CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

There is No “Conservative” Case for Homosexual Marriage

Aug 31, 2017

Every now and then you will happen upon an article or talk made by someone claiming to be a conservative that seeks to argue that homosexual marriage is somehow a conservative value. Let me cut to the quick: no, it is not a conservative value, and the person trying to make that case is very likely not a real conservative.

He may well be a libertarian, but that is a far cry from a true conservative. But I have elsewhere sought to explain those major differences. See this piece for example: billmuehlenberg.com/2014/03/20/conservatism-versus-libertarianism-a-case-study/

While it may come as a surprise to some, conservatives actually seek to conserve and preserve; they do not want to destroy and distort. Thus they will do all they can to maintain and protect our most vital social institutions, including marriage and family.

Recently in the Australian newspaper we had yet another lame attempt to say that homosexual marriage is somehow something conservatives can rally around. In this case it was no less than the Liberal Party federal president Nick Greiner seeking to make the “conservative” case for homosexual marriage.

Sorry, but there is no such thing. All true conservatives know how important marriage is, and the only ones on the right seeking to argue for its redefinition, and thus its destruction, are radical libertarians. But libertarians on the right are often little different from anarchists on the left. In my books, a pox on both their houses.

Before offering some careful dissection of his rather shallow article, let me share a few words from Andrew Bolt about the ongoing implosion of the Liberal party:

Being made Liberal president has gone to Nick Greiner’s head. He’s again lecturing elected MPs on policy and making clear the party is ruled by the Left. . . . It is inappropriate, to say the least, for the president of the Liberals to lead a campaign by one group on Liberal MPs in conflict with another. He is supposed to be a figure of unity, not division. But Greiner seems determined to wage war on his party’s conservatives, demonstrating that maybe they should go to One Nation or the Australian Conservatives if they’re no longer wanted by the Liberals.

But back to his very shallow and unhelpful article. Greiner’s very first sentence could not be more wrong – no wonder his entire article is less than helpful. He claims, “Marriage is an institution that celebrates stability and commitment.” Um, no. If that was all that marriage is about, then a long-standing group of ardent bank-robbers should be the first in line to demand marriage rights.

He then quotes one writer who claims ‘significant relationships’ must be officially recognised by marriage. Wrong again. There are all sorts of significant relationships out there which the state has no compelling interest in, whether to recognise or legalise as a form of marriage. For example, two elderly sisters who live together, care for each other dearly, and enjoy a significant relationship are not in need of marriage rights.

This is true of all sorts of relationships. They may be significant, emotionally close, and even long-term, but they deserve no special government recognition. Societies have instead chosen to give special recognition to only one type of relationship: heterosexual marriage.

That is because genuine marriage has the natural ability to bring about the next generation. Therefore societies have taken a keen interest in it. Heterosexual marriage is good for children and good for society, which is why society has long given it preferential treatment if you will.

Even an atheist like philosopher Bertrand Russell saw this uniqueness: “It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution”. And marriage most certainly is all about children.

As American political scientist James Q. Wilson succinctly put it: “Marriage is a socially arranged solution for the problem of getting people to stay together and care for children that the mere desire for children, and the sex that makes children possible, does not solve.”

Natural marriage has always been a conservative value, and one despised by the left. No wonder the Spanish philosopher George Santayana once quipped that “the chief aim of liberalism seems to be to liberate men from their marriage vows.” Conservativism affirms and promotes marriage both as an institution and as a tremendous good for male-female couples. Liberalism does not.

Since Greiner rather disingenuously seeks to harness Edmund Burke for his case, let me quote him again. Burke argued that “religion is the basis of civil society,” and that includes “all our laws and institutions.” He certainly had the institution of heterosexual marriage in mind here, never faux marriage such as homosexual marriage.

Greiner goes on to make the quite reckless claim that nothing changes when homosexual marriage is legalised, and everyone’s religious freedoms will be just fine. Nice theory, but reality is against you. Wherever homosexual marriage has become law, there have been massive changes, including the heavy hand of the law brought to bear on all recalcitrants.

For example, those who simply state on their private social media page that they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman can be – and are – at risk. In my book Dangerous Relations that I wrote on this a few years ago, I offered nearly 200 actual cases of those who had lost their jobs, were fined, or were even imprisoned for daring to go against the homosexual marriage narrative in countries where it had been legalised.

Be it the cake maker, the marriage celebrant, the florist, the priest, the pastor, the reception centre owner, the photographer, or anyone even remotely connected to the marriage industry, they have all faced the wrath of the activists once marriage was redefined.

And given all the harassment, bigotry, and bullying those opposed to homosexual marriage in Australia are already experiencing on a regular basis – and I too have often been on the receiving end of all this – just imagine how much worse it will become once our laws are so radically changed.

And it will not just be those of a religious persuasion who will experience the negative impact of all this. Anyone who dares to differ will potentially be subject to various forms of persecution, ostracisation and bigotry.

