If you’ll stop stoning me, maybe we can be friends….
Andrew Sullivan often makes comments about “old media”, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t accept a paycheck from them. This morning he wanders into a Deep South truck stop and wonders why there’s no Pet Shop Boys on the jukebox:
But if conservatives have now endorsed the notion of homosexuals as citizens, they haven’t yet fully grasped the implications of that shift. Previously, social policy toward homosexuals was a function of either criminalization or avoidance. People who are either in jail or potentially subject to criminal sanction are already subject to a social policy of a sort. You may disagree with it, but it’s social policy on the same lines as that toward drug users or speeders. It’s a form of prohibitionism. But when all illegality is removed from gay people, as it has been, that social policy surely has to change.
So what is it? What exactly is the post-Lawrence conservative social policy toward homosexuals? Amazingly, the current answer is entirely a negative one. The majority of social conservatives oppose gay marriage; they oppose gay citizens serving their country in the military; they oppose gay citizens raising children; they oppose protecting gay citizens from workplace discrimination; they oppose including gays in hate-crime legislation, while including every other victimized group; they oppose civil unions; they oppose domestic partnerships; they oppose . . . well, they oppose, for the most part, every single practical measure that brings gay citizens into the mainstream of American life.
This is simply bizarre. Can you think of any other legal, noncriminal minority in society toward which social conservatives have nothing but a negative social policy? What other group in society do conservatives believe should be kept outside integrating social institutions? On what other issue do conservatives favor separatism over integration? We know, in short, what conservatives are against in this matter. But what exactly are they for?
We now turn to the comments section of Sullivan’s plea to see how it was received. Some samples:
Daniel Carlton – Platte Ctiy, Mo.
Why do conservatives oppose gay marriage? Because it is wrong! God ordained marriage between a man and a woman. He created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Also, just because some misguided judges said it was OK for gays to commit sodomy doesn’t make it OK. Read the first chapter of Romans (especially the last few verses). Popular opinion is not necessarily the best marker of right and wrong. You are trying to justify something that is wrong by citing opinion polls. Sounds like Bill Clinton to me.
Charles LeBlanc – Metairie, La.
I kept reading this article expecting to see the obvious answer to the question that was repeated again and again. Why do conservatives oppose gay marriages even now that they are legal? No matter how you try to obscure or rewrite its history, this country was founded on Judeo/Christian principals and morals. Homosexuality is a sin. It’s that simple. Taking into consideration that you are either a practicing Christian or Jew, and you had to choose between the law of God or man, which would you choose? When the time comes and you meet your Creator, are you clever enough to convince Him that you had to be politically correct.
Will Decker – Chicago
What Mr. Sullivan refuses to see is that extending marriage to homosexuals is not an extension of basic civil rights, it is the creation of special privileges to a minority, based on that group’s actions towards changing definitions and trying to convince society to join them in their delusional state.
This is evident, as well as Mr. Sullivan’s lack of honesty in his argument, by his slipping in of the word “spouse” in the sixth paragraph after giving a slowly persuasive, straw man argument against those who are merely stating reality, but whom he would have you believe are inconsistent, bigoted and simpleminded.
Mr. Sullivan should be open to honest, reasoned and clear debate. He must also realize that if he loses such debate, maybe it is his ideas that are flawed.
Thank you for your time.
Douglas O. Walker – Virginia Beach, Va.
There are two main reasons for opposing gay marriages and the endorsement of gay relationships as a matter of public policy:
First, the supreme problem before any society is the perpetuation of its traditions and values, and that can be done only by a man and woman bearing children to create the next generation. Gay relationships are by definition barren, and cannot solve this problem. Indeed, the truly supreme problem before the human race as a species is its continuation of the line, and gay relationships detract from this by removing two members from the principal task they have during their short stay on this earth: To reproduce.
Second, the gay life style is associated with a one to two decade drop in life expectancy. Public policy should not encourage life styles that lower what is already a short span of years and burden the present generation with unhealthy individuals that require extraordinary support and by doing so impede society’s advance.
Public policy does not have as its goal what is good for the individual. Rather, it shapes the environment within which we all interact for the larger purposes of society as a whole. In this regard, there is nothing more important than the continuation of our culture and civilization and the perpetuation of mankind.
There are of course other reasons for opposing any endorsement of gay relationships. But these two reasons are so overriding that they must prevail in any discussion of public policy.
What About My Rights?
Mary Thompson – Waukesha, Wis.
As a conservative and a Christian I can tell you what the main issue is for me in giving all these rights to homosexuals. It has to do with my rights. I anticipate that in the near future it will be also discriminating or hate speech to speak out against the sin of sodomy. As a Christian I must speak against sin and for repentance. I also can anticipate a time when religious institutions will be forced to hire homosexuals–even to perhaps have some quota that so many of your pastors must be homosexual or some such thing. This is where it all seems headed.
What will result is that homosexuals will be given their freedoms but Christians will lose theirs. The right to free speech and free practice of religion are what is at stake and I don’t understand why this is never addressed in the media as truly that is the issue in this whole thing.
I don’t want to criminalize this behavior but I do want to have the right to disagree and say so and the right to not have to rent a room in my home to a gay couple, and the right to tell my children that some things are wrong. What happens when gays are given all the rights they want? As I said, I will lose mine as will all Christians who are faithful to the Scriptural teachings. There simply cannot exist both equality for gays and freedom of speech/religion.
In fairness to Andy, there are a few who support his position. But the overall tone is best expressed by Harold Henry of Roswell, Ga. who explains it, as only a conservative can:
I am not sure why Mr. Sullivan is so puzzled by the social conservative response to homosexual unions. Conservative principles are not difficult to understand. We are generally pretty simple-minded….
Conservatives say the darndest things….