“I do not support gay marriage. Marriage has religious and social connotations, and I consider marriage to be between a man and a woman.” – Barack Obama
“Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage always has been, between a man and a woman.” – Hillary Clinton
To my conservative friends and colleagues,
Just two years ago, supporting homosexual marriage was such an extreme, politically radioactive position that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – both Alinskyite progressives and long-time gay-rights supporters – saw fit to publicly and repeatedly declare their opposition to same-sex marriage.
Today, as the homosexual newspaper the Washington Blade puts it, “conservatives have taken the leadership role in achieving marriage equality.”
That’s right. Not only have high-profile conservatives like Glenn Beck, “The View’s” Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Laura Bush, Dick Cheney and many others publicly offered their ringing endorsement of men marrying men and women marrying women, but some on the right are, as the Blade reports, actually leading the charge.
Case in point: George W. Bush’s solicitor general Ted Olson has been dedicating his time as one of the two lead attorneys who successfully challenged California’s Proposition 8, which had enshrined in the state’s constitution the fact that, as Hillary Clinton put it, “marriage is as a marriage always has been, between a man and a woman.”
Indeed, proclaims the Blade, when it comes to the battle to legalize same-sex marriage, it is conservatives who “have achieved the most important success so far as they are the most willing and most able to take the case to the Supreme Court.”
Margaret Hoover, a Fox News regular and longtime Republican, explains her enthusiastic support for “gay marriage” this way: “Discrimination is deeply un-American. When the government sanctions discrimination against a group of citizens, it gives permission for other citizens to do the same. This isn’t a partisan issue.”
Olson says he joined the legal battle because he “believed that Proposition 8 perpetrated unnecessary, destructive, cruel and unlawful discrimination against gay men and lesbians.”
And S.E. Cupp, a young conservative Daily Caller columnist and frequent Fox pundit, goes so far as to say, “Conservatism and gay rights are actually natural allies. Conservatism rightly seeks to keep the government out of our private lives, and when you strip away the politics of pop culture, it’s this assertion of privacy and freedom that the gay rights movement is essentially making.”
Actually, S.E., that’s libertarianism you’re talking about. Conservatism – at least the kind America and Western Civilization were built on – is something else entirely. Let’s take a look.
In fact, how about, just for a moment, we set aside all of the various talking-point reasons both for and against same-sex marriage. (For including “Marriage is a basic right of all people,” “how does it hurt anybody else if two gays marry?,” “isn’t it better for homosexuals to be monogamous via marriage than promiscuous?,” etc., and against including “It legitimizes and mainstreams immorality,” “it will result in legalized polygamy and other new ‘marriage’ configurations, ultimately destroying marriage completely,” “it will lead to criminalization of traditional Christian and Jewish beliefs as it has in other countries,” etc.)
Let’s set it all aside and clear the air, take a deep breath, and focus for just a couple of minutes on something very basic and foundational – but which most of us never seem to consider.
I think Dennis Prager, the respected Jewish talk host and author, explains the core issue very well, so I will quote from his award-winning article, “Why Judaism rejected homosexuality.” In it, Prager folds the petals back to unveil the very heart of the flower of Judeo-Christian civilization:
When Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world. (Prager is talking about men and women here.)
It is not overstated to say that the Torah’s prohibition of non-marital sex made the creation of Western civilization possible. Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism, and later carried forward by Christianity.
The revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.
By contrast, throughout the ancient world, and up to the recent past in many parts of the world, sexuality infused virtually all of society. Human sexuality, especially male sexuality, is utterly wild. Men have had sex with women and with men; with little girls and young boys; with a single partner and in large groups; with total strangers and immediate family members; and with a variety of domesticated animals. There is little, animate or inanimate, that has not excited some men sexually. …
Prager goes on at length to catalogue the “wild” sexuality of the non- Judeo-Christian world, and shows, region by region, how the almost ubiquitous perversity and wanton sexuality, including homosexuality and sex with children, that has dominated most of the world throughout history – and which continues to this day in some areas – has served to degrade, subjugate and enslave entire cultures.
Judaism, he explains, and later Christianity, “placed controls on sexual activity. It could no longer dominate religion and social life. It was to be sanctified – which in Hebrew means ‘separated’ – from the world and placed in the home, in the bed of husband and wife.”
In short, he explains, “Judaism’s restricting of sexual behavior was one of the essential elements that enabled society to progress. Along with ethical monotheism, the revolution begun by the Torah when it declared war on the sexual practices of the world wrought the most far-reaching changes in history. “
Do you understand what he’s saying? Our sexual mores in large part determine our society’s destiny.
