Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winning and Losing

Which is the more difficult case for you to make?  The one against abortion/for life or the one against gay/for traditional marriage?  If it's the latter, you're not alone. Have we won the abortion debate and lost the one over gay marriage?  Sure feels like it, doesn't it?

Over at NRO, David French then Jonah Goldberg have a few thoughts about why this is so.


  1. Of course this comes of FDR's 1944 SOTU and its "Second Bill of Rights"--the bill society for all my wants speech.

  2. Both good articles, and right on the mark. Even among our college students, many of whom are relatively conservative, a surprising number are quite willing to support SSM, feeling that they cannot come up with solid, compassionate arguments to oppose it. The fact that many of them come from broken homes themselves has given them a very skewed view of the institution of marriage period, so you can hardly blame them in a way. I recently heard a student comment that 50 years from now those of us who defend traditional marriage/oppose SSM may well be viewed much like those who thought women shouldn't vote or supported segregation in the last century.......

  3. Thanks to both of you for your comments.

    One of our problems in defending traditional marriage, and opposing abortion as well now that I think about it, is that our defenses have been reduced in our culture to trying to present both as better PERSONAL alternatives/choices.

    But both life and marriage are bigger, much bigger, than an single individual's choice.

    We once understood the right to life, like the right to liberty itself, is UN-alienable, that is, something that cannot be made alien from us even if of our own volition. Therefore, our society did not recognize as legally binding any contract in which we forfeited our liberty. So too, until recently, was life itself viewed. Suicide was illegal, plain and simple.

    Why? Because something much larger than one's own volition was at stake. If I can refuse my liberty, if I can end my life, not to mention another's, then the value of everyone else's liberty and life is diminished and placed in jeopardy as well.

    The traditional view of marriage rested on similar assumptions. In a very real sense, marriage had more to do with the society itself than it did with the individual's who entered into it. It was not chiefly about "love" as we currently understand that word. Rather, it was mostly about duties, promises to keep no matter what the changing circumstances of the relationship itself. If you chose to marry, you were "stuck". Why? Because, in the end, your choice mattered more to the society at large than it did even to you.