March 1, 2004
Three Grafs of Goodness
All hail the BoGlo Ideas section!
Sunday brought us three grafs on multicultural marriage by Joshua Glenn.
The middle graf:
According to a statement from the executive board of the 11,000-member American Anthropological Association, more than a century of cross-cultural anthropological research provides “no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution.” Instead, anthropologists have concluded that “a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.”
Now, I — as someone who is perhaps too credulous of basically all claims originating at a university — think this sounds totally legit. I can imagine some people taking issue with the spirit of this statement, though:
“People tend to rank their own culture as best, but anthropologists try to take a broader view,” said Brumfiel.
Uncharitable translation: Anthropologists are amoral relativists with no values. None.
I am not qualified to comment on the issue of cultural or moral relativity. I am, however, qualified to give props to the BoGlo for their continued excellent use of nugget-sized stories in the Ideas section. Three grafs is all you need, baby!