For those who read the NY Times, you know that their op-ed pages include a variety of viewpoints. One of their contributors, Ross Douthat, is an unreconstructed defender of religious traditionalism. Like many on the religious right, he is a master of twisting language to say black is white and up is down, tolerance is oppression and oppression is morality. I read his columns partly out of morbid fascination, because he is a marvel of intellectual dishonesty--I have to steel myself not to retch before I start in. But it is also useful to see what these people are up to, because with them it's all about tactics, and it's better to know what's coming than be taken by surprise.
Still, in his latest column on marriage, Douthat has outdone himself. For those who don't want to labor through his whining, here is the key passage:
" A more honest, less triumphalist case for gay marriage would be willing to concede that, yes, there might be some social costs to redefining marriage. It would simply argue that those costs are too diffuse and hard to quantify to outweigh the immediate benefits of recognizing gay couples’ love and commitment.
Such honesty would make social liberals more magnanimous in what looks increasingly like victory, and less likely to hound and harass religious institutions that still want to elevate and defend the older marital ideal.
But whether people think they’re on the side of God or of History, magnanimity has rarely been a feature of the culture war."
Imagine that, a right-wing culture warrior, complaining about being hounded! What world does this man live in?
Yes, we can hope the liberals show more class than the conservatives have. It wouldn't be hard! Gays, like blacks and other minorities, and in many societies, women, are still subject to all manner of brutalization up to and including lynching, often with tacit approval from the "law". However, we have yet to hear of liberals going on drunken rampages to beat up and murder religious folk. We have yet to hear of gays bullying straights into committing suicide.
Why is it that the bullies only discover the value of magnanimity when their game is finally up? Is it fear that their karma will come back to bite them? Remember the scenes of Gadhafi in the street, begging for mercy before the mobs killed him? Is that what the religious right fears? They need not. Their fears are mere projection, because they know how they have behaved for centuries, and they can't imagine others being better than that. We have news for them: We ARE better than that.
Please, Ross, spare us the self-righteousness. And grow some you-know-whats.