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Enough Gay Marriage For Today



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The G-File is about to go up and today is a day when there are more pressing issues in the news, so I’ll stop posting gay marriage letters with these two. But I should say I am still against gay marriage. I am in favor of some compromise position — civil unions or some other private contract which is not marriage — in part because I think it’s probably the right policy given the world we live in today, but also because I simply fear that conservatives will lose everything if they continue an all-or-nothing policy when it comes to homosexuality in America. If a compromise isn’t found, the courts will eventually snatch the issue out of the democratic process entirely. Anyway, this argument will continue. The two last letters for now:


Jonah –

I am a “Religious Right” Christian, (though I do have a number of libertarian tendencies). I am growing more concerned every day about what “gay marriage” will do to our society. I thought the comments by Scott Lively were way overdone, but I must say that, while I am a +very+ big fan of yours, and don’t want to have any part of “burning-the-apostate”, I was +very+ disappointed that you’ve apparently thrown in the towel on the issue of gay marriage. I think that even if we lose the battle, we must engage the enemy. I’d like to think that you haven’t raised the white flag on this, but what other conclusion could I draw?

Your devoted fan,

[Name withheld]
St. Paul

And…


Jonah,

I’m an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and would be described by many as socially conservative in my opinions and attitudes.

Sadly, I have to admit that Mr. Lively’s screed against you, and against homosexuals in general, displays not the least bit of Christian charity we are commanded to exemplify in our lives. Homosexuals are NOT Nazis, and we should not be treating them like an enemy to be defeated in battle.

If Christians are going to demand followers of Islam to speak out against the radical Islamists among their ranks, then we must speak out against the radical elements in our own ranks. Scott Lively has no place among the followers of Jesus Christ.

Sincerely,
[Name withheld]
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Dellinger V. Lithwick



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Former Acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger and Supreme Court maven Dahlia Lithwick have an interesting exchange on the Michigan cases over at Slate. Both are fairly liberal — Dellinger served in the Clinton Administration — both are devout supporters of affirmative action, but they are split over Justice O’Connor’s majority opinion. Dellinger finds it a masterful sequel to Justice Powell’s (in)famous Bakke decision. Lithwick, on the other hand, finds the opinion “crazy” and writes “intellectual honesty doesn’t let me accept O’Connor’s basic ends-justifies-the-means approach to upholding” affirmative action (see last Monday posting). With luck, their exchange will continue today.

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Another View



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Dear Jonah,
I’m a convservative Catholic in the fullest sense of the term–both theologically and poitically. As such, I agree with the Magisterium that sodomy is a sin. However, I don’t see that position as necessitating opposition to gay marriage as it does implicate resistance to legalized abortion.
In an e-mail you posted on the Corner, one of your readers likened your acquiesence to gay marriage to National Review’s (hypothetical) throwing in the towel on abortion because Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. The two cases are hardly parallel, however, because abortion involves a right whereas homoexuality, even if you think it is a sin, only involves consensual decisions (remarkably poor decisions that lead the agent into sin, but not the violation of a right). You don’t see Catholics actively seeking the criminalization of divorce, and so should it be with gay marriage. If we had our way, everyone would be Catholic and the law of the land would be the Magisterium’s teaching, but that’s not going to happen. Better to just teach your kids it’s a sin and spend political capital on more important (and more feasible) goals such as the crimilization of abortion. Given a choice between a pro-life, pro-gay marriage and a pro-choice, anti-gay marriage candidate, I’d go with the former in a heartbeat.

Web Briefing: July 26, 2014

Huh?



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I don’t get it. Andrew Sullivan is vexed by my reprinting a letter from a reader which contained the following observation:

“Many social conservatives in America believe there is a God and a Holy Spirit and a Bible that condemns homosexuality as an abomination, and they will not be defeated.”

And then Andrew asks, “Can you imagine Jonah quoting a fundamentalist Muslim who simply asserted that ‘many social conservatives in America believe there is one God who is Allah and a Koran that says that women have no right to vote.’”

