Sobran's -- The Real News of the Month

 Kramer versus Coherence 

March 15, 2005 
“Marriage should not be undermined by the stroke of a pen from a single judge. Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.This ruling ... flies in the face of common sense and millennia of human history ... ”

So said Mathew Staver of a group called Liberty Counsel, in reply to the San Francisco judge, Richard A. Kramer, who ruled the other day that the state’s ban on same-sex “marriage” is unconstitutional.

Not much use arguing about it. Pretty much everything has already been said. This is the way we live now. Judges can decide that a constitution means something it never meant to any of the people who wrote, ratified, and lived under it — something they never even dreamed it might mean.

Of course the judges never admit they’re doing anything to the constitution. They say the constitution is somehow doing it to itself, because it’s “living,” and they have no control over what it wants to mean. They can only sit by helplessly as it emits new meanings, each more liberal than the last. This is where things get suspicious.

The only rule, if you can call it that, is that the new “meaning” must be in accord with current liberal fashions. Promoting homosexuality is the pertinent one here. The fact that Judge Kramer issued his ruling in San Francisco doesn’t exactly fall under the heading of uncanny coincidence. The ruling reflects both a lunatic ideology and concrete local pressures.

Kramer said he could see no purpose in restricting marriage to heterosexuals, and I believe him: he probably couldn’t. But as G.K. Chesterton once said, you don’t get rid of an old institution because you don’t see its purpose; you get rid of it because you do see its purpose, and that purpose is no longer being served. Whether marriage is serving its primordial purpose these days is a good question.

The whole reason for marriage is that there are two sexes. Stop me if I’m going too fast for you, your honor. Anyway, these two sexes often result in children. Arrangements for the children have to be made. Chief among these arrangements is marriage.

[Breaker quote: 
Sober as a what?]Now let’s imagine a world in which there was only one sex. Would it even be called a “sex”? What would that mean? Would there be any point in creating an institution like marriage — a permanent two-person partnership? Why two? In such a world, marriage could come into being only if some crazy judge thought it up. But I’m trying to imagine a world in which there were also no liberals.

I’ve read the Declaration of Independence several times, and I’m pretty sure the American Revolution didn’t happen because King George III opposed gay rights. On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson was very liberal by the standards of his time. He opposed executing people for sodomy; he thought castration was enough.

That’s the Enlightenment for you. Look what it has led to. Give ’em an inch, and it’s just a matter of time before you’ve got Judge Kramer. He hears the word equal, and he starts sniffing around for discrimination.

In ancient times, some forms of homosexuality were tolerated, especially between men and boys. Let’s skip the Neverland jokes and get to the point: there were no demands for same-sex marriage. Why not? A no-brainer: the boys seldom got pregnant. (There’s a sentence you don’t hear every day!)

In fact, one of the advantages of pederasty was that you didn’t have to marry the kid! No lies, no flowers, no tears. No need for Clintonesque mumblings about “inappropriate relationships” to get out of a tight spot. And you didn’t have to send out invitations to all your relatives. Same-sex marriage would have ruined everything.

Pederasty never took real institutional form, and during the Christian era it was forced underground for centuries. But it made a big comeback during the Renaissance, and when the Renaissance wasn’t stamped out in time, the Enlightenment resulted, as any fool could have predicted. Judge Kramer was waiting in the wings, as it were.

Meanwhile, as a precaution against arbitrary law, people started writing their constitutions down on paper, in black and white, so there could be no possible mistake about their meaning. Oops! When even the meaning of is can be in doubt, the word marriage is no match for a judge.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2005 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
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