Let Me Not to the Marriage of a Man and a Woman Admit Impediment
When Pat Boone crooned that “Love and Marriage go together like a horse and carriage,” he was from today’s vantage point embarrassingly archaic. It is a noble and heartwarming sentiment and a far saner one than our current diversity mantra entails. But he was wrong. Love is devoutly to be hoped for, but it is not the functional armature of marriage. Many “traditional” cultures, after all, are built on the practice of arranged marriages. Love is secondary. Yet such marriages seem to work as well as, or perhaps even better than, Western marriages based on individual choice. Spouses may in the course of time come to love one another, to their mutual happiness and the enhancing of the union, but marriage per se is a kind of seminary that binds a culture to itself and ensures its durability.
To our irreparable loss, however, marriage as it has been understood for millennia has become a grievous offense to our elite opinion-makers, government apparatchiks, and business firms desperate to ingratiate themselves with entitled minorities. Even Doritos is now marketing rainbow chips. A farmer in my township has posted a sign advertizing eggs from free-range chickens; a rainbow flag droops beside it, prompting chuckles about the identity politics of his chickens and the quality of the eggs. Among public figures, conventional positions tend to “evolve”; both Obama and Hillary Clinton opposed same-sex marriage before testing the electoral waters and deciding they were all for it. Political correctness becomes more orgiastic with every passing day, both a cause and an effect of cultural decrepitude. Just about everything once regarded as normal or proper or “natural” seems calculated to give offense to someone, especially groups that trade on the prerogatives of victimhood.
As sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning explain, we are transitioning from a “culture of dignity” to a “culture of victimhood,” whose tactics “focus on inequality and emphasize the dominance of offenders and the oppression of the aggrieved.” This is a culture in which the gender issue is one of the prominent features, creating in time a condition of “legal overdependency.” A legal crusade then proceeds to justify and enact a problematic enterprise. The paradox is that offense is increasingly taken “in settings that already have relatively high degrees of equality,” that is, where what sociologists call “social stratification” is at a minimum. The field now belongs to those who consider their adversaries, as Campbell and Manning write, “privileged and blameworthy” while regarding themselves as “pitiable and blameless,” given to “emphasizing their own suffering and innocence.” Perhaps it is time to coin a new word along the lines of “offenders,” namely, “offensers.”
Rob Knowles writing in Last Resistance deplores the near-universal tendency to take offense at anything and everything once associated with Western culture, as it increasingly descends into the realm of ludicrous and self-inflationary hyper-sensitivity: feminists, transgenders, Muslims, illegals, race activists, “racialized” persons, aboriginals, micro-aggressed students, refugees, “you name it,” says Knowles, “[t]he permanently offended class has so much more to work with than they used to.”
The Rainbow movement is no exception. Gays seem to be among the most dedicated offensers. In a recent, notorious example, a lesbian couple forced a Christian bakery to shut down for refusing to bake a wedding cake and a partisan judge ordered the proprietors to pay $135,000 in damages. “Gays can be offended by Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis for not wanting her name affixed to their marriages licenses,” wrote Knowles before the two gay men in question, after winning their case, sought revenge on Davis following her release from prison, as Breitbart reports, by “demanding that Davis issue a new license with her name on it.” (It is worth mentioning in this context an under-reported episode that reveals the brazen hypocrisy of the cultural mainstream, involving lesbian judge Tonya Parker who was not jailed or even reprimanded for refusing to perform heterosexual weddings.) Knowles goes on to comment on the Michael Sam imbroglio, which had the gay lobby up in arms. “Gays can be offended that Michael Sam was cut from the Rams and the Cowboys because he’s gay. I heard he wasn’t a great player and that his combine performance was actually pretty terrible–but it was totally because he’s gay.”
Incidentally, Michael Sam was subsequently signed by the team I root for, the Montreal Alouettes, that subsequently blazoned its tolerance and ethical bona fides in the local media. It was the cause célèbre of the Canadian football season. After two unscripted departures from the team owing to “personal issues,” and being welcomed back warmly on each occasion, Sam was eventually let go—his performance both in practice and on the field plainly inadequate. The team had gone for the hype, not for the talent. In a similar way, we too have gone for the hype, not the genuine article.
Camille Paglia, who as a lesbian feminist might be expected to flaunt her “marginalized” credentials, finds the current trend thoroughly risible. In a recent Salon interview, she observed that “sexuality has been politicized—‘Don’t ask any questions!’ “No discussion!’ ‘Gay is exactly equivalent to straight!’.” Paglia cut through all the obfuscating blather. Gay is manifestly not equivalent to straight, and anyone who thinks so, as she suggests despite her own sexual preferences, is the dupe of a “period of psychological blindness or inertness.” Analogously, if somewhat more pungently, Ed Straker at American Thinker ponders: “How can we be asked to teach our children that this medically unsafe lifestyle, which doesn't produce children, is the equal of traditional men-women relationships?” President Obama has reportedly said that traditional marriage supporters need to “catch up” to the rest of the country. But this begs the question. Why would anyone want to “catch up” to a country incontestably sinking into a bog of defeatism, profligacy, social discord, intellectual stupor and cultural decadence?