But such empathy for ideological foes is all but absent from the narcissistic world of the Left. To virtually every liberal writer and spokesman, only liberals mean well, only they are sincere, only they are compassionate, and only they are intellectual, rational and tolerant.
Liberals' use of the word "radical" to describe opponents of same-sex marriage illustrates this self-aggrandizing mindset. To describe as "radical" those who wish to preserve the man-woman-based definition of marriage known to every civilization is to stand the word on its head. It is beyond intellectually dishonest -- it is mendacity -- to describe those who favor preserving the definition of marriage as "radical" rather than to so describe those who wish to change the gender-based definition of marriage for the first time in history. Even if you support same-sex marriage, you should at least have the honesty to admit that it is you who favors something radical.
Some of those who want a constitutional amendment to define marriage as man-woman are indeed bigoted against gays, regarding them as something less than fully human. But most people who want to maintain marriage as male-female consider homosexuals to be just as much created in the image of God as anyone else. But though it is painful for us to see a perfectly decent homosexual unable to marry a person of the same sex, we are nevertheless more preoccupied with:
(1) Giving every child the opportunity to at least begin life with a mother and father; (2) Honoring the will of the great majority of Americans, secular and religious, liberal and conservative, to preserve the man-woman marital ideal, and not allow a judge to single-handedly destroy that ideal; (3) Preserving the ability of teachers and clergy to tell the story of marriage to young children in terms of a man and woman and not confuse the vast majority of kids who are forming their vision of marriage and sexuality.
These preoccupations are neither bigoted nor radical. They are, in our view, civilization-saving.
As for the liberals' view that gas prices are more important than society's definition of marriage, it is so self-incriminating that no response is needed.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”