Thursday, July 02, 2009

Writing activity from the past several weeks, Pt 1

Recently, the gay marriage poll has been making the rounds, and the results are unsurprising. Rather than vote, I posted a status that said, "THE INTERNET IS LIBERAL!" I might as well have posted, "PUPPIES ARE CUTE" or "MICHAEL JACKSON IS WEIRD [Postscript, this was written before his death. Rest in peace, Michael.]." My point was that polling the general Facebook populace is an exercise in restating the obvious.

My sister, who I love, wrote, "What's up with your fascination with this topic (the gay marriage thing). Given that it doesn't impact you or (presumably) anyone you know and love personally, I don't see any reason for you to be feeling ALL CAPS - level emotion here."

The spirit of my all-caps post was a little subtle. It's hard to communicate certain sentiments over the Web. Certainly it begged for misinterpretation. Yet at the same time, my sis is correct: I am fascinated with the gay marriage issue... sort of. More accurately, I am fascinated with the wider issue of modern sexual libertinism and the collapse of an intelligent and persuasive response to it, of which the "gay marriage" issue is just a subset.

As a social conservative (a standpoint informed by, but ultimately independent of, my Catholic faith), I critique the exaggerated privatization and individualization of questions of sexual behavior brought upon by a zeitgeist completely beholden to the teachings of mid-20th century figures like Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Hugh Hefner, and others. Overall, I fear that modern western society has grossly underestimated the universal importance and impact of sex (and its natural correlates).

I am skeptical that a society that puts on giant blinders to the basics of the birds and the bees (in favor of a utilitarian and commoditized model of sexual pleasure) can operate for long without severe collective, and thus individual consequences. And I do not predict that those consequences will happen in some undetermined future--I observe that they have already happened; the bottom has fallen out; and we celebrate it even though as a society we are less happy, less healthy, less loved, and more alone than ever before.

Even though I do not consider my position to be irrational or not well-founded in verifiable evidence, I face incredible obstacles to my own credibility--from my allies as much as my opponents. My position will always be caricatured as a blind, sentimental 1950s romanticism; or as Biblical fundamentalism; or (as in the case of the gay marriage issue) simple hateful prejudice. And I receive no help from the fact that no small number of my allies are blind romantics, fundamentalists, and prejudiced people.

I stand by my convictions about morality and about public policy (which, believe or not, are distinct in my mind), not in the name of "tradition" or "God's law", but in the name of the public good; and because my reasons do not easily express themselves in sound bytes and catchy slogans, I see little hope that my views will obtain in the wider society. Short of a miracle. Fortunately, I believe in miracles.

1 comment:

Matt of CG said...

"I see little hope that my views will obtain [prominence] in the wider society."

Ha ha ha ha! You sure are good at being facetious. :) You know as well as I do that Jesus can work on every soul from the inside out. Pray that we embrace your intentions for us. Prayers can make it happen.