There is an Aesop fable about the grasshopper and the ant. The grasshopper fiddled away the warm days, while the ant toiled and worked. In the end, the ant survived the winter, while the grasshopper died. Some say the moral of that story is “work ethic,” such that work is hard, but necessary. That is one moral, but the unseen point is how we all have ant in us, just as we all have grasshopper in us.
That means it seems too cruel to see the grasshopper as lazy, because after all … he fiddled. He had obviously put some effort into learning to play the fiddle. Practice on a musical instrument is the work that must happen before one can play it. If the grasshopper had played the fiddle poorly, perhaps he would have put down the fiddle in disgust, and gotten up to help the ant work. Who knows?
Maybe the grasshopper’s fiddling made the ant’s work seem easier, as he listened to the music? One can assume that the grasshopper fiddled so well, he preferred playing the fiddle to working. Could it be that the music filled the grasshopper’s soul so much that he fantasized about making the world a better place? That my friends (the aha moment) is the dual meaning at the core of the fable. It is work versus play, with the dilemma being how one balances both, because an old adage says, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (B. Franklin).
We all love to play. Play time motivates us. It is that carrot on a string we all chase after. As born babies, once we learn there is a world outside the womb, we want to amuse ourselves. We reach and smile at the mobile over our cribs. Then, we love to play with toys, we look forward to going outside and play in yards and playgrounds, and we find friends with whom we can share play time. We want to play, play, play, and our parents tended to lean us in that play direction. It kept us out of the way while they got the work done.
In more recent times, parents have wanted their children to be afforded more play time, because they themselves never got much of an opportunity to play in their childhoods. There was that Depression thing. In the 1930’s, children were too often sent to the streets to beg, borrow and steal for survival. That’s work. Still, as a child I could see in movies, like those featuring the Our Gang kids, Depression era children found time to play baseball and pretend their clubhouse was a fortress to defend. Kids can make work into play, like trying to put on a “penny opera” with Darla and Alfalfa. If only adult life could be more play.
The point of all that history is our society used to see work as that chore that HAD to be done, and play as that optional aspect of life that was a luxury. Once we grew up and became old enough to be assigned chores and duties, we were slowly being weened from that play time habit. School became our jobs, and as high school neared an end, we all went out and found some type of real work that paid for our labors. Once school was over and done, play always came after all the work was finished. That goes along with being all grown up and being called “adults.”
Today, things have not changed. Work still is a must for all adults, but perceptions about adult play have changed. Being able to play is more representative of having “made it” in the world. Adults now play on I-phones as much as children do. We play on Wi and Nintendo computer games, because it is harder to find time to go to a ball field or bowling alley. We play by watching games of sports play on television, or we play by going to an actual game, to watch grown people play sports for pay. Instead of someone having to work all the time, one who has it made can “fiddle away time” playing, letting others do all the real work. It is all about how much money you make as an adult, and who can afford to play and who can’t.
Play time is seen now as the time of the rich and famous, simply because everything cost so much these days. If one can take the time to play, then one must be well off. Those in the world who have not quite made it to the point of being a lucky lottery winner, Internet website magnate, or inventor who created a product that sold millions at Wal-mart, those “normal” people have to keep on working. Their “play time” is used up sitting in front of a television, idolizing pretenders who have been lucky enough to make play their specialty work. Seeing so much play has almost stopped normal people from praying to God, asking Him to send them the blessing that is an opportunity to work. People have started praying to idols again, wishing to some day have the same easy, play-play-play lifestyle as the rich and famous.
The problem with that mentality is (if you still cannot see it for yourself) it makes a society weak, as a whole. Too many grasshoppers and not enough ants is a bad thing, and why the moral of Aesop’s fable is about building a good work ethic. It sets us up for the hard winter that is always coming, the one that is always too soon in the future to take the risk of playing, avoiding the drudgery of work. There never really is a good time to stop working, because normal people have never stored enough away to survive for long, if one takes off work to play.
To dream of playing all day long is to lose sight of that survival goal. Play time is useless if there is not someone doing the work for us. Children would die if their parents did nothing but play in the sandbox with them all day, doing nothing to bring home the bacon. No matter how much fantasy one loves to wrap oneself in, the cold, hard reality is work must be done, first and foremost … always.
