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Conventional Thinking: Vive le ‘marriage’!

The French are taking to the streets of Paris like it is 1789 again. This time, Frenchmen are not “throwing off the shackles of yesterday” in Revolution, but are protesting against the
arrival of so-called same-sex marriage to France.

Frenchmen, by the tens of thousands are saying “non” to a proposal from Socialist French leader, Francois Hollande, to bring same-sex “marriage” to the country. The grounds for French opposition to the changes to marriage law appear to be threefold.

First, the French public seems to recognize what few in America will admit. The primary purpose and intent of marriage is procreation. Why one man and one woman? Because that is what it takes to make babies, hence perpetuate the human race.

Citizens demonstrating in the streets of Paris hold up signs that say “1 Pere + 1 Mere C’est Elementaire” (translation: “One father, one mother, it’s obvious”). One commentator said, “If your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to conceive, there is a reason.”

This viewpoint should come as no real surprise in a country so heavily influenced by Roman Catholicism. The Catholic Church, which you have to admit is consistent, is said to bless only those marital unions in which the couple is open to having children. While many conservative evangelicals may not go that far, the position makes an extremely strong point.

It is not only Catholics, however, standing in opposition. The pro-marriage, anti-“gay marriage” protests have brought together Muslims, evangelicals and even secular support. You see, the second point of objection from the French appears to be more about linguistics than moral law. “Marriage,”the very word, is a particular thing, and the French do not redefine words.

The novelist, George Orwell, understood the power of words. In his classic novel, 1984, Orwell depicted powerful, totalitarian forces that reshaped society and thought. While many remember the dreaded “thought police,” the most potent forces in the Orwellian society were those who controlled the language. “Newspeak” was the way to bring about real change. “One character, Syme, says admiringly of the … scope of the new language: ‘It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.’”

If any culture is good about guarding its language, it is the French. Among those reported to be protesting were homosexuals, who also are opposed to changing the meaning of French words. In Paris, we truly are witnessing a unique blend of allies coming together to protect marriage as we know it.

Third, the French have long had a saying which goes, “vive la différence!” Obviously taken to excess at times, in France they appreciate the differences between men and women. Men revel in their masculinity and women in their femininity. Same-sex “marriage” represents a blurring of this distinction and the erasing of the “différence.”

Time will tell if proponents or opponents of the so-called same-sex “marriage” laws will win. Yet isn’t it interesting that, while much of the Anglosphere (including Britain and Australia), have welcomed “gay marriage” with open arms, it is the French, of all people, who courageously have stood up and said, “non!”?


Brian Hobbs

Author: Brian Hobbs

Brian is editor of The Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Brian Hobbs.

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