How many weasels does it take to sell a people a treacherously flawed piece of legislation? We don’t know the answer yet – and hopefully we may never know.
In Ireland’s marriage redefinition referendum the country’s new Ascendancy – the metropolitan liberal establishment – is relentlessly campaigning to persuade the people of Ireland that the hallowed principles of liberty, equality and fraternity require that they make this change. Of course its proposers are denying that any fundamental change is involved. All this, according to them, is a little tweak to help the country keep up with the modern world.
That is the first bit of weasel behaviour. The weasels and the weasel words are out in force in this campaign. One after another they fall from their lips like honeyed words, feigning compassion and understanding. Deception is the hallmark of this sinister political campaign. Indeed it might be said that nothing more deceitful has confronted the Irish people under the guise of benign and noble labels since the political establishment of another age betrayed their ancestors into an impoverished backwater with the passing of the Act of Union in 1801.
The truth is that this is not about anyone’s equality, nor about compassion or tolerance for difference and diversity – their favourite weasel words. This is about an ideology of identity, a spurious identity which puts sexuality above all other human values, above logic, truth and justice. If this ideology prevails it will end up depriving people of their freedom of thought, their freedom of association, in the name of a specious concept of equality.
This is not a campaign to defend the freedom of anyone. It is not a battle for justice or a compassionate response to the suffering of a minority who identify themselves as different. Without a doubt, those are battles that have to be fought and will have to be fought as long as our race’s propensity for selfishness, egoism and enmity persists. We do need laws to help us in this. But this is not that battle. That is another battle.
The battle now being played in Ireland is part of a war raging across the developed world in which gender ideology is the driving force. This is a war in which one side is seeking to impose on the other the recognition and acceptance of an ideology which says that human nature – in all its gloriously rich diversity – is a socially determined thing, a construct, some of whose manifestations – like the sexual differences between man and woman – have passed their sell-by date and need to be re-configured in a new and flexible way.
In this new longed-for vision of human nature, the complementarity of men and women, their respective and inviolable roles in the glorious work of human reproduction is a mere side-show. The institution of marriage considered as a prerogative of this man-woman relationship – and the institution of the family which arises from it – which has evolved in human society for the greater good and happiness of parents and their children, is just an anachronism in our modern world. Sidelining marriage by draining it of its meaning and reconstituting the family into anything you want it to be will help speed its consignment to history.
The destruction of marriage by turning it into an anodyne sentimental bonding of two people of any sex is just a means to this end of affirming that human nature is there for us to do anything we like with it. What this battle is about is not just redefining marriage but redefining human nature itself.
This of course is no new agenda. It has been gestating for at least a century. The sexual revolution, of which all this is but a new phase, has a major part of its roots imbedded in the malign theories of Sigmund Freud who told us that everything we think and do arises out of our sexuality. With the acceptance of the hedonistic philosophy and the denial of human freedom emanating from Fruedian theroy, civilization now needs to be cleansed of the rules and customs of centuries. For the ideologues behind this campaign these are instruments of repression and worse. Marriage, traditionally understood, was just one of them. The “free love” philosophies fashionable in the early twentieth century made a certain amount of ground in destroying it. Not enough, however. Redefinition, which will amount to a virtual destruction, should complete the job for them.
To do this however, language has to be manipulated and weasels have to be recruited to help them do the job. “Equality” was the first victim to fall to weaselhood. Then came the noble concept of “tolerance”.
The hijacking of equality defies logic and reason when we approach it from any normal understanding of how that concept can be understood in the context of human nature as we know it. Of course, if you regard nature as your plaything to do as you wish with it, then the sky is the limit. Logic and reason will not worry you.
Taking nature as we find it in the real world we know that in some contexts we can and should be quite passionate about a very rigourous rendering to each and all in a very even-handed way. But we also know that nature’s gifts to us are not always equally distributed. We know that parents who rigourously distribute their time, attention and resources among their children in equal quantities may not be doing the best for those children. If in doing so they ignore the different needs determined by each child’s intelligence, personality and ability, they may end up doing serious and culpable injustice to some of those children.
The right of a man and a woman to come together and to bond in matrimony by mutual consent is a right based on their complementary but different sexual natures. On this basis they derive their capacity to give to each other their different but complementary sexual gifts and the greatest gift of all, the potential for creating new human life. A desired marriage arrangement, as we have understood it for centuries in law and in practice, where impotency impedes the sharing of those gifts has always been deemed not to be possible – and any contract entered into and then discovered to be affected by impotency has been deemed null and void.
So to drag in the concept of equality to argue for the right of two people of the same sex to marry is turning the word equality into a weasel word – pretending it to be something which it cannot ever be. There can be no right to equality when the exercise of that right is based on something impossible, null and void.
