Readers are reminded that each blog posting is the opinion of the individual author, not necessarily shared by the other site authors or administrators. There is no predetermined or decided “SD Rostra Opinion” on any one subject. Rostra is open to considering guest column submissions and opposing viewpoints on this issue, as well as any other.
GUEST COLUMN by VERITAS
Jerry Sanders’ “expert” testimony on gay marriage this past week has sparked within me a deep rage, shared, I’m certain, by many other social conservatives who live in the area. His simplistic, emotional, morally neutral testimony bares all the marks of the intellectually lazy, dishonest, maudlin pablum that characterizes so much of what passes for thinking these days.
What’s to follow is more the collection of bits and pieces of thoughts and observations than it is an academic treatise. A full and proper treatment of this subject would require months of research. I am risking some precision as the cost for what I believe is the necessity of a prompt reply to the mayor’s insults. In other words, I can’t cite a source for every word of this, but I’ll put my reasoning up against Mayor Sanders’ any day.
First a few observations about the court case and the debate over gay marriage generally.
From what I can gather from the few news reports I’ve actually been able to stomach, this trial appears to be less about the constitutionality of banning gay marriage than it is about trying to determine the motives of the people who supported that ban. There’s something about that exercise that strikes me as vaguely totalitarian.
As an American, I owe no explanation to the government as to why or why not I take a particular stance on an issue. What goes on between my ears or in my heart is of no business to courts, legislatures, or magistrates. My only obligation is to try to convince–rather than force–my fellow citizens to agree with me using the best arguments I can muster. The government has no place passing judgments on those arguments or their source.
Of course, what really grates pro-gay marriage proponents is that the effort to stop gay marriage–the motivation–is largely based on religious convictions. According to this logic, because of the separation of church and state, no policy decision that has its basis in religious morality can ever be implemented.
That’s a very dangerous road for a free country to go down. Yes, traditional concepts of marriage stemming from Biblical teaching or church doctrine play a role in this debate. But religion plays a role in almost every public policy debate. Abortion, healthcare, workers’ rights, embryonic stem cell research, welfare, war, the death penalty, immigration, birth control, you name it God and his interpreters have something to say about it. If removing religion from all considerations of law–and in the process disenfranchising millions of religious Americans–is the new standard for constitutionality, then hold on to your hats because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
On that point, however, one need not be an Evangelical Christian, an orthodox Catholic, or a Mormon, to believe that gay marriage is harmful and even wrong. In fact, there are plenty of more-or-less secular people who are opposed to gay marriage because of two simple, biological observations: the male and female parts go together and those parts serve a reproductive function.
The idea that opposing gay marriage is somehow beyond he pale of acceptable, mainstream American belief is a complete fabrication of the left. The “archaic” idea that marriage should be limited to one man and one woman was perfectly acceptable as little as, I don’t know, the 1990s. That so many people, even some Republicans, are now willing to accept that argument is a testament to the power of social pressure.
Also, it must never be forgotten that the burden of proof for why gay marriage should be legalized rests on its advocates. It is they who are proposing to upend hundreds of years, if not millennia, of tradition, law, and accepted social mores (not to mention plain reason). It falls on them to prove that gay marriage will be a net benefit to society-at-large, not to its opponents to prove why it will not. This is a long-accepted feature of law, rhetoric, and logic that has been done away with in an attempt to put gay marriage on the fast track to constitutionality.
As to the sorry state of marriage, supposedly heterosexuals have made such a hash of marriage—primarily through divorce—that no one can argue gay marriage will damage the institution any further.
Let’s review the history: during and immediately after the social revolution of the 1960s, social progressives, reformers, and innovators of all kinds decided that all previous social proscriptions against fornication, cohabitation, birth control, abortion, illegitimacy, and divorce were not only passé but harmful because they led to hierarchy, patriarchy, misogyny, and all around sexual uptightness. While many people went along for the ride (and lived to regret it) many others warned that a blanket disregard for sexual morality would have tragic consequences. The naysayers, who would eventually form the base of the conservative movement in the 1970s and ’80s, were right, but they lost the debate anyway, as a quick survey of popular culture and statistics will attest.
