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

Skip to comments.

Mark Steyn: There's no stopping them now
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 07/13/03 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 07/13/2003 12:08:22 PM PDT by Pokey78

Personally, I'm relaxed about sodomy, which isn't the same as being relaxed during sodomy. But one does one's best to keep up with the times. I use the word ''sodomy,'' incidentally, mainly because I still can. I would wager that one of the consequences of the Supreme Court decision striking down sodomy laws will be that they've also struck down the word. I see New York is revising its statutes to eliminate such anachronistically pejorative terms, and in Georgia, where the DAs have made hip, busy cop-show acronyms out of their archaic legislation, I don't suppose ''SOLCAN''--as in ''Soliciting a Crime Against Nature''--will be long for this world.

David Frost likes to tell an anecdote from his mammoth post-Watergate Nixon interviews in the 70s. The former president was notoriously bad at small talk but, one Monday morning, decided to make an effort and, while the cameras were setting up, asked his interviewer, ''Did you do any fornicating this weekend?'' Frostie was doing an awful lot of fornicating in those days, but, as he noted, that's not generally the word your average playboy swinger uses to describe it. If you're an uptight Republican square and you're trying to get with the program, don't ask the reporter from The Advocate if he did any sodomizing this weekend.

Language has been an important weapon in the gay movement's very swift advance. In the old days, there was ''sodomy'': an act. In the late 19th century, the word ''homosexuality'' was coined: a condition. A generation ago, the accepted term became ''gay'': an identity. Each formulation raises the stakes: One can object to and even criminalize an act; one is obligated to be sympathetic toward a condition; but once it's a fully fledged 24/7 identity, like being Hispanic or Inuit, anything less than wholehearted acceptance gets you marked down as a bigot.

Which is why gay marriage is already here in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and British Columbia), coming to Britain any day now, and likely to be ruled a fundamental human right by the Massachusetts Supreme Court later this summer. The transformation of a ''crime against nature'' into a co-equal civic identity within little more than the span of one human lifetime is one of the most remarkable victories ever achieved by any minority group. Some years ago, the (gay) columnist Andrew Sullivan said to me that he reckoned there was more male-on-male sex in the days before the invention of gayness as a round-the-clock identity. I don't doubt it. But that only makes the triumph of gay marriage even more impressive: In the Western world, a minority that didn't even exist in a formal sense a century ago has managed to overwhelm and overhaul a universal societal institution thousands of years old.

Alas, my own taste in gays is hopelessly old-fashioned. I've hung around the theater most of my adult life, and I love the likes of Cole Porter and the eccentric English composer and painter Lord Berners. These are the fellows who thought homosexuality was one of those things ''Too Good For The Average Man,'' in the words of Lorenz Hart's sly lyric--too special for the masses. These days, the gay movement insists it's as average as any man, if not more so. Watching the two chubby gays being wed by a gay vicar on the steps of the courthouse in Vancouver the other day, Cole Porter would have wondered what on earth was the point of being homosexual.

Conversely, what about the moral authority that underpinned all those laws about crimes against nature? If it weren't for homosexuality, the ''mainstream'' Christian churches would get barely any press at all.

In Canada, the big story has been New Westminster's decision to become the first Anglican diocese to perform same-sex ceremonies. In Britain, the big story has been the nomination of a celibate gay to the bishopric of Reading, the first openly gay bishop in the Church of England. In America, the big story has been the nomination of a practicing gay to the bishopric of New Hampshire, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. In Nigeria, where on any Sunday the Anglicans in the pews outnumber those in America, Britain and Canada combined, the Archbishop is understandably miffed that the only news he gets from head office revolves around various permutations of gayness.

Nonetheless, the distinctions are fascinating. In England, the much touted celibacy of Canon Jeffrey John and his partner has a whiff of the ''but I didn't inhale'' about it: as someone said of Bill Clinton's defense in the Monica business, ''But I didn't impale.'' The New Hampshire bishop, who left his wife and kids and now lives in a fully committed and loving relationship with another man exploring his sexuality to the hilt, is much more au courant with the ''I Gotta Be Me'' sensibility of the age.

