Last Saturday two of my friends got married.  I always get emotional at such times, though not quite the way people might think.  Panic and fear.  Excitement and elation.  Confusion and bafflement.

See, whenever two people make that conscious commitment to each other public, these are the sorts of things I hear:

  • “We’re going to defeat the entire Dark Destroyer army by ourselves—with a stick of chewing gum.”
  • “We’ve decided to fly on a rocket straight through the sun—and not break a sweat.”
  • “We’ll be, you know, rescuing the earth from the erupting super volcano—by eating hamburgers.”

Oh my goodness, my friends are going to rescue the earth!  Uh, won’t flying through the sun be a little like suicide?  How are they going to defeat an army with chewing gum?  My brain hurts!

Not that they should be saying something else.  This is marriage, the supreme ordeal of doom! We aren’t talking about a love affair, which is all about the fun (and once it stops being fun the gig is up).  We’re talking about epic quest stuff here, not mass entertainment stuck in the infantile view of relationship.

See, when two people take each other as their center, all other things are secondary.  Family, friends, communities, religions, governments, and corporations—all get second place.  That’s unacceptable—not only does it deny the obedience that is rightly owed some of these temporal authorities, but it absolutely destroys all other personal relationships.

This is often portrayed as the “ball and chain” in popular entertainment.  That crazy marriage has wrecked all the fun!  Don’t those two people realize they have to live in the real world?

So rituals exist to connect this unnatural act back to the rest of the world.  One’s allegiance is channeled back into the institutions of authority and privilege, lest people start getting ideas.  That they can, you know love another person and sacrifice themselves to that person regardless of suffering, regardless of death?

If that isn’t a harrowing adventure, big dude quest to save the world, I don’t know what is.

Can’t have any of that.  Must control the scope of the act so that only certain means of expression are allowed.  Only properly ordained types of people can be allowed recognition, because to grant even imposed rights upon any subset is to ultimately allow it for all.  This act must be controlled, sanctified by proper channels, and made into a sacred institution (that is, “safe” for local consumption).

In other words, the moral act of commitment is so dangerous it must be controlled.  Because God forbid these people actually start completing any of these impossible tasks.  Others might be inspired by them to jump into their own crazy act of unnatural disobedience.