Generalizing

I REMAIN CONFLICTED about gay marriage. On the one hand, I resist the willy-nilly nature of the drive toward it, almost as a knee-jerk reaction. If it’s that right and good, why do you need to ram it down people’s throats? On the other hand, is there harm to it?

It occurs to me recently, stemming actually from a comment by Ann Coulter on the Hannity radio program Friday, that there is a value to following the forms of things, and we do not simply overturn thousands of years of practice and tradition because: “You’re a poopy-head.”

Sorry. It doesn’t work that way.

Or, to borrow a phrase from the Left, it shouldn’t.

Why not? Well, there’s the knowledge problem. Of course, if so-called progressives were actually self-aware, they’d have the examples of the failures of their public policy prescriptions before them and might realize the hubris attendant on causing such massive shifts in a society with a necessarily incomplete (indeed, woefully inadequate) understanding of the factors involved. You don’t know a billionth part of the necessary facts to make such a decision. Which is why society has evolved the practice of debate and compromise. Forced change by a determined minority all too frequently results in disaster. It’s all too reliable, as a matter of fact, to the point where we really should count on it and factor it into our decision process.

Oh, yeah! That’s right! We did. And then the progressives came along and upset the applecart. Because it’s new and shiny and it should work.

We don’t overturn six-thousand years of tradition and practice on a whim. Especially not tradition and practice which has demonstrated in myriad cultures and situations by and large to provide benefit to society as a whole. Yes, there have been exceptions in some places at some times. But still, check it out — where are those societies now? Yes, the current system has its flaws and failures — though, it should be noted, those failures have come at a time when the culture is sick of pathogens deliberately introduced by evil people, so dancing on the grave of a failed system is perhaps a bit premature.

And here comes the generalization. What Coulter said is, “If we’re going to overturn all that tradition and practice, it is incumbent on those who desire the change to make their case, not for those resisting it to defend theirs.” This ties to my principle that, in a case where rights appear to conflict, the active party — the aggressor, if you will — is generally the one who is at fault. And it seems as though it ought to apply in a whole lot more arenas than gay “marriage.”

And, so far, those who desire the change have failed to prove their point. And the people have spoken. Where the matter has been put to the ultimate democratic test — a vote — it has been settled decisively in the negative. No. We will not make this change. It is only by dint of reference to petty tyrants exceeding the scope of their legitimate authority that any changes have been made.

And, so far as I can tell, the reasons adduced in favor of the change amount to,”But we’re in love,” and/or “Because you’re a poopy-head.” Nobody, anywhere, has adduced any arguments-on-merits that the definition of marriage that has stood the test of time need be changed — rather than allowing and supporting other arrangements to serve the same purposes as the marriage of a putative breeding pair.

And, note. While I invite discussion, comments which amount to “because you’re a poopy-head” will be nuked, so don’t bother.

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