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Everyone's equal, everyone's happy, love conquers all, and we are absolutely not heading to some dark, divisive place where the fabric of our society will be torn apart by people who, having invented "gay marriage" and imposed it on the entire country by a single Supreme Court justice, use it as a cudgel to wreak havoc on a host of other social and legal compacts which have ... Oh. Hold on. Couple pieces coming in over the transom ... Let's check them out.
Here's Fredrik DeBoer in Politico claiming that social justice demands we now legalize polygamy. Here are the mouthbreathers at Gawkerdoing the same, using Rod Dreher's Law of Merited Impossibility. Here's the ACLU's Louise Melling declaring that "religious freedom" is nothing more than illegal discrimination. (Note how the Washington Post headline actually puts scare quotes around the term "religious freedom" in the headline.) Here's Mark Oppenheimer arguing in Time that we ought to strip all religious groups-not just adoption agencies and schools, but actual churches, too-of their tax exempt status. Because gay marriage. (He's willing to let hospitals stay tax exempt, because Obamacare will keep them in line. So there's that.) And here's the delightful Felix Salmon, who thinks that Oppenheimer perhaps goes too far, because we need only target religious organizations-and again, he means not just para-church groups, but actual churches-who aren't onboard with "gay marriage."
At the risk of belaboring the point: This isn't a radical activist-this is a mainstream (-ish) financial reporter who now declares that individual churches not only could, but should be forced to perform same-sex weddings. Or face the loss of their tax-exempt status.
So maybe this love, pride, and unity stuff is a little more zero-sum than gay activists have been letting on for the past few years. And maybe the gay-marriage project doesn't really intend to stop with "gay marriage." Though in fairness, I should point out that the Politico call for legalized polygamy didn't come until nearly two hours after the Supreme Court decision. So clearly there's no link between those two beautiful expressions of #loveislove. And anyone who suggests that there is, is a homophobic bigot. And by next week, anyone objecting to polygamy will be a poly-phobic bigot.
So, since it's not the end of the world just yet, we might as well take in all of the absurdities from the last few days.
My favorite was a series ofMcSweeney haikus summarizing the various SCOTUS opinions. Here, for instance, is their version of Clarence Thomas's opinion:
"Liberty" _ this word, I do not think Locke means what You think it means. Sigh.
And here's their Anthony Kennedy:
Hark! Love is love, and love is love is love is love. It is so ordered.
That's high-caliber funny. Though not, perhaps as funny as Jonathan Rauch, who's been banging on for "gay marriage" from the very moment this foundational human right was discovered in the early 1990s. Rauch decided to evaluate how his predictions about the future of "gay marriage" have held up over the years. And you'll be pleased to know that all of the wonderful aspects of "gay marriage" that Rauch predicted have turned out swimmingly, except for the handful of areas where he wasn't optimistic enough.
For instance, Rauch had privately worried that after "gay marriage" was created, gay people wouldn't actually partake in it. But it turns out that Rauch was wrong and that "gay marriage" rates are through the roof!
How do we know that gay folks are getting married at extremely high rates? Well, Rauch is a fellow at the Brookings Institution, which means that he's steeped in data and social science. And no, he doesn't mention any "social science" to support his claim. Because he has seen so many pictures of gay weddings on the Huffington Post! No, really:
In my heart I always believed that gay America would embrace marriage. Before long, I saw I was right. A turning point came on that day in San Francisco in 2004, when same-sex marriage was briefly legalized and the world saw gay couples lining up outside the courthouse and around the block. (There are some marvelous photos here.) Massachusetts, legalizing gay marriage a few months later, saw a similar rush to the altar_a rush that has never stopped.
Chug on that Mark Regnerus! In your face! Just imagine how Rauch could have run up the score if he had linked to the pictures in his Facebook feed, too. Evidently, at Brookings, the plural of "social media" is "data."
Finally there's a piece over at Foreign Policy by Georgetown Law professor (and former State Department undersecretary for policy) Rosa Brooks who claims that "gay marriage" is going to defeat ISIS. Seriously:
Do you want to fight the Islamic State and the forces of Islamic extremist terrorism? I'll tell you the best way to send a message to those masked gunmen in Iraq and Syria and to everyone else who gains power by sowing violence and fear. Just keep posting that second set of images. Post them on Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and in comments all over the Internet. Send them to your friends and your family. Send them to your pen pal in France and your old roommate in Tunisia. Send them to strangers.
This is a real thing. Someone who was responsible for policy in the State Department not only had these thoughts, but believed in her sparkly, rainbow-happy heart that they were worth publishing. So forget "gay marriage." If people this silly are able to rise to positions of power and distinction in our foreign policy establishment, then America's toast anyway.
"I recently went to a new physician, a dermatologist, for a minor problem, but before seeing her, I had to fill out a longish form setting out my and my parents' medical history. All went smoothly enough until the very last question, which asked about my hobbies. I was frankly stumped. I have no hobbies, yet, chary of leaving the space blank, I wrote in 'Cultivating and collecting grievances.' The absence of hobbies from my life, let me quickly assert, is not among these grievances. I never had a hobby, don't have one now, and the notion of finding a suitable hobby has never occurred to me."
"When Hales got through to Plouffe, he said he'd heard a 'disturbing rumor' that Uber planned to start operations. 'That,' he said, 'would be a bad way to start.' Plouffe responded with a drawn-out silence. Before Plouffe mustered a reply, Novick erupted: 'Mr. Plouffe, if you come to Portland without following our rules, we're going to throw the book at you!' But as Portland would learn, a city of 600,000 can play tough with a $40 billion company, particularly one that is used to getting its way, for only so long."
