Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The sane in Maine reign, plainly. Get champagne!

Good news from yesterday's elections:
Maine voters rejected a law allowing same-sex couples to marry in a closely fought referendum that saw unexpectedly high turnout.

Rolling back the law is a setback for gay-rights advocates and makes Maine the third state in which residents reversed their government's decision to permit gay marriages, after California and Hawaii.

Same-sex marriage has yet to win a popular vote in any state, despite a recent string of wins in the New England region. The other states that grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont -- have done so via legislative vote or judicial ruling, and New Hampshire will grant such marriages starting in January after a vote by its legislature. The federal government and most other states don't recognize same-sex marriages.
At the usual gay-marriage food fight going on in Rod Dreher's comment boxes, a commenter going by the name "Antonius Magnus" is making a whole heap of sense (a rarity in such arguments, especially since "Antonius Magnus" has not said he/she is definitely against gay marriage). "Antonius Magnus's" main point, and it's a good one, is this: if same-sex people have the right to marry each other, where does this right come from?

For Christian people, who believe that rights come from God, and are linked to our intrinsic human dignity as His sons and daughters, it's easy to understand why no one has a right to do what is evil. Same-sex marriage creates an environment in which people who are committing sins of homosexual acts with each other are encouraged to keep doing so, encouraged to believe that there is nothing wrong or sinful in their doing so, encouraged to spread that erroneous viewpoint to society at large; it also fosters hostility toward the Church, since she will continue courageously to point out that homosexual acts are gravely morally sinful and likely to lead a soul into eternal damnation--but that clear and compassionate warning will be viewed as bigotry, and marginalized from a society which has approved same-sex marriage.

But for those who insist that our rights do not come from God, that there is no God, that man is free to create whatever rights he finds personally appealing--do they really not see the grave danger in such an argument? The separation of human rights from man's Creator does not encourage greater freedom; it has, instead, always been among the earliest hallmarks of a totalitarian regime. If the "right to marry" does not come from God, is not something intrinsically linked to human nature, and does not have anything to do with the natural gender complementarity and biological compatibility which only exists between a man and a woman, then where does this right originate, and what does it contain? The gay activists insist that the right to marry is merely a "human" right, but are immune to any reference to such human qualities as reproduction or biology, to the vast decades of human law and tradition, to the inconvenient fact that no major human society has ever created a definition of marriage which includes same-sex couples; "human" in their context is a word that only means what they have decided it means.

But the danger in deciding that a) marriage is a human right, and b) this human right does not come from human law, human custom, human policy, human biology, or the reality of human reproduction is that they have created a framework for the complete dismantling of marriage, not merely its expansion to include same-sex couples. If marriage can mean anything we choose to define it to mean, then in addition to the traditional definition marriage can mean:
  • same sex couples
  • couples who live as brother and sister
  • groups of more than two people
  • people (couples or groups) who are related to each other
  • people who engage in sexual activity exclusively with each other
  • people who engage in sexual activity with each other and with others
  • people who live together but do not engage in sexual activity
  • people who do not live together
and on and on and on. In a word, marriage suddenly means everything--at which point it means nothing.

I think it's no secret that the most committed of radical gay activists want exactly that. They aren't really all that interested in being able to call two men or two women "married," so much as they are interested in tearing down what they see as society's heteronormativity--the "bias" which teaches children from the earliest ages that the fundamental social unit is the family, and that the family in its most ideal form consists of a man, his wife, and their own children at its core. To the radical gay activists, it is intolerable that society should express a preference for heterosexuality, such that an assumption is made that every child has or should have a mother and a father--because such an assumption is always going to see the same-sex couple as an aberration, an unfortunate and abnormal alternative to what ought to be the social reality.

The truth is, it is not being unkind or uncharitable to point out that the same-sex couple is an aberration. Any society that was overwhelmingly composed of such couples would soon cease to be--such is the biological reality. And gay rights activists know this, and hate it: not for nothing is their worst epithet for a heterosexual couple "breeders." It is their hatred of the normal family that drives some of them to wish to dismantle marriage and the family altogether, and to make it a crime to express the notion that morally speaking, there is a big difference between a man, his wife, and their children and a woman, another woman, their IVF children, and the anonymous sperm donors whom the children will never meet and don't need (since when does a child need a father?).

