Saturday, June 21, 2008

Redefining Fidelity (by Phila)

Maggie Gallagher takes yet another stab at explaining what's wrong with gay marriage. She comes to the odd conclusion that redefining marriage will lead to redefining fidelity, because unlike straight people, gays often choose not to be strictly monogamous.
But hey, if the word "marriage" can be redefined as a civil rights imperative, why balk at lesser ideas like "monogamy" or "fidelity"?
It's hard to understand how even the most promiscuous gay couple could "redefine" monogamy for the rest of us. Or for themselves, for that matter. The ideal exists for anyone who wishes to honor it, as it has despite centuries of lurid heterosexual vow-breaking. If Newt Gingrich and his priapic ilk can't destroy it through sanctimony, it's difficult to see how nonmonogamous gays could destroy it through honesty.

But the very difficulty of accepting this argument is what makes doing so imperative. If you simply throw up your hands and declare her rhetoric incomprehensible, teh gayz win.
War is not about killing your enemies; it's about crushing your enemies' will to fight. Guess what? Culture war is too.
She goes on to frighten us with the specter of mere anarchy, as other forms of legally sanctioned oppression are counted, weighed, and found wanting:
"Experts say organizations that receive state and federal funding will not be allowed to oppose working with gays for religious reasons," the Blade forthrightly reports.
Sounds about right to me. You can have your institutional bigotry, or you can have coffers filled with the tax dollars of people whom you consider to be third-class citizens, but you can't have both. In other words, you can be faithful to your ideals come what may, or you can whine that you should be able to have your cake and eat it too.

If you ask me, the fact that this frustrated opportunism constitutes a religious crisis in the eyes of conservatives like Gallagher is a much better example of declining moral standards than gay marriage.