|Much ado about chicken…what’s next, air conditioners? Oh, wait…|
The Chick-Fil-A non-troversy is a frustrating one for religious conservatives. The Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality, as well described here by ‘Puter, describes a calling and a challenge for gay Catholics who wish to be Catholics in good standing, but not one that is impossible, and that is, basically, to live a chaste life. That is a calling the Church makes to all unmarried Catholics regardless of sexual orientation. Furthermore, the Church calls for all Catholics to love and accept our brothers and sisters regardless of sexual orientation, and never to treat them unfairly.
It is a free country, and an individual can choose to remain Catholic, leave the Catholic Church, or even disagree with the Church, show up on Sunday and grumble about how wrong they think the Church afterwards at brunch. That is not the point of this post.
Indeed, Dr. J. has a Catholic and a Presbyterian friend who are confirmed bachelors, and who, at least by all appearances, live a chaste and rather fulfilling life where they are defined by their professional accomplishments, spirituality and content of character rather than by whom (if anyone) they are attracted to, or what they do in their respective bedrooms.
He has a third,
lapsed Catholic, agnostic, confirmed bachelor chum, who he thinks is just a strange old hermit…but that is another story for another day.
In addition, it wasn’t until recently that Anderson Cooper and Sally Ride came out of the closet, and the latter posthumously. Both of them will be remembered for their accomplishments rather than their sexual preferences because they lived lives defined by what they’ve done, rather than their sexuality, or in the case of Mr. Cooper, also rather than because of his family ties.
The point is this, and it is succinctly made by Dr. J.’s buddy Jamie Jeffords over at the Eye.
Cast aside my true belief that government ought not regulate marriage at all. Marriage is a cultural/religious institution that predates government in the first place. There is no conceivable way any government will relinquish it power to regulate marriage, so there is no sense in even discussing the idea further. I do not condone gat (sic, ed.) marriage. I am a traditionalist who believes marriage is between a man and a woman. The idea that homosexuals should be able to marry is relatively new. Even ancient societies well accepting of homosexuality drew the line at marriage. However, when gay marriage is legalized–not I say when, not if–I will bebop along as I always have.
What I have just demonstrated is the difference between condoning–the act of approving–and tolerating–enduring something one opposes. Chic-fil’A’s critics do not have to condone the company’s support for traditional marriage, but they do have to tolerate it. Unfortunately, there appears to be an epidemic among progressives that tolerance is allowing something they do not like, not trying to either change it or, failing that, get rid of it altogether.
Mr. Jeffords makes a critical point here. Progressives tell their opponents they are intolerant when they are truly the intolerant ones. They use the cry of intolerance as a weapon to bludgeon the respectfully disagreeable into submission. They are typically successful with this tool because they have a willing victim who is tolerant even in his disagreement. Not only has it been recently attempted in the Chick-Fil-A situation, but when the supporters of the HHS mandate turned what was really a war against Catholic not-for-profits into a war-on-womyn.
What is different now is that the opponents of the progressives are no longer afraid of fighting back. They are beginning to learn, as Robert George described in a recent commentary, that a ‘Grand Bargain’ cannot be struck on certain issues.
The fundamental error made by some supporters of conjugal marriage was and is, I believe, to imagine that a grand bargain could be struck with their opponents: “We will accept the legal redefinition of marriage; you will respect our right to act on our consciences without penalty, discrimination, or civil disabilities of any type. Same-sex partners will get marriage licenses, but no one will be forced for any reason to recognize those marriages or suffer discrimination or disabilities for declining to recognize them.” There was never any hope of such a bargain being accepted. Perhaps parts of such a bargain would be accepted by liberal forces temporarily for strategic or tactical reasons, as part of the political project of getting marriage redefined; but guarantees of religious liberty and non-discrimination for people who cannot in conscience accept same-sex marriage could then be eroded and eventually removed. After all, “full equality” requires that no quarter be given to the “bigots” who want to engage in “discrimination” (people with a “separate but equal” mindset) in the name of their retrograde religious beliefs. “Dignitarian” harm must be opposed as resolutely as more palpable forms of harm.
As legal scholar Robert Vischer has observed, “The tension between religious liberty and gay rights is a thorny problem that will continue to crop up in our policy debates for the foreseeable future. Dismissing religious liberty concerns as the progeny of a ‘separate but equal’ mindset does not bode well for the future course of those debates.” But there is, in my opinion, no chance—no chance—of persuading champions of sexual liberation (and it should be clear by now that this is the cause they serve), that they should respect, or permit the law to respect, the conscience rights of those with whom they disagree. Look at it from their point of view: Why should we permit “full equality” to be trumped by bigotry? Why should we respect religions and religious institutions that are “incubators of homophobia”? Bigotry, religiously based or not, must be smashed and eradicated. The law should certainly not give it recognition or lend it any standing or dignity.
These are clearly irreconcilable differences between the two sides.
|Behold the poster child of the 21st century Progressive movement…|
For Roman Catholics, marriage is a sacrament. The legal aspects of marriage are an afterthought.
Dr. and Mrs. Dr. J. were not married, in our hearts until the priest uttered that mystical incantation, “…I pronounce you man and wife…”
According to the state of New York, however, we were already married, as everyone signed the marriage paperwork before mass began.
Ultimately, Dr. J. cares most about is his religious liberty.
He was talking about this with a number of people lately. In his opinion, sacramental marriage and state sanctioned partnerships need to be decoupled.
How the best to do that is a post for a different day.
What is important is that most people have deeply held religious beliefs. These beliefs are sometimes hard to explain because they tap into a person’s ability to hold to something as being sacred mystery, something that cannot be articulated, built upon thousands of years of tradition. These beliefs are civilizing because they remind us that there is something greater than ourselves, and something we should strive towards.
The Progressive movement, in Dr. J.’s opinion does not have a sense of the sacred in this manner, which is why Progressives feel the need to smash every sacred cow that obstructs their agenda. Progressive Elites see in themselves the answer to every societal problem. There is nothing that can’t be made better by their touch. They consider themselves self-designated avatars of a utopian society. They do, however, ultimately overreach, has they have done since 2008. Every time they fly too close to the sun, they fortunately burn up, which Dr. J. believes has begun to occur over the last two years. Unfortunately, like in Gotham, they leave a lot of collateral damage.
Dr. J. has a word for Progressives to look up, and that is hubris.