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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

More on Marriage, aka The New Normal

Your Head Trucker is still pinching himself to be sure that last Friday's marriage ruling is really and truly real. I guess it must be, though, with all the conservative heads exploding up and down the country. To give just one example, Time magazine just published an essay by "crunchy conservative" writer Rod Dreher bemoaning the fact that orthodox Christians must now "learn to live as exiles in our own country":
For one, we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist. To be frank, the court majority may impose on the rest of the nation a view widely shared by elites, but it is also a view shared by a majority of Americans. There will be no widespread popular resistance to Obergefell. This is the new normal.
Apparently, Dreher thinks all the real Christians left standing should go out and build their own private little communities in the woods, like St. Benedict, where they practice complete holiness to their hearts' content, 24/7.  I wonder if that means no phones, no lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury?  Good luck selling that new monastic plan, bud - which presumably includes jumping into a thornbush every time an erotic thought pops into mind, like the devout Benedict.

Dreher is, however, honest enough to make these admissions:
Social and religious conservatives must recognize that the Obergefell decision did not come from nowhere. It is the logical result of the Sexual Revolution, which valorized erotic liberty. It has been widely and correctly observed that heterosexuals began to devalue marriage long before same-sex marriage became an issue. The individualism at the heart of contemporary American culture is at the core of Obergefell — and at the core of modern American life. This is profoundly incompatible with orthodox Christianity. But this is the world we live in today.

Christianity is profoundly incompatible with individualism? Um, yeah, if you live in some kind of kinked-up theocratic dictatorship, I suppose - which is no doubt exactly what Dreher and his ilk would dearly love to impose on all the rest of us. And why not, if only they could? Notice Dreher's profoundly egotistic sense of ownership (emphasis mine):
But orthodox Christians must understand that things are going to get much more difficult for us. We are going to have to learn how to live as exiles in our own country. We are going to have to learn how to live with at least a mild form of persecution.
Excuse me - just whose country is it, anyway? I thought Mr. Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal - not just the Christians, not just the orthodox, and certainly not just the dudes who are so tight-assed righteous they squeak when they walk. Dreher and company do not have the title deed to America - it belongs to all of us.

Which some folks in Texas are still having trouble understanding - quite a few small-town Baptist county clerks still think they and their church own the place, and are refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, because Bible

Marriage map of Texas from the Dallas Morning News.

The ACLU of Texas has a hotline you can call to report any difficulties in obtaining a marriage license: 1-888-503-6838, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

But even out here on the prairies and plains and deep in the piney woods, they are coming around, one by one.  Because Constitution, as Senator Elizabeth Warren explains:
In America, because of our Constitution, senseless discrimination – discrimination that demeans the worth of our neighbors and our coworkers and our family members – cannot survive when it is brought out of the darkness. It has never been easy for us to shine the light on such discrimination. But when we see it, when we stop looking away and finally acknowledge it, it is never long before we formally recognize what is compelled by our Constitution. We recognize what has always been there: equality and dignity under the law, for all Americans, no matter who they are.

And here is a very timely history lesson for everyone, courtesy of the irrepressible Matt Baume:

Update, 7/1/15: The Dallas Morning News has posted another interactive marriage map of Texas counties:


Frank said...

Keeping in mind that I am no theologian:
It seems that most Christian denominations have lost sight of their belief in the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) and the adage that God works in mysterious ways.
There is also doctrinal precedent for the belief the governments are, in some transcendent sense, an instrument of the Spirit. Perhaps all this "progress" is the Spirit trying to tell them something.
Maybe they should shut up for a while and listen.
For what it's worth.

Russ Manley said...

Shut up and listen, yes - or to put it a little more smoothly, "Be still and know that I am God." Or to put it yet another way - Drop the drama, honey, and get over yourself. Life goes on, and it's not your party.

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