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The (Same) Sex Issue

Readers on SSM. Miss California, Miss Conservative. Bev Gunn's Diary.

5.15.09

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PART I: CARRIE
Re: George Neumayr 's My Left Breast: The Carrie Prejean Story:

It is unbelievable how wretched and wormy the liberal media have been regarding Carrie Prejean 's comments regarding same sex marriage. Here she was expressing the views of probably over 90 percent of Americans, to wit (1) America is a great country because opposing views are allowed, protected even. (2) But for her, she was brought up as a Christian and guides her life on those precepts, and thus (3) She believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Fortunately Donald Trump put it all in perspective by noting that she was saying nothing more that what President Obama has said about the same subject!

But no, the liberal media has demonized her and represented her views as not deserving of rational discourse and have relegated her to the back of the bus. Their viciousness and disgraceful criticism is indicative only of their total lack of fairness and balance, precepts which they claim to practice and possess in abundance.

Their meanness and nasty elitism bring to mind Lucious Malfoy 's ultimate putdown -- she 's just a Mugblut, what would you expect?

Most of America has read about Malfoy, and his offspring, who indeed do not reflect the inherent fairness of 90% of the characters in Ms. Rowling 's books. Or, I daresay, of Americans either.
-- Larry M. Southwick
North Avondale, Ohio

The saddest outcome of this whole episode is that millions of culturally-deprived Americans like me now know who Perez Hilton is. I thought s/he was a celebrity bimbo famous for amateur pornography. Imagine my shock and disappointment! To plagiarize the MSNBC writers who script the words that David Shuster reads, "Can I vomit right now?"
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

PART II: A BRAD ARGUMENT
Re: Brad Nelson 's letter (under "Give Me Marriage Equality, Or Give Me Death") in Reader Mail's States' Rights:

I am sure that Brad Nelson is being sincere when imploring conservatives to support gay marriage in the name of personal freedom. Unfortunately, he employs the recurring and dreary argumentation long suffering conservatives are all too familiar with: "if you were a REAL conservative, you would…"

Mr. Nelson 's overall point is that those conservatives who oppose gay marriage aren 't willing to face their own "ideological inconsistency." Either one charges into the fray mounted on his mighty stead in under the flag of "personal freedom" or claim kinship with the same colorful folk who chop off the heads of uppity women and won 't let you check out a Playboy from your local library.

"I didn 't know that American conservatism was based on cranking out as many kids as you could. I thought it was based on freedom."  

Well, Mr. Nelson, two thoughts. Ok. Many thoughts.

First of all, most conservatives I know -- especially the religiously observant -- like babies.  The more the merrier, by some lights. We would even go so far as to say that, however much one disapproves of promiscuity, children are the positive consequence from an otherwise illicit activity. There is even a spiritual benefit in having children. No matter what hot stuff you think you are, there is nothing so humbling and humiliating as raising a child who thinks they know better than you. (And eventually, every child does.) It is so good for one 's soul that we recommend it for everyone.  Shaping tradition and public policy for the nourishment and multiplication of children is not necessarily such a bad thing.

Personal freedom is a Conservative principle -- but it is hardly the only one.  The preservation and construction of a humane social order is another.  ( Note: humane -- not perfect)  Indeed, for any "conservative" society three principles must be pursued:  order, justice and freedom.  The balance of these principles is the stuff of self-government and moral creativity. Of these, (gasp!) order comes first for the simple reason that without order there can be no justice or freedom. Without order one only has a world of tooth and claw.

For humane order to be established and maintained, the state is never enough nor is it competent.  In large areas of social community, state intervention and management is counter-productive. Free institutions with their own priorities and influence (sometimes at odds with the state) provide the accumulated wisdom from those who came before, an authority for moral courage, and protection from those who would wield raw, coercive power to have others to serve their aims.

Marriage is one of these institutions. Marriage is a "pre-existing" institution -- meaning that it existed before the state and will exist afterward. Marriage is not a creation of the state, and thus the state has minimal legitimate jurisdiction. For the state to intervene and coercively change the meaning of marriage is not an act of expanding freedom but of tyranny.  It threatens the very independence of those who moderate between the individual and the far more powerful state.

It is not justifiable to reduce marriage to the mere matter of love and benefits.  Instead, one has to address what marriage is for. Marriage is not a vehicle for the collection of benefits.  It is not a mere visible declaration of love. Marriage is for the procreation, protection, and nurture of children. Even for those marriages where the decision is to have no children, the essential promise is that the procreative powers of each are bound within the marriage.  The marriage may be childless.  But one promises that one will not share one 's sexuality and procreative potential with another outside the marriage. Why? Because a child born outside of marriage faces seriously compromised resources and guidance.

Gay marriage in fact dispenses with the childrearing aspect in the meaning of marriage. It expands the meaning of marriage to include a variety of relationships that have nothing to do with childrearing.  It blurs expectations and obscures the truth that with rights come duties and obligations.  A look back a mere fifty years in the loosening of the marriage covenant shows that we are playing with fire.  For whatever good came with the sexual revolution (and there were good things), it was a crippling disaster for far too many children.  For children, the loving and caring relationship between two adults is necessary—but it is not sufficient.
-- Mike Dooley

Brad Nelson asks in his letter:

"Which will it be? Doesn 't the love between two people count? Shouldn 't people 's ability to express that be protected? .... "

Then he states: "The real problem with conservatives is that they have forgotten theirs (principles)."

