David Brooks is one of the most valuable conservative thinkers around, and in yesterday’s New York Times
he addresses the issue of gay marriage. He does not address the process question–i.e., who decides? the people or the courts?–but he attempts to make a traditional moral case on the underlying substantive issue. Readers of The Corner will have their own opinions on what he has to say, but there’s one passage that I personally found very moving: “Some conservatives may have latched onto biological determinism (men are savages who need women to tame them) as a convenient way to oppose gay marriage. But in fact we are not animals whose lives are bounded by our flesh and by our gender. We’re moral creatures with souls, endowed with the ability to make covenants, such as the one Ruth made with Naomi: ‘Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.’” In this, Brooks is on to a truth that goes far beyond our current controversy over gay marriage; and the principle he expresses there is one of which we need constantly to remind ourselves.