I must say that when first reading it I was struck by the realization that, like the Republican leadership (which Cohen writes about), the clerical leadership of the Roman Catholic Church are totally irrational in their fixation on and fear of all things gay – especially gay marriage. (Possible reasons for this are discussed previously at The Wild Reed here, here, here, and here.)
The truth is that if Maj. Nidal Hasan, the accused killer of 13 people at Fort Hood, had entered the officers club there with a nice handbag on his arm, perhaps a Gucci tote, he would have been out of the Army by the end of the week. But since he was merely anti-social, a misfit, an incompetent psychiatrist and a likely Islamic fanatic, he was retained and promoted. This says something about America. On the subject of gays, we are a tad nuts ourselves.
That irrationality comes at me on an almost daily basis. One of the most prominent and strongly held planks of the Republican Party’s right wing - its only wing, it seems - is opposition to same-sex marriage. I know this from the sheer huffy-and-puffiness of commentators such as Bill O’Reilly.
In a recent column, O’Reilly directed us to read something called “The Manhattan Declaration,” . . . the longest section of the declaration - applies to same-sex marriage. It amounts, really, to a confession of confusion, a cry by the perplexed who have come to think that same-sex marriage is at the core - the rotten core - of much that ails our society. Everything from divorce to promiscuity is addressed in this section without any acknowledgment that same-sex marriage, like all marriage, is a way of containing promiscuity (or at least of inducing guilt) and that not having it would not reduce promiscuity in the least. This I state as a fact.
The reasoning in the declaration is so contorted that it brings to mind the dire warnings from years past of what would happen if blacks and whites were allowed to marry - not to mention similar references to what the Almighty purportedly intended.
In the end, the courts will decide this question. That’s what they’re there for. Then, I suspect, wedding bells will ring through the land - and, after a pause, America will wonder what the fuss was all about.
To read Richard Cohen’s commentary, “The Fight for Gay Marriage is America’s New Civil Right Battle,” in its entirety, click here.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Same Premise
Why Civil Rights Leader Julian Bond Marches for Gay Rights
The Same People
Steve Chapman: “Time is On the Side of Gay Marriage”
What the Republican Leadership & the Catholic Hierarchy Have in Common
“Fr. Tony” and the U.S. Bishops’ “Compulsion” re. Gay Marriage
First They Take Manhattan
Timothy Kincaid Reviews the Manhattan Declaration
A Christian Case for Same-Sex Marriage
Dr. Erik Steele and the “Naked Truth on Same-Sex Marriage”
John Corvino on the “Always and Everywhere” Argument
Patrick Ryan on the “Defense of Traditional Marriage” Argument
The Changing Face of “Traditional Marriage”