Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

No Homophobia : A response to gay marriage advocates
National Review ^ | 07/06/2011 | George Weigel

Posted on 07/06/2011 7:10:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The Washington Post’s culture critic, Philip Kennicott, recently took to the pages of his paper to note the “cognitive dissonance” between ingrained “habits of homophobia” in American culture, on the one hand, and a recognition that “overt bigotry is no longer acceptable in the public square,” on the other.

As an example of those who resolve this dissonance by holding fast to their homophobic prejudices, Kennicott cited Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who had remarked on the similarities between the Empire State’s recent re-definition of marriage and the kind of human engineering attempted by totalitarian states; NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez and I came into Mr. Kennicott’s line of fire for displaying similarly “virulent homophobic rhetoric” in articles defending Archbishop Dolan’s suggestion that, in the marriage debate, the totalitarian temptation was very much in play.

Philip Kennicott’s line of attack nicely demonstrates the truth of Oscar Wilde’s famous observation that the only way to rid oneself of temptation is to yield to it. For crying “homophobia” is a cheap calumny, a crypto-totalitarian bully’s smear that impresses no serious person.

But for charity’s sake, let’s assume here that Mr. Kennicott simply had a bad day and might actually be interested in the arguments of those he and others have dismissed as bigots. Perhaps I can illustrate the point Kennicott’s targets were making by reminding all parties to this dispute of what marriage under totalitarianism was like — a subject I happened to be discussing with a Polish couple who were preparing to mark their 47th wedding anniversary when the Kennicott article appeared.

Under Polish Communism, Catholic couples — which is to say, just about everyone — got “married” twice. Because marriages in the Catholic Church were not recognized by the Communist state, believers had two “weddings.” The first was a civil procedure, carried out in a dingy bureaucratic office with a state (i.e., Communist-party) apparatchik presiding. The friends with whom I was discussing this inanity are, today, distinguished academics, a physicist and a musicologist. They remembered with some glee that, a half century before, they had treated the state “wedding” with such unrestrained if blithe contempt that the presiding apparatchik had had to admonish them to take the business at hand seriously — a warning from the über-nanny-state my friends declined to, well, take seriously.

The entire business was a farce, regarded as such by virtually all concerned. Some time later, my friends were married, in every meaningful sense of that term, in Wawel Cathedral by a Polish priest whom the world would later know as Pope John Paul II.

Americans will say, “It can’t happen here.” But it can, and it may. Before the ink was dry on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature on New York’s new marriage law, the New York Times published an editorial decrying the “religious exemptions” that had been written into the marriage law at the last moment. Those exemptions do, in fact, undercut the logic of the entire redefinition of marriage in the New York law — can you imagine any other “exemption for bigotry” being granted, in any other case of what the law declares to be a fundamental right?

Either the recently enacted New York marriage law is nonsense, or its religious opponents are bigots whose prejudices should not be given the protection of law. To use Mr. Kennicott’s sociological term of art, it’s a matter of cognitive dissonance to try to have it both ways. In any event, pressures like that of the Times and its activist allies will continue, for the logic of their position requires them to try and strip away religious and other exemptions from recognizing “gay marriage.”

Should those pressures succeed, the Catholic Church will be forced to get out of the civil marriage business — as it has been forced in some states to stop providing foster care for children and young people, thanks to the pressures of the really phobic parties in these affairs: the Christophobes. Priests will no longer function as officials of the state when witnessing marriages.

So what will Catholics and other adherents of biblical morality do (for evangelical pastors are just as much at risk from the Christophobes as Catholic priests)? They’ll have a civil “wedding” that will be a farce, just like that endured by my Polish friends in 1964. And then they’ll really get married in church.

Thus the net effect of the pressures now being mounted by the Times and others — a redefinition of “marriage” that puts Christian communities and their pastors outside the boundaries of the law for purposes of marriage — will be to reduce state-recognized “marriage” to a sad joke. One can even imagine a whole new genre of dark humor, of the sort represented by “Radio Yerevan” and other brilliant exemplars of anti-Communist raillery, emerging. That might be fun, but it’s a sad price to pay for this state attempt to redefine reality.

And that brings us to the totalitarian temptation. As analysts running the gamut from Hannah Arendt to Leszek Kolakowski understood, modern totalitarian systems were, at bottom, attempts to remake reality by redefining reality and remaking human beings in the process. Coercive state power was essential to this process, because reality doesn’t yield easily to remaking, and neither do people. In the lands Communism tried to remake, the human instinct for justice — justice that is rooted in reality rather than ephemeral opinion — was too strong to change the way tastemakers change fashions in the arts. Men and women had to be coerced into accepting, however sullenly, the Communist New Order, which was a new metaphysical, epistemological, and moral order — a New Order of reality, a new set of “truths,” and a new way of living “in harmony with society,” as late-bureaucratic Communist claptrap had it.

