Wait for the vilification campaig in 3....2.....1....
So here’s the premise that grounds the rest of my comments tonight. On October 6, the Supreme Court declined to hear a variety of state appeals on the nature of marriage. In effect, the court has affirmed the validity of gay marriage, and I believe this creates a tipping point in American public discourse. The dismemberment of any privileged voice that biblical belief once had in our public square is just about complete.
This trend has been building for a long time. Gay marriage is only one of the many issues that have transformed our culture. But given the intimate and embodied nature of the relationship in every genuine marriage, and the traditional procreative implications it has for making or closing off a nation’s future, gay marriage has a uniquely powerful sign value.
The most disturbing thing about the debate around gay marriage is the destruction of public reason that it accomplished. Emotion and sloganeering drove the argument. And the hatred that infected the conversation came far less from so-called “homophobes” than from many gay issue activists themselves. People who uphold a traditional moral architecture for sexuality, marriage and family have gone in the space of just 20 years from mainstream conviction to the media equivalent of racists and bigots.
This is impressive. It’s also profoundly dishonest and evil, but we need to acknowledge the professional excellence of the marketing that made it happen. We also need to thank God for the gift of this difficult moment, because conflict always does two things. It purifies the Church, and it clarifies the character of the enemies who hate her. Conflict is good when the issues matter. And very few issues matter as much to the course of a nation as the nature of marriage and family.
So what do we do now? Believers don’t have the luxury of pessimism. And the idea that we can retire to the safety of some modern equivalent of a monastery in the hills, isn’t practical or warranted. Our job is to be the healthy cells in a society. We need to work as long as we can, as hard as we can, to nourish the good that remains in our country – and there’s a deep well of good that does remain — and to encourage the seeds of a renewal that can only come from our young people.//