Campus View

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Where's the sanctity?

Ny radar might possibly be a bit off, but it seems to me that President Bush may be a little confused about his orientation.

Yes, Bush may walk the walk and talk the talk. Still, he's been spotted on Pennsylvania Avenue sporting a fairly impressive Prada handbag - also known as the national purse. Rumor also has it he's been whipping out the credit card frivolously. Is he, or isn't he...


Rest assured my nosy Americans: Bush may indeed spend like a Democrat, but he's still the same ol' right-swinger we committed to a little over three years ago, now. That, or the stranger we woke up beside after one drunken and crazy night, depending on how you voted.

His conservativeness he staunchly confirmed to us, the American television-viewing audience, in his most recent State of the Union Address, wherein he discussed, among other things, the state of America's unions.

"A strong America must...value the institution of marriage," Bush said, referring to it as "one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization."

He then alluded to President Clinton's 1996 signing of the Congress-approved Defense of Marriage Act, a federal statute which defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman and declares that same-sex unions granted in one state need not be recognized in another.

"Activist judges," Bush continued, "have begun redefining marriage by court order without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives...."

And for the stinger: "Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage," Bush said, succeeded by resounding congressional applause...

On Nov. 18 of last year, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled four-to-three that the state's ban on homosexual marriage is unconstitutional and deferred the matter to the state legislature, prescribing a 180-day frame in which lawmakers must fix the problem.

For those of you following the lifestyles of the young, gorgeous, rich and famous, or tuned into the prime-time line-up, Bush is simply reiterating Britney Spears' value-laden statement to MTV: "I do believe in the sanctity of marriage, I totally do." Which followed the annulment of a well-publicized, Las Vegas-inspired 55 hours of holy matrimony.

"Sanctity?" What "sanctity" may you, George and Britney, be referring to? The kind that relegates courting to a game show? The engagement as business merger? Nuptials as the quickest route to celebrity-dom? Marriage as legalized prostitution?

The "sanctity" that abandons ship once the honeymoon phase is over and the cameras have moved to a new set? And the kind marketed to maximize Americans' idle viewing and gossiping pleasure?

Rarely do I see a "model" example I can cite.

Instead, the case for heterosexual marriage has gone a long way down the tubes largely because of the tube. Your "Joe Millionaire," "For Better or Worse," "Race to the Altar," "Average Joe" and "Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé" have depressed the state of the conjugal union. We may be very close to reawakening the dowry...

So taking his obliviously righteous cue, Bush has contracted DeBeers, and slipped one of the most mesmerizing promise rings on America's finger - a ring even more expensive, breathtaking and infamous than J. Lo's pink diamond. Bush's more massive rock goes by the price tag of $1.5 billion of taxpayer money, and will be used according to the "Healthy Marriage" initiative, a program which aims to fund couples counseling and pro-marriage ad campaigns for Americans "in need."

Critics, finding Bush's ring to be stereotypically custom-fitted for the poor and minority demographic, have unceremoniously left "Healthy Marriage" and shacked up with the more telling title "No Bride Left Behind."

Again, where indeed may civilization be heading? In the quest to return our "fundamentals," must we revert back in time? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

While we citizens ponder this very philosophical question, Bush knows exactly where he's going - to his other trendy shopping venue, NASA headquarters.

In this mall, $1.5 billion is mere pocket change to the gazillions of dollars he proposes to spend on exploratory missions to Mars. One-and-a-half billion dollars will afford him a minute-long ride on the mechanical space shuttle stationed near the building's entrance. Here he can live out his apparent childhood fantasy as space cowboy. And scream with unadulterated glee, "To Infinity and Beyond!"

No, you should not retrace your father's presidency. No, you can't reinitiate large-scale "protections" from terrorism vis-à-vis Reagan's Star Wars. And no - listen most carefully to this one - you can't resurrect the old European monarchy upon American soil.

Some innate and humble rights simply have to be provided for. By not doing so, America risks a wave of émigrés bound for Belgium and the Netherlands, where same-sex couples currently enjoy the same freedoms of their heterosexual peers...

That being said, step back into your ideological Delorean, Mr. President; come back to - and align with - America's future. Read a few books... for what lies within the cover. You may discover yourself to have judged too hastily and that perhaps you were misinformed.

Because if you were looking for eligible bachelors, you'd realize you wouldn't go looking for them on Mars, contrary to bestselling title.

More imperatively, you'd most likely come to find that the American Presidency and the Papacy make for mighty odd bedfellows.

- Angely Silvey writes for the Buena Vista University student newspaper, The Tack.