Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Conservatives: Fighting with their tails between their legs on same-sex marriage

A lot has been said by conservatives about the recent passage of a law legalizing same-sex "marriage" in New York. Some are mad at Gov. Andrew Cuomo for pushing it, and others are angry at Republicans for letting it through. Many more are angry at the Church, which seemed to be a no show in the battle there.

It's hard to be mad at Cuomo. He's a liberal. He believed in what he was doing--and acted on that belief. He was doing was he was supposed to do in doing what he wasn't supposed to do.

It is harder to excuse the people who are supposed to be for traditional marriage. They are simply wimps. It's that simple. The pretend conservatives should have had a backbone on this and done something other than act toward the anti-marriage forces like they were performing a scene in Brokeback Mountain.

I am still unclear on what happened with the Church. Reports are the Archbishop Timothy Dolan just left the state. I haven't gotten the full report, but it doesn't sound heartening. Dolan is supposed to be a conservative.

But all this goes back to my central thesis about political partisanship in this country: the liberals are more determined than the conservatives. We see it on every issue--big government health care, abortion, and gay rights. Liberals are willing to die in battle; conservative approach the enemy, give him a few effeminate slaps, and run for cover.

It's sad, really.

Just look at the account of what happened: a liberal governor took it upon himself to get the job done. He pulled out all the stops and used his valuable political capital. Why do conservatives seem incapable of doing this?

The irony is that conservatives, patriarchally dominant as they are, are also prone to hiding behind their women on these issues. Just compare Michelle Bachmann to the average Republican male and see what I mean.

It's the Church that's going to have to stand on this. Politicians by nature have no bedrock principles. They move with the political winds. The Church is the only place where there are rock bottom principles that don't change. We just can't leave it to the politicians. As Denny Burk has put it, "The unbelieving politico’s aren’t going to do it. The abdication of truth and of the public good is a bipartisan affair when it comes to marriage. We should not be surprised."

Politicians respond to pressure, which involves moral suasion--and sometimes the application of raw political power. The New York loss is disheartening in this regard. Let's hope the Church hierarchy wakes up on this.


E.R. Bourne said...

Martin, I think it is actually going to become much, much worse before it gets better. Modern conservatism, infected as it is with inherently liberal or modernist commitments to rights, individualism, the existence of a centralized modern state, and other Enlightenment ideas, simply cannot stand as a bulwark against the revolution. Ultimately, it is, in fact, a part of the revolution. It seems to serve as the final stage in the process of normalizing what was once considered radical.

That is what is happening now in this country. Politically speaking, the conservative movement is in yet another cocoon phase, after which will emerge a generation of people who are supportive of the homosexualist agenda but still call themselves conservative because they hated Obama or support low taxes or some form of capitalist economics. Soon any memory of a conservatism that sought to actually conserve western civilization will be completely gone. And once again, conservatism will be defined by its defense of the last generation's liberalism.

Any conservatism which either implicitly or explicitly endorses divorce, contraception, mobility in the pursuit of financial success, and all of the other things which contribute to the destruction of family and community life cannot be counted on to oppose the latest form of civilizational decline.

Singring said...

'Any conservatism which either implicitly or explicitly endorses divorce, contraception, mobility in the pursuit of financial success, and all of the other things which contribute to the destruction of family and community life cannot be counted on to oppose the latest form of civilizational decline.'

Interesting points, E.R.

Could you maybe outline how contraception, for example, has contributed to 'civilizational decline'? What data would you field to support this notion?

Maybe the data that shows that Western countries in which contraception is freely available and often covered by health insurance are the worst off economically, socially and...wait, sorry, actually they are the most economically and socially developed and stable:

So that won't work.

Ok, so maybe its the data that in those countries in which lots of contraception is used, people live shorter, more miserable lives and, wait - that turns out to be the other way around also:

So I'm really curious - whence this idea that contraception represents civilizational decline?

Erin Avery said...

The problem is that evangelicalism isn't Biblical Christianity. It is a syncretism of Enlightenment beliefs and experiential revivalism. As such, Evangelicals haven't the intellectual antecedents to understand, let alone support or proclaim, the Biblical Christian answers to the Modern and Liberal world-view. Instead, they are anti-intellectuals intent on the soft, touchy-feely religion of love. They believe in an oppositional dialectic that limits their effectiveness: thus, they think the Christian religion must be about love and so not about justice also--as if punishment can never be social expression of Christian love. Few Evangelicals now believe that America is a Christian nation--or worse, they no longer believe that it should be, because being anti-intellectual, they eschew debate and the virtues of rigorous argument, they caused a vacuum in society that was willingly filled by the ideas of their enemies. Theirs is the cult of the Kindly Christ, who is a milksop pacifist, and who, in their heretical eschatology, is most ready to vacate the throne of his earthly authority to accommodate a seven-year rule by Satan. These are people who take the rule of Occam's Razor to absurd degrees.