Exactly right. Conservatives have forgotten their principles. This is because we are not really sure of their origins. But who am I to argue with 10,000 years of evolutionary psychology?

There is probably an evolutionary advantage that has led so many cultures to institutionalize heterosexual marriage between one man and one woman.

There are probably evolutionary disadvantages to same-sex marriage that are beyond our ken. Though these disadvantages may be lost to our modern way of thinking, we may still have the opportunity for re-education.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Re: Ben Stein 's For Crying Out Loud:

I always enjoy Mr. Stein 's posts, for he clearly loves our American way of life. The tapestry of different folks from different places, all with different stories, is one of the strongest assets we have. For in finding this land and its way of life as genuinely marvelous, one is more inclined to have a heart filled with knowledgeable gratitude for the freedom in which we live.

Since Mr. Stein gave a rough draft of his week I thought he and readers might be interested in hearing about a few days in the life of a Texas rancher.

So, with no further ado...

Monday: Got up fed barn cats and all the dogs, finding that someone dropped off (or the better word is abandoned) a giant Great Pyrenees dog, roughly the size of an elephant. Since I discovered her in the garage in all her huge grace, I won 't need my usual strong cup of morning coffee, as I now am wide awake!

Looked out in pen to see if the new colt, Cinca (born on cinco de Mayo), is with her mother, Sadie. I feed them apples and carrots and save their daily rations for later, as with all our lovely rains the pasture grass is plentiful. With another horse pregnant and due in four weeks, I make note to keep them up close and I will have to watch their grazing, as horses eat many times more than cows in grasses. Cows have the amazing ability to "re-eat" their food over the day, due to their cuds and several stomachs. I quickly look at our small herd and determine that there are no new Spring calves. We chart each birth in our records to maintain herd and individual cow fertility.

Tuesday: Awakened to discover powerful odor. I remind my husband about the fella he needs to talk to, a septic system expert, regarding a new septic system. Our house is over 30 years old. He comes later in the day and measures for a new state required "anaerobic" system. He calls later to give us a $7,000 price tag. My husband calls to ask about building an outhouse in back pasture to get away from putting in a new system. As tight with his money as his Scottish name, I tell my husband he will find it interesting to use it alone. He rings off pondering that thought. I am sure I 'd better book the job quickly or I will be nixed again.

Wednesday: Awakened to rain and grabbed a housecoat to make a dash to up the windows on my 4x4 Expedition. It might be one of the disdained vehicles to green folks but it has allowed me, in my handicapped state, to gather up many a cow that has wandered to the highway. I just flip to four-wheeled drive and it climbs embankments readily and turns spectacularly, so I can keep the animal from colliding with cars on the road. I return to put a towel in the driver 's seat to absorb the rainfall that came inside. It looks to be another rainy day in East Texas. I note that the dropped-off dog, now named Sheba, is in the garage and has our cats cowering in the corners. I throw her a bone to chew on so she 'll leave them alone. Note there are no new calves nor has the other horse had her colt yet. She is as big as our barn, indicating she will have another huge colt. She makes a good mama and most of her colts have been stallions. Her last colt is over being green broke, so he can be sold. She had him two summers ago and he is a handsome specimen.  

Thursday: After the usual chores I will weed the garden and cut a mass of flowers to drop off at the houses of two widows who need some tender words and thoughtfulness. Neither have been able to overcome the grief of losing their respective husbands. I remember to include them in prayer during my quiet times today, that God will comfort their still broken hearts. My flower garden is the most beautiful it has ever been and abundant in dozens and dozens of larkspur. The last of the poppies are blooming and one last late iris is shedding its bronze beauty. I remind myself to finish labeling the special fancy irises with my planter sticks, so that in August when I divide the bulbs with friends I will remember what colors grew where.

I finish my day chore by talking to little son, as we call him with endearment, over the phone. He is in a special Air Force school for six weeks, then he returns to his family. Following that he returns to war in summer for his tenth tour. He tells me he longs for the days when he bailed hay with us, starting his own hay bailing business at 16 and putting in long days of man 's hard work. He says life was simpler then.  

The sun finally is setting in the west and it gives us a panorama of great beauty. There is nothing like sunsets in the west. Without substantial buildings and massive concrete and asphalt to block the splendid view, it is truly a thing of great beauty.  I revel in the life of simplicity that I lead far from the maddening crowd. With the exception of Heaven, being on a ranch and living with the great freedoms we possess, is the only place I want to be.  I thank God for His leading here from Washington D.C., where we once lived off the Beltway. Returning to a quiet life, like that of my childhood on a ranch near LBJ 's home town of Johnson City, most surely is the best of what God has blessed me with.

Thankful for Ben Stein and his love of our country and for those who serve and protect, I remain
-- B. Gunn
Texas

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