Oh the horror of it all

    Let us pause today to discuss the sanctity of marriage. As a married man of long standing (my wife does not let me sit much when I am at home), I do not want to boast. I do not want to convey a more-sanctified-than-thou attitude with my moral wedded superiority.

    But, of course, it’s true. When I take the bags out to the trash — the essential task of the husband in the traditional marriage — a beam of light extends down from heaven to trace my sainted footsteps. This impresses the neighbors. Even the dog barks appreciatively.

    My obvious holiness is due to the fact I am a man and my wife is a woman _ and that is all that is necessary. Moreover, that is how it is supposed to be and has been forever. As we veterans of wedded bliss know, a marriage often seems like it has gone on forever.

    Not only am I man, but I am a very manly man. I hardly ever wear tights. If I were to visit a lumberjack camp, the lumberjacks would say to each other, “Who is that manly fellow over there with the iron-gray mustache that resembles an eyebrow come down for a drink?”

    Did I mention that we have perfect kids? Admittedly, they do like to put expensive purchases on our credit cards, but they only do this as a patriotic gesture to help the national economy. To be sure, they are not doing much for our family economy, but that can be forgiven because we are all perfect and bluebirds nest in our mailbox.

    As you know, all traditional American married couples are like us. All I am doing here is presenting a picture of the nuclear family. There is Father, who rules the house, and Mother, who rules Father, and the kids who are often off the reservation entirely.

    The nuclear family is called nuclear because it is apt to detonate from time to time and when that happens everything is radioactive for a while. But, really, what is a bit of creative sulking, bickering and general name-calling between married heterosexuals?

    Families are the fundamental building blocks of society. Without them, where would we be? Why, for one thing, psychotherapists would be out of business. Divorce lawyers would have to stand in the street with signs that say: “Will litigate for food.”

    The glory of the family can be best understood at Thanksgiving. After a feast of turkey and all the trimmings, what member of an American family has not fondly surveyed the glorious scene of misfits, eccentrics and strange relatives and said to himself: “I see Uncle Reg is straining the gravy through his mustache again.” Yes, only the traditional family unit is equipped to contain these weird people and deny any hint of wrongdoing.

    It’s all threatened, of course. Gay people now want to get married to share in this perfect lifestyle. Obviously, the sanctity would drain out of marriage like a car tire with a leak. Numerous serially married celebrities have not destroyed marriage, but gays could do it because they are known to have more flair than the rest of us.

    But how exactly will gays threaten traditional marriage? That is a good question, but only in the sense that no one has a good answer.

    In ignoring the question, we need to heed our most prominent moral leaders, i.e., our politicians. Just because they are shifty characters you wouldn’t lend a dollar to unless it was attached to a string, doesn’t mean they can’t thunder like Old Testament prophets.

    In such sacred precincts as the U.S. Congress and the Pennsylvania Legislature, anti-gay marriage constitutional amendments are being pushed. We are so lucky the country has no other problems.

    Why can’t we all agree that America needs a return to traditional values? An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, capital punishment for everything (including cell phone use in movie theaters), no divorce, no overt flirting, no gambling, no drinking and no professional sports on Sundays to keep the Sabbath holy.

    Are you up for it, my fellow Americans? Me neither. So let’s just ban gay marriage and feel good about ourselves. Let’s do it quickly because lately, when I’ve been taking out the trash like a good husband, I’ve got the uneasy feeling that the beam of light from heaven may just be a streetlight in the alley.

    (Reg Henry can be reached at rhenry(at)post-gazette.com.)