Greiner closes his piece by pretending that the radical redefinition, and thus end of marriage, is no big deal: “Together let’s celebrate the many achievements of this government and focus on the real challenges and opportunities our nation faces. Rather than tying ourselves in knots over whether same-sex couples can get married, let them tie the knot and we can move forward together.”

Um, it is the other side that is all in a lather about this. All that we true conservatives are doing is trying to conserve and preserve the most important social institution ever devised. We are not the ones all worked up – it is the activists on the other side and the clueless wonders who pretend they are conservatives that are.

Folks like Greiner try to make the case for homosexual marriage by somehow dragging a genuine conservative principle of small government into the debate. But this simply backfires on these fake conservatives. Whenever the state seeks to radically alter the institution of marriage, big government becomes bigger, and liberty is contracted even further.

One simply has to look at those places that already have legalised homosexual marriage. The state grows, freedom shrinks, and homosexual fascism is allowed to run its full course. More and more people are persecuted, jailed, fined and dismissed from their jobs when this happens – just how is that a conservative value?

As the American philosopher and free market advocate Jay Richards has rightly said about all this:

To claim seriously that government is and ought to be limited, you have to answer this question: What limits the state? The longstanding conservative answer: the rights and responsibilities of individuals and the institutions outside the state’s jurisdiction. And the institution that limits the state more than any other is the family, precisely because it pre-exists the state. The family is initiated by the marriage of a man and a woman. Ideally, human beings will be born, fed, raised and educated in a family, which will in turn be supported by the other institutions of civil society around it — neighborhoods, churches, voluntary associations and so forth, institutions the state should recognize and respect.
A limited government doesn’t try to redefine reality; it recognizes those pre-political realities outside its jurisdiction. The totalitarian, and Orwellian, governments of the twentieth century understood this perfectly well, and set about doing exactly the opposite. Lenin and other Marxists knew that to realize their vision, they had to destroy not just the idea of private property, but also religion and “this present form of marriage.”
What could possibly be less conservative than to decide, politically and legally, that marriage and family are mere social constructions that we’re free to change the moment the Supreme Court or a state legislature decides to do so? If a state can redefine marriage, then what can’t, what won’t, it redefine?

True conservatism, as mentioned, is about conserving, about valuing what works, about hanging on to what is vitally important. Sure, some small, incremental changes are necessary within that overall framework. But redefining marriage out of existence is no small change.

In his important 1953 volume The Conservative Mind, Russell Kirk, the father of modern American conservatism, listed six basic principles that characterise conservatism. His sixth point was that “change may not be salutary reform: hasty innovation may be a devouring conflagration, rather than a torch of progress.”

One can think of no more incendiary change than the radical redefinition of marriage, and all the social upheaval that naturally follows from it.

www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/marriage-for-all-surely-its-a-conservative-ideal/news-story/3e58633a1e0c4f9ec139be3896e38ac6?nk=d0061232d702c72ef890f1cf23487efd-1504058479
www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/nick-greiner-confirms-the-left-runs-the-liberals-and-conservatives-are-not-welcome/news-story/54bd5e301518dded60a8215c54859479?nk=b7487bea3182e1e5012c894ca965cebd-1504001902
stream.org/7-reasons-same-sex-marriage-isnt-conservative-or-marriage/

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12 Responses to There is No “Conservative” Case for Homosexual Marriage

  • As you have written many times, marriage was created by God for the procreation and nurturing of naturally conceived children. Everything else is secondary.

    Unfortunately we as Christians have not always helped our cause. We long a joined the “marriage industry” that makes us spend tens of thousands of $$$ to glorify the marrying couple.

    Our sandstone churches are big players in this industry. In our humble suburban brick church we have not had a single couple who wanted to get married in our church in the last 8 years. Our humble church is good enough for Sunday worship but not good enough for that “one special day”. Do any other Christians see something wrong with this?

    When our children marry in this way, are we worshiping Jesus or worshiping them?

    After we beat back the fake marriage proposals we must seek renewal of our faith and our habits.

  • We will be asked “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” However, if the “Yes” vote is successful, the law is to be changed to allow (the even more dubious) “‘union of two people”.

  • I’m sure there are many politicians who would love to get this particular monkey off their back but the fact is that giving in to extortionists never works. You may kick the problem down the line a little but because you are not dealing with the actual problem, that approach inevitably means the problem comes back bigger and more destructive than before. Weak willed politicians who give in to this may even escape the huge ramifications of what they have done for a short while anyway, but society will inevitably pay a huge price, as we see overseas, with the huge levels of family breakup and destruction of parental and children’s rights plus the destruction of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. There is no getting around the fact that if you redefine marriage you are forcing immorality onto the entire populous. Those who are most happy with immorality are the ones that initially are least affected but truth and justice does eventual catch up with all people people.

