Despite the current spotlight on fiscal issues in Washington (and virtually every state capital), the battle over cultural issues has by no means gone away. In fact, even while our government continues to spend itself into bankruptcy, the culture war is still very much with us.
(Actually, it is never really considered a “war” in the media unless conservatives are fighting back, never just when liberals are tearing down traditional cultural norms).
The latest battle in the ongoing war just concluded in New York, where liberals continued their assault on traditional marriage by redefining it to include homosexuality. Thanks to Republican turncoats, the marriage revisionists won by just four votes.
It is important to note that this war is being waged by a distinct minority against several thousand years of human history, and that their agenda has never carried the day when put before the public for a vote. Quite the opposite, actually. Voters in over thirty states have passed marriage amendments to their state constitutions defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Any victories for gay marriage have always been by imposition of a legislature or, more often, via subversion of the political process by the judiciary.
Just prior to the vote on the new marriage law, New York Democrat State Senator Carl Kruger stated that, “what we’re about to do is re-define what the American family is.” At least someone knows what they’re doing and why. Too many conservatives don’t seem awake to it. The fact is, liberals not only want to re-define marriage, but to use the force of law to mandate social approval of a certain type of behavior. To legally force everyone to treat an apple as though it were an orange.
This is a critical point that is often lost in the course of a debate where gays (with a big assist from the media) have set the language for the debate in terms of civil rights. But when a new right to homosexual marriage is created and everyone is forced to recognize it, what happens to the religious rights of others who, by way of adherence to their faith, can’t possibly call this apple an orange, much less treat it like one?
And since we’re talking about rights, let’s not forget that the First Amendment to our Constitution prohibits government from prohibiting the free exercise of religion – and surely “free exercise” is not simply speech, but rather the living out of one’s religious values in everyday life. Or does allowing gay marriage to come out of the closet mean that religious values need to be confined to the sanctuary?
Some answers to that question are already with us.
In California, that state passed a law several years ago which would force Catholic Charities to include birth control as part of any insurance plans for employees. The church sued, and the California Supreme Court ruled against them by six to one, (this is the same court that tried to force gay marriage on that state against the will of its voters).
According to its brief in the case, the Church says that the state is trying to use the “rule of law to force a church institution, in violation of its own self-identify and constitution, to pay for something in its own workplace that the institution holds and teaches to be sinful.” As one catholic bishop put it, “It boils down to a very simple question. Under the Constitution, does the state of California have the right to tell its citizens how to practice their religion?” Liberals seem to think so. The case is now on its way to the US Supreme Court.
In San Diego, a fertility doctor was sued for refusing to artificially inseminate an unmarried lesbian on religious grounds. And a Lutheran school in Riverside County, California was sued for expelling two students that were involved in a lesbian relationship, again, on the grounds of religious views.
Of course the liberal activists in New York argue that they have protected religious organizations with special language in their marriage bill which protects actions that are “calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained”. But any realist knows that such language is tailor-made for an endless parade of harassment lawsuits by liberals intent on forcing their will over religion.
The attack on marriage is part of a two prong assault on the family as well as religion – institutions which still (at least to a degree that annoys liberals) stand for something traditional. And traditional institutions and religious liberties are suffering a slow death of a thousand cuts.
Conservatives who would rather not talk about social issues need to understand that this is all part of a larger effort to weaken conservative institutions within society at large. And the more we allow our country’s social values to be watered down (or allow the government to compel it), the more our economic values will suffer. They are inextricably linked.
How conservative will our economic policies be when families become even further degraded and churches can’t (or don’t) teach the difference between right and wrong, or have members who publicly live out their values?
The fact that our country is currently in a debt crisis suggests an answer to that question.
Cross-posted at DrewMcKissick.com