Um, I can. In fact, I’ve quoted letters from all sorts of readers I disagree with on one level or another. But I don’t even disagree with either the real or even the hypothetical quotes above. I mean: Aren’t they both statements of fact? Many religious conservatives do believe there’s a God and a Holy Spirit and that homosexuality is an abomination and many Muslims do believe there is only one God who is Allah etc etc. Andrew may or may not be right that simply quoting scripture or the Koran isn’t an effective argument in this day and age, but simply because Andrew feels that way doesn’t mean that perspective should be permanently barred from the debate, does it? Just speaking personally, I think it makes the Corner a better and more interesting place when I quote letters from readers who disagree with me.

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The Strategy



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I’ve been listening to quite a bit of NPR on the Michigan decisions. It’s fairly shocking how nearly universal the unanimity is on the conventional wisdom that this was a “huge victory” for affirmative action. I think it’s pretty clear it was a victory and it may even be a huge one. But I can’t help but get the sense that the liberals have some talking points here since so few of them could have possibly read and digested all of the details already. I mean, prior to the decision any suggestion that the undergraduate quota system was unconstitutional was considered outrageous sacrilege. Now, the President of the University of Michigan won’t say an even vaguely critical word on the court’s conclusion that UM was unconstitutionally discriminating against non-preferred-minority students. Plus, they keep saying things like, “the court has issued a clear message” and “a solid majority of the court supports affirmative action” etc etc. Well, I could swear that when the Supreme Court ruled in Bush V. Gore it was a “narrow,” “bitterly divided” and “highly partisan” decision. I guess decisiveness is more subjective than I thought.

I think the strategy here is for the pro-preferences crowd to declare this is a much larger, much more clear cut, much bigger victory than the decision actually is so that they can stifle any future debate on the subject. Or, maybe it is a huge victory, but those who are saying so aren’t taking the time to confirm that before saying so. The more they say this is an unequivocable triumph, the easier it will be to say, “The Supreme Court has spoken” and “this is settled law.” And, I’m afraid, it will be a very successful strategy.

Vwnva



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I’m at the VW dealership in Northern Virginia getting my two year service check up on my car. They provide free high speed internet access so I’m hanging with you from out here. Kind of cool.

Desperately Seeking Polyamory



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Blogger Tom Sylvester has more on folks who support gay marriage as a road to legalized polyamory–but who try to disguise that fact.

Justice Gonzales



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A nice line in today’s Wall Street Journal editorial about the Michigan cases: “In one sense it is the first Supreme Court decision issued by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, who is widely believed to be President Bush’s choice for the High Court when the next Justice retires. Mr. Gonzales helped to overrule those at the Justice Department who understood how Justice O’Connor would interpret their brief’s legal ambivalence.” I hope the White House is listening.

Pipes On The Hearing



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Dan Pipes takes on the higher-education lobby’s obfuscation on Title VI. At last Thursday’s hearing, they claimed that Edward Said had little remaining influence within Middle East studies. Pipes did a search of syllabi in the field and found that Said is still one of the most assigned authors. By the way, yesterday I put up a guide to the video of the Title VI hearing. For some reason, that video was unavailable for part of the day. (Maybe the site crashed after visits by Corner readers, or maybe it was just a technical hitch.) In any case, as of last evening, the video was back and working.

Two Words: David Souter



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Conservatives are blaming Sandra Day O’Connor for yesterday’s affirmative action ruling, and with justice. But don’t forget David Souter. Souter’s was put on the Court by the first president Bush, at the recommendation of John Sununu. Souter was supposed to be a conservative without a paper trail. He turned out to be one of the most reliably liberal voices on the Court. The Souter nomination is arguably the greatest setback conservatives have experienced in the past twenty years. We take his presence on the Court for granted now, but America would probably be a different, and significantly more conservative place if Souter’s position had been filled even by someone like O’Connor, let alone a strong conservative like Scalia. Let’s keep the Souter fiasco in mind as we approach retirements on the Court.

Oooo Eeeee Ooo, Ah Ah Ah



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This gibberish is from another reader under the header “Your use of French…”:

c’est abominable! John Kerry m’a dit a vous parlez que le phrase propre sera “La Revue National, c’est moi!”

