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Social Conservatives, Gay Marriage, and The Future

There is an important chart everyone needs to see:

There are two trend lines, one is going down and one is going up. There may be a couple of bumps, but the direction of each line is clear. That is the future.

Tuesday night, Maine, Washington, and Maryland passed laws legalizing gay marriage and the one banning it in Minnesota lost.

That’s the future. Look at those trend lines again.

You can object. You can talk about “redefining” marriage. I’ve heard it all before. But look at that trend…

  1. Lamont Cranston

    Bradley effect:

    The only intolerance that can possibly be tolerated is intolerance of anything on the homosexual agenda. And everybody knows it.

    That the public poll says that roughly half the people agree with the proposition tells me that there is nothing–nothing–like the consensus needed to radically re-define the central institution of society. 

    Come back and ask me when the “yes” vote is 95%. 

  2. katievs

    Fred, I’m sure you know this is not a novel idea.  It is the familiar, default libertarian view.  It has a superficial plausibility.  But it won’t fly.

    1) Conservatives are not determinists or fatalists.  We don’t think “trend lines” are irresistible.  We believe in freedom.  And when fundamental truths and values are at stake, we feel called to stand athwart them (I mean the trend lines), yelling stop.

    2) The crude libertarian separation between us and “government” is unreal.  The question on the table is whether we, as a society, as a people, will continue to live “under God” and according to natural law, or whether we will thumb our nose at that and embrace “the will to power.”  If we do, we will end up slaves.

    The only way to resist the arbitrary power of the state is to strengthen its antidotes: family and church.

  3. Cornelius Julius Sebastian

    Tempting pragmatism, but I’ll stick to my opposition to it for the reasons I have stated previously.    Besides, it is increasingly looking like we crapped the bed on this one not due to losing on policy issues, but the most mundane of oplitical failures, we didn’t get our voters to the polls.  That is a mechanical, not a substantive failure. 

  4. katievs

    A strong marriage culture issues into strong, self-standing individuals, not amenable to exploitation and manipulation.

    A weak marriage culture leads to an overbearing, interfering, all-powerful state.

    The reason we need to fight for marriage is that marriage is a higher and greater and truer and more natural form of human communion than the state.  The government is duty-bound to honor it, and serve it.  

    When it instead tries to master marriage, by degrading it to the level of a mere legal contract, it de-legitimizes itself.

  5. katievs
    Cornelius Julius Sebastian: Tempting pragmatism, but I’ll stick to my opposition to it for the reasons I have stated previously.    Besides, it is increasingly looking like we crapped the bed on this one not due to losing on policy issues, but the most mundane of oplitical failures, we didn’t get our voters to the polls.  That is a mechanical, not a substantive failure.  · 0 minutes ago

    I don’t know, CJS.  I’m thinking the failure was deeper than that.  We failed to fight on the most important front, namely, the moral front. 

  6. Benjamin Glaser

    Amen and well said Katievs.

  7. katievs

    My friend Maureen Ferguson has a thought-provoking item at NRO’s symposium, lessons learned.

    She points out that Ohio Catholics voted for Romney over Obama, 55-44%  If Catholics had done the same nationally, Romney would have won.  

    The “life issues” people had a much stronger presence in Ohio than elsewhere.  They made a point of informing Catholics about what Obamacare really means, and so forth.

    Those who are urging Republicans to drop the moral issues have it exactly backwards.

  8. Cornelius Julius Sebastian
    katievs: My friend Maureen Ferguson has a thought-provoking item at NRO’s symposium, lessons learned.

    She points out that Ohio Catholics voted for Romney over Obama, 55-44%  If Catholics had done the same nationally, Romney would have won.  

    The “life issues” people had a much stronger presence in Ohio than elsewhere.  They made a point of informing Catholics about what Obamacare really means, and so forth.

    Those who are urging Republicans to drop the moral issues have it exactly backwards. · 3 minutes ago

    I hadn’t seen that stat on OH Catholics. That is encouraging, and yes, we Catholics in particular need to persuade our liberal wing that they have left the reservation.

  9. katievs

    Here’s Jonah making the same point today:

    The chief obstacle for this mission [the mission of the statist] is the family. The family, rightly understood, is an autonomous source of meaning in our lives and the chief place where we sacrifice for, and cooperate with, others. It is also the foundation for local communities and social engagement. As social scientist Charles Murray likes to say, unmarried men rarely volunteer to coach kids’ soccer teams.

    Thanks, Benjamin for pointing me to the link.

  10. Cornelius Julius Sebastian
    katievs

    Cornelius Julius Sebastian: Tempting pragmatism, but I’ll stick to my opposition to it for the reasons I have stated previously.    Besides, it is increasingly looking like we crapped the bed on this one not due to losing on policy issues, but the most mundane of oplitical failures, we didn’t get our voters to the polls.  That is a mechanical, not a substantive failure.  · 0 minutes ago

    I don’t know, CJS.  I’m thinking the failure was deeper than that.  We failed to fight on the most important front, namely, the moral front.  · 16 minutes ago

    Edited 16 minutes ago

    That’s fair, I certainly would have liked to have seen Romney and Ryan more Santorumish on the culture issues.  The economy is the immediate crisis, but how it becaem the immediate crisis has its roots in the dissolution of the culture.  True, true, true.

  11. Cornelius Julius Sebastian

    Fred, when I am confronted with choices like this I am reminded of one of the great lines in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons:

    Thomas More: “I believe that when men forsake their private conscience in the name of the public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.”