Of course, it hasn't been all laughs. There were three moments last week which, taken together, signaled to the world once and for all that America is now a (trigger warning) banana republic.
First, the week started with the Supreme Court ruling that the language in Obama's Affordable Care Act did not say what it says. Writing for the majority, Justice Roberts didn't torture or parse the law-he didn't rely on a "depends on what the meaning of 'is' is" interpretation. He simply swept aside the actual language of the legislation and declared the text to mean what he wanted it to mean. Full stop.
Second, there was Justice Kennedy's love-is-love-is-love decision in Obergefell. This, too, rested not on jurisprudence, but personal pique. Justice Kennedy wanted it, so he willed it. Which is bad enough.
But consider the other justices who signed on to his opinion. During her confirmation hearings to be solicitor general, Elena Kagan was asked, flat-out, "Do you believe there is a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage?"
She replied: "There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage."
So either Kagan evolved in lock-step with her patron, President Obama, or she was flat lying during her confirmation-which suggests that all assumptions of transparency and good-faith regarding congressional confirmations are now inoperable. So we cannot trust the people who are nominated to high office to acknowledge their views truthfully before the citizenry. And we cannot trust them to adhere to actual law and jurisprudence once ensconced in their unelected office.
All of which is why Andy McCarthy charges that the Supreme Court has become a political branch, not a judicial one. Here's McCarthy:
Did you notice that there was not an iota of speculation about how the four Progressive justices would vote?
There was never a shadow of a doubt. In the plethora of opinions generated by these three cases, there is not a single one authored by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, or Sonia Sotomayor. There was no need. They are the Left's voting bloc. There was a better chance that the sun would not rise this morning than that any of them would wander off the reservation.
How can that be? Jurisprudence is complex. Supple minds, however likeminded, will often diverge, sometimes dramatically, on principles of constitutional adjudication, canons of statutory construction, murky separation-of-powers boundaries, the etymology of language, and much else. Witness, for example, the spirited debate between the Court's two originalists, Scalia and Clarence Thomas, over a statute that, in defiance of Obama policy, treats Jerusalem as sovereign Israeli territory. But not the Court's lefties, not on the major cases. And it is not so much that they move in lockstep. It is that no one expects them to do anything but move in lockstep-not their fellow justices, not the political branches, and certainly not the commentariat, right or left. It is simply accepted that these justices are not there to judge. They are there to vote... .
Once it has become a given that a critical mass of the Supreme Court is no longer expected, much less obliged, to do law, then the Court is no longer a legal institution.
As McCarthy goes on to say, last week's two decisions weren't just post-constitutional, they were post-law. Meaning that we no longer live within a system of laws, but under a system governed by the will of men.
Exhibit C from last week was our president's bizarre, exuberant celebration of the Obergefell decision. His Department of the Interior tweeted out a picture of two guys making out. He turned the White House-which, last I checked, was the people's house-rainbow colored. He gave a speech where he praised the "slow, steady effort" of the "gay marriage" movement. And then he pulled out all the stops:
This ruling is a victory for Jim Obergefell and the other plaintiffs in the case. It's a victory for gay and lesbian couples who have so long for their basic civil rights. It's a victory for their children, whose families will now be recognized as equal to any other. It's a victory for the allies and friends and supporters who spent years, even decades working and praying for change to come.
And this ruling is a victory for America. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.
My administration has been guided by that idea.
At the end of which, everyone applauded el presidente and pretended that he, too, had been laboring in the vineyard with Jonathan Rauch lo these many years. And no one-but no one-brought up the fact that until the day before yesterday, Obama's view of "gay marriage" was even more restrictive than Elena Kagan's had been. No one dared mention that until quite recently, Barack Obama's view of the matter was: "What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman ... What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it's not simply the two persons who are meeting."
Because this is how politics goes in a banana republic. The people listen to whatever ridiculous idea el presidente is spouting off that day and they celebrate it. Because he isn't held to any standard of coherence or reason or accountability. He's el presidente. And you're not. Your job is simply to nod your head in agreement and applaud.
Liberal republics are defined in large part by the constraints which laws, principles, and traditions place upon the state. The banana republic is defined by the raw application of power. After last week, there's little doubt which model American now resembles.
Before we check out, I'll give the last word to Russell Moore, who might be the Richard John Neuhaus of his generation. He writes:
[T]here is one thing that, tempted as we may be to expect it, will not happen, either in our lifetime or beyond: Marriage will not go away. The Gospel-imaging union between a man and a woman as a sacred testimony to Christ's pursuit of His church will never be scrubbed from our culture, as if it were a coat of paint on our social consciousness. No, marriage is not merely a cultural accessory, it is a cosmic, spiritual, and deeply human reality is embedded into the creation itself. No amount of same-sex marriage in the twenty-first century will change this, just as no amount of blue-collar, Bible-belt divorce culture in the late twentieth century changed it then.
Marriage is resilient. It can be screamed at, wished away, and even legally disfigured, but it cannot be destroyed.
The Sexual Revolution always promises fulfillment but betrays its followers bitterly in the end. Even as we brace for a generation's worth of confusion and enforced conformity, we must also stand fast in holding out hope to the refugees from the Sexual Revolution who will come to us, being wrecked by the fantasy of autonomy and self-creation. We must keep the light lit to the old paths. We must point out why marriage is rooted not just in nature and tradition but in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:32).
Marriage is resilient because it is God-created, not another government program. That's why hand wringing and siege mentality has no place among those who want to champion traditional marriage. Marriage does not exist thanks to humanity, and so it cannot be unmade thanks to it either.
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