Now, turn your attention to a current political issue that is one of our fantasy hot buttons – gay marriage. One has to see this issue for what it really is. It is a society that only wants to play. It is an argument over whether or not those who want to pretend to be married (playing married) should be allowed to play that serious work as a game.
Marriage is all about work, because it only has a little to do with sex, and a whole lot to do with child rearing. That is to say we have long ago entered into times when too many people have lost sight of that primary requirement that says what marriage really means. It is not about two people playing together the rest of their lives (play = sex), it is about a commitment to have babies and raise them till they drop dead from so much work doing that.
Because that meaning has been long lost, people have seen marriage in selfish ways. They have seen it only about a husband and wife in a contractual agreement, with kids one of those items that get split up when it is no longer fun playing with that old partner. The disappearance of the true meaning of marriage began when married couples (all heterosexual) started divorcing in such high numbers that children saw marriage as nothing serious. The children felt how divorce is impossible for them, because they are the ones who are married to the parents, and thus the true meaning of marriage.
Children are now becoming adults with the opinion that marriage can only lead to divorce. Because children have the innate understanding that “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage,” marriage is to be avoided just to save the children who are the victims of divorce. The reason marriage has suffered over the past half-century, or more, is marriage has been seen as only as being between a husband and wife, and not, most importantly, between parents and children.
Without children defining a marriage, the word has taken on the misrepresentation as being some institution for play, where “marriage” is only a union of a man who loves woman, and vice versa. Without a pledge to love, honor, conceive, and support children, “marriage” has long been seen as only lasting as long as woman excites man, and vice versa, which means, “as long as two people can have fun playing together, a marriage works.” Divorce is when two people lose that play time fun.
That definition is wrong. That misconception has had people start to think “marriage” means a lifetime promise to stay with one partner, through thick and thin, with some high financial punishments if the two partners ever decide to call it quits. That is not “marriage,” but a business contract. Gay people see the failures of the institution that is marriage as their opportunity to show the world that gay people can just as committed to a partnership as can opposite-sex couples. That, my friends, is seeing how two wrongs make a right.
Being gay, as long as that means being homosexual (notice the “sexual” part of that word), means being more driven by one’s own urges for sex. It says, “Look at me. I am identified by my love of sexual play.” When people make a point of having the world know they are heterosexual (again, notice the “sexual” part of that word) they too are more driven by their urges for sex, only they like to have sex with the opposite sex. That, again, says, “Look at me. I am identified by my love of sexual play.” “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is all about, “Shut up and get to work. Nobody cares what you do during your play time.”
Sex is never work, not even for prostitutes. It is playing for money, which is like pretending to be someone you are not, while letting people see you pretend, and charging them money for that (athletes, actors, singers, etc. – writers too, if they can make money). As long as one is a human being, and not an animal following pure instinctual behavior, sex is an optional pleasure if it is not for the purpose of making babies. Sex is always play for those beings who God blessed with a mind that can experience erotic delights while procreating. Man (and Woman, when not busy taking care of the kids), unlike Animal, has sex because it is play, actually fearing pregnancy.
Simply because people reach an age when hormones set off sexual urges does not mean they are not playing. Think about it … where do you think the saying “playing with yourself” comes from? Sex, after all is said and done, is always about self satisfaction, thus the eternal question, “How was it for you?”
If one has any knowledge of Biblical stories, look at the story of Abraham and Sarah (or Abram and Sarai). Sarai was so hot, even in her late seventies, that three times VIP’s tried to take her and have sex with her, thinking she was not married. The reason those intelligent rulers thought that was because she had born no children. Someone that beautiful was meant to be “with child.” Abraham was willing, each time, to let another man take his wife and leave him all alone. He was not willing to make that sacrifice because he was a wussy, but because he agreed with the end result – no children means two are not really married yet. Abraham thought maybe it was him that was keeping Sarai from having a baby, and perhaps he was shooting blanks, while she was not the “barren” one. Abraham thought that because the true definition of marriage says it is for the purpose of having babies to raise. Without babies linking two sexual partners together, the two sexual partners are only players.
Keeping with that story line from Genesis, after Sarah miraculously had baby Isaac (name means “Laughter,” from the joy of childbirth), when he was a year old Sarah saw Ishmael (Abraham’s first born, through the Egyptian maidservant, Hagar, given to him by the Pharoah) “playing” with baby Isaac. Sarah told Abraham; and Abraham had Hagar and Ishmael sent away. Why? It was because the Hebrew word that can mean “playing” (some translate it to say “mocking”) actually means “sexually touching.”
