Here is an absolutely textbook example of that simplistic binary thinking that comes up so often in political discourse. It’s from David Bass, a “20 year old homeschool graduate” who writes for several of those ubiquitous conservative commentary sites, and it’s published, predictably, in the Worldnutdaily. Get a load of this irrational thinking. He begins by quoting someone who is in favor of gay marriage making an argument I have made many times, that the benefits of marriage – and there are many, both personal and societal – apply just as well to gay marriages as straight ones:
Couples who are doing the work of marriage in their lives – caring for one another, raising kids, worrying about aging parents, paying taxes, contributing to the community – deserve an equal commitment under the law. In America, that commitment is called marriage. Marriage can bring security and deepen love, and offers an incomparable – and irreplaceably broad – array of tangible and intangible protections and responsibilities.
I couldn’t agree more. The text comes from an ad, but he doesn’t say who wrote it, nor do I think he knows who wrote it. Now, ordinarily when you accuse someone of hypocrisy or inconsistency, it’s either because their actions conflict with their words, or because their words in one situation conflict with their words in another. But Bass comes up with a whole new accusation of hypocrisy: you’re a hypocrite if something you say contradicts something an entirely different person said when he assigns you and them to the same category:
Does such a flowery description of matrimony surprise you? It should. Frankly, this sudden emphasis on the sanctity of marriage is well nigh shocking considering liberalism’s past record.
For decades, liberals have not only downplayed the significance of marriage but have disparaged the institution as counterproductive to maintaining a so-called progressive culture. Feminists often equate matrimony with slavery and prostitution while upholding cohabitation, promiscuous sex, abortion as birth control and no-fault divorce as saviors of civilization. As feminist goddess Betty Friedan so poignantly explained in her culture-shocking book “The Feminine Mystique,” the nuclear family is nothing more than a comfortable concentration camp.
My only question is this: If the institution of marriage is truly nothing more than contractual rape, slavery and inequity, why should liberals be so passionate about extending its so-called benefits to homosexuals? If much of the present-day suffering by feminist activists can be laid squarely at the feet of wedding vows, why is it so necessary that marriage rights be extended to those who practice homosexuality? Wouldn’t doing so merely inflict a barbarous institution on yet another segment of the population?
Such a paradox makes sense when you understand the hypocritical underpinnings of liberal philosophy. Traditional heterosexual marriage is the evil manifestation of a male-dominated society, designed to trick and coerce women into life-long bondage. Extending nuptial rights to homosexuals, on the other hand, would somehow bring security, deepen love and offer an “incomparable” and “irreplaceably broad” range “of tangible and intangible protections and responsibilities.”
I dare say that it’s a good thing that Bass was homeschooled. If he submitted the above argument in a class on basic logic, he would fail miserably. Are there radical feminists who view the entire institution of marriage as part of the system of patriarchal oppression? Sure. But unless there’s some actual connection between those people and the people who wrote the ad above, something besides having both been assigned to the same category in this guy’s head, any charge of inconsistency is patently ridiculous.
There is no single “liberal philosophy”, of course, except in the simplistic thinking of those who define liberalism as “all the things we oppose.” Even within feminism, there is an enormous range of conflicting opinion not only on the subject of marriage but on dozens of other issues. That doesn’t mean that feminists are hypocrites, it just means they don’t agree with each other. To broaden that out and demand that everyone he randomly assigns to the category of “liberal” agree with each other on everything or they are hypocrites is sheer idiocy.
Then he goes completely off the deep and offers one of those hyperbolic, totally unsupported and altogether ridiculous “my enemies are out to destroy everything that is good” statements:
Liberalism’s double standard on marriage may be an unsolvable conundrum to many, but I’m going to step out on a limb and offer a suggestion as to the real goal behind this quest: the annihilation of marriage itself.
In truth, the struggle to create same-sex marriage is not about safeguarding rights for a community of Americans, but about forever abolishing marriage as it has been traditionally understood, thereby all but eliminating the concept of the nuclear family. It is about turning Judeo-Christian culture on its head and establishing a new secularized version that downplays or outright eliminates any vestige of God, truth, responsibility or traditional morality.
Yep Gomer, you caught us. We just want to abolish not only marriage but truth, resonsibility, morality – and your little dog too! And now that you’ve figured out our little secret, we’re going to have to kill you. Thankfully, we’re well connected, as you might imagine, in the Evil Atheist Conspiracy and can call upon the vast resources of the Illuminati, the Freemasons and the Motion Picture Association of America, so we can pull that off. Just stay where you are…the black helicopters will be there soon.