Acknowledging Reasonable Commitments


Promises are commitments that are frequently made before the full range of possibilities are known, especially when the ‘minds eye’, is distracted by anxiety.  External pressures lead to some movement, hopefully unaffected by subjective fear, encouraging a path that does not include procrastination.

Moral judgements can affect the type of alternatives  perceived and the extent of those that remain invisible, since many options will not be noticed until the psyche allows,  just another reason to cultivate  sharp observation for what exists in the surroundings. Adding more information can increase the odds for making better choices by clarifying  existing blind spots.

Right or wrong has little to do with good or bad, effected more by interpretation based on learned upbringing and cultural background influenced by emotion. Ethics requires credible logic with diligent  reasoning, a more important factor when defining the position taken while  faced with a moral dilemma.

Ideally, marriage for example, was originally conceived as a religious institution based on a pledge intended for the duration of life, based on  how one feels at the time its proposed. A commitment binding one to another until death. However somewhere along the line, divorce and annulment became  a political tool to deal with a change of feelings that occurs over time.

In the past, social constraints on women have stressed the need for marriage because for them, options were limited and inhibitions were placed on their citizenship that influenced personal opportunities in favor of men. However, as barriers fall and changing circumstances alter conditions by balancing the playing field, perhaps women will become less willing to bind themselves to perpetual unalterable commitments, relegating reproduction as lower on the list of priorities to justify marriage.

Although biology has defined physical differences between men and women, culture and society have varying expectations of husbands and wife’s, assuming we are talking about heterosexual marriage. Even then, the question arises, is social maturity defined by whether one is prepared to commit to a future shaped by events that is not possible to know, or feelings that will motivate judgment in the future differently?

When secular governments point to the equality of partners as fundamental proof of equal citizenship, they cannot then create a legal imbalance in favor of one group over the other by using  religious doctrine to justify it, since the purpose of a secular government is to eliminate favoring one faith over the other  by finding the balance between ethics and universal religious principles that are inclusive,  especially when faced with the issue of same sexed marriage.

Since the US Constitution makes no mention of committed unions, it’s irrelevant to citizenship and cannot then be used by government to justify restricting the benefits of equal citizens  based on  a majority plebicite influenced by the religious right,  such as in Proposition 8 in California.

Although committed unions are for example not mentioned in the Federal constitution, the economic benefits afforded married citizens  are glaring, nor can any democratic  government justify denying some groups from those same advantages while acknowledging them to others.

Perhaps secular societies should eliminate the term marriage altogether and replace it with civil partnership, affording everyone equal rights and make all the divorce lawyers happy. Religions can do what they want as long as they make no attempts to infringe of the rights created by secular society.