In “Dearly Beloved” (2006), Cal Thomas argues that gay marriage should be illegal for the “betterment of society. ” He supports his argument by asserting that same-sex couples use the political system to their own advantage and sue those that discriminate against them, such as religious groups and employers. Thomas states, “If same-sex ‘marriage’ is allowed, no one will ever be able to say ‘no’ to anything again. ” His purpose is to not legalize gay marriage in order to preserve the traditional ways of marriage and not “lose our moral sense.
He employs an array of language techniques such as metaphor, juxtaposition, and antithesis to enhance his argument. He attempts to persuade those who are against gay marriage or want to be informed with an exaggerated tone. Thomas begins his essay with a quotation from the traditional Christian Bible for marriage ceremony. He uses the quote to state that tradition marriage is being destroyed because of same-sex marriage. Then he asserts that gay-marriage is a new trend that will pass and that in every new trend that comes we “lose our moral sense. In addition, he believes that same-sex couples have been using the political system to their advantage to achieve their goal even though their cry for legal marriage has been defeated in court numerous times.
He indicates that religious groups would be sued for “discrimination. ” To supports his argument, he uses a lawsuit case in which a an adaptation agency, Catholic Charities, was sued for refusing to allow “foster children with same-sex couples. Furthermore, he uses another case in which a polygamist in Utah filed a lawsuit to allow him to marry more than one wife, to assert the assumption that “if same-sex marriage is allowed, no one will ever be able to say ‘no’ to anything again. ” Throughout the essay, Thomas uses an exaggerated tone and appeals to authority, emotion, and logic to persuade his readers.
He appeals to tradition and attempts to establish a connection with his beginning statement: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight of God and before these witnesses to join this man and this woman in holy matrimony. He attempts to invoke a sense of outrage as he states that “now we are told such exclusivity of preserving marriage for men and women ‘discriminates’ against people of the same-sex who wish to ‘marry’ each other. ” He uses a sarcastic tone as he says that he “might as well have stated the equally obvious that the sun rises on the east. ” Moreover, he appeals to logic as he mentions that opinion polls show that the country is split between those who are against or for gay marriage.
He also appeals to emotion of infuriation when he explains that “people whose believes about marriage are founded on religious doctrine can expect lawsuits accusing them of ‘discrimination’ should they refuse to hire someone who is ‘married’ to a person of the same-sex. ” Thomas invokes a feeling of surprise and anger as he presents information of ministers in other countries being prohibited from voicing their opinion on same-sex practice and the Catholic Charities, an adaptation agency, being threatened to “lose their state license to operate the agency if they did not adhere to the law” of placing foster children with same-sex couples.
In the end, he attempts to instill fear with his gloomy and exaggerated tone that “no one will ever be able to say ‘no’ to anything again” if gay marriage is legalized. Through his use of language techniques, Thomas develops an argument that endeavors to define marriage and that endeavors to discriminate against gay marriage on the bases that it destroys the institution of marriage, society, and religion. Thomas uses a series of analogies through similes and metaphors to convey his purpose.
For instance, he deduces that “we lose our moral sense, which, like an immune system, was established to protect us from cultural, as well as biological viruses. ” By establishing this connection, he is making the argument that our moral sense will protect us from “biological viruses” meaning AIDS and impurities. He uses metaphor when he states that same-sex couples “would melt the glue of marriage. ” He does not mean literally melt anything, but that it would shatter the institution of marriage.
In addition, he employs juxtaposition and antithesis to install fear in those who are against gay marriage. For example, he uses a short-long sentence juxtaposition as he states, “It won’t stop there. People whose believes about marriage are founded on religious doctrine can expect lawsuits accusing them of ‘discrimination’ should they refuse to hire someone who is ‘married’ to a person of the same-sex. ” His claim of lawsuits has the effect of installing fear. He ends with an antithesis which also has the effect of frightening the reader as well as audience. When there is no ‘no’ to any behavior, then there must be ‘yes’ to every behavior. ”
Thomas uses an array of techniques to enhance his argument against gay marriage in order for the audience to understand that “some forms of discrimination are good, because they send a signal and provide an example that certain behaviors are to be preferred over other behaviors for the betterment of society. ” At times, he exaggerates his beliefs and prospective and he also makes claims and predictions. However, he supports his argument with lawsuits.