The following Q&A is part of an exclusive interview with professor Paul Kengor on his new book, “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage”. Go to the WND Superstore to purchase a copy of his just-released book, including a limited-edition signed copy by Kengor. Another part of the discussion, “‘Gay marriage’ called ‘Trojan horse’ for demise of family,” was posted earlier.
WND: Professor Kengor, picking up from our previous interview on your new book, “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage,” sum up your thesis in one or two sentences.
Kengor: Sure. “Takedown” details the far left’s quest to redefine and in some cases outright abolish the family and marriage from the 1800s to today. It notes that gay marriage is serving as a Trojan horse for the far left to secure the takedown of marriage it has long wanted, and countless everyday Americans and even the gay community are oblivious to the older, deeper forces at work. The typical gay-marriage advocate is not aware of this much older and more sinister ideological history.
WND: What do you say to those who dispute your thesis?
Kengor: It’s not disputable. Look, the facts are very simple: For some two centuries, extremist elements on the left, from radical socialist utopians to communists to secular progressives, have sought to redefine and reshape and fundamentally transform the natural, traditional, biblical, nuclear family. In gay marriage, they finally have a vehicle with mainstream public support to enable that redefinition, that reshaping, that fundamental transformation. There’s no disputing that. People may not like to hear it. I don’t like it either. But it’s not a matter of dispute.
WND: So, which side are the bad actors, or the ones acting in bad faith?
Kengor: Again, it isn’t usually gay Americans or the typical millennial stumping for gay marriage; they’re motivated by what they believe are beneficent and entirely un-sinister forces: their notions of love, freedom, tolerance, “equality.” I get that. I do not agree with their applications and interpretations of these things, but I fully understand that (for most of them) their intentions are not malicious. They do not see themselves as working on the same page as communists or whatever other type of left-wing radicals. And indeed, this isn’t a willful conspiracy. Nonetheless, the far left could care less how the rest of the culture and everyone else gets there, with whatever slogans or well-intended notions, so long as they get there.
WND: You mention in “Takedown” having received an email about a year ago from someone responding to one of your articles on gay marriage. He was once part of the “gay left.” Tell us what he said and how it motivated you.
Kengor: He noted that most gay people, who are either not especially political or at least nowhere near as political as the extreme left, have no idea how their gay-marriage advocacy fits and fuels the far left’s anti-family agenda and specifically its longtime take-down strategy aimed at the nuclear family. He is exactly right and inspired me to begin collecting the material that became this book. Most of the gay people I have known are Republicans, not leftists. Generally, I have always had no problem dialoguing with gay people, though it is now getting more difficult, as liberals have done their usual bang-up job convincing a certain group (this time gays) that I as a conservative Republican hate them. Liberals excel at that; they’re really good at it. They are masters at fanning hatred that they blame on others.
But as for gay people I’ve met or known, even when they’re socially liberal – and, even then, mainly on matters like gay rights – the gay people I’ve met have been economic conservatives, not to mention pro-life on abortion, which I always especially appreciated. But in signing on the dotted line for gay marriage, they have, whether they realize it or not (again, most do not), enlisted in the radical left’s unyielding centuries-old attempt to undermine the family. Ditto for Republicans and remarkably confused “conservatives” who support gay marriage and libertarians.
WND: So, you believe that unlike the communists who sought new forms of marriage and wife/motherly “emancipation” in order to deliberately undermine the traditional family, the vast majority of today’s proponents of same-sex marriage have friendly motives?
Kengor: Yes, I think that’s largely true for the typical supporter of same-sex marriage – though there are, admittedly, some supporters who candidly admit that they’re looking to take down marriage. They’re very open about it. I quote them in the book.
WND: You write that you, as a Christian, have no right to redefine marriage.
Kengor: Yes, I believe that marriage is not ours to redefine. Christians like myself (a Roman Catholic) believe that creating our own definition of marriage would blaspheme God, who “created them male and female” and said that what God had joined together man cannot tear asunder. That’s in Genesis (Old Testament) and Matthew (Jesus himself speaking in the New Testament). And beyond that, words have meanings. A cat is a cat, a dog is a dog, a tree is a tree, and marriage is marriage. If gay-marriage advocates would like, they can call their new spousal arrangements something else, but I personally and religiously cannot concede to join them in calling such new configurations “marriage.” To me and billions before me, marriage is a male-female creation determined by nature and nature’s God.
WND: In fact, in the previous interview, you said that those eager to redefine marriage where acting as their own gods, with their own definitions of morality, of right and wrong, of marriage.
Kengor: Correct. I believe, as a Christian, that marriage is the province of the laws of nature and nature’s God. It would be incredibly arrogant of me to attempt to redefine what has heretofore been determined by nature and the Creator. And as a Catholic for whom marriage was instituted as a male-female bond by Christ, and where marriage is literally sacred and sacramental, it would be downright heretical to arrogate unto myself the extraordinary ability to define what is marriage. Liberals can happily take up that task to themselves, but I will not. I already have enough to answer to God for.
It’s funny, liberals accuse us of arrogance in our position. Not at all. We have humbled ourselves to an absolute Creator’s position that we believe we have no right to change. They are the ones playing God with this.
WND: Liberals have no hesitation.
Kengor: Apparently not. They apparently have no problem rendering unto themselves what previous billions of people had determined was God’s alone.
WND: Give us the three main points that you want people to take away from this book, “Takedown.”
Kengor: First, people need to understand that, for two centuries, the far left – from communists to socialists to various self-styled “progressives” – have sought to reorder the natural-traditional-biblical understanding of family and marriage. From the likes of Marx and Engels to Herbert Marcuse, Kate Millett, Betty Friedan, the Bolsheviks, the Frankfurt School of cultural Marxists, to a host of 1960s radicals and many others, they spoke openly and candidly of what some called “abolition of the family.”
Second, for the first time ever, the far left has finally found a vehicle to enable this long-sought takedown of family and marriage: gay marriage. This 21st-century novelty is utterly without precedent in the ancient sweep of Western/Judeo-Christian history. Though communists, socialists and even early progressives could have never conceived of the idea of same-sex marriage, they are now firmly on board for this fundamental transformation of marriage and family. Amazingly, groups like Communist Party USA, its flagship publication People’s World, and even Fidel Castro’s Cuba – once militantly anti-gay – now support gay marriage.
And third, the American mainstream and even the gay community itself have no idea that their support of same-sex marriage actually enables the far left to achieve this takedown. Most chillingly, their support of gay marriage also allows the far left to successfully attack religion – its long-reviled foe – in a way it never thought possible with such wide public acceptance.