In other words, the very people who have actively sought to destroy the twin institutions of marriage and the family for 40 years are now turning around and saying, “Look at what a mess you’ve made of marriage.”
That simple logic, honesty, consistency, common sense, and long-accepted beliefs and practices have so readily been abandoned represents the true danger of gay marriage. Once a society adopts such a perversion (and I use this word to mean a sense of twisted meaning and thinking, not sexual aberration, which is another matter altogether), whether through choice or force, it is utterly powerless to resist any bad idea.
Now let’s turn to the specifics of Mayor Sanders’s testimony.
First, there’s this little matter of prejudice. Sanders was very careful not to come right out and call gay marriage opponents bigots, but he did accuse them of prejudice, which in this day and age is the same thing.
I will admit that I have made a pre-judgment about gay marriage, which makes me prejudiced in the strictest sense of the word. My prejudgment against gay marriage may be as wrong as Jerry Sanders’s prejudgment for it, but at least my prejudgment has the support of biology, common sense, Biblical teachings, popular belief, and the universal practice that has recognized marriage as a union between men and women (usually just one of each) throughout ten-thousand years of recorded human history.
To paraphrase an old axiom, most people confuse enlightenment with the exchanging of one set of prejudices for another. In transforming from a prejudiced opponent of same sex marriage to an enlightened supporter of it, Sanders has simply swapped prejudices, and he’s done so for purely emotional, incoherent reasons….
Such as the following: “My daughter deserves the same opportunity to be married in front of friends, family and coworkers.” Again, I find myself in agreement with the mayor. Gays should be able to get married, and they can; it’s just that those marriages should not have legal sanction. So, Jerry, call the caterer; rent the hall; book the band. It’s not too late to give your little girl the wedding she’s always dreamed of.
And, finally, the whopper: “I believe the government should allow everyone to get married in exactly the same way.” You do? Really? Everyone? Brothers and sisters should be allowed to marry? How about three women and one man? (I’ll just stop there because the possible combinations are infinite.)
That statement, which is the pro same-sex marriage argument in a nutshell, exposes how utterly ridiculous the justifications of gay marriage have become and how dependent the left, and its useful idiots, are on nonsensical “rights” talk.
Because there is no explicit right to marriage in the U.S. Constitution, we are forced to look outside the Constitution for that right. That would make marriage a natural–or God-given–right. Of course, the left rejects the idea of either, so it’s odd that it would make that argument, but, hey, any port in a storm.
Regardless, whether constitutional or extra constitutional, rights are not absolute. The First Amendment doesn’t give me the right to yell “fire” in a theater. Constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure don’t mean I can hide contraband in my garage. The Second Amendment doesn’t give me a right to own a nuclear warhead. I don’t think it’s too large an intellectual leap to see that even if marriage is a right, it doesn’t mean that there can be no limits on that right. In fact, we have (scores?, hundreds?, thousands?) of limitations on the right of marriage that are widely accepted by all, such as minimum age requirements.
Finally, if Mayor Sanders and his friends think that gay marriage is going to go down like abortion did, they’ve got another thing coming. Gay marriage is a dagger to the heart of freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, parental rights, and a whole host of what have come to be called “conservative” values. Opponents of gay marriage will not tolerate another Roe v Wade if only because doing so would mean political marginalization and outright persecution (as was witnessed and documented in the days and weeks following the Prop 8 victory).
So, Mr. Mayor, now that you’ve gotten off your high horse, there are a few potholes that need fixing.
VERITAS indicates that for a whole host of reasons, he/she cannot disclose his/her true identity, but is moderately well known in San Diego County Republican politics. He/she continues: “I do not have a political bone to pick with Sanders. I do not live in San Diego and have never met the man. I am not a member of the party’s central committee, but I’ve been an active party member for years.”