The argument most often heard in favor same-sex "marriage" is that it is the "fair" thing to do.
This is an interesting position, because having jettisoned one standard for marriage, those pushing for the inclusion of same-sex "marriage" now appeal to the public on the basis of another standard. But if there are to be no standards, or only "standards" that shift with the changing winds of culture (which then don't count as standards at all), on what basis are advocates of same-sex "marriage" appealing to the majority of us who, according to opinion polls, want to keep marriage for heterosexuals only?
Let's put it this way. If you tell me you do not believe in God and then say to me that I should brake for animals, or pay women equally, or help the poor, on what basis are you making such an appeal? If no standard for objective truth, law, wisdom, justice, charity, kindness, compassion and fidelity exists in the universe, then what you are asking me to accept is an idea that has taken hold in your head but that has all of the moral compulsion of a bowl of cereal. You are a sentimentalist, trying to persuade me to a point of view based on your feelings about the subject and not rooted in the fear of God or some other unchanging earthly standard.
The mayor of New Paltz, N.Y., Jason West, recently performed same-sex "marriages," saying it is the "moral" thing to do. Moral? According to whom? If only according to Mayor West, he is practicing moral relativism, not objective morality.
Thomas Jefferson did not speak of rights being endowed by the courts or vigilante mayors and judges who take the law into their own hands like a lynch mob in frontier America. He knew that for certain rights to have meaning, they must come from outside the reach of man. He also knew that in order to protect institutions essential to the preservation of the constitutional republic, it was necessary to create a system that would control human urges and appetites.
The idea of marriage did not originate in San Francisco or Massachusetts or even with the Founders. Like it or not, it came from the book of Genesis, where, after the fall of man, God said, "A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Homosexuals may become "one flesh" in their own eyes but not in a biblical sense, no matter how many Scriptural heretics with degrees from seminaries that are mostly schools of unbelief are trotted out.
The problem is that too many people either no longer accept this historical view of marriage, or they don't wish to "impose" their view on others (for fear of being called a bigot), or they have a "live and let live" philosophy that has opened the door to virtually any and every experiment in social arrangement. If same-sex marriage is allowed, it is going to be nearly impossible to prohibit the sanctioning of any other kind of human "relationship" - from close relatives of different sexes who wish to marry (that has been outlawed because of biological and incest considerations) and polygamists to adult-child "marriage."
I recently asked Republican New York Gov. George Pataki if he favored same-sex marriage. He said he doesn't but thinks some accommodation could be made to homosexuals offering similar benefits. What about polygamy? He quickly rejected that, saying "it is against the law." The New Paltz mayor is violating the law, but New York's Attorney General won't stop him. If things that are illegal violate cultural trendiness, our new definition of "truth," they are simply permitted.
I don't know how you reverse such a trend. Political activism isn't working. Appeals to higher standards aren't successful, because same-sex "marriage" is evidence that the standards have already been abandoned. How does a nation that has tolerated about 40 million abortions suddenly acquire a moral sense about same-sex marriage?
Maybe those of us wishing to preserve marriage for heterosexuals, imperfect as we may be at it, ought to ask those pushing for its redefinition what they mean by their "fairness doctrine" and upon what it is based. At least we heterosexuals have a reference that is thousands of years old. What's theirs and how do we know it won't change tomorrow?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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