I was more disappointed than shatteringly surprised when Bill O’Reilly and Megan Kelley essentially raised the white flag the other night, or at least went AWOL, on the battle for authentic marriage. Guesting on Mr. O’s eponymously titled Factor program Tuesday evening, Fox News’ fetching, mid-afternoon anchor volunteered, “I had an interview with Tony Perkins … What is it about calling …a gay union a marriage that offends you? How does it hurt a traditional …marriage?… I didn’t hear anything articulated that was particularly persuasive.”
To which O’Reilly, nearly exploding out of his chair, added ecstatically, ”I agree with you a hundred percent! … The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals … ‘We’re Americans, we just want to be treated like everybody else.’ …. And to deny that, you’ve got to have a very strong argument … the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”
What’s perplexing is when a national media figure who, for a decade, has doggedly sniffed-out pernicious “secular progressivism” abruptly takes a powder on the “defense-of-traditional-marriage” front. Towns should be able to host a Christmas creche and reference the word “Easter” in their school programs, blasts Bill O – but the post-modern hijacking of marriage is no big deal?
Philosophically consistent that ain’t.
Folks regularly go on about how “smart” is Ms. Kelly. And — contrary to self-congratulating Leftists’ cheap shots — O’Reilly is no dummy, either; he normally acquits himself pretty skillfully in unpacking the issues. If, however, either of them actually buys the shabby, short-sighted humbug they proffered in this back-and-forth? Seems they’re not quite as bright as advertised.
The more “compelling” brief is found among the heralds of pro-”homosexual-marriage”? Well, I suppose so — if one assumes sloppily splashing around unreflective chatter about “equality” and “rights” qualifies as a “compelling” argument for officially rejiggering what all of recorded history has confirmed to be civilization’s bedrock institution.
First off, the Fox talkers’ imperious dismissal of “bible thumping” rebuttals of fake, i.e. “same-sex”, matrimony shouldn’t be conceded. I apologize to no one for shaping my life around the unshakable truths of Scripture — and I’m in pretty impressive company. Most of our Founders — perhaps all of them? — would find it alarmingly scandalous that Judeo-Christian principles are being written out of the modern public-policy discussion. Glance at the historic record: biblical wisdom was a welcome and indispensable contributor to the establishment of our Constitutional Republic — facile, “separation-of-church-and-straight” mythology notwithstanding.
John Adams, for instance: “Americans did not invent this foundation of society. They found it in their religion [Christianity].”
Next, the ages ( personal experience, biology, every major religion and reams of recent scholarship) have thumpingly ratified the husband/wife-led family as the preferred agency for propagating and caring for the human species. The “state” can’t and shouldn’t take an interest in formally acknowledging that, Mr. O’Reilly? The U. S. Government, Ms. Kelly, is out-of-line in endorsing it? Seriously?
I’d say common sense demands as much. And, by the way, the Constitution comfortably permits it.
Do our founding documents explicitly authorize the Federal government to give thumbs up to “heterosexual marriage ? Of course not — and what pro-marriage advocate is asserting otherwise? Our Constitution/Bill of Rights, however, do charge “general government”, in its various departments, with raising up and maintaining military defenses, crafting tax policy, setting immigration law, etc. In a nod to the irreplaceable union of husband and wife as the hub of child-rearing and anchor of a stable society, wherever public policy in these and multiple other areas intersects with matters nuptial it may, and should, encourage the institution.
Benefits for military spouses and government employees? Tax-filing provisions for married households? Exactly whom a legal immigrant is permitted to bring along into the country? Any of countless scenarios in which marital status potentially impinges on a citizen’s interaction with her government necessitates that federal law clarify: what is a husband? wife? family? What comprises a marriage?
These terms have centuries-underscored meanings. Despite the caterwauling of take-no-prisoners homosexual supremacists, leaders and lawmakers should make distinctions based on those meanings. Practicality, in fact, obliges they do so — as does prudence and morality. Natural marriage plays a demonstrably crucial, salutary role in cultivating well-ordered, well-oiled communities. Governments wisely and rightly boost it.
Yet, blithely chirping about “equality” and “rights” overturns all of the above, correct? Neutralizing what used to be obvious to everyone?
Okay – along that line of reasoning: VA benefits currently are accorded only those who’ve done their duty in the armed forces but not to school teachers, non-profit employees, plumbers. Where’s the “equality” in that? Shouldn’t they enjoy the same government-conferred “rights” of any armed-services member?
I smell “civilian-a-phobia”!
What “right” do the unemployed have to their “unemployment compensation” when laboring Americans have no access to same? Can’t “unemployed” be extended to take in the “under-employed”? The “unsatisfactorily-employed”?
Why should business owners or investors enjoy tax-breaks denied mere weekly-paycheck earners? Sounds like a 14th Amendment ”equal-protection” outrage to me!!
Do some egalitarian-minded singles feel Constitutionally snubbed when the government extends to their married peers special advantages? What of the spinster who insists she is devotedly “married” to her three cats – and expects Uncle Sam to honor that status?
Ludicrous? Only by degree: the evangelists of “gay marriage”, after all, traffick reflexively in this same species of loopy reasoning and language hijinks. Our elected officials and courts draw lines all the time, distinguishing one set of individuals from another based on their activities, how they live, what they pour into society or take from it. Those formulations long have included marriage — an arrangement once assumed beneficial to America and thus promoted by American polity.
Suddenly, we’re arbitrarily informed that’s no longer copacetic.
Memo to Bill O’Reilly and Megan Kelly: It’s really not all that complicated; some might actually find it downright “compelling”.
And for the record: I didn’t thump my Bible; not even once.