With all the commotion on Facebook and Twitter from the Human Rights Campaign equality logos, it’s difficult for conservatives to "stand athwart History and yell, 'Stop!'" on the topic of gay marriage.
Quin Hillyer’s latest piece about the insufficiency of the procreation argument presents a great point, along with an opportunity for us to reflect.
On Tuesday, I posted that I stood with the March for Marriage on Facebook. I also shared Ryan T. Anderson’s Heritage report titled “Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It.”
Needless to say, the majority of responses were hateful and insulting, calling me a dumb bigot simply for expressing a contrarian opinion. I fear that some conservatives have silenced themselves because of such invective.
With a majority of American society apparently supporting the legalization of gay marriage, it’s time we realize what Russell Kirk told us in 1953: that “politics is only the skin of social being.”
Essentially, we face a cultural shift that has been emerging since the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
Currently, the nation faces a divorce rate of approximately 41 percent. While over 2 million people got married in 2010, over 850,000 annulled their marriages or filed for divorce. The American desecration of marriage has completely changed our perception of this grand institution, especially over the past 13 years.
How can conservatives argue that marriage is sacred and permanent when such a large number of them apparently fail?
The rise of divorce coincides with the development of our nation’s service economy. Young people get married later and later in life after finishing their educations, as marriage doesn’t occur until “a young adult is vocationally, psychologically and financially set.” Yet it used to be the “foundation for adult identity, finances, and family…”
No longer do the young base their jobs and careers upon supporting families; marriage is now something one financially prepares for. Four or five generations ago, young twenty-year olds did not seek to “find themselves” as much as we do now.
Rather than the ideal of a permanent, monogamous, and sexually exclusive relationship between a man and a woman that existed 40 years ago, marriage is now viewed more as an emotional commitment. It's a long-term objective for both men and women instead of an institution for stabilization.
I ultimately support civil unions for homosexual couples; these should be treated equally by the government in terms of tax, medical, and entitlement benefits. This means that we can value the principle of marriage between a man and a woman while also allowing two gay lovers to live their lives together.
Yet this is not the argument we are having. Instead, after the Supreme Court rules on this issue, the states will slowly expand marriage to homosexual couples. At this point, it seems unlikely that the Supreme Court will “Roe” same-sex marriage.
It is up to conservatives not to save the skin of social being, but the internal organs themselves. This means several things: protecting churches and businesses from civil suits, while also improving our own individual and family lives while the state legalizes or privatizes marriage. It means perceiving marriage as something that stabilizes and leads to wealth, as opposed to something we’ll do after we “figure our lives out."
Ultimately, we have lost grasp of the culture, and it’s time to admit it.