Sunday, February 28, 2016

David Brooks (the "virtue guy") opines about three lenses for marriage

David Brooks, author of “The Road to Character” (Books reviews, June 15, 2015) has an important essay on p A27 of the New York Times, Tuesday, February 23, 2015, “Three Views of Marriage”.

The three views, or “lenses”, are “psychological”, “romantic”, and “moral”.  The “psychological” would correspond to Paul Rosenfels and his ideas about psychological polarity and mating.  The “romantic” for many people would be a prerequisite to start any relationship:  the chemistry, even physical attraction, has to be there. I tend to feel that I lost that particular opportunity early in life. Brooks mentions the book and film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” (2001, John Madden)  as providing an example of how this process should work. The “moral” would serve a higher collective purpose of nurturing self-giving love, even higher than procreation.

I can’t help but wonder how these comments could affect same-sex marriage “equality” – and I put the comment here today rather on the LGBT blog.  Particularly of concern are the views of John Finnis, as explained in Wikipedia, as viewed by Andrew Sullivan.

In 2005, Paul Robinson, in a book “Queer Wars: The New Gay Right and Its Critics” wrote this "mouthful of words" about Finnis’s thinking:

"Homosexuality ... threatens the way straight couples need to understand the role of sex in their lives and its social implications. 'The deliberate genital coupling of persons of the sex is repudiated because  ... it treats human sexual capacities in a way which is deeply hostile to the self-understanding of those members of the community who are willing to commit themselves to real marriage in the understanding that the sexual joys are not mere instruments to, or mere compensations for, the accomplishment of marriage's responsibilities, but rather enable the spouses to actualize and experience their intelligent commitment to share in those responsibilities, in that genuine self-giving.' "

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