Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ryan T. Anderson - Dead Ender Defending Discrimination

Ryan T. Anderson
Sometimes smart people do very stupid things. Ryan T. Anderson takes to Witherspoon's blog today with a polemic titled The Defense of Marriage Isn't Over. Anderson has spent the better part of the last four years promoting marriage discrimination on behalf of the Catholic Church. He has nothing to show for his efforts — unless you count failure. Little wonder why he would double down (I am beginning to loathe that term) while still calling his defense of discrimination “defense of marriage.” The smart move is to leave the table.

By starting with the final paragraph of Anderson's essay, we appreciate just how misguided this young man really is:
Too many of our neighbors haven’t heard our arguments, and they seem unwilling to respect our rights because they don’t understand what we believe. It’s up to us to change that perception. We will help decide which side history is on.
Respect his rights? So this is about protecting Anderson's right to do what exactly? Also Anderson is incorrect. His neighbors have heard the arguments and they fully understand what he is saying. And that is precisely why they support marriage equality. In the final analysis Anderson wants to impose the teachings of the Catholic Church on civil law. That is crystal clear. He has never voiced a substantive objection to same-sex marriage. Over the last four years he has tied himself in knots trying to explain away religious opprobrium. It hasn't worked. He wrote an entire book (along with Robert George and Sherif Girgis). That didn't work either.

For years, now, Anderson and his friends have been pretending that same-sex marriage has some mysterious dastardly effect on so-called traditional marriage. They have asked others to pretend along with them. Those willing to do so are diminishing in numbers for a very simple reason. People don't want to appear to be stupid. Pretending that gay marriage will doom civilization is stupid. It is obviously stupid as well.

The justices of the Supreme Court could have left those cases in limbo while maintaining the stays. At least six of them decided that enough is enough. It's time to respect the process. In the lower courts Anderson and friends have given testimony (lots of it) and submitted briefs. They have had more than their fair share of the system. They lost. They appealed and they lost again. Now they are using the black-robed-tyrant pitch. Anderson calls it “dozens of acts of judicial activism.” Translation: his side lost.

When the voters enact a ballot measure they are acting as legislators. A basic premise of our entire legal system is that legislatures cannot enforce laws that are unconstitutional and the courts have decided that marriage discrimination offends our rights and the rights of our children to due process and equal protection. That's not usurping the voters. That is called defending the Constitution.

Within his essay, Anderson seems to think that the tide can turn:
Whatever happens, it is essential to take the long view and to be ready to bear witness to the truth even if law and culture grow increasingly hostile. There are lessons to be learned from the pro-life movement.

The media kept insisting that all the young people were for abortion rights. Elites ridiculed pro-lifers as being on the wrong side of history. The pro-lifers were aging; their children increasingly against them.
[ … ]
But courageous pro-lifers put their hand to the plow, and today we reap the fruits. Everything the pro-life movement did needs to happen again, but on this new frontier of marriage.
This isn't similar to abortion. Nothing dies. Abortion is a very complex matter with numerous levels of support and opposition.

Marriage equality is a very different issue (although the Catholic Church doesn't see it that way). In comparison to abortion it is really quite simplistic. Gay marriage only affects those who gay marry — and of course their families. In states that have marriage equality nobody cares anymore. The nice two lesbians who live down the block still live down the block. Now they are married. So what? Everyone lives. Opposing their marriage is just plain stupid. Twenty years from now young people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Despite five years of economic recovery more than 45 million people, nearly 15% of all our citizens, lived below the poverty line last year. One in seven people experience hunger — right here in America. There are undernourished children in America. Each year about 1.5 million kids will experience being homeless for a period of time. Worldwide about 16% of the population is still illiterate.

Perhaps the Catholic Church and Mr. Anderson should reconsider their priorities. Arrogantly throwing money and energy at discrimination instead of improving the human condition seems, well, spectacularly stupid.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be civil and do NOT link to anti-gay sites!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.