I think George Orwell might be surprised to find that the dystopian future he envisioned in his classic novel 1984 didn’t come with a totalitarian Soviet boot stamped on a face in 2013. Rather it seems to be coming in the name of equality and tolerance. The love that dare not speak its name has become the love that will not shut up, and now the love that demands universal affirmation, or else.
The passion of the secular left (but I repeat myself) to redefine marriage has always been about one thing, and it ain’t “equality.” It is about demonizing traditional Christian morality, full stop. Even though it is based on an assumption that is unprovable, that homosexuality is genetically equal to race, that doesn’t stop the zealots from screaming “bigots!” anytime they are challenged. They don’t do nuance.
The inimitable Mark Steyn, he who embraces the politically incorrect as well as anyone, writes in a recent piece about how the word “homosexual” has now become a sure indicator of thoughtcrime, thanks to the doyenne of female pundits Maureen Dowd. Actually Ms. Dowd quotes a friend of hers Max Mutchnick, creator ofWill & Grace speaking of the recent Supreme Court hearing about redefining marriage:
“Scalia uses the word ‘homosexual’ the way George Wallace used the word ‘Negro.’ There’s a tone to it. It’s humiliating and hurtful. I don’t think I’m being overly sensitive, merely vigilant.”
So in due course, which I guess is now, it will be unallowable in polite company to use the word homosexual, lest one be branded a bigot. As for me I have never nor will I ever use the term “gay” to refer to homosexuals, because I’m not sure why this perfectly fine synonym for happy should exclusively mean same gender sexual attraction. But alas, I was born a bigot and can’t help myself, which I guess means it’s actually OK! Gotta be true to yourself, right?
Most Americans are not secular leftist radicals, thus the first word that comes to their mind when they confront people like me who believe marriage is what is has always been is not bigot. Yet because equality and fairness and just letting people pursue their own version of happiness is quintessentially American, they don’t have any desire to keep people from that happiness. This is why those who want to redefine marriage came up with the utterly ridiculous but effective phrase, “marriage equality.” Seriously, what in the world does that even mean? It could not be anymore 1984.
The beginning of the book introduces us to three phrases that make perfect sense in a world of totalitarian groupthink:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
To the modern progressive, reality is ultimately malleable, because reality is one dimensional; i.e. reality is material. There is nothing that transcends matter and what we think about it. This is assumption number one, the alpha and the omega of the post-modern worldview. Thus marriage could not possibly be something that inheres in the very nature of reality, which has as its fundamental purpose something only the two genders can bring to the table. But we’re Americans; surely we can have a civil debate about such things, can’t we? Steyn tells why the answer is likely not:
I can see why gays might dislike Scalia’s tone, or be hurt by [Jeremy] Irons’ “lack of strong feelings.” But the alternative — that there is only one approved tone, that one must fake strong feelings — is creepy and totalitarian and deeply threatening to any healthy society. Irons is learning, as Carrie Prejean learned a while back, that “liberals” aren’t interested in your opinion, or even your sincere support, but only that you understand that there’s one single, acceptable answer. We don’t teach kids to memorize historic dates or great poetry any more, but we do insist they memorize correct attitudes and regurgitate them correctly when required to do so in public. . . .
Instead, the relentless propagandizing grows ever more heavy-handed: The tolerance enforcers will not tolerate dissent; the diversity celebrators demand a ruthless homogeneity. Much of the progressive agenda — on marriage, immigration, and much else — involves not winning the argument but ruling any debate out of bounds. Perhaps like Jeremy Irons you don’t have “strong feelings” on this or that, but, if you do, enjoy them while you can.
As Mr. Bowie well put it:
Someday they won’t let you, now you must agree
The times they are a-telling, and the changing isn’t free
You’ve read it in the tea leaves, and the tracks are on TV
Beware the savage jaw