Thursday, July 2, 2015

“Not my problem”

Matt Walsh discusses at length libertarians’ strategic weakness on the marriage issue, but he could be talking about any topic they relegate to the “social” issues heap. Here’s Walsh:

I wasn’t especially troubled by the progressive lynch mob and their vulgar, wretched, hateful “love.” I’m used to it. I’ve been more concerned by the large number of self-proclaimed Christians and conservatives who’ve repeatedly informed me that the whole gay marriage issue isn’t important. “It won’t affect us,” they tell me over and over again. It’s not relevant to our lives. We aren’t hurt by it. Who cares? It’s all good. Whatevs, man. There are matters more urgent than truth and morality and the future of the human race. Like, what about the economy and stuff?

I’m not proud to say it, but I feel an immense disgust for these Apathetic, Weak, Oblivious, Scared, Distracted, Impotent, Frivolous, Christians And Conservatives (AWOSDIFCACs for short). I’m not saying disgust is the correct emotional response, but I admit I experience it. I can deal with liberals. They’re just wrong about everything. Fine. That’s simple. But AWOSDIFCACs know and understand the truth, yet yawn or shrink away in fear.

The “it doesn’t affect us” mantra has become one of the more common, and absolutely the most damaging, idea circulating through the ranks of the defeatists. It’s a gross and ridiculous lie, one which accomplishes the impressive feat of being wrong in two different ways. It’s wrong when it says we should only care about things that have an impact on our lives, and it’s wrong when it says gay marriage will have no impact on our lives.

First, since when are we only supposed to care about things that will physically or financially affect us? Don’t we normally condemn a person who fails to act or think or speak simply because he, himself, individually, isn’t yet feeling the effect of it? Don’t we criticize a person who doesn’t care until he’s getting punched in the nose by the problem?

When we’re dealing with moral quandaries — questions of right and wrong, truth and lies — it is not a legitimate argument to say “it doesn’t affect me.” It’s effect on you is irrelevant to the issue. What kind of moral idiot measures the impact of a certain evil on his own life and calibrates his concern accordingly? We might all do this sometimes, but it’s a weakness. It’s shameful. It’s cowardice and self-interest. It’s not good. You shouldn’t be proud of it.

Second, as a member of society, State-imposed falsehoods do affect you. Marriage is a certain thing with a certain nature and definition. When the State mandates that the thing is something other than what it is, and has a purpose other than its actual purpose, you are now living under a tyranny of confusion. The severity of that confusion depends on the degree of the falsehood. So if the government announced tomorrow that we must all pretend penguins are elephants and cats are squirrels, I expect I wouldn’t be seriously harmed. I might be helped because I could finally get rid of my wife’s annoying cat on the grounds that I don’t want squirrels in my house.

But I would still oppose this redefinition because it’s not true, and I prefer Truth. How does it negatively affect my life that people are all confused about penguins and cats and elephants? I guess it doesn’t, except that it would make my trips to the zoo pretty disorienting, and more importantly, I want our culture to have a proper understanding of reality. Moreover, I don’t want our government to impose an improper understanding.

Part of the problem with Ayn Rand is all she’s good for is to provide contrast with fascists, socialists, and Communists. If you read her on her own merits, you realize what a one-sided depiction of man she provides, cold, isolated, empty. Try living like that.

Marriage liberalism has no direct effect on me. Neither does the drug-addicted single mom living next door, with a caravan of suitors going in and out of her home, with a resentful teenage son who drops out of school and joins a gang and throws a brick through my window. Is that when I start to care, when I have been personally violated? We’re flesh and blood beings living in flesh and blood communities. The legal walls we put up around ourselves are imaginary.

Liberalism destroys people’s lives, and that is enough reason to care. Forty percent of newborns’ fathers haven’t committed to their mothers, 70 percent for black newborns. Twenty-five percent of single mothers live in poverty. Are we supposed to pretend a second evolution in state-redefined marriage isn’t going to unravel marriage’s protection of husbands, wives, and children further?

If restoring people’s dignity is the goal, granting a false reality is not a help, it’s a hindrance. Teary-eyed, atheist libertarian Sarah Elizabeth Cupp doesn’t get it:

“My party really has to reconcile with the fact that we are going to become relics if we don’t get to where these people are,” she added. “They are patriots, they are not asking for a lot. And it’s really time for the party politics to shift on this.”

Cupp also said she believes gay marriage is good for families.

“This is something we should be applauding. These aren’t people who are trying to get rid of the institution of marriage, these are people who want to be a part of it,” she said. “And that’s a good thing for American family values, that’s a good thing for children, that’s a good thing for adoption, that’s a good thing for economic stability.”

How? How does the state’s sanctioning of perverted sex effect intact, stable families? How is the natural model of the family yielding to the technocratic model good for children, who are bartered under the new system? Cupp’s emoting doesn’t consider actual consequences.

“Was I wrong to support gay marriage?” another atheist libertarian, David Harsanyi, asks. He spends little time pondering that question, and more time identifying the totalitarians whose position he shared (e.g., Ben Smith: “We firmly believe that for a number of issues, including civil rights, women’s rights, anti-racism, and LGBT equality, there are not two sides.”). That should have been the first clue he was wrong. The belated acknowledgement is a pathetic attempt to cover his backside when conservatives being persecuted for their “bigoted” belief in defining marriage by the natural and divine purpose it serves begin to draw the line between themselves and the forces of destruction more distinctly.

I confronted Harsanyi about this on Twitter, and one of his minions, a self-identifying Episcopal, called me a judgy pants because of my view of homosexuality, because, to her, part of being saved by Jesus’ blood is an inability to discern from the Scriptures.

I’ve heard the “Is it illegal to eat shellfish, too?” rebuttal countless times from atheists. This is the first time I heard it from someone who supposedly honors Scriptural authority. A comment on a message board I saw once is apt here: “So funny how the truth in love confuses those who refuse to see truth.”

That Twitter conversation happened yesterday. On cue, today I read this: “Episcopal Church Changes Definition of Marriage to Include Same-Sex Couples, Axing ‘Man and a Woman’ from Canon.” Are they capitulating to false teaching or intimidation? Either way, not exactly a testimony to win people over with. Not exactly ministering the truth people need to be saved.

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