The Romanists seem to really be talking up this Jesus guy lately, apparently in response to getting outcompeted by snake handlers in Latin America. And, look, I'm as cynical as they come about organized religion, and I still can't figure out how they manage to sound so insincere while doing it.
Two things. First, Salon, if you ever again give up the top half of your page, and my entire screen, to side-by-side extreme closeups of the dueling facial hair mistakes that are Andrew Sullivan and Ross Cardinal Douthat I swear I'll buy a subscription just to cancel it.
|Shown properly sized. Assuming you have to. Which you don't.|
Second, I haven't seen anyone mention the fact that Douthat's leaping-of-faith and jumping off-of-logic point is the 1997 debate between David Frum and Andrew Sullivan, which Douthat describes as having taken place between "two prominent conservative writers", but which, certainly in retrospect, should be described as "two desperate liars filling a much-needed hole at Slate.
Anyway, while it's always a treat to watch the religiously-mazed social moralist try to walk-back his theological certainties from the previous week while simultaneously running to catch up with the tail end of the times and hoping all the while that no one notices, I got all the religion I could handle for one weekend from Turner Classic Movies. So leave us not forget Jennifer Rubin:
Regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling, public opinion seems to have shifted irreversibly. How did it happen? Here are seven ways in which social conservatives fumbled the issue:
1. They never explained how same-sex marriage “harms” heterosexual marriage.
2. They confused their own beliefs with those of mainstream Republicans, who were far less ideological and, in fact, were following the general societal shift.
3. They did not drum out of their ranks anti-gay (as opposed to pro-traditional marriage) voices, who portrayed the entire movement as intolerant and exclusionary.
4. They had no logical objection to states’ popular referendums in favor of gay marriage. With no imperial judiciary to rail against, they were reduced to making an anti-democratic argument that voters couldn’t or shouldn’t be allowed to define marriage as they saw fit.
5. They ignored the plight of heterosexual marriage (soaring divorce rate, rise in single-person households), which made their defense of “traditional” marriage seem insincere.
6. As more gay and lesbian Americans came out to friends, family and co-workers, the anti-gay-marriage voices were handicapped; they argued against an issue in the abstract while gay-marriage proponents could argue that Mike and Sam down the street or Sue and Ann at the office shouldn’t be denied the right to marry.
7. They insisted on federalizing the issue with the Defense of Marriage Act, leading to the current Supreme Court case and turning federalism (usually a conservative cause) into an argument about federal meddling into marriage.
Yes, somehow the Republican party managed to take over the Republican party. While nobody was looking. For fifty years.
In fairness, this is the sort of crap that Republicans have been getting away with since Barry Goldwater based his political Second Act on pretending to be too pure a "Conservative" to've approved of all the racism that powered Act One. Change the words, preserve the high-quality of the hallucination, and you have every hagiography of Ronald Reagan ever written. I suppose Rubin can be forgiven for walking into the middle of it, and deciding that if it got someone with her skills a job writing opinion, it was a magic amulet the Sci-Fi network could base a series on.
Problem there is that she might be expected to've remembered The 2012 Republican National Committee Platform:
'Cause judging from how it reads she could have written the damn thing.Preserving and Protecting Traditional Marriage
The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children. Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, engage in crime, or get pregnant outside of marriage. The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.