How does that logically follow? If the marriage is based around raising a child, then wouldn’t that marriage only necessitate a duration long enough to raise the child until it is sufficiently independent? Can’t a marriage which is not based on procreation feature at least some terms that are not subjective?

    Comment by Eso — June 10, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

  19. I find that the hand-waving dismissals of stuff like this comes down to not really wanting to address the core question: What is the purpose of marriage? In my experience, supporters of SSM would prefer it to be kept as nebulous as possible, but still want the government to force that nebulous interpretation on everyone else.

    Comment by Fraggle — June 17, 2014 @ 3:00 pm