Ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity and the death of moral com­mu­nity

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Pat Buchanan

Richard Co­hen writes in his cel­e­bra­tory col­umn about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s role in le­gal­iz­ing gay mar­riage in New York state: “The op­po­nents (of same-sex mar­riage) have no case other than ig­no­rance and mis­con­cep­tion and prej­u­dice.”

Now, given that no nation in 20 cen­turies of Chris­ten­dom le­gal­ized ho­mo­sex­ual mar­riage, and, in this cen­tury, ma­jori­ties in all 31 states where it has been on the bal­lot have re­jected it, Co­hen is pretty much say­ing that, since the time of Christ, West­ern his­tory has been an end­less Dark Age dom­i­nated by moral ig­no­ra­muses and big­ots.

For the be­lief that ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is un­nat­u­ral and im­moral and same-sex mar­riage an Or­wellian ab­sur­dity has al­ways been part of the moral code of Chris­tian­ity. Gen. Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton or­dered ac­tive ho­mo­sex­u­als drummed out of his army. Thomas Jef­fer­son equated ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity with rape. Not un­til 2003 did the Supreme Court de­clare ho­mo­sex­ual acts a pro­tected right.

What is the moral ba­sis of the ar­gu­ment that ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is nor­mal, nat­u­ral and healthy? In re­cent years, it has been associated with high lev­els of AIDS and en­teric dis­eases, and from obits in gay news­pa­pers, early death. Where is the suc­cess­ful so­ci­ety where ho­mo­sex­ual mar­riage was nor­mal?

Not un­til the Stonewall ri­ots at a gay bar in Green­wich Vil­lage in 1969 was the case broadly made by any­one but the Mat­tachines of Frank Ka­meny that ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity de­served to be treated as a nat­u­ral and nor­mal ex­pres­sion of love.

Still, Co­hen is not with­out a point when he uses the term “prej­u­dice.”

As Al­bert Ein­stein ob­served, “Com­mon sense is the col­lec­tion of prej­u­dices ac­quired by age 18.” By 14, most boys have learned on the play­ground there is some­thing disor­dered about boys sex­u­ally at­tracted to other boys.

Hence the need for po­lit­i­cally cor­rect uni­ver­si­ties to purge such ideas from young minds and in­doc­tri­nate them in the new truths of moder­nity.

But are we re­ally wiser than our an­ces­tors? As Ed­mund Burke wrote of the thinkers of his time:

“Many of our men of spec­u­la­tion, in­stead of ex­plod­ing gen­eral prej­u­dices, em­ploy their sagac­ity to dis­cover the la­tent wis­dom which pre­vails in them. If they find what they seek and they sel­dom fail, they think it more wise to con­tinue the prej­u­dice, with the rea­son in­volved, than to cast away the coat of prej­u­dice, and to leave noth­ing but the naked rea­son.”

Great minds once found merit in the “prej­u­dices,” or in­her­ited wis­dom, of a peo­ple, as a spur to vir­tu­ous be­hav­ior. Again, Burke:

“Prej­u­dice is of ready ap­pli­ca­tion in an emer­gency. It pre­vi­ously en­gages the mind in a steady course of wis­dom and virtue, and does not leave the man hes­i­tat­ing in the mo­ment of de­ci­sion, skep­ti­cal and un­re­solved.”

In our new so­ci­ety from That women and men are equal, and if the for­mer are not equally rep­re­sented at the apex of aca­demic, mil­i­tary and po­lit­i­cal life, this can only be the re­sult of in­vid­i­ous dis­crim­i­na­tion that the law must cor­rect. That all races, re­li­gions and eth­nic groups are equal and all must have equal re­wards.

Once a nation syn­ony­mous with free­dom, the new Amer­ica wor­ships at the al­tar of equal­ity.

Writ­ing on the same Wash­ing­ton Post page as Co­hen, a day ear­lier, Greg Sar­gent ex­ulted in Cuomo’s law as “a huge vic­tory . . . for equal­ity . . . a ma­jor de­feat for those self-de­scribed ‘con­ser­va­tives’ who

In 2012, we shall find out who is right po­lit­i­cally. But is moral truth to be dis­cov­ered at a bal­lot box? Do we have no su­pe­rior moral com­pass than ma­jor­ity rule?

which tra­di­tion­al­ists are se­ced­ing, many rul­ing ideas are rooted in an ide­ol­ogy that is at war with Burke’s “gen­eral prej­u­dices.”

High among them is that ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is nat­u­ral and nor­mal. That abor­tion is a woman’s right. That all vol­un­tary sex­ual re­la­tions are morally equal. hate gov­ern­ment ex­cept when it is en­forc­ing a form of le­gal­ized dis­crim­i­na­tion that com­ports with their prej­u­dices.”

Sar­gent also has a point. But be­hind the “prej­u­dices” of con­ser­va­tives about the moral su­pe­ri­or­ity of tra­di­tional mar­riage are 2,000 years of his­tory and law. What is the in­tel­lec­tual and moral ba­sis of Sar­gent’s no­tion?

He claims “ma­jori­ties of Amer­i­cans are not pre­pared to as­sign sub-par sta­tus to the in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships of gays and les­bians.”

Cer­tainly, that is true of the Al­bany leg­is­la­ture.

But why then does Barack Obama seem so hes­i­tant to em­brace gay mar­riage?

In 2012, we shall find out who is right po­lit­i­cally, when the is­sue goes on the bal­lot in bat­tle­ground states. But is moral truth to be dis­cov­ered at a bal­lot box? Do we have no su­pe­rior moral com­pass than ma­jor­ity rule?

“A new kind of Amer­ica is emerg­ing in the early 21st cen­tury,” said Arch­bishop Charles Cha­put of Den­ver, “and it’s likely to be much less friendly to re­li­gious faith than any­thing in the nation’s past.”

He added, point­edly, “If Catholic so­cial ser­vices should be forced to al­ter their Catholic be­liefs on mar­riage, the fam­ily, so­cial jus­tice, sex­u­al­ity (and) abor­tion,” they should ter­mi­nate those ser­vices.

Pre­dic­tion: We are en­ter­ing an era where com­mu­ni­ties will se­cede from one an­other and civil dis­obe­di­ence on moral grounds will be­come as com­mon as it was in the days of seg­re­ga­tion.

Pa­trick Buchanan is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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