  12. katievs
    Cornelius Julius Sebastian: Fred, when I am confronted with choices like this I am reminded of one of the great lines in Robert Bolt’sA Man for All Seasons:

    Thomas More: “I believe that when men forsake their private conscience in the name of the public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.” · 1 minute ago

    Amen, amen!  One of the great, great plays of our day.

  13. Fred Cole
    John Murdoch: Bradley effect:

    The only intolerance that can possibly be tolerated is intolerance ofanythingon the homosexual agenda. And everybody knows it.

    That the public poll says that roughly half the people agree with the proposition tells me that there is nothing–nothing–like the consensus needed to radically re-define the central institution of society. 

    Come back and ask me when the “yes” vote is 95%.  · 30 minutes ago

    Your dismissal of this as Bradley Effect misunderstanding  the Bradley Effect.  That applied to one election and didn’t trend over 15 years.

    Look at that trend line:

    In 15 years it went from 68 opposed to 48 opposed.

    And from 27 support to 50 support.

    How is that the Bradley Effect?

  14. Paul Erickson

    Indeed, “What about X?”  One very large “X” that I can think of is the many legal and financial arrangements that now hinge on a person’s marital status.  In fact, this is one of the driving forces behind SSM. 

    I agree that it would be ideal to just punt and get the government out of the businesses of licensing / recognizing marriages.  But getting there will be a practical and legal nightmare.

  15. Brian Watt
    katievs

    Cornelius Julius Sebastian: … but the most mundane of oplitical failures, we didn’t get our voters to the polls.  That is a mechanical, not a substantive failure.

    I don’t know, CJS.  I’m thinking the failure was deeper than that.  We failed to fight on the most important front, namely, the moral front.

    Well, when Akin chose to fight on the moral front he displayed his ignorance about the human reproductive system and confirmed for some, who had earlier dismissed the false notion that there was a war on women, that perhaps Republicans were unfeeling about women in general and women in particular who were raped. It took the Romney campaign off its stride and it’s not inconceivable (pun intended) that it resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of critical votes. 

    I believe one of the salient reasons that the election was lost because the case for unleashing overtaxed and over-regulated small businesses versus European-style socialism was not adequately made. The word socialism was barely mentioned despite the opportunity to point directly to Europe to show precisely how the Democrat’s agenda would play out and result in the same massive failure. 

  16. Fred Cole
    katievs: 

    1) Conservatives are not determinists or fatalists.  We don’t think “trend lines” are irresistible.  We believe in freedom.  And when fundamental truths and values are at stake, we feel called to stand athwart them (I mean the trend lines), yelling stop.

    2) The crude libertarian separation between us and “government” is unreal.  The question on the table is whether we, as a society, as a people, will continue to live “under God” and according to natural law, or whether we will thumb our nose at that and embrace “the will to power.”  If we do, we will end up slaves.

    The only way to resist the arbitrary power of the state is to strengthen its antidotes: family and church. · 34 minutes ago

    Edited 5 minutes ago

    1. You believe in freedom, but then demand government licensing   

    When you involve the government that’s not freedom.

    2. The crudity, Katie, is using the crude instrument of the state, backed by force, rather than win hearts and minds.

    Why does the “only way to resist the arbitrary power of the state” is to use the arbitrary power of the state?

  17. katievs
    Brian Watt

    Well, when Akin chose to fight on the moral front he displayed his ignorance about the human reproductive system and confirmed for some, who had earlier dismissed the false notion that there was a war on women, that perhaps Republicans were unfeeling about women in general and women in particular who were raped. It took the Romney campaign off its stride and it’s not inconceivable (pun intended) that it resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of critical votes. 

    I’ve been thinking of a post on this point.  If thoughtful, articulate, sophisticated pro-lifers muffle themselves, then the pro-life causes will be identified with inarticulate bunglers.  

    The reason Akin hurt us isn’t because he’s pro-life; it’s because he’s ignorant and arrogant and egotistical.

    Pro-lifers need to get busy uncovering the reality that abortion is rejection of motherhood and violence against women.  

  18. katievs
    Fred Cole

    When you involve the government that’s not freedom.1. You believe in freedom, but then demand government licensing   

    2. The crudity, Katie, is using the crude instrument of the state, backed by force, rather than win hearts and minds.

    Why does the “only way to resist the arbitrary power of the state” is to use the arbitrary power of the state?· 1 minute ago

    Fred, read Jonah today, distinguishing between state and government.

  19. katievs

    Government recognition of marriage is not arbitrary.  It is the opposite of arbitrary.  Government using the force of law to insist that there’s no essential difference between marriage and a contractual arrangement between two homosexuals is arbitrary power brought to bear against the natural law.

  20. Fred Cole
    Paul Erickson: Indeed, “What about X?”  One very large “X” that I can think of is the many legal and financial arrangements that now hinge on a person’s marital status.  In fact, this is one of the driving forces behind SSM. 

    I agree that it would be ideal to just punt and get the government out of the businesses of licensing / recognizing marriages.  But getting there will be a practicalandlegal nightmare. 

    A legal nightmare, maybe.  Nightmare is a strong word.  Legislatures pass things all the time.  Adjustments would need to be made.  By the same token, repealing Obamacare would be a “nightmare” because it would require a lot of adjustments.

    But as usual, private entities are always ahead of the curve in the way a state cannot be.  Many companies offer health benefits, for example, to domestic partners.  That’s people co-habbitating, regardless of sex.  Gay people do it, straight people do it.  It depends on the organization, and varies between private entities (as it should), and the proof standards of a domestic partnership are typically low.

    And its not like your insurance would suddenly kick your spouse off your insurance if marriage stopped being a statist thing.  

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