The recent spate of conversions of “conservative” politicians and members of various professions regarding the moral acceptability of homosexual relations and homosexual “marriages” is unmasking the lack of any stable moral principles underlying much of what passes today as a conservative world view and politics. Interestingly, many of these so-called conversions or evolutions seem to be connected to a personal tie with a practicing homosexual, a family member, as in the case of former Vice-president Cheney, or a friend in many other cases. So the change appears to be based purely on personal love and loyalties, subjective attitudes that are in themselves obviously good, with little or no concern for establishing any rational basis for the conversion. It’s a case of my son or daughter is a homosexual and is going to civilly marry another loving homosexual, and I want to show her/him my love and support for his/her personal choice of a life partner and the individuals absolute right to marry whomever he/she chooses.
None of this converting or evolving has anything to do with any deep rational reexamination of the moral law and moral principles held through the ages, which are the only real basis for so called natural rights. It’s just a matter of irrational things like feelings and attitudes. Their justifications imply that this a matter of justice and natural rights, but their words betray any such real interest. In the end, it’s just a matter of the emotions.
As Robert Reilly demonstrates wonderfully in his recent book, Making Gay OK, any objective meaning of justice or natural rights has to be grounded on a deep respect for objective truth about things as they really exist. But modern thought, which has profoundly transformed modern jurisprudence, has no respect for objective truth, as the truth of things, but sees “truth” in a purely subjective way, not as something that is found in things themselves and only discovered by our minds, but as something generated by our wills and only formulated by our minds.
That is why the modern mind is so easily converted to accept an evil, that it formerly held to be evil, as something that is now seen as “good.” In the end, “truth” and all that is simply a matter of social convention and cultural determination, and when the society and culture redefines something like marriage so as to embrace homosexual unions and sodomy, then those things formerly considered perversions and grave moral disorders are now considered as perfectly normal and morally good. It’s the ultimate perversion of truth, calling good evil and evil good. But hey, what’s new about this. Americans are simply catching up with the serpent who first did this in Paradise and Europeans have been doing now for several centuries.
So you have two roots of these easy conversions to homosexual marriages, a personal, subjective root, a misguided personal loyalty and love, and a total loss of the connection between truth and reality as an objective basis for natural institutions and especially the institutions of justice and jurisprudence. Reilly argues in his book that the legalization of homosexual marriage is itself an injustice since it institutionalizes a lie and distorts the real world and the whole concept f natural rights. It’s an injustice certainly against children who will be deliberately conceived and reared in an unnatural way, growing up without one real parent by design, and an injustice against the society at large that has to render the same honor and respect and even financial, tax supported benefits to a totally artificial institution that only mimics genuine marriage.
But that kind of thinking is simply beyond the comprehension of a population that has been educated to think that truth is whatever you think it is, and moral good and evil are whatever you choose to make of them. Very few of our political leaders or judicial appointees think in terms of natural law as the basis for true law, which was the basis for most all western jurisprudence from the time of the Greek philosophers until the French Revolution and the age of Enlightenment. Today’s western political elites and holders of political and juridical power are almost all legal positivists, and many, if not most of these leaders are likewise moral relativists, and this is what has been utterly unmasked by the legalization of abortion, euthanasia and now homosexual “marriages.”
What all this tragically reverts to, sad to say, is the loss of the Christian faith and its world view over centuries. Today we are seeing the consequences of this loss of faith. Most people, including most educated men and women, will not long hold to a realistic view of human society and its necessary grounding in an objective moral law once their faith is dead. Christian faith alone grounds reality in the truth of things and in an objective moral order based upon that truth. There is no possibility of true justice in a society that does not believe in objective truth and does not accept that justice must be rooted in truth or there is no real justice, just prejudice supported by power. What is just today may not be just tomorrow if five Supreme Court Justices decide to declare good evil and evil good, or if a majority of legislators does the same black magic with the laws of the land.
Yesterday, homosexual marriage was judged an evil in society and forbidden. Today judges say it’s a good for society and permitted. But what stands between this kind of judicial determination and other radical things that we presently define as evil, like a future renewal of slavery or acceptance of honor killing, except the “goodwill” of these kinds of judges? It’s not the bomb throwing terrorists who ultimately pose the greatest threat to our survival but the arbitrary and irrational judgements of the courts and legislators who simply choose to call good evil, and evil good, and to make our laws conform to their personal whims. In truth, this approach to good and evil, justice and the law, is ultimately demonic.