Wednesday, June 26, 2013

As a nation, we turned a corner yesterday.

I'm not sure which bothers me more, the fact that SCOTUS decided that no one has any business opposing gay marriage in California when Californian legislators can't be bothered to defend traditional marriage, or the fact that POTUS has merely promised that he would refrain from trying to bring to heel any dissenting groups.

I concede to painting with an overly broad brush.  I just had to read the verbiage about California residents not having standing to oppose the overturn of Proposition 8 several times before I gave up trying to see how the logic was not actually applied in reverse.  Would people with same-sex attraction be permitted to participate in the debate if they opposed gay marriage, or would they also be told that they don't have a right to promote their opinions or reasoned arguments because they're on the wrong side of history?  How tidy:  you're on the winning team or you're not allowed to play.

As for the president, well, I've seen him promise not to abuse his power in the past.  One time, he even said he wasn't going to get into the whole gay marriage thing.  Now he's reassuring Christians that they will be able to indulge their own bigotry undisturbed in private.  Of course, he won't be able to stamp out every last vestige of orthodox morality, that's too vast and tedious a task to bother with, but there are terms for an announcement like this.  In sparring, it's called a telegraph.  In literature, it's foreshadowing.  In naval warfare, it's a shot across the bow.  

I do think it's true that there's a supernatural conspiracy here, and possibly not a human one on top of it; and thus I agree that ultimately gay marriage is a vehicle to persecute the Church.  What scares me on this matter is I cannot imagine the circumstances in which homosexuals will be thrown under the bus when (that is, how) they cease to be useful to that end.

I wish people had some perspective.  Gay people have never been banned from marriage; they just don't have the right to marry absolutely anyone they wish.  This prohibition is in place for all of us.  Romance literature is chockablock with stories about unrequited or thwarted love.

"Why, Ed, don't you want people to marry whomever they love?"

Setting aside the question of whether the person they love loves them back and wants to be married, the government has no truck with whom someone does or does not love.  Marriage is to provide a stable environment for raising children, and well-raised children make for a healthy nation, so the government is wise to promote that.

Stray into emotional territory, and you open the door wide to abuse.  I promise you, there is nothing the government can do in applying itself to the emotional domain that is not going to be abusive.

Finally, an anecdote illustrating the "ruthless narcissism" Mark Shea describes comprising this whole movement.
I have a coworker who is terribly fond of using politically incorrect humor. He loves talking about cooking meat and killing animals in front of one of our technicians who is an on-again, off-again vegan; he talks in front of his female coworkers about how he orders his wife to do this and orders her not to do that, and how women shouldn't be allowed to do various things; when talking to one of our black technicians, he often refers to "your kind." He doesn't mean a word of it and he doesn't offend any of the people he teases (trust me, they dish it right back). But this morning, he was asked if he had talked to the sole admitted lesbian in the office. She's a sweetheart, but he said "What, are you crazy?  I'm not stupid!"
Some people just want to mind their own lives, and when they do it really is nobody's business, but it

Take a lesson from Evangelicals, abortion clinic bombers, and Phil Plait:  you're not going to prick consciences and win hearts and minds by being a jerk.  For every George Takei there are ten Andrew Sullivans, and the Sullivans are undoing whatever progress was being made by the no-big-deal desensitization plan.  Granted, a lot of progress has been made on that front, judging from prime time TV and the nigh-complete failure of everyone to articulate the fact that the Boy Scout thing from a few weeks ago now means that sexuality has to be discussed openly with ten year old boys instead of leaving the sensitive topic to be broached at a discreet time.

This ain't exactly Gandhi's M.O.  Don't pretend it's even close.

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