Faites votre destin, âmes désordonés,
Et fuyez l’infini que vous portez en vous.
final lines of Baudelaire’s “Delphine et Hippolite”
I’m trying not to get really ticked off.
I never watched Duck Dynasty before The Incident, and I haven’t spent more than five minutes on it since then. The only reality show for which I have ever sat still is Kitchen Nightmares—which turns out to offer many lessons about why businesses fail and how people sabotage their own ambitions. Fascinating.
However… the next “conservative” pundit who chatters from his tree or rattles from his keyboard that Tea Party types need to “get over” the gradual, inevitable ascendancy of gay marriage—that “gays are just people like us who want the same freedoms we have,” punch-airblower-for-refrain—will win admission to my “shrouded” list. Michael Medved was the list’s charter member for branding me an idiot because I refused to vote for John McCain: I will no longer listen to or read him under any circumstances. Life’s too short. Glór mór i gceann beag (“big voice in little head”—Irish for “Bill O’Reilly”) would be another, except that I like his guests and find him very easy to process aurally the way one listens to a waterfall. Now, I shall by no means refuse to converse with my eighteen-year-old son, because he is still more child than man in these matters. Indeed, it is on behalf of his misguided and vulnerable ilk that I am so ticked off at irresponsible loudspeakers attached to empty, rotting skulls.
Primo, I do not wish to stone anyone. I do not advocate forcing a red A or a yellow star upon anyone. I would denounce the practice of denying anyone a lease or a job on the basis of that person’s sexual habits (unless these involved tearing up my property in orgies or making passes at customers). The side that’s out to gouge and gore is over there, not over here. I am making a defense, not mounting an attack. But I WILL defend the truth as I see it.
Secundo. We need to be blunt, but I shall try to be so with minimal tastelessness. Call X the membrum virile. Call Y the human anus. Call Z the female portal. Now, if X is capable of exploring Y, it is certainly capable of entering Z. In the vast majority of the cases at issue, therefore, we are clearly not talking about a physical incapacity. We have already disproved, then, that the people in question are not equipped by nature to engage in “normal” activity. We are left with the argument that they do not feel inclined to do so—that they prefer their own sex just as some people prefer cake to candy. That this argument from preference is a house of wet cards may be demonstrated from any angle. The same argument would justify marriage between man and boy or man and beast. The same argument would justify the most ravenous promiscuity—for preferences of this fanciful sort often change, do they not? Even the most faithful male sometimes “prefers”, in whimsy, a more recent edition to his aging wife… and with what respect do responsible people entertain such whimsies or those who indulge them? The speaker in a Robbie Burns poem sings, “I hae loved the black, the brown, / I hae loved the fair, the golden, / All the colors in the town— / I hae won their wanton favor!”
Wantonness, my little squabs, is the word for wholly unprincipled license. Some men fancy a redhead after they have “had” a blonde. And some men fancy another man after they have had the whole rainbow of women.
Tertio, there are indeed a few men (and I speak of men, because female homosexuality is little more than self-arousal practiced on an animate object) whom nature has treated unkindly. In their case, X is not functional. This unhappy condition is not accompanied, however, by a transformation of Y into Z. They remain merely men without a functioning X. That other men “want” them is apparently welcome attention in an otherwise lonely existence—yet it is an exploitative attention, as it would be if a ten-year-old girl were to admit a fifty-year-old uncle into her bed because nobody else “loves” her. The difference, of course, is that our young man has reached the age of consent. We cannot legally intervene. Yet we do not have to put on a happy face and bless the union… or do we? I, at any rate, will not.
Quarto, homosexuality could not possibly be transmitted through DNA, because it would have been bred out of existence millennia ago. The prim and proper centuries in which men so affected would have married women just to conceal their forbidden proclivity are few and recent. On the primal savanna, a Doubting Thomas doesn’t have to go to the matron baboon and say, “Mother, may I… with Maurice?” Left to do what they want for tens of thousands of years, gay primates, having never bred with females, would never pass along genetic material. Denying this should constitute hate speech against people whose IQ is at least two-thirds of a cretin’s.
Some may say, “Well, you’ve conveniently and arbitrarily ruled out the female primate; but on your primal savanna, she would no more be able to refuse the male, though she were gay, than a gay man would be allowed to come out of the closet in Victorian times.” No need to linger here. Over several thousand years, the absence of gay males participating in the breeding cycle would eventually outweigh the persistence of gay females (unless we consider the gay gene dominant, in which case almost all of us would be gay by now—or, to be precise, the human race would no longer exist); and more than that, it is simply absurd to suggest that one and the same gene governs the male’s preference for a male and the female’s preference for a female. There are genuine cases—a very few of them—where the pudenda are malformed. The genetic formula leading to this condition in males is NOT the same as it is in females.
