Liberalism is, in its essence, Utopian. Every liberal policy, no matter how trivial, points to the bright horizon of a better day, like the vanishing points in a surreal de Chirico painting. That liberals can’t agree amongst themselves about the particulars of their earthly paradise — other than that it will be harmoniously rainbow-colored and that we will all eat locally grown produce — does not undermine their faith in it. The arrow of time is taking us to some final society that, whatever it contains, is bound to be just swell.
The fact that Utopia, as they conceive i,t would be mind-numbingly boring does not disturb liberal composure. They don’t, after all, have to live in it. They are driven to construct it — and driven to heights of grandiosity — by their profound incapacity to cope with their own mortality.
Take my word for it. Examine any liberal notion closely enough and you will find in it – lurking in a darkened corner, yellow eyes glowing: a fear of death. Hence the need for a heaven on earth in which to hide.
One of the more explicit and conspicuous aspects of liberal Utopia is that promulgated by the lesbian-gay-transgender-bisexual (LGBT) fanatics. Amidst the recent defenestration of Mozilla’s CEO Brendan Eich, you could hear the LGBT “mafia” (thanks, Bill Maher) regularly describe gay marriage as “inevitable” or “on the right side of history.”
I want to ask: where do they think history is taking us? Because I think that, irrespective of the morality of their cause, they are profoundly mistaken about what the future holds.
Before proceeding, let me say that I find most of the conservative critique of Brendan Eich’s crucifixion to be pusillanimous. The main objection that I have heard conservative pundits raise to Eich’s firing is based on freedom of expression. “Eich is entitled to his views.” “Obama had the same ones not long ago!” Conservatives, in defending Eich, appeal to the sanctity of open discourse in the marketplace of ideas. (And when conservatives start getting sanctimonious we’re really in bad shape).
What the left is saying is that there are certain things, like racism, that have no place in the world of civil discourse. That is their vanishing point. In the Promised Land, certain prejudices will not be tolerated. A man will be judged by the content of his character, not whom he lusts after.
This is a serious argument and deserves to be taken seriously. There are absolutely opinions that cross into the zone of socially intolerable (even if it is conceded that proponents have a 1st Amendment right to speak them).
The point is that you can’t argue against the censure of an opinion purely on the grounds that many hold that opinion or that freedom of discourse is absolute. Eventually, to argue against the censure of an opinion, you have to, in some way, defend the opinion.
I think that a good start to this is to look at the LGBT Utopia. What is it exactly?
Interestingly, there is an amazingly huge genre of gay and lesbian science fiction. (Search for “gay science fiction” on Amazon and you get 2,932 results.) It is not all strictly Utopian, of course. But how people cast the society of the future reveals a lot about what they think of the society of today.
I don’t really think, though, that you need gay science fiction to have an idea of what kind of future LGBT partisans envision. Casually clicking through the Huffington Post or the Daily Kos is enough, I think, to give you an admittedly simplified picture of an LGBT Utopia that looks something like this:
In the world of the future, everyone will be free to “experiment” with their sexuality. Some will end up homosexual, some will end up heterosexual. Some will flit from one to the other. But no social stigma — and therefore no psychic trauma — will attach to any transient liaison. Repression of sexual desire will dissolve into lifelong polymorphous perversity. Adolescence in particular will be a period of exploration to find out whom you were meant to be. (Though you can feel free to change later on in life).
Adolescence will still be a period of uncertainty and growing pains, of course. But societal disapproval of sexual choice will be a thing of the past, and so will any guilt concerning it.
Parents will remark causally to friends: “Oh, Josh has decided to have a boyfriend for a while. His breakup with McKinley left him really down on girls! The new guy, Brad, is a straight A student and he’s a musician too. He’s already asked Josh to the Prom!”
And all that will be Just. Cool.
Intrinsic to this picture and to the LGBT politics of today is the presumption that people are born gay (or not gay). This empirical claim precludes the possibility that people who would otherwise lead happy heterosexual lives could be tempted to “experiment” with homosexuality and in some sense be changed irreversibly by that experiment.
This is a highly static view of neurobiology. In this view, sexual inhibition results from “homophobia” which is a purely social construct, rather than a taboo (which is genetic). In fact, that “eewww reaction” that heterosexuals often have to homosexual behavior is not fear. It is revulsion. There is a difference.
This is not to say that I am opposed to gays or even gay marriage. (For the record, I prefer civil unions or else having government get out of the marriage business altogether). And I am happy that the view of homosexuality as a moral failing has mostly fallen by the wayside.
But I believe that lingering resistance to full, uncompromising acceptance of the gay lifestyle is rooted in the fact that, for whatever reason, most parents would rather their children not grow up to be gay, and that they think that societal mores have an influence on that outcome.
In point of fact, the proposition that people are “born gay” has some empirical support. One hypothesis, based on both human and animal studies, is that prenatal hormones, (specifically a deficiency, or not, of testosterone in the mother’s uterus at a particular stage of gestation) is determinative of sexual orientation of the baby later in life.
The origin of sexual orientation is probably not this simple. But suppose it were. (Whatever the origin or origins of homosexuality turn out to be, there is a similar argument). Then, if you believe in scientific progress, doesn’t a view of the future rather different from the LGBT Utopia emerge? Imagine a scene like this in the not too distant future.
An expectant woman and her husband enter a doctor’s office holding sweaty hands. The doctor clears his throat and begins.
“Mrs. Johnson, we have your latest blood tests back from the lab and they reveal that there’s an endocrine imbalance, ah, er, that’s a hormone imbalance in your womb.”
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson clutch hands more tightly. “Why is that doctor? Is it dangerous?” Mr. Johnson asks. “Well, we really don’t know how such a deficiency comes about – maybe something as simple as Mrs. Johnson’s recent bout of the flu. And it is not dangerous per se. But we now know that there is a close correlation between testosterone deficiency – which is what Mrs. Johnson has – and the likelihood that your boy will, later in life, become homosexual. It has to do with the hormonal role in brain development at this stage of pregnancy. It is not yet clear what other consequences, if any, this hormone imbalance has or will have.” Mr. Johnson puts his arm around Mrs. Johnson’s shoulders. The doctor continues.
“In the past, we couldn’t even test for this condition, let alone treat it. But, we are able nowadays to compensate for Mrs. Johnson’s hormone deficiency with an IV twice a week for the next month. There is no danger to it, we are just supplementing the same hormone that your body naturally produces, Mrs. Johnson. And studies have shown that this endocrine regularization procedure as we call it does indeed essentially eliminate the incidence of homosexuality later in life.”
“The question is, Mrs. Johnson, do you want that IV?”
Where do you think history is headed?