No--the only way to solve these problems is for Christians to become Biblical again, and that will require courage. But Evangelicals don't have courage. They will have to learn courage and will, either by eschewing their anti-intellectualism and reading the Bible for what it really says they should do and be like, or else in midst of a dictator's death-camp society, for they continually seem to not want to oppose the nation's march to that horrible place. Christianity is the salt of the earth meant as a preventive against evils like this. What is certain is that Evangelical Christianity has long ago lost its Christian savor.

But if they do learn it a time of oppression, the blood of the millions that perish as a result of their present inactivity might still be upon their heads. Resistance is not futile, and Resistance is for now. Let us pray that people will come back to the True God of the Bible in the joy of humility, and take up the cross in their daily lives--not merely to suffer, but to proclaim the true Glory of God.

KyCobb said...


Bourne is right, though I disagree with him that its a bad thing. The younger generation supports same sex marriage, and as time goes by the Church will be no more able to impose a same sex marriage ban on society at large than it can impose its ban on divorce and contraception on society today.

Thomas Aquinas said...


There has never been a "same-sex marriage" ban, since no one had thought such unions were even possible. There have, of course, been bans against incestuous marriages precisely because they are possible. After all, if a school board proposes that astronomy should be taught, it does not mean that it has issued a ban on "astrology." It probably never occurred to the board that astrology is a legitimate academic option, just as the ancient Egyptians and Hebrews, and the founders of the common law, to name just a few of everyone, had not even considered same-sex marriages as even possible.

And it is certainly not "the Church" that's behind the "it" that never was, since marriage--whether monogamous or polygamous--existed in civilizations and cultures that had never come in contact with churches (or even the Hebrew Scriptures). Marriage has always and everywhere been a comprehensive, permanent union between one man and one woman, for even in polygamy the man is married to each woman, not to all of them at once (as if the women were then married to each other as well).

This redefinition of marriage is similar to redefining fetuses as "human non-persons" in order to ease the guilt of killing one's fellow man. But redefining something does not make it so. If I undergo surgery to become a "woman," I am not a woman. I am a carved-up, mutilitated man with too much estrogen who insists that everyone pretend (i.e., lie) that I am a woman.

Singring said...

'There has never been a "same-sex marriage" ban, since no one had thought such unions were even possible.'

Ummm...actually, there's a ban in your favourite book, the Bible. God even wipes out the Canaanites because of it, as this very unpleasant Christian informs us:

I quote:

'The Midrash teaches that the Canaanites would write marriage contracts for men with men and women with women.

"A man would marry a man, and a woman a woman," it says.'

Of course, it should be patantly obvious that homosexual behaviour and partnerships predate even the writing of the Bible: if the idea of homosexuality or a homosexual partnership didn't even exist until some evil, communist liberal came up with it in 1969...

...then why was one of God's first deeds on earth to wipe out an entire city - the eponymous Sodom - because of it?

Why dd he have to tell men that having sex with each other was immoral if no-one was even considering it?

Of course, it makes much more sense ignore all of this and instead rail against marital commitment, monogamy and social responsibility just because you don't like what the people commited to it do in their bedroom at night.

KyCobb said...


Just to pile on what Singring wrote, fetuses historically have not been considered persons. For example, in accordance with centuries of English common-law, under the Constitution of the United States you have to be born in order to be a citizen.

Language evolves over time, as is obvious from reading Beowolf, Chaucer and Shakespeare. If you don't want to consider same sex couples who have married in accordance with the laws of their locality to be married, that's a you problem; it in no way effects what their rights are under the law.

Lee said...

> Just to pile on what Singring wrote, fetuses historically have not been considered persons.

Neither were slaves or Jews.

Lee said...

Also, why do some states charge someone who kills a pregnant woman with double homicide?

KyCobb said...


"Also, why do some states charge someone who kills a pregnant woman with double homicide?"

That is a recent development; we were talking about the historical view of fetuses.