Last year, when I debated Andrew Sullivan over same sex mirage — he claiming to see it, and me claiming not to, for is it not a mirage? — one of the arguments that I advanced was this one: Given the premises and arguments of same sexery, we have absolutely no reason to limit marriage to two persons only. Andrew wanted to say no, no, no, and that two persons only was traditional and sacrosanct — like anybody cares about that these days. But that was his position anyhow.
In the aftermath of the debate, one of the questions raised to me (from friendly quarters) was whether I was treating same sex mirage as the slippery part of the slope, and polygamy as the bottom of the slope. But Abraham and David were polygamists, and so why would polygamy — a deficient form of marriage, to be sure, but still recognizably marriage — be treated as the reductio ad depravationem of another practice that the Scriptures universally treat as detestable. Is this not backwards somehow?
Point taken, but there are still several ways to defend this argument o’ mine — and it should be defended. The first is this. The point is not that plural marriage in itself is worse than same sex mirage, but rather that the defenders of same sex mirage like to draw arbitrary and capricious lines whenever it comes to the definition of marriage, and they have absolutely no coherent reason for doing so. When an opponent of same sex mirage is asked to defend his position, he says sure. God made the human body, He created us male and female, the two complement one another in exquisite ways, and together they carry the image of God (Gen. 1:27). When a homosexual activist is asked to defend his opposition to plural marriage, he will say sure. Because math and hate.
Whatever standards for marriage the advocates of same sex mirage still arbitarily have (for whatever reason) they should be made to defend. The point is to make it evident that they have no defense. If they say there should only be two people, make them say it, and them make them say why. If they say the age of consent should be eighteen, make them explain why it shouldn’t be seventeen. Their trajectory is evil, but this point is simpler. Their trajectory is capricious and ad hoc.
I am fully aware that once the goal of same sex mirage is realized, a bunch of people who had been professing themselves horrified at the idea of big love will suddenly discover themselves evolving on the subject. Yay evolution. We know how the drill goes. Action A is proposed, conservatives predict Consequence B, advocates of Action A say ho, ho, ho, what a maroon, Action A is enacted, Consequence B arrives on it’s scheduled flight, the conservatives issue an indigant press release pointing this out, advocates of Action A and defenders of Consequence B say ho, ho, ho, what a maroon, and announce the introduction of Legislation C. This ain’t my first rodeo.
I also realize that this involves a tangle of inconsistencies on their part, and that it is not possible to build a civilization on the foundation of such inconsistencies. This is quite true, but their goal is not to build a civilization — their goal, in case you hadn’t realized it by now, is to tear one down. The inconsistencies don’t bother them. They want to demolish Christian civilization. And in this endeavor they are doing quite well, with a bunch of help incidentally from metrosexual hipster Christians, filled to the brim with thots about serious phillums, the kind with the sort of art nudity that makes you think Heidegger was on to something.
So the point to be made here is that homosexual activists do know how to pressure us to modify marriage into an unrecognizable state, but if someone were to ask them to define marriage de novo and please explain to us why we should accept this definition of marriage, they have absolutely nothing to say. What is marriage and why?
The definition of marriage either comes from outside ourselves (from God’s Word and from natural revelation) or it is an arbitrary arrangement according to the pleasures and whims of those participating in it. And if it is according to the whims of however many people can fit on a California king-sized bed, I don’t see why Andrew Sullivan’s peculiar and very personal hang-ups should dictate to these deeply committed five — it was six but Suzy fell off — any kind of limitation on their love.
Well, there is another problem. It starts with the voluntary desires of all those participating in it, but it always ends in accordance with those controlling the institution. I have in mind here Boko Haram’s approach to marriage, which does not take into account the wishes of the abducted child brides. I also have in mind the supine cravenness of the Western elites, who just award Iran a seat on the UN Women’s Rights Commission. Time to bundle up, girls!
Either we control the definition of marriage or we don’t. If we don’t, it is time for some Bible study, and serious research by sociologists who don’t have the gun of political correctness resting on their collective temple. The coolness of the metal helps them to concentrate. If we do control what the definition of marriage is, then let’s be done with laying down laws of any kind. What right do we have to put the lusts of others in a cage? Unless, of course, doing so gratifies our lusts — returning to the Boko Haram point.
But other than that, what right do we have to dictate to any future generations? Maybe they might want to replicate what Herodotus wrote about that time, and build a society that required all its women to serve a public service stint as a sacred prostitute. I am sure we could come up with a slick way to sell it. We could call it something like AmeriWhore.
Nothing is worse than this namby pamby nihilism. Nothing more tepid than warmed over moralism from ostensible atheists like Sam Harris — a moral landscape, forsooth! If you are hoping to murder God, then at least pretend to have done it, and face the consequences. You will have to go mad like Nietzsche did. But if you don’t want to do it, then come back to Jesus.
It should not be surprising, but children growing up with same sex “parents” show a much greater likelihood of being all screwed up. Allow me to wait for a moment to let the shouting die down — because this is the point in the debate where the shouting usually starts. People like me don’t deserve to be answered, being beneath contempt and all, and so we advance the science by shouting that the science is settled, and people like me are science-deniers. I hope to get to the details of this in a future post, but it is a fact that children who grow up in homes headed by two women or by two men are significantly more likely to have been abused.
This is the point where my argument will be deliberately misrepresented, alleging that I am saying that it never happens with heterosexuals, or that all homosexuals are pedophiles. Of course I am not saying that. But I am saying something that should be noted, and which is likely to be just as offensive.
People who reject biblical morality, and who reject the authority of right reason in the natural world, are much more likely to transgress those boundaries — all of them. This is the reason the risks are significantly higher. Even though not all homosexuals are pedophiles, all pro-homosexual arguments are pro-pedophile arguments. Name me one that isn’t. Born this way, check. Deeply felt urges and yearnings, check. Who’s to say what’s normal, check. There is not one pro-homosexual argument that cannot be enlisted in the service of toppling the next taboo, whatever that remaining and increasingly lonely taboo might be.
One other point. A second way to defend my plural marriage argument is by noting that the problem confronting the decadent western world is not going to be the occasional renegade Mormon. The problem is not how many women live under some little rooster’s roof in a rural county of Utah. The pressing problem is Islam. There is no way to open the door to polygamy without simultaneously opening the door to Sharia law — and that really is dangerous. The secular West does not know what it stands for anymore, and following Chesterton’s dictum, it will therefore fall for anything. The only exception the secularists recognize is Christianity — they won’t fall for that, not until God unleashes His sovereign reformation despite their wishes. But in the meantime, the Islamic fundamentalists will continue to go through decadent Western societies like a hot knife through butter. And Sharia law really would be the bottom of a bad slide.