How far will it go? In Canada, the government has promised that the new law permitting same-sex marriage will ''protect'' the rights of churches. But anybody who's paid even cursory attention to Canadian court decisions knows what happens when gays and religion come up against each other: A Christian printer is fined because he politely declined a printing job from gay propagandists; a Christian college is told it cannot fire a promiscuous gay employee; a Christian high school is instructed that a gay teenager must be allowed to take his boyfriend to the prom. I wouldn't bet on the right of a Canadian church to decline to perform same-sex marriages surviving a sufficiently determined plaintiff. Look for gay weddings to become routine in northern churches within the next decade.

As for south of the border, the Episcopal Church, like the Church of England, is dying, and the notion that adopting exotic gay mascots will make either more relevant is highly doubtful. The most liberal churches are the emptiest. The fastest-growing religion in North America and western Europe is the sternest: Islam. And the only Christian churches showing any growth are the evangelicals--or the ''bigots,'' as Richard Holloway, the former Episcopal primate of Scotland, called them the other day.

That's marginally more polite than the description of ''traditionalists'' offered by his co-religionist, the first female Anglican bishop Barbara Harris, at the 1998 Lambeth conference: ''If assholes were airplanes, this conference would be an airport.'' One way or another, it's all very anal in the Anglican church these days. The problem for Bishop Harris is that one day those flying assholes will take off and the airport will be empty.

Those congregational attendance statistics tell their own story: Nobody needs a religion that licenses one's appetites. So thriving churches will increasingly exist in opposition to establishment culture. And thus the revolution comes full circle: gayness celebrated at the heart of society, and traditional Judeo-Christian morality relegated to the shadows, even though followers of the latter vastly outnumber those of the former.

What an amazing feat. Whether or not one approves of the sodomites, I can't help feeling a mite envious: How come guys this good never get the marketing account for my pet causes?


TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: churchofengland; episcopal; evangelicals; gaymarriage; lawrence; lawrencevstexas; lawrencevtexas; marksteyn; marksteynlist; steyn

1 posted on 07/13/2003 12:08:22 PM PDT by Pokey78
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...

2 posted on 07/13/2003 12:09:32 PM PDT by Pokey78
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
We're On A Mission From God
Help us make our 3rd quarter fundraising goal in record time!

3 posted on 07/13/2003 12:12:27 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78; Stingray51; Mrs. Rodney King
'But I didn't impale.'
4 posted on 07/13/2003 12:32:27 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
One way or another, it's all very anal in the Anglican church these days. The problem for Bishop Harris is that one day those flying assholes will take off and the airport will be empty.
5 posted on 07/13/2003 12:32:57 PM PDT by mrustow (no tag)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: diotima
That opening line is a doozy.
 
;^)

6 posted on 07/13/2003 12:38:36 PM PDT by AnnaZ (unspunwithannaz.blogspot.com... "It is UNSPUN and it is Unspun, but it is not unspun." -- unspun)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: AnnaZ
This is full of great one-liners.
7 posted on 07/13/2003 12:42:10 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
but once it's a fully fledged 24/7 identity, like being Hispanic or Inuit...

Steyn should be careful. You know what happened to Santorum when he tried to make comparisons.

-PJ

8 posted on 07/13/2003 12:47:27 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King
Of course you're correct... he is truly a phenomenon.

9 posted on 07/13/2003 12:54:58 PM PDT by AnnaZ (unspunwithannaz.blogspot.com... "It is UNSPUN and it is Unspun, but it is not unspun." -- unspun)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
There's no stopping them now

That's what I said, too.

''If assholes were airplanes, this conference would be an airport.'' One way or another, it's all very anal in the Anglican church these days. The problem for Bishop Harris is that one day those flying assholes will take off and the airport will be empty.

LOL. Good article, Pokey. Thanks so much.