So the victory in Maine for traditional marriage means something. It means that, for a little while longer, we're unlikely to be plunged into the darkness of the post-marriage, post-heteronormative society. It may not seem like the kind of news calling for a bottle of champagne, but given how little good news we've had in the culture wars lately, I'm inclined to get some champagne, anyway.


j. christian said...

The Beliefnet comboxes are disheartening. I thought you took a good stab at it with your comment, Erin, but it seems to get lost in a sea of people crying "bigot!"

I think someone needs to walk the SSM advocates through the argument Socratically. (1) What is the state of the institution of marriage today? (With divorce, trial marriages, etc. -- SSM advocates should jump on this one, since they're fond of telling us that straight people have corrupted marriage... They have a point, of course!) (2) Why is it that way? (What cultural forces/norms changed to turn it into the diminished institution it is now?) (3) Would gay marriage reinforce or rebut those cultural forces? (I think it's obvious it would: It's simply another stitch in the quilt of "two consenting adults should be free to do what they wish.")

Going from 1 to 2 to 3, it becomes pretty clear that it's NOT in the state's interest to side with "marriage equality" over the interests of children, families, and the basic building blocks of society and culture.

Scott W. said...

I think it's no secret that the most committed of radical gay activists want exactly that. They aren't really all that interested in being able to call two men or two women "married," so much as they are interested in tearing down what they see as society's heteronormativity--the "bias" which teaches children from the earliest ages that the fundamental social unit is the family, and that the family in its most ideal form consists of a man, his wife, and their own children at its core.

The code word they use is "heterosexism", you can web search for a "safe zone" manual which defines it as: "A set of attitudes that is consistent with the belief that heterosexuality is a superior psychological, social and moral stance. This serves to create an invisibility or lack of validation and representation for other than an opposite sex, sexual orientation."

In the "Free to Be Me" statement in the manual I found, there was a part reminiscenct of the Khmer Rouge: "I am a product of a heterosexist and transphobic culture and I am who I am. I don’t have to feel guilty about what I know or believe, but I do need to take responsibility
for what I can do now"

There is also language about fighting heterosexism as well. In short we are being played. We are obligated to avoid unjust descrimination, and apologists for sexual perversion will always couch it in terms of anti-descrimination, but when you look at the fine print, they are explicity out to destroy heterosexual norms.

Charlotte said...

I read all those comments in Dreher's commbox (as well as some gay blogs that the American Papist linked to yesterday) and I felt physically sad, like I wanted to break down and cry my eyes out. It makes me think it's the end of the world, the way these people talk. It makes me feel like totally giving up the fight on this subject.

Charlotte said...

Oh, I need to clarify - I am ANTI gay-marriage. All those comments made me sad because the gay community seems so filled with hate and venom for God.

Lindsay said...

I do think that it is only fair to point out that many members of the gay and lesbian community are being played as well. The people I know personally who are homosexual and march in gay pride parades don't hate families, reproduction, children, etc..., and they themselves do not understand that what they support, simply because they want to feel normal, will lead to that destruction.

They would say, "I only want what you have" in that they seek to find their "soulmate" and have society acknowledge their union as equal to that of heterosexuals. In their pain, they turn to supporting the evil of which you speak, but they do not understand the extent of what that entails supporting themselves.

j. christian said...


If it's any consolation, I know exactly how you feel. For some reason this issue more than others has the ability to bring me down -- even though the votes keep coming against SSM. Everyone is talking past the real issues because first principles aren't understood.

We live in an exceedingly personalist-emotivist culture. Marriage is in shambles already because of that fact -- SSM advocates are right to point this out. But that doesn't mean that we should heap one more personalist-emotivist assault on marriage! "The well is poisoned; let me place one more drop of poison in it!" Of course, they don't see it that way -- they only see the upside. The downside potential of this massive social experiment is huge, though. SSM would publicly and legally enshrine the cultural mistakes about marriage we've already made through our own private stupidity.

In that sense, I sympathize with "giving up the fight." If marriage is such a mess, then here - you can have it. There's nothing left there, anyway, but a hollow shell.

c matt said...

Well, like the legal sanctioning of abortion, it doesn't make it right, and we have been fighting that battle for nearly 40 years now. I don't see that the fight would be abandoned with SSM even if it did pass somewhere.

Heck, pagan Rome and Greece were not in much better shape, and they didn't even have the Church around for guidance (at least not 'til around 200 A.D. or so).

LarryD said...

Witty post title.

Might I add - "The vain in Maine complain as profane campaign is slain."