By David Beilstein
THOSE interested in the same-sex marriage controversy, roiling amidst our republic, may want to peruse D.G. Hart’s recent column over at Old Life Theological Society. The Hillsdale College visiting professor, and Presbyterian provocateur, quotes Daniel McCarthy’s column at The American Conservative, (which Bob Capehert wrote about, too, here), sheds light on contemporary issues of G.O.P. misdirection.
Dr Hart writes,
Conservatives (religious and cultural) addicted to the notion that ideas have consequences are tempted to interpret the current trend toward the acceptance of gay marriage as the outworking of secularisation and its moral relativism. This assessment seems to go with the philosophical cast of mind that afflicts both neo-Calvinists and Roman Catholic apologists, both of whom have found each other (as they did in 19th-century Netherlands) as allies in the contemporary “culture wars” against secularism.
But Daniel McCarthy’s piece in the current issue of the American Conservative lends support to my suspicion that the shift toward support for gay marriage has much less to do with marriage or tolerance than with a rejection of the Religious Right. Gay marriage is a perfect rejoinder to “family values.” Let’s see how firm your commitment to marriage is when gays want to become families. This was a move the Religious Right did not see coming. Whether the domestication of homosexuality, which used to thrive on being anti-bourgeois and counter-cultural, will last in its “family values” form is another matter. (Could it be that Jerry Falwell really did get the better of Andrew Sullivan by prompting gay advocates to follow Christian conventions of domesticity?)