10 posted on 07/13/2003 1:01:25 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Thanks for the ping to this wonderful article.
11 posted on 07/13/2003 1:06:18 PM PDT by kitkat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Those congregational attendance statistics tell their own story: Nobody needs a religion that licenses one's appetites.

In a sea of humor many islands of truth (apologizing for the lame metaphor)

12 posted on 07/13/2003 1:25:56 PM PDT by stands2reason
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Can anyone tell Steyn's position from this article? I think I interpret this article to say, "don't do it to me, but what they do is their business."

That's what the supreme court said.
13 posted on 07/13/2003 1:26:50 PM PDT by xzins
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Thanks, Pokey !!

Which is why gay marriage is already here in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and British Columbia), coming to Britain any day now, and likely to be ruled a fundamental human right by the Massachusetts Supreme Court later this summer. The transformation of a ''crime against nature'' into a co-equal civic identity within little more than the span of one human lifetime is one of the most remarkable victories ever achieved by any minority group. Some years ago, the (gay) columnist Andrew Sullivan said to me that he reckoned there was more male-on-male sex in the days before the invention of gayness as a round-the-clock identity. I don't doubt it. But that only makes the triumph of gay marriage even more impressive: In the Western world, a minority that didn't even exist in a formal sense a century ago has managed to overwhelm and overhaul a universal societal institution thousands of years old.

Gay couple married after ruling
(Toronto, Canada)

barf alert!


MICHAEL STUPARYK/TORONTO STAR

Michael Stark, left, and Michael Lashner pop champagne
and kiss after their wedding ceremony yesterday.
Leshner called the ruling, "Day One for millions of gays
and lesbians around the world."

B.C. court OK's gay marriage -
first gay couple legally married in British Columbia

Gays Flock to Divorce Court

Same-sex unions in 'News' -
Dallas Morning News to publish FREE
same sex unions announcements

The Media's Gay Mafia "Queers" the News


14 posted on 07/13/2003 1:27:54 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Coming Soon !: Freeper site on Comcast. Found the URL. Gotta fix it now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: xzins
Steyn's position on sodomy, from a previous column:

When the rulers insist they know better than the masses, don't be surprised if the masses look elsewhere. I wouldn't vote for a state sodomy law, and some of the sex acts proscribed in the more broadly drawn anti-sodomy legislation I still dream fondly of getting to try one day, if I ever find anyone willing to have sex with me. But the gay lobby hasn't yet closed the deal with the American people on the equalization of homosexual relationships and, by insisting haughtily that it has and that the case is now closed, it's behaving in a manner more appropriate to the diseased Chiraquiste democracies of Europe than to the rough 'n' tumble of America.

15 posted on 07/13/2003 1:36:19 PM PDT by Pokey78
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: xzins
The Supreme court said that Texas could not enforce a law on their books.
16 posted on 07/13/2003 1:42:29 PM PDT by maica
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Whether or not one approves of the sodomites, I can't help feeling a mite envious: How come guys this good never get the marketing account for my pet causes?

Simple, Mark.

Satan has his own "pet causes"!

17 posted on 07/13/2003 1:44:00 PM PDT by Gritty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maica
which law?
18 posted on 07/13/2003 1:46:23 PM PDT by xzins
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: xzins
The law by which police accused Lawrence of a crime in Texas
19 posted on 07/13/2003 1:52:20 PM PDT by maica
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Alas, my own taste in gays is hopelessly old-fashioned.

So is mine. And so is that of at least some gays:

I have a gay friend who said he thought he was doing something incredibly racy and "fun" when he adopted his rather dramatic gay persona, and now that it had become politically correct, he didn't see any point in it!

He said that he didn't want to marry anybody of either sex, and that the politicization and "official status" of homosexuality had taken all the fun out of it. He could no longer sit in a bar pretending to be Bette Davis. Or even pretending to like Bette Davis movies...

20 posted on 07/13/2003 1:53:42 PM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maica
You mean the sodomy law...right? The Court said they could bugger each other all they want.
21 posted on 07/13/2003 1:53:50 PM PDT by xzins
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
I still dream fondly of getting to try one day, if I ever find anyone willing to have sex with me.


