2004-02-15 Homosexual Marriage and Civilization/text/13

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Response to Letter

''After the above essay was published in the [[Rhinoceros Times]], the paper received a letter to the editor criticizing it. This is OSC's response. (To see the text of the letter, visit the [http://www.rhinotimes.com/greensboro/archives/022604/letters.html Rhinoceros Times] and scroll down to the letter titled "No Teetering Here".)''

I toyed with publishing, along with my essay, a mock letter listing all the cliche "arguments" against it. I'm glad I didn't; Mr. Herman saved me the trouble. I'll take his points in reverse order:

My column made it very clear that homosexual "marriage" is merely the latest, not the worst, damage done to marriage in America; thus his penultimate paragraph, far from refuting my essay, reinforces my main point and suggests possible topics for public debate - if debate is still allowed in Mr. Herman's anti-democratic America.

"Inclusion" is an empty word when used as a general virtue. Its value depends entirely on what is and is not included. Every inclusion of one group is an exclusion of another. I think even Mr. Herman would agree with me that there are certain groups that should be perpetually excluded from civilized society. Where we differ is only on our list of those groups, not on the principle.

As for what "studies have shown," I'll pit my "studies" against Mr. Herman's "studies" and see who can outvague the other.

I already conceded the point that society must compensate for bad parenting. But this is not done by institutionalizing the absence of heterosexual role models, especially since this would result in the schools relentlessly propagandizing all children toward homosexual "marriage" as a desirable choice.

All heterosexual marriages, with or without children, present normalizing role models that affirm the institution of marriage; childless people can still function as effective surrogate parents in society at large, encouraging children to remain within the cycle of life. It is absurd to claim that homosexual "marriages" are in any way parallel to childless marriages in their effect on society in general.

Woman suffrage? Abolition of slavery? You can bet that I approve of those changes. But Mr. Herman, those social revolutions were introduced by the constitutional process of amendment. It took long public debate and national struggle – including civil war – before a consensus emerged.

The real precedents for what we're getting now are judicial diktats that imposed the view of an elite group on the whole nation without democratic process. One thinks of Plessy vs. Ferguson and Dred Scott. Wow. The courts do such a good job of inventing new constitutional laws when they don't have to wait for democracy.

Since the 1970s, judges have been bolder and bolder about inventing new laws and forcing them on the American people. Mr. Herman is content with this, because he is part of the elite that has seized control and agrees with the forced experiments. But I'm quite sure that if a different group were using the same mechanism to force social experiments on an unwilling people, he would have a very different opinion.

Courts that follow their own conscience instead of the letter of the law are an appalling form of government, however noble their intent. If Mr. Herman is so sure gay "marriage" is a good idea, then why doesn't he want us to reach that result by national debate and legislative process? Why does he despise the principle of majority rule? Why does he regard democracy with such distrust?

His entire attitude can be summed up by his closing paragraph, which ends with telling me: "Stick to what you know." So much for inclusion, eh?

What is it that disqualifies me to enter the public debate? The fact that I reach conclusions different from him and the rest of the current dictatorial elite.

In [[Iran]], people whom the ayatollahs don't approve of are barred from running for office or taking part in public discussion. The ayatollahs have the right to impose their ideas on the whole nation because they're really really really sure that they are correct about everything. All their friends agree with them, and anybody who disagrees with them is obviously evil or stupid.

Apparently, as long as he and his friends get to be the ayatollahs, Mr. Herman thinks that's a good system.

Me, I prefer democracy – even if it means letting dumb people like me have our say – and our votes. Studies have shown that when you let dumb people vote, it works out way better than letting experts make all the political decisions.