Wrong Side of History?
by Joseph Backholm | March 27, 2013You’re probably aware that the Supreme Court is hearing cases on the constitutionality of laws defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. You’ve probably also heard talking heads insist that public opinion has shifted, that same-sex marriage is inevitable, and 50 years from now everyone will wonder what the big deal was.
This is for those of you who may be a bit unsettled by all of it. You’re not crazy. The world may be going mad, but not for the first time. In the words of the apostle Paul, “professing to be wise they became fools.”
To better understand what’s going on, re-read the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. When the crowd is gathered and the emotions are highest, that is the moment at which the peer pressure is greatest. Only the child, who was unaware of the peer pressure, had the courage to state the obvious.
The path of least resistance is to go along to get along. That’s why so many people choose it. But you just can’t make yourself do it. It isn’t so much about being true to yourself as it is about being true to what is true. You anchored yourself to the concept of truth, which means that not every idea is brilliant. It isn’t that you have a personal vendetta against those that disagree, you just recognize that if nothing is true, then everything is true…which is completely unworkable.
Over time, you came to be thankful for the fact that, by virtue of having an anchor, there were some places you couldn’t go and some ideas you couldn’t embrace. It has actually saved you a lot of trouble. But now everyone is so angry about it.
If you sympathize with this sentiment, let’s remind ourselves of why we have an anchor at all.
We don’t make the rules. Sure we can decide speed limits and tax rates, but with respect to the laws of the universe, we are subject, not lord. We may not like them, but we cannot change them.
We could pass a law banning gravity because it discriminates against wingless creatures, but the moment we launched ourselves off a building to celebrate our independence from it we would simply reinforce the limits of our legislative authority.
Natural marriage flows from the laws of nature. It is not a uniquely valuable relationship because people gathered in their caves eons ago and launched a campaign to stigmatize people attracted to the same sex. Marriage between a man and a woman is uniquely valuable because we are a gendered species. It is a biological reality that every child has a mom and dad. The fact that it is ideal for children to have both parents in their lives flows from nature, not from hatred of non-parents. For those who are offended by this reality, their issue is not with you.
The ideas that parents are interchangeable will not survive because it cannot survive. It cannot survive because it is inconsistent with reality. Fathers cannot mother, and mothers cannot father.
Truth is not concerned with or affected by our preferences. I may find it inconvenient that I cannot eat only corn dogs and expect to be healthy. Even if I framed my body’s need for vitamins and minerals as discrimination and intolerance of my tongues orientation, and even if I convinced many to join my protest, my heart attack would not care. Nor would it care that my intentions were good. My body was designed in a way that I cannot control or change. It is in my best interest to accept it rather than fight it.
For those of us who live life with an anchor, we have done so, in part, because we understand that we cannot trust our feelings. They are, by definition, unreliable. The ability to analyze what is true despite how we feel is part of what separates us from animals.
The other thing about feelings…they go away. Whether you’re motivated, joyful, or angry, no feeling lasts forever. If your conclusions about what is true are determined by your feelings, your view of reality will constantly change. This also explains why support for same-sex “marriage”, such as it is, cannot last.
Never mind the fact that nearly every poll ever taken has wildly overstated real support for redefining marriage, the fact that a fevered emotional climate with intense social pressure to conform or be ostracized was necessary to gain support for their position also guarantees its collapse.
The cultural infatuation with everything gay will not last forever. When the emotional leverage is gone, they’ll have to argue for the benefits of a genderless world with interchangeable parents on the merits.
Good luck with that.
If you feel anxiety about all of this, please try to relax. Don’t stop caring and don’t stop working. There is much pain to be averted by being as close to truth as possible, and each of us plays a critical role in that struggle. But don’t ever be concerned that this battle is lost forever.
The idea that 500 years from now, civilizations will see this as the moment in human history when everyone came together and realized you could do whatever you wanted with whomever you wanted and it didn’t matter so long as everyone consented and had good intentions is fantasy.
We are not the first people to be asked to conform to intense social pressure, nor will we be the last.
But hopefully we will provide a great example to the next generation of grace under fire and the benefit of having an anchor.
You may be on the wrong side of the peer pressure, depending on the group you’re with or the channel you’re watching, but you’re not on the wrong side of history.
Time obliterates the fictions of opinion and confirms the decisions of nature. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero