I’ve been reluctant to address the issue of “gay marriage” but I don’t feel that I can in good conscience continue to do so. It is time, in the immortal words of W.C. Fields, to take the bull by the tail and face the situation. I propose to address two issues, political expediency and cultural survival.
Recently it has become the ‘in’ thing for politicians to ‘evolve’ into an acceptance of same sex marriage, including, to my amazement, Republican politicians. In a way I am not surprised to find Republican politicians ‘evolving’ in step with their Democratic brethren. 160 years ago the newly founded Republican Party was at the vanguard of the abolitionist movement and was the political embodiment of social and cultural change. That was a change that grew out of one of America’s great awakenings, and arose spontaneously and organically in the public consciousness. It had its foundations in the principles of Christian religion and the Constitution. It set about rectifying the fundamental injustice of slavery and removing the contradiction that slavery is to the principles of individual liberty The same sex marriage movement has tried to draw the same mantle around itself but is fact the product of a massive agitprop campaign to foist on Americans something that is both alien and repugnant to us.
In every instance in which same sex marriage has been put on the ballot it has failed to pass and failed decisively. If the proposition cannot pass muster with the electorate it is certainly not going to pass muster with the base of the Republican Party which tends to be not only more fiscally conservative but more socially conservative than the population in general. Because the proponents of same sex marriage have access to and are supported by the main stream media there is favorable mention of it everywhere and any opposition is either denounced, derided or ignored. Anyone with no memory of elections past would legitimately think that the absence of same sex marriage was a burning injustice and that the stones themselves were crying out for remedy. Not so.
In embracing this issue Republican politicians have transparently done so as a matter of political expediency, hitching themselves to the presumably rising star of the hot issue of the day. In doing so they have not only traduced their own values but betrayed the values of their base. They suppose that by embracing the currently fashionable trend they will distinguish themselves from their political rivals and so gain the approval of a majority of the voters. Unfortunately for them, and tragically for the Republican Party, no politician can gain office while repudiating the base. The same is true for political parties. I will submit for your consideration, gentle reader, that if the Republican Party continues to repudiate the base it will soon become one with the dodo bird and the Whigs.
Were marriage no more than a delectable sentimental fashion accessory designed lend the perfect air of gravitas and publicly validated ardor to a torrid romance I would have no problem with the so-called gay marriage. Marriage is not that, however. It is in principle the primary, indeed preeminent means by which children are brought into the world, reared in relative security and stability and socialized into the culture that surrounds them and in which they will most likely spend their lives. Every child has the right in principle to share in the love of one man (father) and one woman (mother) whose commitment to each other provides the foundation for the child’s understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman in the world and what the relationship between them is. Same sex unions fail at the outset on the first count, procreation. They fail on the diverse role model (which is especially difficult for boys who have a greater need for fathers as models and guides than do girls). Finally, they fail in that children raised by same sex couples are not as well adjusted to society as their heterogenic peers. The evidence in support of these propositions is overwhelming.
Years ago we were told that what gay people really wanted was simply acceptance as human beings. This was always there, but we stopped calling them names and started calling them gay (that was as great a public relations triumph like Democrats becoming blue and Republicans red). Then we were told that all they wanted was civil unions which would give them functionally identical rights as hetero married couples. This was given and here we are again with a very small fraction of the population (3-4%) demanding that everybody else change the culture to suit them. Now it is even presented as a civil right, as if homosexuals previously had no right to matrimony. What nonsense! Everyone has the right to marry within the definition of marriage and the laws of consanguinity, and plenty have done so. I have known (not in the Biblical sense, I hasten to assure you!) homosexual men (note that the ‘homo’ in ‘homosexual’ is the Greek ‘homo’ (meaning ‘same’), not the Roman ‘homo’ (meaning ‘man’)) who struggled to be faithful husbands to their wives and good fathers to their children. These men I support and encourage.These men I honor. Same for homosexual women who struggle to be faithful wives and good mothers.
Why would that be, I wonder, this continual pushing of the envelope? Equality? Were that so everyone who labeled anyone who opposed ‘same sex marriage’ “homophobe,” “hater” or “antediluvian troglodyte” would have the law hailed down on them as does anyone today who utters a homosexual slur, dares raise their voice in opposition, does not sufficiently lionize or acquiesce to the gay mystique and the ever changing rules for ever more “inclusiveness.” This isn’t about equality. It’s about transgression and forcing everybody else to applaud that transgression under pain of legal consequences. Archbishop Chaput is worth quoting here: Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be.
This is just another step down the slipper slope to a further and ever further erosion of Western Civilization, which, ironically, is the only one in which proponents of homosexual rights are not only tolerated, but protected and celebrated. The family has long been known to be the foundation of civilization. Across history societies have codified laws support and protect that foundation, knowing that without it they would collapse. There are those who argue that all our institutions have become so corrupt and debased that they are hardly worth the effort to defend. Whereas it is true the Gramscian long march through the culture of the West has wrought enormous damage, and has a way to go, American institutions in particular have always rested on two things: adherence to the principles of the Founding and Natural Law. Decisions have consequences, and bad decisions have bad consequences, and bad consequences cause pain, pain, in turn, prompts, even forces, change.
Fifty years on we can see the damage wrought by the Left, particularly in the arena of the family. In 1968 Daniel Patrick Moynahan noted that as a result of the perverse incentives of LBJ’s Great Society children born out of wedlock had increased to 25% among Blacks; today it stands at 78% (53% among Hispanics and 30% among Whites). From the Founding to early 60′s the illegitimacy rate in the US was stable at between 3% and 5%. Moynahan considered the 25% figure he observed a catastrophe for the Black community; so it has proven to be. Only now is it dawning on the Progressives that maybe the well known consequences of absent fathers might go well beyond merely monetary child support. So it will prove with same sex marriage. Yes, yes, a nod and a wink to “good people” and those most famous of paving stones, “good intentions.”
It is also ironic that it is fashionable to tolerate this kind of behavior, but disapproval is intolerable amongst the tolerant. Bishop Fulton Sheen, in his 1931 book “The Curse of Broadmindedness,” had this to say about tolerance: “. . tolerance and intolerance apply to two totally different things. Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons.”
In considering whether to embrace the movement to normalize same sex marriage there is this consideration, too often absent from today’s political calculus: are Republicans also willing to embrace the consequences of their choices? For certainly there will be consequences; all choices carry with them consequences always. Republican politicians have shown themselves horrifyingly willing to embrace policies with known bad consequences in order to gain an advantage that is momentary at best, but more often illusory. I suggest that the issue of same sex marriage is a hill to die on. To stand on principle for America’s long term strength, stability and viability.