- Liberal wants X.
- Conservative says no, because X will undermine Y.
- Liberal insists that X will not undermine Y. It will actually strengthen Y, perhaps by spreading Y more widely and fairly.
- Liberal gets X.
- Immediately thereafter, liberal insists that Y must be abolished or altered beyond recognition because it does indeed conflict with X.
I’ve just read an account of the purest imaginable case of this. Here’s the setup. We’ve all been told that calling homosexual relationships “marriage” will do nothing whatsoever to affect heterosexual marriage, and anyone who says different is a lying, hating hater who’s really just using the protection a venerable institution as a pretext for irrational animus. Remember that?
Okay, now suppose someone were to take the liberals at their word and announce that he wants to promote marriage as traditionally understood, saying nothing whatsoever–for or against–about sodomitical unions. What would happen to this person? Liberals say that they’re leaving marriage alone, just extending it, so they should be okay with this, right? It’s just a case of us heterosexuals minding our own affairs. Here’s how our cultural overlords actually respond:
The highly successful Atlanta-based restaurant chain Chick-fil-A has been much in the news these days, because president and chief operating officer Dan Cathy (whose father founded the family-owned business) apparently came out in opposition to same-sex marriage. Or did he?
Terry Mattingly of the indispensable GetReligion site, which tracks all sorts of journalistic coverage of religion, first called attention to the manufacturing of a misleading story here. In an interview with a writer for the Baptist Press, Cathy was asked about the company’s “support of the traditional family.” His response was, “Well, guilty as charged.” And he went on to talk about the company’s commitment “to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families,” because many of the individual restaurants are family-run operations, and because the Cathy family and their company believe, as Christians, in family-friendly policies. (Their Christian faith and their desire to support families account for the restaurant chain’s being closed on Sundays, for instance, a decision by which the company forgoes many millions in annual revenue.)
At no point in the Baptist Press article did Dan Cathy say a word about the issue of same-sex marriage….
When Terry Mattingly set the record straight about the Baptist Press interview, the next redoubt for the let’s-hate-Chick-fil-A crowd was an interview Dan Cathy gave to radio host Ken Coleman in June, in which he said, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’”
But this too was hastily taken to be a commentary by Cathy on the same-sex marriage issue, which he never actually mentioned at all. The interview can be heard online here. The date was the day before Father’s Day, and Coleman asked him (start at about the 29:20 mark) about the crisis of fatherlessness in American society. The question takes 30 or 40 seconds to unspool, and then Cathy answers for upwards of a minute and a half. At about the 31:15 mark he gets to the words quoted above. But his entire answer to Coleman’s question has been about the importance of moms and dads in the lives of kids, and especially the role of fathers (given that it’s Father’s Day weekend). It’s clear that Cathy has just been talking about people getting married and staying married, so that children have mothers and fathers and intact families. This is the context for his remark about “God’s judgment” being invited–namely, if we try to treat marriage as optional, or temporary, or a matter of little importance in the upbringing of children. Again, Cathy says nothing, repeat nothing, directly addressing the subject of same-sex marriage….
Meanwhile, the mayor of Boston, incensed over the assumed affront to all right-thinking people committed by Dan Cathy, has decided to pull out all the stops to prevent the people of Beantown from having a good chicken sandwich, courtesy of Chick-fil-A. At this point, the circus furiosus has reached its naturally absurd conclusion, with a pandering politico scampering to take advantage of the left’s misinformed hatreds.
So, Cathy didn’t say anything about gay marriage. He apparently has said things to the effect of 1) marriage being an institution of divine origin and sanction, 2) it being–at least as a general rule–permanently binding, 3) its having as a core social purpose the establishment of a connection between fathers and their biological children. These are core features of anything recognizable as traditional marriage. One could say that these features–especially the third one–inherently presume heterosexual unions, but that inference is exactly the one that you and I have, until yesterday, been accused of pathological hatred for making. That was yesterday. Today, the Left can admit that, yes, the normalization of homosexuality is utterly incompatible with the Western/Christian nuclear family model. Therefore, that model must be scrapped.