The defense of marriage can and must be improved

Many people in the prosperous West no longer understand simple concepts like the “social fabric.” The world they’ve been born and raised in typically doesn’t force any deep thought about why some societies are free, civilized and prosperous while others regularly suffer widespread poverty, disease, societal chaos, and even total war. They’re accustomed to the fruits of Western culture and they take it for granted.

The habit is to dismiss as unimportant the so-called “social issues,” even though the social issues are all about this “fabric.” Instead of learning more, they prefer to rationalize them away as secondary to economic and foreign policies. They are anything but.

The founding generation wrote on the topic often, and John Adams put it succinctly when he said,

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Click here to read a few more examples from the founders.

This lack of understanding comes into focus when it’s time for our leaders to defend something as basic as marriage. Most elected Republicans and conservative pundits do a lousy job outlining the many strong arguments that can and must be made.

It’s not much of a surprise that the left-wing political commentators and glib media types laugh off the value of traditional marriage. Empirical evidence doesn’t factor into their thinking on other issues, either. For example, you would think centuries of economic experience alone would disabuse them of their socialist/big government bent, but it hasn’t.

There is a reason marriage is about one man and one woman, and not every variation under the rainbow. A person can explain the simple basics about why this is the case and not once refer to a church doctrine. The Judeo-Christian ethic has informed the West, certainly, but now social science has proved government was right to take its cue from religious tradition when it comes to marriage.

For years we’ve been seeing how the radical “gay” agenda has demanded the destruction of traditional marriage. Marriage is an important front in a larger struggle to cast off traditional morality, and some people who should know better are getting confused.

One of the most ridiculous things I’ve read recently was actually said by someone who, on other issues at least, seems to have good sense. This, from the Wisconsin State Journal, is about Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, whose district is near Milwaukee.

“Ryan also considers himself a social conservative; he opposes abortion rights. But he says he ‘s against regulating personal behavior. Last year, he voted for a bill outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbians in the workplace. Most Republicans opposed the bill.

‘I’m not a Big Brother Republican,’ Ryan said.”

It’s easy to be succinct in summing up such a comment – it’s shockingly uninformed. It’s also easy to guess as to why someone as bright as Ryan would say something so silly.

A lot of people have friends or family members or work with people who live the “gay” lifestyle. Historian Gertrude Himmilfarb once said that people “are embarrassed even by the idea of passing moral judgments in private affairs, let alone by the ‘intrusion’ as we say, of such judgments in public affairs.” I’ve written about the fact that whether or not you have a friend or family member involved doesn’t materially change the reality of the behavior we’re talking about.

As far as “regulating personal behavior,” that’s exactly what the left wants to do, not the right. The social left being embraced by Mr. Ryan wants religious liberties stifled, and wants every American to be prevented from making their own judgment about another’s behavior.

Let’s review recent history. The political right, which opposes the advance of the radical “gay” agenda, didn’t bring this nasty topic to the public square. We are the ones who prefer that people keep their “sexual orientation” to themselves – no matter what it is – homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism, transsexuality, transvestitism, autogynephilia, urophilia, or coprophilia (click here for more “orientation” examples from the American Psychiatric Association.)

“Big brother” is actually a member of the social left and wants everyone to submit to a radical experiment that runs contrary to all social science and religious thought.

I assume Mr. Ryan has no problem embracing all those who represent the “T” in GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered), but the rest of us do. Ryan makes more sense talking about limited government than he does in embracing the political agenda of those suffering from Gender Identity Disorder, something the American Psychological Association still regards as a mental illness. (You can read more on that topic here.)

Marriage exists on purpose, not by accident, and it must be defended. As part of doing our little bit to help clear up some of the confusion about this easy to understand issue, in the next few days we’re going to post bullet points that, like our series on the War in Iraq last year, are culled from many sources.

Civilization is not an abstract concept, and it’s not an accident. Human behavior matters. In fact, civilization is behavior. So when the topic of so-called “gay marriage” is discussed, our leaders need to be ready to treat this topic with equal fervor as they would any talk about national security.

Our leaders need only tap the many resources available to them on this all-important issue so they will intelligently know how to discuss the subject. Those who can force themselves out of their own intellectual laziness will find an abundance of good materials to draw from. We’re merely going to lend a hand.

One of the strongest voices on this issue is Maggie Gallagher, who argues that “gay marriage” is not inevitable.

I’ve grown up with successive waves of progressive myths, all preaching “resistance is futile.” I was told as a teenager that nobody would be pro-life once all the old folks died off, and that no mothers would be home with children. I was told communism – or at least socialism — was inevitable, too. Have you looked at the Soviet Union lately?

War is not about killing your enemies; it’s about crushing your enemies’ will to fight. Guess what? Culture war is too.

To those who demand that the defenders of marriage surrender, Gallagher says, “We’re here, we believe in marriage, get used to it.”

©2008 John Francis Biver