Now, fast-forward to America’s founding: It’s no accident that this nation has flowered more than any other in world history. But that didn’t happen, my dear “libertarian-leaning conservative” friends, because the founding generation resented government, wanted lower taxes and wanted to be left alone. No, America flowered because it was steeped in a faith-based morality and a love of freedom that were wedded together into a rare and priceless alloy the world had never seen.
This is exactly what Alexis de Tocqueville, the famed French political philosopher, found when he toured America during the early 19th century when the republic was young and vibrant – and not yet infested with “progressive” termites boring away at our institutions and faith. In “Democracy in America,” published in 1835, Tocqueville described with admiration and astonishment what he observed during his travels here:
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other … Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.
If America’s unique magic was combining, as Tocqueville said, “the notions of Christianity and of liberty” to produce the greatest nation in history, today’s libertarian-conservatives seem to have lost sight of half of that winning combination – the God part – vainly imagining that freedom alone is the answer.
Yet the libertarian utopia – live any way you want, even if it includes being a drug addict, having abortions, frequenting prostitutes (all of which libertarians want legalized), so long as it “doesn’t hurt other people,” and yet somehow we can still manage to be citizen-sovereigns ruling over a small, responsible government – is every bit as fatuous and illusory as the utopia that socialists forever dream of. Neither has ever existed, nor ever will. For as we all know deep down, there is no lasting freedom without adherence to, as Jefferson put it, “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Or as William Penn warned, “If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by tyrants.” Thus, in today’s grand morphing of Reagan conservatism into libertarianism, we simply kid ourselves into thinking an immoral society can be free.
In modern America, sex is no longer sacred or even respected. Premarital, extramarital, homosexual, promiscuous, bizarro – it’s all just a ho-hum part of everyday life, exactly like in the ancient world that preceded the Judeo-Christian sexual revolution. Consensuality has become the new morality. We’ve lost our sense of righteousness and sin, of spiritual life and death.
Indeed, writes Prager, “Judaism cannot make peace with homosexuality because homosexuality denies many of Judaism’s most fundamental principles. It denies life, it denies God’s expressed desire that men and women cohabit, and it denies the root structure that Judaism wishes for all mankind, the family.” He explains:
If one can speak of Judaism’s essence, it is contained in the Torah statement, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse, and you shall choose life.” Judaism affirms whatever enhances life, and it opposes or separates whatever represents death. Thus, a Jewish priest is to concern himself only with life. Perhaps alone among world religions, Judaism forbade its priests to come into contact with the dead. To cite some other examples, meat (death) is separated from milk (life); menstruation (death) is separated from sexual intercourse (life); carnivorous animals (death) are separated from vegetarian, kosher animals (life). This is probably why the Torah juxtaposes child sacrifice with male homosexuality – condemning both as “abominations.” Though they are not morally analogous, both represent death: one deprives children of life, the other prevents their having life.
Many of us, I am afraid, have lost our deep inner sense of morality God imbued us with at birth. We have been desensitized, confused, influenced – brainwashed if you will – by the non-stop subversive messaging of a smart, sophisticated, but at root godless and mocking, culture.
My friends, liberals are notorious for clothing themselves in the illusion and rhetoric of progress (“progressive”) because they are, sometimes willfully, oblivious to history and real-world consequences. Conservatives, however, have long respected the hard-won lessons of history, which is why they rightly focused on “conserving” the vital, timeless, living building blocks of civilization. Right now, many of you conservatives resemble not just libertarians, but liberals, in that you are not thinking ahead of the consequences of destroying the core foundation stone of Western Civilization – marriage.
I understand all the professional and social pressures to support same-sex marriage. I also understand that one of the main reasons many of us come around to supporting gay-rights causes is our relationships with gay friends and family members. We care about them, and find it uncomfortable, almost impossible, to look them in the eye and say, in so many words: “Look, you know I care about you. I’d do anything for you. But for me to agree with same-sex marriage is to pretend that something I know is wrong is actually right. I can’t do that. Even more important, I don’t want to be party to further unraveling the fabric of our civilization, one which safeguards your rights and mine, that protects us in an exceedingly dangerous world, a moral foundation rock that’s served us well for thousands of years. For your sake as much as for mine, I’m not willing to throw that away. I hope you understand.”
I’ll give Dennis Prager the last word: “The bedrock of this civilization, and of Jewish life, has been the centrality and purity of family life. But the family is not a natural unit so much as it is a value that must be cultivated and protected. The Greeks assaulted the family in the name of beauty and Eros. The Marxists assaulted the family in the name of progress. And today, gay liberation assaults it in the name of compassion and equality. I understand why gays would do this. Life has been miserable for many of them. What I have not understood was why Jews or Christians would join the assault. I do now. They do not know what is at stake. At stake is our civilization.”