Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Monday, March 15, 2004

DON SENSING ON GAY MARRIAGE "Opponents of legalized same-sex marriage say they're trying to protect a beleaguered institution, but they're a little late. The walls of traditional marriage were breached 40 years ago; what we are witnessing now is the storming of the last bastion." I basically agree with Sensing's analysis. The question, though, is: what is to be done?

I sense that Sensing is essentially suggesting preemptive surrender by the forces of tradition. Given how much has already been lost, that's not an unreasonable position. If this were an actual war, instead of a metaphoric one, it would be a hard position to argue with: it's hard to ask anyone to be the last to die for a doomed cause.

On the other hand, given that traditionalists have (at least in the short term) a maybe 50-50 chance of holding that last bastion, shouldn't they dig in and try to hold on, with the hope that it might someday serve as a base from which to launch a counter-assault.

It probably won't work: even I have a hard time imagining that we're ever going to recover the sexual mores of the eighteenth century (and I have a pretty vivid imagination). But it's not impossible. Don't give me that Whig School of history crap; inevitable upwards march of progress, my ass. And if what's been lost is really as important as Sensing seems to think it is (and he does say "I believe that this state of affairs is contrary to the will of God."), isn't it at least worth a try? As Henry Hyde said, of a different issue, "When the time comes, as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the Final Judgment ... God will look at us and say not, 'Did you succeed?' but rather, 'Did you try?'" Or, to quote a different thinker, Sarah Connor, who faced a similarly impossible-seeming challenge, "No fate but what we make."