My first mistake was going online and Corner posting on a Sunday!
An e-mail on the North Korea analogy:
When the Athenians voted to execute Socrates, was he or was he not the victim of tyranny? Can tyranny take any form other than dictatorship? Are the fears of our founding fathers mere fantasy, or is care for legal protection against the tyranny of the majority an actual real-world concern? Is the vote of a democratically elected body necessarily not tyranny? To dismiss the N. Korea analogy as beyond the pale is to deny the rational of the founding fathers, to deny any appeals to right and wrong that extend beyond positive law. Tyranny is capricious law, based upon the will of one, few, or many in a way that gravely contradicts the common good and the traditional laws for securing that good. Too much Team America and not enough Aristotle in these dismissals of the N. Korea analogy.
It is a cautionary note. And then some.
As George Weigel writes today:
Marriage, as both religious and secular thinkers have acknowledged for millennia, is a social institution that is older than the state and that precedes the state. The task of a just state is to recognize and support this older, prior social institution; it is not to attempt its redefinition. To do the latter involves indulging the totalitarian temptation that lurks within all modern states: the temptation to remanufacture reality. The American civil-rights movement was a call to recognize moral reality; the call for gay marriage is a call to reinvent reality to fit an agenda of personal willfulness. The gay-marriage movement is thus not the heir of the civil-rights movement; it is the heir of Bull Connor and others who tried to impose their false idea of moral reality on others by coercive state power.
A humane society will find ample room in the law for accommodating a variety of human relationships in matters of custodial care, hospital visiting rights, and inheritance. But there is nothing humane about the long march toward the dictatorship of relativism, nor will there be anything humane about the destination of that march, should it be reached. The viciousness visited upon Archbishop Dolan and other defenders of marriage rightly understood during the weeks before the vote in Albany is yet another testimony to the totalitarian impulse that lurks beneath the gay marriage movement.