Friday, November 05, 2004

Gay-Marriage and a Call to Reason

I try to never post angry. Especially tired and angry. Thankfully last night I was not also drunk, on top of tired and angry, or I would have clicked the post button and regretted it this morning.

I have to admit the drumbeat of open bigotry displayed by the left post-election is getting to me. The fact that it seems totally acceptable to them (and many allegedly “moderate” voices as well) is more than a little disturbing.

So I zapped the long, angry screed I wrote last night, and will try to make the point more calmly here. No promises I will remain Vulcan-like in my lack of emotion though.

Note to leftists and alleged “moderates.” The fact that you support gay marriage does not excuse you talking about Christians the way anti-Semites talk about Jews. Got it? Using a qualifier like “evangelical” or “fundamentalist” is not sufficient – any more than attacking only “Zionist” Jews excuses anti-Semitism. Clean it the heck up, before you reveal way more about yourselves than you want us to know.

Incidentally, those defense of marriage amendments were passed by overwhelming majorities, far exceeding then numbers of “evangelicals,” or "fundamentalists." Your unwillingness to confront the debate on its merits does not reflect well upon you.

And another thing. I do not appreciate being lectured to about “rights” or the principals upon which our country was founded by people who are positively illiterate about both of those topics. I’m hardly a leading expert, but I am well enough versed in them to spot a phony. There is no “founding principal” that logically leads to gay marriage, no matter what you think. The “right” to gay-marriage is not in any way in alignment with the founders’ concept of what rights are, or where they come from. You want to make an argument that it is up to the states to sort this out, I will agree you have some Constitutional justification. But if you want to dress yourself up in a powdered wig and breeches to lecture us on the matter, a little more study would serve you better.

Orson Scott Card wrote an article for the Ornery American a couple of weeks ago. The entire article is worth reading, but this section in particular leapt out at me:

“The Left fancies that it has a monopoly on intellectuals. When an online magazine invites published authors to tell whom they're voting for and why, out of dozens only four (including me) are voting for Bush. The most interesting thing is that the four pro-Bush authors offer clear reasons for their vote, but the pro-Kerry authors spew out invective against Bush or give cute or clever "reasons" that simply treat the question as being beneath serious discussion.

I get letters that are endless variations on the same theme: Mr. Card, I like your books and you seem so wise, but yet you're supporting Bush. Why don't you look at the evidence and realize that Bush is the devil and Kerry will save us from the disaster that Bush is leading us toward?
Yet when I choose to answer these letters and ask them to get specific, it becomes obvious that none -- no, not one -- of these people has actually examined the evidence at all.

These "intellectuals" show not even the slightest sign of ever having questioned their own opinions.

Now, I have to regard this as the minimum standard for being regarded as a genuine intellectual -- that you have questioned your own beliefs and subjected them to rigorous tests of logic and evidence.

What I find from most self-styled "intellectuals" in American public life is a laziness so profound as to be frightening. These are our opinion leaders and university professors? Have they forgotten that "the never-doubted opinion is not worth speaking"?

Allow me to tie this comment back to the gay-marriage debate. I keep seeing puffed-up indignation on the part of the left (and a good deal of the center) regarding how anyone could possibly justify not legalizing gay marriage. If these people would stop being so darn intellectually lazy and actually challenge their own opinions on the matter, they might get around to understanding why this issue keeps failing at the ballot box in numbers far exceeding those represented by those scary “fundamentalist” Christians.

If you’re tired of being among the intellectually lazy on this topic, and want to start challenging some assumptions, start here with an old piece by Stanley Kurtz. And then for some real intellectual exercise check out this back and forth debate over the matter between Stanley Kurtz, and pro gay-marriage advocates Hadley Arkes and Jonathan Rauch.

I'm not expecting everyone to be converted to Kurtz's opinion (though I think he's right). But when you’re all done, see how the assumption that the religious bigotry is the only - or even the main - reason gay marriage doesn’t pass holds up.


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