Abraham sent Ishmael and his mother away because Isaac was God’s promise to Abraham, the son who was going to be the father of the promised land people (Jacob/Israel). Abraham certainly did not need to have any sexual distractions around Isaac, especially one who had been witnessed experiencing strong sexual urges (natural and hormonal, as a teen) and one who had thought it would be okay to practice “playing sex” on a minor of the same sex. Abraham and Sarah saw how such an influence and experience could possibly make Isaac grow up liking men more than women; and because sex is such a selfish experience, they were worried that if Isaac were to be allowed to play sex too much with those of the same sex, he might never find excitement in one of the opposite sex. After all, that would be whom he would have to sire the child who would become the father of a nation of people.
In short, sex is fun when you do it – period – because play is always fun. Making babies is the fun part of a married relationship, but raising babies is work, commitment, and responsibility. Two people of the opposite sex can be in a committed relationship and not have babies, but as Abraham and Sarah demonstrated – that is not truly marriage. That applies to all married couples of the opposite sex, whether too busy working to make sex play for planned procreation, or for barren couples who are too old or too physically impaired to have children, or for divorced parents who have “bagged their limits,” along with the financial punishments of divorce having made it impossible for them to have more. This means marriage cannot be defined by “sterile relationships.” While two can now marry simply because being of the opposite sex makes it POSSIBLE to have babies, same sex partners means that result is IMPOSSIBLE.
Simply by adding the word “gay” to the word “marriage,” one has turned work (marriage) into a play (announced sexuality) issue. If it were possible for two people of the same sex to have a natural born child (i.e.: through oral or anal sex, which, btw is not possible), then once that baby appeared, the “gay” times would be over. It would then be time to raise a child with the influence of “father” and “mother” surrounding the baby’s life, teaching it how to become “married” when it reached it age of maturity and responsibility.
Of course, people have always played sex, and that includes playing sex with one’s self, and playing sex with someone of the same sex. However, when two young people of the opposite sex play sex and the female player gets pregnant, then it was time for the boy player to marry the girl player. Everyone is familiar with the term “shotgun wedding,” I’m sure. That was an act done so that two opposite sex players are forced to learn the real reason for “marriage.” Be fruitful and multiply, but once you start having babies, you best hang around and teach them how to be responsible adults, with a good work ethic, knowing that play comes after work.
Certainly, I know the “gay” people of the world do not like seeing themselves as grasshoppers, who hop from one same sex organ to another same sex organ, where life is all about play. In reality, I imagine there is more heterosexual grass-hopping going on (even among married men and women), which is not a representation of marriage, but a representation of the society wanting to play, play, play. To somehow justify that need to play without the guilt of never being responsible for raising a natural born child, sterile people (as defines a gay couple, et al mentioned above, but also two using birth controls) like the idea of child adoption.
Married couples of the opposite sex, many of whom are sterile and cannot conceive naturally, often seek the adoption option. Child adoption is something that is so much work, the child services people have a hard time giving up an adopted to a single parent. Thus, gay people see adoption as a way to force an issue towards marriage for gays. All gay couples would naturally become a place for adopted ones, simply because they cannot have children naturally.
Again, that mindset sees “marriage” as meaning some formal contractual agreement to stay together and only play sex with the same person, “till death do us part.” To prove it, we will adopt a child and look more like true married people. That is a modern concept that is as wrong as is idol worship and fantasizing about never having to work again, so one can do nothing but play-play-play. True marriage is between two opposite-sex partners, who are contractually committed to having natural babies, and also committed to raise their children until they die. To turn “marriage” into some kind of I.R.S. designation for financial considerations is wrong. All who live in committed relationship for a full tax year, and all who work to support children during a full tax year should be recognized as such by the I.R.S. However, they need to add a new box that says, “Significant relationship,” or something like that, rather than further abort the meaning of “marriage.”
Turning “marriage” into any partnership is simply doing more disrespect to a true institution. If any changes are to be made, make it clear that a “marriage” ceremony can only be done once the “bun is in the oven,” and then wed the child to the parents in a religious ceremony. Each parent needs to acknowledge they are making their commitment together as husband and wife, specifically for the purpose of being father and mother. All say, “I do” to the baby.
