By Jeffrey Lord on 4.14.09 @ 6:08AM
Should conservatives push for polygamy and Sharia to halt gay marriage?
The Boss is having an affair.
Or so reports the New York Post in its typical understated fashion with this front page headline, all in caps but of course: “BRUCE SLEPT WITH MY WIFE!” The story revolves around an angry New Jersey husband who has filed for divorce citing Bruce Springsteen, the troubadour of the working man, as, well, working a working man’s wife.
While this latest of celebrity circuses is unfolding, the Iowa Supreme Court is in the news because it has given the green light to gay marriage. So too is the Vermont legislature snaring headlines for overriding a gubernatorial veto and legalizing gay marriage in that state. Vermont, you will recall, was the first state to legalize civil unions for gays, a decision by then Governor Howard Dean that makes the hard-left former presidential candidate and Democratic National Chairman now look like your downright average bigoted right-wing homophobic zealot. Not to be left out, the Obama White House has announced the appointment of gay activist Harry Knox to its Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Knox is the director of the religion and faith program at the Human Rights Campaign, an activist group for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered (GLBT in the vernacular). Knox, a member of a Washington, D.C. United Church of Christ congregation has been refused ordination by the Methodists. He has also aroused the wrath of the Catholic community for attacks on Pope Benedict XVI and the Knights of Columbus.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, a curious set of events have been unfolding. Minneapolis, recall, is home to a significant number of Muslims and is represented in the U.S. House by Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress. There is also a significant Somali Muslim community in this mix. While Minneapolis has made news on several fronts, most recent were headlines that some missing Somali Americans are mysteriously turning up in Somalia with an al Qaeda-related group, then coming back home to the Minneapolis area.
Previously we learned the tale of Muslim taxi drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport who have been refusing rides to passengers carrying alcohol, the use of intoxicants forbidden under Sharia (Islamic law). According to Katherine Kersten, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, one Minnesotan newly returned from France was refused a ride by five cabs in a row. The woman’s problem? She was carrying French wine. Doubtless you heard about the kerfuffle with the six “flying imams” who were detained in, yes, Minneapolis after causing a bit of a stir on a flight en route to a conference there. Perhaps you have not heard of the problem Target stores were having in Minneapolis: cashiers of the Muslim faith were refusing to scan pork products like, as Ms. Kersten reported in a special Wall Street Journal column, bacon and pepperoni pizza.
Pork is forbidden under Sharia. Did I mention that the Muslim American Society’s (MAS) Minnesota chapter helpfully issued a “fatwa” forbidding the Muslim cab drivers from carrying passengers carrying alcohol otherwise they would be “cooperating in sin”?
What was the reaction of liberal Minnesota, land of Al Franken? Why, to accommodate Sharia, but of course. Specifically the idea was that the cab driver problem would be dealt with by having the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) set up “a two color top-light pilot project to indicate which drivers would accept passengers with alcohol.” Writes Kersten: “The proposal, later dropped, would apparently have marked the first time that a government agency in the U.S. officially recognized Shariah law, and distinguished individuals who follow it from those who don’t.”
Enter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Again, from Kersten:
In Washington, the Democratic leadership is likely to seek passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, of which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called herself, in 2004, a ‘proud’ cosponsor. Both MAS and CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) are stumping for the bill, which would bar airport security personnel from disproportionately questioning Muslims or people of Middle Eastern descent.
In other words, airport security is going to be made a civil rights issue, equating safety with racial bigotry.
Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts: Islam’s Sharia law has landed in the United States of America. The objective? Create a two-tiered system of laws (like the two-lights on the Minneapolis cabs) because Muslim Americans, unlike everyone else, cannot live under the law of the land as established by the Constitution of the United States. And when that two-tiered system becomes too cumbersome? Presumably, one of them will just have to go. Which one?
Interesting. Alarming, perhaps. But what does all of this have to do with The Boss and his alleged fling with a married Jersey Girl? What in the world is the connection to gay marriage, the Iowa Supreme Court, Vermont and for that matter Proposition 8 in California and the legalization of gay marriage by courts elsewhere — in Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts?
Let’s be candid. Gay marriage is on its way, one way or another, to becoming the law of the land. There will be fights, there will be struggles, but playing out as it may over time, it is well on its way to reality and in some jurisdictions is now fact.