The 21st-century state’s attempt to redefine marriage is just such an attempt to redefine reality — in this case, a reality that existed before the state, for marriage as the union of a man and a woman ordered to mutual love and procreation is a human reality that existed before the state. And a just state is obliged to recognize, not redefine, it.

Moreover, marriage and the families that are built around marriage constitute one of the basic elements of civil society, that free space of free associations whose boundaries the just state must respect. If the 21st-century democratic state attempts to redefine something it has neither the capacity nor the authority to refine, it can only do so coercively. That redefinition, and its legal enforcement, is a grave encroachment into civil society.

If the state can redefine marriage and enforce that redefinition, it can do so with the doctor-patient relationship, the lawyer-client relationship, the parent-child relationship, the confessor-penitent relationship, and virtually every other relationship that is woven into the texture of civil society. In doing so, the state does serious damage to the democratic project. Concurrently, it reduces what it tries to substitute for reality to farce.

That’s what those whom Mr. Kennicott deplores as virulent bigots were trying to point out.

— George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: bishop; catholic; gaymarriage; homophobia; homosexualagenda; homosexuality; marriage

1 posted on 07/06/2011 7:10:46 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
How long is it before, say, “Brides” magazine is deemed politically incorrect, as well as Mother's Day and Father's Day? New york marriage licenses now say “Spouse A” and Spouse B” instead of Bride and Groom.

After all, if legalizing same-sex marriage is like making interracial marriage legal (an argument often made but which i strongly disagree with), then isn't “Brides” magazine a little like having “White couples” magazine?

no, I'm not making the argument at all - but they will. All after saying that same-sex marriage won't affect anyone else.

2 posted on 07/06/2011 7:23:43 AM PDT by cvq3842
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

That I don’t want weeds in my lawn does not mean I am scared of dandelions.


3 posted on 07/06/2011 7:26:40 AM PDT by laotzu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The sooner folks start looking to their faith to define and protect marriage the better off the institution will be. Many have been conditioned to think that marriage comes from the state, so they accept whatever the state says is marriage, even impossibilities like “gay marriage”. Statists and homosexualists love that, and they really love that the state has the power to punish if one doesn’t accept their ever devolving take on marriage.

Freegards


4 posted on 07/06/2011 7:27:24 AM PDT by Ransomed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

“If the state can redefine marriage and enforce that redefinition, it can do so with the doctor-patient relationship, the lawyer-client relationship, the parent-child relationship, the confessor-penitent relationship, and virtually every other relationship that is woven into the texture of civil society. In doing so, the state does serious damage to the democratic project. Concurrently, it reduces what it tries to substitute for reality to farce.”

This above statement from the article is the crux of the problem we face. The fascist homosexual left-wing do not even want for people to have a right to representation on the state definition of marriage. They want the voice of those who oppose homosexuality outlawed as hate speech even. So if we are denied a right to representation on the issue of how marriage is defined then on what basis will we maintain this right on other issues such as the ‘age of consent’, polygamy and any issue dealing with sexuality or public definitions of decency?

The word ‘homophobic’ is a made up word meant to smear those who oppose homosexuality. The word first appeared in ‘Screw’ magazine back around 1970. It has no basis as a real word at all and is meaningless except for being used as a smear against anyone who doesn’t march lockstep with the fascist homosexual agenda.

People had better start to stand up strongly against this fascist movement or we will lose more of our rights on issues that deal with child safety in public and on issues of public decency. If we do not fight and simply allow this fascist movement full access to our children in public schools then we will see a new generation become even more corrupted then the children corrupted by the sixties counter culture, much worse. Every human being is corruptible, children especially so.


5 posted on 07/06/2011 7:31:25 AM PDT by TheBigIf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Ping


6 posted on 07/06/2011 7:38:21 AM PDT by erod (Unlike the President I am a true Chicagoan.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cvq3842

Birth certificates can say Parent A and Parent B, but, to date, sperm still has to come from a male parent and an egg from a female parent no matter what the child is forced to use for a Birth Certificate.


7 posted on 07/06/2011 7:38:27 AM PDT by maica ( Multiculturalism is the smiley face of totalitarianism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Ransomed

you are exactly right. The state can say down is up, but it isn’t so. The state can say Stanley and Stuart are married, it doesn’t make it so.


