The Week: Take a pill on gay marriage

Yale Key

Damon Linker at The Week stops short of saying the popes were/are right, but it’s a clear to those “who have eyes” that it comes to the same thing:

Permitting gay marriage will not lead Americans to stop thinking of marriage as a conjugal union. Quite the reverse: Gay marriage has come to be widely accepted because our society stopped thinking of marriage as a conjugal union decades ago.

The most astounding implication in Linker’s piece, though, is the suggested thesis that without religion there is no hope for heterosexual marriage. Is that the case? Is it really up to us, whether we like it or not, to reaffirm the baby-making aspect of marriage, whether we like it or not, as the popes have from the day Peter slipped the Church’s Yales on his ring?

That’s not quite sporting, if you ask me. Remember when those wigged-out Enlightenment chaps assured us that they was taking care of civilization and all that stuff? “Now you good Churchy-Goddy types, don’t you worry your poor little heads off – we’ve got it all taken care of. Go off and do your – well, whatever it is you do behind those closed doors on Sundays, and let us sweep up the public square for you. It will be as good as new – and so clean, you’ll hardly recognize it. Really. Trust us.”

Now what? They’re saying they can’t figure this thing out with reason alone? What in Sam Hill is up with that?




  1. Jonathan Webb says

    No, not sporting. Elitists used say that religion is useful for making the rabble act in an orderly way (remember that rules are for little people). Once they had total political control, they tried to substitute public schools for religion and destroyed the culture in the process. But, you can’t go back to religion having a formative role without religious awakening. This would be threatening to elites, so the whole debate will start over again. Hopefully, I’ll be dead by then.

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    A world open and clean.

    I don’t see the implication you mention, JOB. I think he implies just as much hope for heterosexual marriage as he has for homosexual marriage. It will thrive precisely according to the degree that it proves emotionally and sexually fulfilling to the people involved. It’s been like that with the straights for a while now, as he notes.

    • I guess I’m mostly wondering about this:

      “To be clear, I’m not talking about the explicitly religious case against gay marriage. Arguments based on orthodox Catholic, evangelical Protestant, Orthodox Jewish, or Mormon premises — premises grounded in the revelations, scriptures, and traditions of particular faith communities — are often perfectly valid. It’s just that our constitutional order doesn’t rest on those premises, and members of those communities lack the numbers to impose their views on the country as a whole through majority vote.”

      So, yes, open, clean – and disconnected from any thoughts of religion, the next world, what have you. Indeed, the article reflects the same disconnect that Tocqueville warned about: now it’s just Individual American and Government, with fewer and fewer intermediary institutions serving as buffer, filter, etc.

      Now whether Linker is urging us to connect the dots here, I don’t know – but I think it’s noteworthy that he considers the arguments “perfectly valid” – and yet perfectly outside the scope of public discussion. (Perhaps due as much to religion’s own impotence as anything.)


    • Also, by “hope for heterosexual marriage” I mean the hope that heterosexual marriage will survive after the general acceptance of homosexual marriage.

      It’s not really his hope, true; that much I may be projecting – but it is hope in a manner of speaking – the way Bill Belachick did not have much hope for the Giants winning the Super Bowl on the morning of Feb. 3, 2008.


    • Jonathan Webb says

      I answer that:

  3. I was thinking more of the survival prospects of marriage with regard to it being emotionally and sexually fulfilling. Primarily, I was interested in the large vibrating egg.

    I admit it was a bad attempt.

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