I am sure he has his pick of women.
22 posted on 07/13/2003 2:16:20 PM PDT by mlmr (The chickens always come home to roost........unless they are eaten by the racoons.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
LOL! I am totally with Mark Steyn- I LOVE Cole Porter.
23 posted on 07/13/2003 2:43:12 PM PDT by lawgirl (Running from the Grand Ennui)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lawgirl
Me, too, but I didn't know he was gay!
24 posted on 07/13/2003 3:07:13 PM PDT by The Right Stuff
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: scholar; Bullish; linear
Ping
25 posted on 07/13/2003 3:13:50 PM PDT by knighthawk (We all want to touch a rainbow, but singers and songs will never change it alone. We are calling you)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78; Thinkin' Gal; Jeremiah Jr
The fastest-growing religion in North America and western Europe is the sternest: Islam.

And no one dares call Muslims bigots or intolerant.

26 posted on 07/13/2003 3:19:19 PM PDT by Sir Gawain (My other tagline is a Porsche)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
David Frost likes to tell an anecdote from his mammoth post-Watergate Nixon interviews in the 70s. The former president was notoriously bad at small talk but, one Monday morning, decided to make an effort and, while the cameras were setting up, asked his interviewer, ''Did you do any fornicating this weekend?''

Sometimes I wonder if Nixon didn't have a mild case of Asperger's Syndrome.

27 posted on 07/13/2003 3:21:48 PM PDT by Dont Mention the War
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Right Stuff
LOL! did you see the movie Night and Day with Cary Grant? Cole Porter wanted Cary to play him so he obliged but it was all a made up story. His true story would've been much better!
28 posted on 07/13/2003 4:54:30 PM PDT by lawgirl (Running from the Grand Ennui)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
gayness celebrated at the heart of society, and traditional Judeo-Christian morality relegated to the shadows, even though followers of the latter vastly outnumber those of the former.

Could be worse ... Christianity does much better when it's irremediably countercultural. Welcome to the remnant, folks!

29 posted on 07/13/2003 5:01:51 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I'm a right wingnut, I admit it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Maybe I'll become Islamic... at least their religious leader aren't suppose to be porking the male parishioners, indeed it seems like a prerequisite in many of the branches of Christianity. I can just see the hiring of ministers today, “ You’re a great and inspirational religious leader, but I’m afraid were looking for a gay minister- it’s all the fad!!”.
30 posted on 07/13/2003 5:04:58 PM PDT by Porterville (J Marshall asserted the Court's monopoly on the interpretation of the Constitution, may he burn)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Porterville
You forget the great caliph Makim Ben'Dover.
31 posted on 07/13/2003 6:05:26 PM PDT by JusPasenThru (We're through being cool (you can say that again, Dad))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
If you think health care costs are high now, wait until all these same-sex deals get set up. The system is already ripe for fraud - what's to stop a bunch of straight roomates (maybe an entire frat house) to glom onto the benefits of one working man in the bunch?
32 posted on 07/13/2003 6:11:23 PM PDT by P.O.E.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
bump
33 posted on 07/13/2003 7:14:05 PM PDT by GOPJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dont Mention the War
Could be, but how do we know that David Frost is telling the truth?
34 posted on 07/13/2003 8:36:29 PM PDT by mlmr (The chickens always come home to roost........unless they are eaten by the racoons.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Porterville
OMG. Where have you been? Islam and homosexuality have been linked since Day One. Boys are called "precious fruit." Lord Byron, a bi-sexual, commented on the homosexuality of the Muslims.

Remember Johnny Taliban? He went over to be a boyfriend of several Islamic men. One wrote something like this, "But his new friend is not loving him the way I was loving him."
35 posted on 07/13/2003 8:44:54 PM PDT by sine_nomine (I am pro-choice...the moment the baby has a choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Please add me to the ping list. Steyn is the best of the polemicists.

