Robert George: Marriage Ain't Just Tennis Partners

Visiting Harvard professor Robert George in trying to get down to basics on the issue of marriage recently said that marriage is “not two people who are just tennis partners."

As a bit of an aside I might add that marriage may be anything but tennis partners. I tried playing tennis with my wife once. It didn't work out well at all. My wife and I were playing another couple. It didn't go well. She clearly didn't understand her responsibilities and she clearly thought I was a bit of a ball hog (which I wouldn't have been if she'd understood her responsibilities but that stays between you and I.)

But the thing George and co-authors of the new book "What is Marriage?" Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson do especially well is ask the right question:
CNS News reports:
“As soon as you ask a proponent of same-sex marriage, ‘Well, what do you think marriage is?” They are at a loss,” Girgis, a Ph. D. student at Princeton University, said. “’I know you think it includes same-sex relationships, but what is it such that it includes any two people in love but no other forms of consensual relationships?’”

“Not three people,” George said. “Not two people who are just tennis partners.”

“And as soon as you do that you immediately clear the brush for all the bad arguments, the arguments that don’t actually get anywhere, like equality, which is just circular and all the rest, and you’ve now got the foundational topic,” Girgis said. “And the fact is that the wisdom and experience of our 10,000 years of civilization has a much better answer to that question than the last 40 years of the sexual revolution.”
It's a great way to turn the argument around. Don't defend marriage. Make them propose a proper definition. I doubt they'd be able to do it.

My only concern is that I'm just not sure why he had to use tennis in an argument about gay "marriage" when soccer was available.

*subhead*Asking the right question.*subhead*


  1. Well, you know, soccer (volley or baseball, it would be better for me) would be about polygamy or polyamorous. Polygamy in tennis is not tennis.

  2. Thank you, Pedro Erik, I was about to make the same point.

    However, the line made me laugh anyway.

  3. I take it your wife does not read your blog...?

  4. He might be visiting Harvard, but he really belongs to Princeton University (says a proud Princeton University employee).

  5. Dean,
    My wife rarely reads the blog. So I'm taking a little bit of a chance. But not much of one. She figures she's heard all my jokes and positions, she doesn't need to see them written down somewhere.

  6. Priceless picture. You and Patrick make a fine lookin' duo...

  7. Dominance: Sovereign persons do not perpetrate any form of dominance toward another sovereign soul. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI is the Servant of the Servants of God. Homosexual practitioners dominate one another as though they had no rational, immortal human soul. The North American Man Boy Love Association, as the name implies, exists only to deny a minor child informed sexual consent and spiritual maturity, attributes of the human soul, only identifiable at emancipation. The enactment and enforcement of laws against any opinion contrary to complete dominance by homosexual practitioners are labeled “hate speech”. Currently there is a petition under to label the Catholic Church as a “hate group” because Holy Scripture says: “You will not lay with a man as with a woman” in Leviticus, the book of laws. Catholic Chaplains in the armed forces may not and are prohibited from reading such a verse even though our First Amendment clearly states that Congress, the will of the people, may not “prohibit the free exercise thereof.”
    As civil rights, this dominance has been codified in several states and will force every citizen to observe this law, especially minor children in public school who have not yet attained informed sexual consent, may not opt out, and are a captive audience.
    In a recent video, in a low and subdued voice, almost subliminal suggestion, Obama claims to be “like Jesus.” Wish that he were.
    Without the acknowledgement of their rational, immortal human soul, it is those of the homosexual agenda who refuse to acknowledge our Creator, and who are the “hate group”.

  8. It's unfortunate that people do not witness the truly loving commitments made by same-sex couples.

  9. Dogen222: The homosexual partner denies his soul and the soul of his partner. Love does not condemn another person to hell. Friendship does not condemn another soul to hell. Citizenship does not deny another citizen the acknowledgement of God and his rational soul. I would like to see "truly loving commitments made by same sex couples" to the victims of their scandal, otherwise it would be better for such a one to tie a millstone around his neck and be drowned in the depts of the sea.

  10. dogen222 you mised the point of the article. What if I make a truly loving commitment with my mother after my father dies, since we only have each other? Are we married? Should we get married?
    What about three, four or a hundred people? Can they get married if they love each other? Why two? What makes the number two so special? Yes, two people can procreate, but only when it's a man and a woman.


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