Good politics, good theology, and good constitutional law go together here. The Republican Party should be open to Bible believers, people of other religions and atheists, but if it wants to retain the support of Christians and Orthodox Jews, it should not chastise those who defend biblical truth. Besides, even though the state of Texas may have been unwise under current social conditions to prosecute a case concerning homosexuality, the Supreme Court should not establish a new, loose constructionist constitutional right.
Some Republicans who covet gay lobby campaign contributions will pressure the president to signal a Santorum sack. Because he spoke out in the Trent Lott controversy, he should not sit this one out; Santorum foes will see silence as consent. This is a crucial political fork in the road, and the George W. Bush -- who was tough enough to stand up to supporters of Saddam -- should refuse to be pushed around by supporters of sodomy.
Instead of being defensive, Republicans who are both wise and shrewd will go on offense. They should ask gay interest groups and Democrats to respond to Santorum's challenge: Make a constitutional argument that will differentiate the right to consensual gay sex from a right to bigamy, polygamy, incest, or adultery. Legislatures, of course, have long differentiated among certain acts, but what happens if the Supreme Court tells them to cease and desist?
Republicans (and others) who want to become wiser on such issues should read "What We Can't Not Know," a new book by my University of Texas colleague J. Budziszewski. The book is not a Bud Light, but non-professors can readily follow its discussion of "natural law," the "developmental spec sheet" that God has given us. As Santorum knows, once we move off that spec sheet, anarchy reigns.
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