8 posted on 07/06/2011 7:45:17 AM PDT by rokkitapps ( Hearings on healthcare waivers NOW! (If you agree make this your tagline))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: rokkitapps

I think it was Lincoln who has the quote about calling the tail of a dog a leg. You can call it a leg all you want, but the dog still only has four legs.

The bad news is the state has the power to punish if you don’t buy into their claim that “gay marriage’ is possible. The good news is that they really can’t change the true definition of marriage, just like passing a law that the moon is made of cheese doesn’t make it so. The other good news is that some faiths aren’t ever going to accept “gay marriage”, no matter the punishment. It’s just a shame that the state has that power in the first place.

Freegards


9 posted on 07/06/2011 7:53:40 AM PDT by Ransomed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: maica

Correct - the law will never trump biology. At least not anytime soon . . .


10 posted on 07/06/2011 8:14:59 AM PDT by cvq3842
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: cvq3842
To libertarians...

The state issues marriage licenses

How is a right "licensed" by the state?

How does the the state restrict anyone from marriage (be it incest or polygamy) if it is a right of contract between people

Does a lack of a marriage "licenses" issued by the state restrict any sexual active?

The state has only one reason to encourage and license marriage, "Breeder" are a fundamental necessary....

11 posted on 07/06/2011 8:58:31 AM PDT by tophat9000 (Global Warming, undeniable truth; Obama, infallible genius; Apple perfect, invented everything)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
"... holding fast to their homophobic prejudices, ..."

That some sexual perversions instill revulsion is not "phobic" prejudice. It's human nature.

12 posted on 07/06/2011 9:59:54 AM PDT by Daffy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Bump


13 posted on 07/06/2011 9:46:18 PM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Placemark.


14 posted on 07/06/2011 9:59:05 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ransomed

‘Many have been conditioned to think that marriage comes from the state, so they accept whatever the state says is marriage, even impossibilities like “gay marriage”.’

So NOW, the left wants the govt. in their bedroom.


15 posted on 07/06/2011 11:14:34 PM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Sun

The “gay marriage” push is simply about being able to punish with state power those who won’t buy into the statists and homosexualists ever devolving take on marriage.

Freegards


16 posted on 07/07/2011 8:23:49 AM PDT by Ransomed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: tophat9000

“How is a right “licensed” by the state?”

Why can’t I just ask government agents to find some woman and make her be my wife, like the right to an attorney, where they have to find someone to be my lawyer in court?

Why can’t I just marry whomever I please? But wait, a woman can turn me down on a marriage proposal. No one likes the idea, but it can happen.

The whole problem here is that they mess with the definition of what a right so much as even is:

1) Something you can call upon the government to provide you with.
2) Something that a person is compelled to comply with
3) Something that everyone must recognize.

In all three cases, even with real traditional marriage, this would not be true, and therefore, marriage is not a right.


17 posted on 07/08/2011 9:29:46 AM PDT by Morpheus2009
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Morpheus2009
marriage is not a right.

I would say is neither a right or a privilege ...If you look at marriage historically ...first there was no such thing as formal marriage...people "mated", period...and then people started making and taking "vows" that became formalize in there religions...still no "state" involvement unless the "state" also controlled the peoples "religious" rites

But mating also produced offspring so now you have to dealt with legal descendant vs bastard offspring... so that "state" does now have non religious but legal reason to be involved in and make "formal legal marriage"

18 posted on 07/08/2011 10:36:43 AM PDT by tophat9000 (Global Warming, undeniable truth; Obama, infallible genius; Apple perfect, invented everything)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]


Click the Pic

My vicious cat Rocket cruelly cuts one from the herd

It was the one who didn't donate


Become a monthly donor and end FReepathons

19 posted on 07/08/2011 11:07:02 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NYer; narses; wagglebee; little jeremiah; Coleus

Cultural suicide ping!


20 posted on 07/12/2011 5:06:24 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheBigIf; 185JHP; 230FMJ; AFA-Michigan; AKA Elena; Abathar; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; ...
Homosexual Agenda and Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the homosexual agenda or moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic homosexual agenda keyword search
[ Add keyword homosexual agenda to flag FR articles to this ping list ]

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]

Please read TheBigIf's comments. They are excellent. I'll just quote this one sentence:

So if we are denied a right to representation on the issue of how marriage is defined then on what basis will we maintain this right on other issues such as the ‘age of consent’, polygamy and any issue dealing with sexuality or public definitions of decency?

21 posted on 07/12/2011 5:07:39 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson