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A Conversation, Yes. Celebrations, No.

Invective is denunciatory or abusive language, and I hope I have spread none in my remarks. I do not know Professor Carpenter personally. I trust he is a fine gentleman and a worthy scholar of the law. The position taken in his NRO article has been asserted before and has a life all its own. If there is to be denunciation it is the argument that is attacked, not the man.

It is the premise that we must be wary of, and not the conclusion. For the reasons our mysterious, anonymous poster pointed out, gay marriage is difficult (though not impossible) to argue against from a policy standpoint. The institution is already in ruins. The unmistakable premise in this argument is that homosexuality is natural, no better or worse than heterosexuality.

There is a certain arrogance in this argument that the temptations of homosexuals are somehow deeper and more meaningful than those of others. But there is no great difference in temptation between, for instance, the sexual desire a man feels for another man and the sexual desire a man feels for a woman who is not his wife. Both can be extremely powerful. Both are traditionally held to be impure impulses. Both require effort if illicit behavior is to be avoided. But a man who feels adulterous temptations does not define himself by his affliction and begin speaking of “adulterer’s rights” and “adulterers’ marriage.” Carpenter has said, “Given that they exist and aren't going to go away, what's to be done with gay people? Are they going to be marginalized and alienated, or included in American life?” But what is so special about moral difficulties of a sexual nature? Everyone has their problems, brother. It’s a fallen world out there. To the extent you’re your behavior falls outside the bounds of acceptability, you’ll feel marginalized. This is not a choice between gay marriage on the one hand and gay gulags on the other. The lustful aren’t going away either, nor are the gluttonous, the slothful, the avaricious or the wrathful. Indeed, we all carry these burdens. It is how we bear them that matters.

It is the definition of man, and the ever decreasing ability to speak of right and wrong, that is at the heart of any debate we ought to be having. Is homosexuality disordered or natural? Morally wrong or morally neutral? That is the only debate worth having. There is no principled argument against gay marriage (or any one of a host of other ancillary turmoil) except that it violates the natural law of God. If we are unwilling to speak such an insensitive phrase, we have already lost the debate and a blog like this one is just a vanity press.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 26, 2005 10:41 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Same-Sex Marriage Continued....

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