Behind it, well behind it at this point, is the idea that accepting Sharia is not only a good idea but an example of tolerance. Yet the Obama administration is busy appointing one Harold Koh as the chief lawyer for the State Department. Koh, the Dean of Yale Law School, is a thoroughgoing advocate of what he calls a “transnational legal process” and, according to news reports, has criticized the U.S. for its failure to “obey global norms.” Koh’s beliefs are in synch with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who argues that American law should increasingly rely on international law as opposed to just the U.S. Constitution. The push for Sharia is not only on internationally, in a Europe swelling daily with increasing Muslim populations it is well ahead of the game acceptance-wise. No less than the Archbishop of Canterbury has proclaimed a felt need to allow Sharia in Great Britain. Author Mark Steyn predicts the rule of Sharia throughout Europe by 2040 “and semi-Sharia, a lot sooner — and we’re already seeing a drift in that direction.” Which would make Sharia, in the eyes of the Obama administration’s Dean Koh and Justice Breyer, a “global norm.”
So if the strategy of fighting gay marriage in America is failing, what to do? In four words: move to legalize polygamy. And four more: move to legalize Sharia. Now.
Sounds crazy, no? Well, no.
It is not a good idea, needless to say, to legalize either. But the progressive activists behind the gay marriage movement have a problem. Unlike the draconian picture painted by the likes of Harry Knox, everyone who believes marriage should be limited to one man and a woman is not a knuckle-dragging, spit-flicked homophobe. Even President Obama at least feels compelled to give lip service to supporting marriage between one man and one woman. Along with lots of straight Americans with gays in their families or circle of friends, the President is not homophobic for so believing. He and they — make that we since I too am a straight guy in the “gays in families and friends” category — simply believe the man-woman dynamic, sacred for human history, is the best societal-stabilizer there can be and that Moms and Dads are the best family model there can possibly be for kids and the society that is filled with nothing but kids and ex-kids. Many believe once the legal prohibition on gay marriage is removed, once the sacredness of marriage between a man-and a woman is made relative, there will be no stopping the slide down the proverbial slippery slope.
In the words of the Hoover Institution’s Stanley Kurtz in a lengthy 2003 article in the Weekly Standard: “Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is to take us down a slippery slope to legalized polygamy and ‘polyamory’ (group marriage).” Kurtz, in a masterful research job, introduces us all to a world where the legalization of gay marriage effectively ends the concept of marriage as it now exists, and has existed. In a world where gender is no longer sacred, there would be nothing sacred in the least about number. Over time, there would be very little legal leg left to stand on to deny not only the guy who wants more than one wife (hello Bruce Springsteen?) or the woman who wants more than one husband (hello Jersey Girl?) Other legal barriers would be swept away resulting in such rarified new institutions as “triple parenting” or a world where Bob could marry not only Ted but Alice as well — at the same time. In a sign that this very thought is gaining speed among the usual cultural suspects one need look no further than HBO’s Big Love series (about polygamy) or the recent suggestion in Time magazine that marriage be abandoned altogether. The HBO show, by the way, is being mainstreamed by actor Tom Hanks’ Playtone productions.
Lacking an inside track with Bruce Springsteen, I have no idea what’s going on inside his marriage. Nor do I care. It’s his business, not mine. But one can hardly miss the yet-again aspect of this charge by the angry husband. If the story is true, The Boss would not be the first man — and his alleged paramour would not be the first woman — to have had a fling with someone outside the bounds of marriage. The urge to do so has existed throughout the history of marriage. And the presumed civility of current divorce laws notwithstanding, the instinctive reaction to the fact of one married man or woman with someone else other than their spouse is almost never favorable. No one asks Hillary about Monica.
Listen to the emotions in the heated denials from the family of Springsteen’s alleged Other Woman as reported in the Post. There is nothing casual sounding, matter-of-fact, so-what’s-the-big-deal about it. The quotes include: “…simply not true…very disappointing…a real problem…ridiculous…ruining her life…” There’s nothing passive here. Whatever has happened or not happened between the superstar rocker and a woman he apparently met in a local gym, the very idea of it all has made those connected to the event damn angry, beginning with the husband but definitely not ending there. The very idea that Jersey Girl has been bedded by The Boss, or that she sought out The Boss to bed him has made a lot of other people in the vicinity of two marriages instinctively and passionately mad as hell.
Those who wish to stop gay marriage should learn something from this.
Stop playing defense. The Defense of Marriage Act which liberals are working to repeal is vulnerable at its very first word. Instead, opponents of gay marriage should play offense. Take the legal and political ball and run it to the logical conclusion that Kurtz (and others) warn of on polygamy and polyamory. Take it to the end game warned about by Mark Steyn, an end game already seen on display with American legal authorities (the local airport authority) quite vividly accepting Sharia in apple pie Midwestern America Minneapolis.
Force the hand of gay marriage activists. Don’t wait. Begin filing law suits demanding the acceptance of polygamy. Of polyamory. Of Sharia. Get resolutions on the ballot supporting them individually.
Why? What earthly reason is there to do something as seemingly nuts as this?