A Wingman



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From a reader:

Dear Jonah,

I am a Christian. Most would say I’m a conservative Christian. I think I’m barely a Christian at all, but I’m a priest in the Episcopal Church where that doesn’t really matter anymore. In any event, how Mr. Lively can interpret your considered and clearly expressed comments on homosexual civil unions the way he does is beyond me. I don’t understand the more militant wing of the gay lobby. Apparently, I understand their counterparts on the “pro-family” side even less. I think I understand Andrew Sullivan. I think I understand the dialogue which you and your colleagues have on this subject in The Corner. I think I even understand “Derb” sometimes, but the weed has to be really sweet. (To appreciate the English and their approach to philosophy one need only consider their use of the term “nonsense.”) What I don’t understand is Scott Lively.

More Angry Social Cons



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These guys are vexed with me as well.

For the record, I do not enjoy nor do I seek to have religious conservatives mad at me. I’ve never tried to score points off what some call “theocons” — a few good-natured jokes notwithstanding. It would be nice if these guys didn’t fall prey to the burn-the-apostate thinking the left is so prone to. We’ll see.

Attention All Wall Street-Area Cornerites



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What you are doing on your lunch break: Checking out William F. Buckley Jr. at Borders at 12:30 (100 B’way, between Wall and Pine). He’ll be speaking and signing copies of his latest book, Getting It Right.

Rake’s Progress



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The talk on Gentleman Revolutionary at Barnes & Noble on E. 86 St. went very well. Surprise guest: a relative of Gouverneur Morris, my hero.

These People Are Elected Officials of The United States Government



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Barbara Lee (D., Calif) says the Bush White House is pursing “white supremacist” policics, at Jesse Jackson’s confab.

Scott Lively



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Going Down Fighting



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The following letter appeared in yesterday’s Washington Times. I would link to it, but I can’t find it on their website (I got it from Nexis). Anyway, I thought folks around here would be interested to know that I’m a muddle brained liberal Frenchman:

In an online Commentary published Friday in The Washington Times ["Time to face facts, gays gain victory"], National Review writer Jonah Goldberg says that the homosexuals have all but won the culture war and that it is time for social conservatives to make the best of what they consider a bad situation.

Mr. Goldberg is, indeed, not a social conservative or any kind of conservative at all since [in my opinion] conservatism is associated with clear logical thinking. No clear-thinking person believes that the homosexual sexual ethic and that of the family-based society can peacefully coexist. The opposing presuppositions about sexuality, marriage, family and culture inherent in these world views are contradictory and mutually exclusive. One must prevail at the expense of the other.

Mr. Goldberg, therefore, is not a well-intentioned Neville Chamberlain seeking to placate the implacable. At best, he is one of the traitorous Vichy French, sympathetic to the conquering invader. At worst, he is Tokyo Rose, an enemy feigning friendship and sympathy to better undermine the morale of our troops.

Mr. Goldberg’s own banner is not the white flag of surrender, but the rainbow flag of multiculturalism. The homosexual movement has, indeed, made great gains in the recent past and expects even greater victories in the near future. Things look grim for the natural family in America.

Yet, capitulation to a new pan-social homosexual mind-set would be cultural suicide. The homosexual movement in a society is analogous to the AIDS virus in the human body: It is not benign but destructive; it thrives at the expense of the host, and you’re most likely to get it by saying yes to sodomy. The best way to avoid it is through abstinence until lifelong monogamous heterosexual marriage.

Mr. Goldberg wants us all to say yes to sodomy, much as the French said yes to Nazism and for the same unprincipled reason the desire to be on the winning side. I, for one, would rather go down fighting for what is right namely, the protection of the critically important unit on which our society, and all societies, are built the natural family.

Viva la resistance.

SCOTT LIVELY

President

Pro-Family Law Center

Sacramento, Calif.

Update: I now see Andrew Sullivan quotes the same letter this morning.

Gephardt Was Not Misquoted



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Jeb Bush Pre-Decision



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