And what about tolerance? The demand for tolerance which is part and parcel of this campaign is not a demand for tolerance at all. It is a demand for social endorsement – which is a totally different thing. With this demand comes one of the most sinister threats to human freedom seen in the developed world since the demise of those tyrannies of the last century, national Socialism and Communism.
Do not doubt it. Those behind this campaign, if victorious, will be sending people to prison in the not too distant future for refusing to endorse forms of behaviour that they consider contrary to the best interests of individual human beings and society at large. It will not be because they do not tolerate those behaviours, it will be because they will not bake cakes to celebrate those behaviours, or refuse to turn up to take photographs of them, or even express the opinion that they disapprove of them. Such expressions of opinion are already labelled as “hate speech”, and punishable in law.
Last week, the O’Connor family in Walkerton, Indiana, was targeted with death threats and online harassment that forced them to close the doors to their Memories Pizza restaurant. The O’Connors’ story started when a local news reporter asked if they would theoretically reject service for a gay wedding ceremony. The owner, Kevin O’Connor, said that while the restaurant serves all customers, they would not be able to participate in a same-sex ceremony. Militant gay activists subsequently targeted the family with death threats, viciously negative online reviews of the restaurant, and other harassment — forcing the O’Connors to close the business they had owned for nine years.
Needless to say, many gay people were themselves outraged by the treatment of the family. Courtney Hoffman wrote in a note to the O’Connors: “As a member of the gay community, I would like to apologize for the mean spirited attacks on you and your business. I know many gay individuals who fully support your right to stand up for your beliefs and run your business according to those beliefs. We are outraged at the level of hate and intolerance that has been directed at you and I sincerely hope that you are able to rebuild.”
Likewise, Buz Smith: “My partner and I have been together almost 27 years. The Democratic Leadership hi-jacked the Gay community many years ago and continue to spew the intolerance of religion as they promote the tolerances of their choices.” However, a spokesperson for the pro-same-sex marriage organization Human Rights Campaign refused to issue a public statement about the treatment of Memories Pizza by gay activists.
In two high-profile cases, military chaplains have been punished for citing their religious beliefs during private counselling sessions and other official events, sparking questions about what military chaplains are allowed to say in the name of faith. Capt. Joe Lawhorn was punished for making references to the Bible and distributing a handout that cited the Christian scriptures during a suicide prevention seminar at the University of North Georgia.
This is all before the Irish – if they vote “yes” in their referendum on May 22 next. Indeed it has already arrived in that part of their island under UK jurisdiction – with the Ashers’ bakery case in Belfast.
Tim Black, deputy editor of the libertarian online journal, http://www.Spiked.com, ruefully comments:
It is a miserable irony today that those who think of themselves as liberal are actively trashing liberal ideals. Of course, they don’t experience their illiberalism as illiberalism. Quite the opposite. As far as they’re concerned, they’re riding on the right side of history, battling bigotry and hunting down hate wherever they suspect its persistence, and leading us all into an ultra-nice rainbow-coloured future. They’re the tolerant ones. They’re the progressives. They’re the good guys.
And yet in their zeal to fight discrimination, often with the law at their heel, they have turned their professed liberalism into its opposite: an unwitting illiberalism, in which key liberal tenets, from freedom of conscience to its corollary, freedom of association, are trampled over in the headlong rush to create a society in their achingly right-on, gay-marriage-supporting, transphobia-fighting image. The road to intolerance, it seems, is paved with do-gooding intentions.
Liberal principles, he says, have been routed by identity politics. Religious freedom, the freedom to act according to one’s conscience, is now considered a problem, an omnipresent threat to the increasingly state-enforced “recognise’n’respect-me” politics which is now predominant. For too many, the idea of religious freedom merely generates a series of worrying questions. What if individuals have the wrong beliefs? What if individuals refuse to associate with those they profoundly disagree with? What if individuals – cue gasps of horror – think gay marriage is wrong? Judgement and discrimination, all part of the exercise of a free conscience, terrify those cleaving to some vague notion of non-judgemental pluralism.
There is intolerance in the world, gross intolerance. There are many people who do not accept the principles of a common humanity and a right to freedom of speech and freedom of thought. There are those who feel they have a right to coerce others rather than a right to persuade. For the most part this derives from ignorance and a lack of education. By all means let us tackle this and work together to advance our civilization. This new “tolerance” is a cure which will be worse than the disease, where the right to freedom of thought, personal judgement and the judgement of conscience, is hopelessly confused with a lack of respect for persons as human beings.
The O’Connors, the McArthur family of Ashers’ Bakery, Captain Joe Lawhorn, and many more, have shown no disrespect for people. I am sure that in other circumstances they might die defending the rights of their fellow human beings, gay or otherwise. They are Christians and this is the ethic of their faith. They should not, however, be forced by unjust laws to endorse and approve of behaviours contrary to what they know to be the law of nature written in their hearts.