Hard-left gay activists are infuriated by the comparison between gay marriage and polygamy, insisting scornfully that the two are neither comparable nor will the legalization of one lead to the other. Yet here is this from the Associated Press just this past January:
Canada’s decision to legalize gay marriage has paved the way for polygamy to be legal as well, a defense lawyer said Wednesday as the two leaders of rival polygamous communities made their first court appearance. The case is the first to test Canada’s polygamy laws.
Left-wing activists, just as Dracula fears the cross and with interestingly similar reasons, understand at a gut level that once the American public connects gay marriage to polygamy or polyamory and hence the legal vulnerability of their own personal marriage — gay marriage could quickly become a very dead legal duck. This is why there is no “P” in the alphabet soup of “GLBT.” As l’affaire Springsteen is vividly illustrating, gay activists understand that lots of Americans may indeed shrug their shoulders at the notion of gay marriage — but the idea of their own marriage being tampered with is something else again.
The late and very hip Princess Diana, in the throes of her angry divorce from Prince Charles over his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, famously went on television to seethe: “Well there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” Crowded? What’s wrong with the Prince having two women? Quite clearly the suggestion that it was just fine for her husband to have Another Woman while married to her was decidedly not hip or cool to Diana.
The sudden demand by conservatives to cut to the chase, to get to the end game of where the entire struggle over gay marriage would take us, will surely startle. It should. It would put every judge, legislator and activist in America on the spot, forced, politely yet very legally, to fish or cut bait. One of the disturbing gambits of the Harry Knox’s of the world is to paint those who disagree with them as crazed, foaming bigots. To turn everyone who disagrees on gay marriage from, literally, the Pope to the Knights of Columbus to some Joe-average Protestant or a black Californian who joins his or her fellow African Americans to the tune of 70% in opposition to gay marriage — into some kind of hood-wearing Klansman. However much of an egregiously immoral stunt this may be, it is surely a tactical political error of magnitudes. Karl Rove could drive an Amtrak Metroliner through this opening before these activists would have time to blink.
Law suits, proposed legislation and ballot initiatives to legalize polygamy, polyamory and Sharia will sharpen the debate and force liberal activists to play their hand. Since in fact we are headed down this road, then let’s get to the end of it. Now. Any kind of official nod to Sharia is also giving a nod to the idea that says homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. In typical unwitting liberal fashion, the instant the Metropolitan Airports Commission of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area made a bow to Sharia they gave a nod to the idea gays should be executed simply for being gay. This was not just disgraceful but disgracefully stupid. Yet it went by without a peep of protest from Knox, much less Obama. Activists like Knox — and yes, his friends in the Obama administration — would be forced to fight these pro-polygamy, polyamory and Sharia lawsuits, legislation and ballot initiatives. Ironically, using their own thinking, in doing so they will instantly cast themselves as “intolerant” of those who are different from themselves. Bigots.
Or…or they will be up front honest and support the legalization of polygamy, polyamory and Sharia. Because, yes indeed, they really do feel just as they say they do. Like Nancy Pelosi and airport security, this is all about civil rights. And would-be polygamists, polyamorists and Sharia supporters (those cabbies and Target cashiers, for starters) need and deserve those multicultural favorites: tolerance and justice.
As the saying goes, no justice, no peace. You want five wives? No problem. You want to be married to both Bob and Alice? No problem. You’re The Boss and you want the legal right to have relations with both the rock and roll wife and the married Jersey Girl from the gym? No problem. You’re a cabbie in Minneapolis and God says you can’t give a ride to somebody with a bottle of red wine or you have sinned? No problem. Your job description says you have to check out all merchandise — even pork? But you refuse? No problem. By the time we get to the bottom of that last slope, all in the name of tolerance, gay Americans will have a lot more serious problems than lacking a marriage license.
Forcing the issue of support for polygamy, polyamory and Sharia will force Americans to face a hard reality. If they do not act now, they will wake up one day to find their own marriage worthless in the eyes of the law. With little or no chance of going back. They will also be living in a society where officials, however unintentionally as in Minnesota, have let loose (among other things) the idea that murdering gays has some kind of official sanction.
So here’s to The Boss and his alleged Jersey Girl and The Wife, Patty Scialfa. And to the Jersey Girl’s furious mister.
Once gay marriage is the law of the land, they could all have a seriously legal shot at heading down Thunder Road and being one happy polygamous, polyamorous family. And if they happen to have any gay sons or daughters? Well, just keep them out of Minneapolis. At that point, insisting things are different because the kids were Born in the USA won’t mean a thing.
In The Boss’s honor, maybe we could even have a special, John Grisham-esque name for these kind of lawsuits, ballot initiatives and pieces of legislation:
The Springsteen Appeals.
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at email@example.com.
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