Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Lincoln and Same-Sex Marriage: He Would Not Agree...
Many years ago in a Wall Street Journal Editorial, Richard A. Epstein (Live and Let Live, July 13, 2004) essentially argued that same-sex marriage was not a big deal--that conservatives should just “leave same-sex couples alone.” Since then, the state of New York has decided to jump on the ‘marriage’ bandwagon. In all, about 11 other states are also on that wagon. Today, the Supreme Court weighed in as well. So, the question can be asked anew—Could “leave them alone” work?
In his address at Cooper Union (ironically, in New York) in February 1860, Abraham Lincoln said that those who promoted keeping slavery legal would refuse to be "left alone" because it was not in their nature. I think he might say the same thing to Mr. Epstein, New York legislators, and all others who believe in “live and let live.” The primary reason I believe this is that I was on the front lines in Hawaii in 1998 when the same-sex ‘marriage’ crowd tried to force the issue on that state. It went down in flames. But, as Lincoln predicted, the proponents of this lifestyle have refused to be left alone. Over the past 15+ years they have just taken their fight to other states (including back to Hawaii).
So, what might Lincoln say today about this issue? Here is what my imagination says, using paraphrased remarks from his famous speech at Cooper Union. (I basically replaced slavery with same-sex ‘marriage.’):
Will leaving same-sex couples alone satisfy them? No. Some policy-makers have tried for years to “live and let live” (i.e. by not enforcing sodomy laws) but this has not satisfied them.
What will satisfy them? This and this only: cease to call the practice of homosexuality wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly—done in acts as well as in words—acts that include the overthrow of state constitutions that already outlaw same-sex marriage. Silence will not be tolerated—we must place ourselves avowedly with them.
Their thinking homosexual behavior right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, who can blame them for desiring its full recognition? But thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this?
Let those of us who know homosexual behavior is wrong (i.e. we love the sinner, but hate the sin) not be diverted by sophistical contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between right and wrong (i.e. “live and let live”). This is as vain as the search for a man who is neither living nor dead. “Live and let live” is a policy of “don't care” on a question about which all true men do care.
Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction ... nor of dungeons to ourselves.
Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. (The full text of Cooper Union can be found here.)
I personally believe Lincoln was right--those who argue that same-sex marriage should just be "left alone" do not understand the nature of those who promote this behavior. They do not want to be left alone—they want to be right. They want to defeat what is right and replace it with what is wrong. Therefore, those of us who believe in preserving the sanctity of marriage between a man and a women will continue our fight.