The article strikes me as libertarian rather than conservative. The quotation from another article is more of the same. Perhaps he thinks it is a matter of custom, preference, and privacy.

However, I think we are in the tail end of a losing war with the homosexual culture. Heterosexuals have lost the war because we gave up on the institution of marriage. With that burden out of the way, nothing could stop abortion on demand or any form of sexual license. As one wit said, "When God is removed from the equation, any orifice will do." Thus bestiality is now the cutting edge with Princeton ethicist Singer. Here is one link: Singer

The Catholic bishops just met in St. Louis. Their favorite toast?

Bottoms up!


36 posted on 07/13/2003 8:55:33 PM PDT by sine_nomine (I am pro-choice...the moment the baby has a choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: stands2reason
Exactly. Liberal religion is a contradiction in terms. You can be a good liberal or a good religious believer but you can't be both. Liberalism exalts individual autonomy and freedom from absolute rules of any kind whereas on the other hand, religion insists upon restraining worldly desires and fearing God. The two are in tension and ultimately incompatible. People perceive liberal churches and synagogues are little more than sounding boards for the liberal agenda with a sprinkling of superficial spirituality added for good measure. Its all about feeling good not doing good. As a result liberal religion is slowly but surely fading away. I have no doubt which form of religion will be around in century: the one most hated by liberals and scorned by the elite culture: evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews. In a way history revels in its own twisted irony by making religion less instead of more accomodating to the licentious mores of the dominant culture.
37 posted on 07/13/2003 10:14:29 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
"Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,".

Paul warned Timothy about a departure from the faith that will occur in the end times. Paul also spoke of this in Second Thess.

"let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first..." 2Thess 2:3

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables". 2 Tim 4:2-3

Just a sign of the times, as warned about in writing almost 2000 years ago.
38 posted on 07/13/2003 11:16:33 PM PDT by American in Israel (Right beats wrong.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: mlmr
Could be, but how do we know that David Frost is telling the truth?

A very good point. A lot of people don't know that Frost first made his name doing topical, politically-based TV comedy in the UK. In fact, the members of Monty Python met while working on one of Frost's TV shows. They absolutely despised him, and when they formed Monty Python Frost knew it was going to be big and begged them to let him be a member of the troupe. They told him to ask again sometime around the year 3000.

In the "It's A. Tree" sketch, the smarmy, wood-interviewing host Arthur Tree is essentially a parody of David Frost in all his slimy, celebrity butt-kissing glory.

39 posted on 07/14/2003 6:12:19 AM PDT by Dont Mention the War
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: livius
Isn't it weird? Half the time gays spend howling that straight people want to force our way of life on them and make them live just like us.... the other half they spend howling that they have the right to get married and have children... just like us!
40 posted on 07/14/2003 7:03:16 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (I'm an Ann Coulter soul trapped in a Janeane Garofalo body.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: JusPasenThru
You forget the great caliph Makim Ben'Dover.

That's Makim Bin Dover.

41 posted on 07/14/2003 7:07:07 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (I'm an Ann Coulter soul trapped in a Janeane Garofalo body.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
A salient point. The tougher being a Christian is, the higher the quality of the witness.

Publicly admitting to belief in Christ Jesus is already forbidden by the rules of polite society in many circles.

42 posted on 07/14/2003 7:45:56 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Cole Porter!? "Makin' Whoopee!!??" "Begin the Beguine!!??" Say it ain't so!
43 posted on 07/14/2003 7:50:16 AM PDT by VadeRetro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
"Nobody needs a religion that licenses one's appetites"

Steyn does it again. That is just one more of the most profound statements I have ever heard.

44 posted on 07/14/2003 9:10:40 AM PDT by keithtoo (Tax Cuts - A robber who doesn't steal from you isn't GIVING you a VCR!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xzins
Can anyone tell Steyn's position from this article? I think I interpret this article to say, "don't do it to me, but what they do is their business."

That's how I read it, as well.

45 posted on 07/14/2003 10:22:55 PM PDT by ShorelineMike
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | 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