Bottum, former editor of the conservative First Things, came out in a rambling and logically incoherent Commmonweal essay a few days ago in favor of same-sex marriage, causing a firestorm of criticism and comment.
I've been waiting for the proponents of same-sex marriage to repudiate Bottum's support on account of his arguments being too embarrassingly bad even for them. But, alas, apparently I overestimated their logical standards. They will apparently tolerate even Bottum's logic.
One of the best of the responses to Bottum's article is by Catholic philosopher Edward Feser:
Though Bottum’s conclusion is entirely un-Catholic, un-conservative, and contrary to natural law, what is most remarkable is just how very thoroughly he still accepts the substance of the Catholic, conservative, and natural law positions on this issue. To be sure, when you see that he starts the article with some personal remarks about his bluegrass-playin’ gay friend Jim, your eyes cannot help but swivel back in their sockets. You expect at first that it’s going to be yet another of those ghastly conversion stories, long on celebration and short on cerebration, that have become a staple of the “strange new respect” literature. “Yes, fellow right-wingers, I too once opposed gay marriage -- until a long heart-to-heart over lattes with my central-casting gay [son, dentist, fellow bluegrass aficionado] convinced me that deep down we’re all just folks.” The conservative as the dad in Heathers.
Yet that isn’t quite how it goes. For one thing, by the end of the piece, Jim comes across not as a patient dispenser of homespun, tolerant wisdom, but as a thoroughly repulsive ideologue -- humorless, paranoid, intellectually dishonest, seething with hatred, and even totalitarian in his desire juridically to force the Catholic Church to take on board his pseudo-moral prejudices. For another, Bottum never quite affirms “same-sex marriage” as per se a good thing -- though he does make a half-hearted attempt to see the empty glass as half-full -- but mainly as a fait accompli he thinks it is counterproductive to oppose anymore.Read the rest here.