I have two children that have lived together for 20-plus years, in close proximity and in not so close proximity. They will always be brother and sister. They have that responsibility born into them. They can never divorce themselves from that responsibility, because it is a way of nature that can never be overturned. There is no need for a signed contract that binds both of them to being responsible for one another, “till death do them part.” Even if they hate one another (and they appear to feel that way towards each other from time to time), they can never walk away from that birth relationship, which also links them forever to the birth father and the birth mother. That is the relationship that truly marks a marriage.
Any partnership that cannot bear physical babies (vaginal, from a momma’s womb, where the daddy’s donation was placed lovingly while at play) is impossible to be truly a marriage. This does not include artificial insemination where someone other than the husband and wife contributes either eggs or sperm, transgenders where one is calling oneself “male,” while retaining a vagina with some appendage, or adoption. It means the husband’s DNA is combined with the wife’s DNA, in holy matrimony. That marriage is a child.
Now you can call a couple of gay lover’s binding agreement a marriage, or two retirement home geezers tying the knot so they can move into the same apartment a marriage, but seeing the sterility of those unions, what keeps one from calling a signed contract (loan agreement) for a new 2012 BMW 7 series a marriage? All can be seen as commitments that accept high levels of responsibility, which makes one or both parties involved work very hard to support a plaything. But, plaything unions will only last as long as it is fun to play with that partner. When the fun of play wears off, it is time to look for another playmate. Fortunately, if two “sterile” partners split ways, then no one gets hurt other than those two. After all, there will never be any babies to worry about finding a home for any of those examples.
To think that adoption makes two people married is wrong, in a technical sense. Having someone else’s child to raise is like being someone who runs a service for lost children. One can love a child like his or her own, and the child can love the adoptive parents the same, but “like” means “I wish I had one of my own.” Since the adopted is always someone else’s real child, that someone else (for whatever reason short parental death) decided to play rather than be responsible for a natural born baby. (In cases involving incest or rape, with a child placed for adoption, one sexual party played abusively, while the other was sexually abused.)
To take a baby in and love it is a very good thing, but it is not a marriage. Think about how many mothers have gven up their “out of wedlock” babies for their mothers or aunts to raise as their own? Those surrogates accept a baby without going through the marriage process, even though they do all the work of raising a child without government recognition. They are simply doing good deeds. Everyone knows a baby cannot take care of itself, and it needs a loving home to grow up in.
We Christians are taught to love everyone as ourselves, so the whole world is to be loved. That does not require one become married to the whole world. As close as adoptive parents can be to someone else’s natural born child, (from what I know and have read) the child, once it knows he or she is adopted, always wants to know who his parents are (or were). The child also wants to know why the parents did not stick around to raise him or her, after having been married to him or her through natural childbirth. They want to be told why that responsibility seemed like too much work.
As weak as our society has become today, to become gay marriage grasshoppers is just another sign of a moral end coming. A cold, hard winter is approaching, and there is not enough stored away to survive more destruction to the word “marriage.” If we allow “gay marriage” to be recognized legally as normal now, those who want this law to be raised in celebration will not cease wanting to have more of their ways made law. The next step will be to begin the process for making a Constitutional Amendment that will recognize “gay marriage” as a norm of American society. Once that process is complete, I see a natural end coming to America, within seventy years.
Under the “give them an inch and they will take a mile” heuristic rule, legalizing “gay marriage” will be like giving homosexuality a national vote of support. Young people will quite possibly see same sex play as the “en vogue” way to have fun, to fiddle without a worry in the world. If the economy worsens, no one will be able to afford to have children, so not taking any chances would be encouraged. We would have to teach elementary school students exactly what Ismael was trying to teach Isaac, but rather than banish that form of “playing,” teachers would probably show some form of gay porn as “instructional videos.” To have nothing but oral and anal sex seen as the way to have an ideal marriage, no babies will ever be born again. If we then go demanding mandatory birth controls for those fools who just might still practice opposite-sex-play sex (God forbid!), and if we make it perfectly legal to gut any woman who is “with child” (certainly unwanted, because child birth will not be “en vogue“), then all Americans will have sterilized themselves into extinction. If that day does come, the end is well-deserved and self-serving. How fitting an end, as the fiddler plays himself to death one more time.
This Opinion Editorial was written by Robert Tippett. To respond, he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Tippett also has a website, www.katrinapearls.com.