Not Getting It

by Jonah Goldberg

A lot of earnest, well-intentioned folk, want to make the following argument about my column. Gay marriage is a civil right and it is bigotry to stand in its way. Therefore Mormons deserve what they get. I’ve trimmed away a lot of rhetorical fluorishes. But that’s the essence of it.

The problem with this argument is that even if you concede that gay marriage is a moral imperative, it does not justify singling out Mormons. A super-majority of black Californians voted for Prop 8. They ain’t very Mormon. Prop 8 style laws have passed in 30 states. Mormons aren’t to blame for that.

Look, when conservatives argue that marriage is in real trouble and that therefore we should continue the ancient practice of not allowing people of the same sex to marry, proponents of same-sex marriage respond that traditional marriage’s problems have little to do with gay marriage. They have to do with divorce, out-of-wedlock birth, the culture of instant graitification and so on. (I think that’s for the most part correct, for the record). They then say “Don’t scapegoat  gays for all of marrige’s problems.”  Well, I would say in response, apply that logic inward. Gay marriage is politically unpopular for lots of reasons, and Mormons aren’t even in the top ten. If opposition to gay marriage is morally indistinguishable from Jim Crow racism, anti-Semitism and the like (as so many of you say), why on earth aren’t you screaming bloody murder at Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and the other Democratic politicians who run the US governmemt? Surely, they matter more than a few Mormon donors. Why aren’t they bigots even though they hold the same fundamental position as Mormons?

The rage at Mormons, as suggested in my column or as NR editorialized at length here, is unjustifiable save as part of a larger and very cynical political strategy. As a tactical matter, I understand why gay activists are doing it, but as a moral matter it’s disgusting, disingenuous and hypocritical.

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