Government has Spoken: Male Wives, Female Husbands, Male Mothers
By Michael Brown
N.T. Wright is one of the most world’s foremost New Testament scholars, a sober-minded man not given to extreme rhetoric. Yet when it came to the question of redefining marriage, Wright did not hold back, explaining how dangerous it is to change the fundamental meaning of words:
When anybody — pressure groups, governments, civilizations — suddenly change the meaning of key words, you really should watch out. If you go to a German dictionary and just open at random, you may well see several German words which have a little square bracket saying ‘N.S.,’ meaning National Socialist or Nazi. The Nazis gave those words a certain meaning. In post-1917 Russia, there were whole categories of people who were called “former persons,” because by the Communist diktat they had ceased to be relevant for the state, and once you call them former persons it was extremely easy to ship them off somewhere and have them killed.
He continued, “It’s like a government voting that black should be white. Sorry, you can vote that if you like, you can pass it by a total majority, but it isn’t actually going to change the reality.”
That’s why I have often said that once you redefine marriage, you render it meaningless.
It would be like saying a couple can now consist of five people, or a pair can refer to one item, or a tricycle can have two wheels.
Redefining those terms doesn’t change reality, and when it comes to marriage, if you don’t have the two essential components, namely a husband and a wife, you don’t have marriage.
Consequently, if you change the fundamental meaning of marriage, you change the meaning of husband and wife as well.
As I pointed out last year in an article entitled, “I Now Pronounce You Spouse and Spouse,” as England began to move towards redefining marriage, the Daily Telegraph reported that, “The word ‘husband’ will in future be applied to women and the word ‘wife’ will refer to men, the Government has decided.”
According to John Bingham, “Civil servants have overruled the Oxford English Dictionary and hundreds years of common usage effectively abolishing the traditional meaning of the words for spouses.”
In the government’s proposed guidelines, “‘Husband’ here will include a man or a woman in a same-sex ‘marriage’, as well as a man married to a woman. In a similar way, ‘wife’ will include a woman married to another woman or a man married to a man.”
So, a man could be a wife if married to another man (or not), while a woman could be a husband if married to another woman (or not), all of which begs the question: Why use words at all if they have utterly lost their meaning?
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