Thursday, July 3, 2008

Swingtown, California judges break rules on marriage and civility

by Richard Nelson

When CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler said the network was "going to throw out the rule book," in late 2006, she wasn’t kidding. In case anybody was wondering just what rules she was talking about, the wait is over. On June 5, CBS officially joined the marriage deconstruction movement when it premiered Swingtown-- an edgy sitcom that eviscerates what is left of marriage in our postmodern culture.

One can only wonder if California’s Supreme Court judges attended a sneak preview before they legalized gay marriage back on May 15.

Swingtown, named in part for the wife-swapping, features open marriage and group sex as normal. Comparatively, it makes the show’s casual drug use among adults look mild; and the young teen boys ogling porn in the basement, not so bad-- after all the dad pats his son’s head after warning him not to let his mother catch him.

Today’s cultural elite hope Swingtown, which also refers to the mid-'70s as a watershed when the cultural and moral tide turned, serves as a catalyst to turn the tide again. In one scene, sex provocateurs, Tom and Trina, who are in an open marriage, lead a reluctant and conservative couple into group sex. Such a scene could have only been hatched in the recesses of Hollywood’s deep sickness.

One group out of Californian’s who must have been big fans of the show, not necessarily for the perversion, but for the underlying message that marriage can be anything you want it to be, are the four state supreme court judges who recently overturned California’s marriage law. It’s funny how four judges who say they believe in the democratic process can overturn the votes of 4,618,673 voters without batting an eye.

It would make more sense if they confessed to be actors posing as judges. Then again, maybe they confused Hollywood with their courtroom.

One dissenting judge, Marvin Baxter chastised his colleagues for breaching the separation of powers and called the ruling “legal jujitsu.” “Who can say that, in ten, fifteen, or twenty years, an activist court might not rely on the majority’ analysis to conclude... that the laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer constitutionally justified?” Baxter said in his dissent.

Gay marriage revolutionaries say they’re not attacking marriage but rather just seeking the same freedom that everyone else has. Perhaps Swingtown could serve as the poster city for that idea. It’s no coincidence that in a scene of a wild July 4th party, complete with drugs and an orgy, one woman extols the grandiosity of open marriage trying to convince her newfound friend that “opening our relationship was the best thing that ever happened.” Partygoers sang the National Anthem, and all of a sudden, lavishing the marital benefits of one’s spouse to another is just as American as apple pie.

Swingtown is made-up. But the legal fiction imposed by the California high court that marriage is whatever you want it to be has real consequences for our culture. Without the opposite sex requirement of marriage there’s no longer a logical basis against the number of participants (polygamy) open marriage (polyamory) and blood restrictions (adult incest).

California’s Supreme Four steam rolled the democratic process and along with it the self-evident truths that gender differences matter and contribute to healthy marriage; That children deserve to have their biological mothers and fathers raising them in the same home; And that man/woman marriage is foundational to social stability.

California judges can pretend that marriage is something other than one man and one woman all they want. But in order to keep up the charade, they’ll need to attend acting school to better convince the million-plus California voters who successfully petitioned to put the marriage amendment on the ballot this November.

If it passes, it will put an end to the sitcom called the California Supreme Court... and maybe its members will decide to take up law instead.

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