Quinto, nothing significant now inhibits gay couples from living openly together—an option favored by more young heterosexual couples than marriage, it seems. Why, then, the insistence on marriage? Obviously, to create a stir among traditionalists. This assault was engineered from the start, at least on the part of most who formed its front line, as yet another body slam to those hypocritical meanies, the American bourgeoisie. I know all about pampered young people with “unmarketable” gifts (usually in the arts) who spend years in higher education. Minus the pampering, I was one myself. They never seem to tire of trying to get back at an economy that won’t pay them a living wage for doing watercolors or writing poems, and at a dad who never came home because he was so busy making money. They don’t want to be dads, in their own right: they want to remain the children who were neglected and ignored in a shower of golden sippie cups and rattles. Such infantilism appears to feed into (or perhaps just to feed) the voracious sexual appetite of men who have exhausted everything that feminine charms have to offer, and/or the severely bruised sexual ego of men who have been used and trashed by feminist scalp-hunters. No, I have no degree in psychology: I can only speculate beyond this point. But whether the cry is predominantly, “Look at me—I’m pissing on your flowers again,” or, “Look at me—I’ve found a way around all the rejections you threw at me,” I clearly hear a cry. This isn’t about marriage. It’s about drawing attention.
I found out just lately that my cousin, the tenured California professor, is openly living with another woman whom she styles her “partner”. This is a person who had knock-down-drag-out fights with her liberal-but-old-fashioned father as an adolescent, disappearing with her male teachers over weekends in escapades that apparently gave her pleasure. She felt committed enough to what she would describe as a “full life” that she didn’t hesitate to stage frequent boyfriend sleepovers at the antebellum mansion where my sainted grandmother rented rooms to make ends meet. Free rent notwithstanding, there was an exigent need to grind the old lady’s face in the “hollowness of her values”—for tenants had always been terminated for such behavior before. The girl found a poor bloke to marry when she feared she might miss out on whatever satisfactions were involved in having kids, proceeding to generate two healthy daughters in short order. Divorce followed soon. Now, lest some exotic pleasure pass unsavored before the sand runs out of the glass, she… you get the idea. How much of the pleasure is visceral and how much the “spiritual” joy of outraging society? I don’t have the formula—but I’m confident that both of those are ingredients.
Sexto et ultimo, many people like me—brace yourself—really don’t care that much even if the gay couple has its sacred rites. We just want the state, funded by our tax dollars, out of the business of participating in all this unholy sanctimony. Let churches that wish to be identified with unions dedicated to sex rather than to child-rearing and building the next generation come out of the closet and shout it from the housetops. The rest of us will then know when to cross the street. No more civil marriage-licensing; no more tax breaks or penalties; no more courtroom battles about alimony and child-support (which always end up so happily and productively for all concerned, you know); no more legalese about the divvying up of property after one spouse’s death. If the members of a couple don’t wish to be tested for Tay-Sachs before tying the knot, leave them alone. If we must have an income tax, tax everyone on the basis of his income, tout court. If the husband walks out, let the grandparents or—dare I say it?—the local church step in… and Daddy can forget about ever seeing his kids again. If a wife wants to leave her stash to The Wilderness Society instead of to the deadbeat on her couch playing video games, she should have that right.
I will ignore for now the considerable stake that statist progressives have in seeing the nuclear family dissolved for good—to be replaced, presumably, by some kind of on-demand baby-assembly-line out of Aldous Huxley. These architects from hell exist behind the scenes, I am convinced; but the case to be made against them must wade through a volcanic gravel of sociopathic indifference rather than the mushy sinkhole of emotionalism to which our children are directly subjected.
In peroratione, Gay America, make your vows before your god and to your god. If your god is pleased by the nature of your commitment, then you shouldn’t need my approval or anyone else’s. If your marriage is homosexual, you don’t have my approval, and you won’t get it. Why do you care? Your god isn’t mine. I’m not bothering you. Stop whining through my window and go your way.
As for soi-disant conservative and libertarian exponents who want the rest of us to shut up and hunker down, I would stress that my own rather libertarian view, outlined just above, is not a concession. We must talk more about this issue, not less (and I shall indeed write more about it next week). Yet it is not an issue that can or should be resolved in the political arena: in that I concur. I don’t believe that saying so much amounts to courting the support of a population whose lifestyle is anathema to my values. On the contrary, while I would like my gay neighbors to vote with me against centralized government, out-of-control-spending, lifetime politicians, rules that apply only to the ruled, intrusive surveillance, and a host of other ills that restrict our freedom—while their side and mine can unite politically on dozens of matters—we also must remain opponents on the social and moral front. They must understand that traditionalists with children prefer them to live on the far side of the neighborhood. We do not approve of them, as they do not approve of us.
If this is all about freedom—about preference—then understand that either a Berlin Wall must separate our ways, or else jungle law must decide who eats and who is eaten. Please let me have my preference, and stay in your own community with your own churches that perform your own kind of marriage. I am not “diverse” in that way. I have principles. Believing that A is right logically requires that Not A should not be right. I do not accept every way in my own life or in the rearing of my family. I accept only those ways that I believe to be right.