Americans seem mesmerized by the word "change." And, by golly, they sure got it last week from the California Supreme Court. It is difficult to imagine a single social change greater than redefining marriage from opposite sex to include members of the same sex.
Nothing imaginable -- leftward or rightward -- would constitute as radical a change in the way society is structured as this redefining of marriage for the first time in history: Not another Prohibition, not government taking over all health care, not changing all public education to private schools, not America leaving the United Nations, not rescinding the income tax and replacing it with a consumption tax. Nothing.
Unless California voters amend the California Constitution or Congress amends the U.S. Constitution, four justices of the California Supreme Court will have changed American society more than any four individuals since Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Madison.
And what is particularly amazing is that virtually none of those who support this decision -- let alone the four compassionate justices -- acknowledge this. The mantra of the supporters of this sea change in society is that it's no big deal. Hey, it doesn't affect any heterosexuals' marriage, so what's the problem?
This lack of acknowledgment -- or even awareness -- of how society-changing is this redefinition of marriage is one reason the decision was made. To the four compassionate ones -- and their millions of compassionate supporters -- allowing same-sex marriage is nothing more than what courts did to end legal bans on interracial marriage. The justices and their supporters know not what they did. They think that all they did was extend a "right" that had been unfairly denied to gays.
Another reason for this decision is arrogance. First, the arrogance of four individuals to impose their understanding of what is right and wrong on the rest of society. And second is the arrogance of the four compassionate ones in assuming that all thinkers, theologians, philosophers, religions and moral systems in history were wrong, while they and their supporters have seen a moral light never seen before. Not a single religion or moral philosophical system -- East or West -- since antiquity ever defined marriage as between members of the same sex.
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.”