  • Another example of how the Liberal Party is the party of Secret Sodomites:-

    www.smh.com.au/nsw/liberal-mp-for-kiama-gareth-ward-targeted-in-new-york-massage-scam-20170830-gy7obf.html

    Our friend’s son was chosen for a short internship in the office of a Liberal MP in Macquarie St.

    He came back shocked, telling how most of the staffers working in the offices of Liberal MP’s are “gay” — he used the PC term because that’s how much even young Christians have been indoctrinated — and it’s so surprise that so many of the new Liberal MP’s are homosexual considering they are often promoted from the past MP’s offices.

    He also told us that a senior Turnbull minister, a married man with a wife and children, who has been pushing the ssm issue, is also homosexual.

    And he told us One Nation is not any better. With one time Liberal sodomite James Ashby, the homosexual mafia is in control of PHON as well.

    That leaves biblical Christians with only two options:- AC and CDP.

  • Australian marriage could become the, “union of two people” and presumably the current prohibitions against marrying your brother or sister, or one of your parents, grandparents, or your own child or grandchild – dispensed with.

  • In the ‘Australian Republic Referendum’ in 1999, people did not know what Head-of-State ‘model’ was intended. People voted ‘No’.

    In the ‘SSM Postal Survey’ we again do not know what we are voting on. George Brandis has said the Dean Smith bill (which we have never seen) is, “one of the likely options”. With confusion and uncertainty – people vote ‘No’.

  • My aunt, who died at the good old age of 96, never married, although she had a large circle of friends, and was actively involved in her local community. Molly loved cats, and always had either one or two in her household. I would say she most definitely had a ‘significant relationship’ with them. She was heartbroken when one cat hobbled home after going missing for a week. She had been caught in a trap. The Vet had to amputate one of her legs. After a week in ICU (the animal version), Molly made the difficult decision for her cat to be ‘put to sleep’. Despite all this, Molly was a pragmatist who would not in her wildest dreams have ever considered herself to be married to her cats! This may seem an extreme example, and yet it isn’t really so different from the ‘marriage’ of two people of the same gender. Our God was very specific when he described the nature of marriage in Genesis 2:20-24.

  • I just watched John Howard saying he wants to hear proposals from the government to protect religious liberty if there is a yes vote.

    Why?

    We don’t want compromise. We want people to say NO and uncertainty helps our cause.

  • Peter What you say is true. Howard also said, “the Turnbull government has refused to nominate which bill will be put forward in parliament if the postal survey approves of a change” Doubt and confusion is a powerful debating method. The ‘Australian Republic Referendum’ in 1999, was lost over doubt and confusion re the Head-of-State ‘model’. People then voted ‘No’.

    www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/31/john-howard-says-religious-freedom-should-be-protected-before-marriage-equality-survey

  • Has any one heard this before:-

    Marriage is a play, the play has two main actors (a man and a woman) and several who play “small” parts.

    The woman plays the part of a godly wife (and mother) she looks up to her husband.

    The man plays the part of a godly husband (and father) he looks up to Jesus.

    The children each have their own place in the family, they seek to bring honor to mum and dad, they are practicing so they one day do that for Jesus, they are never loved for more than 15 mins at a time, but love is never more than 15 mins away.

    so what is the purpose of this marriage? Well, it’s to show “church” to a disbelieving world.

    A really old lady told me this I think she must have been 80! I visited her on my way home from school and I made her a cup of tea and sometimes shopped for her. She died last year and I played my violin at her funeral service it made me cry, since she used to watch me play as if I was giving her a great gift, and I knew I had now lost that gift she gave me. She left me in the letter that the man read to my dad all her Jewelry, he said it is of considerable value and a 14-year-old schoolgirl should not have the opportunity to treat it as some passing fashion accessory, but my dad did let me choose one piece and he said I can have the rest on my wedding day. I chose a ring that the lady was given when she was my age, my dad said its just as well the man with the letter (I can’t remember what he was called.) told him to not let me have the Jewelry as I chose the least valued item, however, I like it the best as I’m sure the lady, Jessy had that ring on when she was told that story about marriage.

  • Bill, I seem to recall that John Stuart Stuart Mill, the leading British exponent of Classic Liberalism wrote on marriage and the role of woman in society. Is Mr Greiner’s “small-l liberal” postion on the future of marriage and family more libertarian than that of John Stuart Mill?

  • “Greiner goes on to make the quite reckless claim that nothing changes when homosexual marriage is legalised, and everyone’s religious freedoms will be just fine. ”

    Isn’t that self-defeating? If that is the case, then the activists pushing for “ssm” need to give up, surely?

    If nothing changes, then they are either:
    a) wasting their time and everybody else’s, or
    b) telling us lies
    because they are supposedly making enormous efforts to demonstrate firstly how bad things are for homosexuals at the moment, and secondly how much better life will be for them after this change has been made.

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