…or even gay marriage.
The real issue is that we have entirely too many assholes in this country.
The Chick-Fil-A imbroglio this week brought that out in technicolor. Because while people came out in unprecedented droves to support the restaurant chain for its principled stance on gay marriage – a stance that Barack Obama ran on in 2008, by the way – there were also people like this guy…
Strangely enough, his name is Adam Smith, and before he took his LinkedIn profile down it said, according to Gateway Pundit, that he was “an investment banker and Adjunct Lecturer at a Liberal college.” That liberal college is the University of Arizona, where he’s an adjunct lecturer and, his bio says, the CFO of Vante, Inc., which is a medical device manufacturer based in Tucson.
The fact is, it doesn’t matter what this guy’s politics are. If he has a problem with Dan Cathy’s opinions, then he should address those to Dan Cathy. Addressing them to an $8.00 an hour Chick-Fil-A employee who has nothing whatsoever to do with Dan Cathy’s stance on gay marriage, in all likelihood has never met Dan Cathy, has no influence on Dan Cathy and whose opinion on the subject is basically immaterial to the national debate, at least where Adam Smith is concerned, and then making a YouTube video of himself doing it – that’s an asshole.
It would be interesting to know how often Adam Smith got beaten up as a kid. Probably not enough. He clearly didn’t learn how to deal with people.
We’ve got a problem with civility in public discourse, and while my theory is that it largely originated with the protest groups of the late 1960’s and the increasing use of Alinsyite tactics – which if you sum up his Rules For Radicals essentially dictate that one become so unpleasant to deal with that others will give up and accede to your demands just to make you go away – there are other factors at work. We’re more urbanized and suburbanized now, we interact with neighbors less, more of our communications are online, where there’s a lot less consequence to things we say (you can rip somebody on a message board or Facebook or some other social media and not risk a knuckle sandwich like you would for saying the same thing in person) – all of these things lend themselves to a more crass, obnoxious public space.
Add the trend toward political extremism, particularly on the Left, and there are less bases for agreement among strangers.
Back to Adam Smith and his rant against the $8.00-an-hour Chick-Fil-A employee: among the “hate groups” he accuses Chick-Fil-A of supporting are such scary outfits as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Family Research Council, the Marriage & Family Foundation and others. They’re “hate” groups because they oppose gay marriage and gay culture. And some of that opposition tends to the obnoxious.
But Carrie Prejean wasn’t obnoxious, and she was treated as a Hitler for making the mere statement that she thought marriage meant a man and a woman when she was asked that question as part of a beauty pageant. That mere unremarkable expression of opinion made for a national polarization and turned her into a “divisive” figure. Which tells you something about the current temperature out there.
The fact is, the gay marriage issue shouldn’t be a political issue. It shouldn’t be anybody else’s business what two people do. There are ways for two people who happen to be gay and want to formalize a relationship with each other to do so, and perhaps tweaks to contract law can be made to facilitate some sort of civil-law partnership which doesn’t interfere with an institution established through 5,000 years of civilizational best practices.
There are some of us who see the gay marriage issue in a lot longer perspective, and are opposed to the idea of gay marriage not because we have anything particular against gay people or because we’re driven by religious teachings but because we have two considerable concerns about what making a fundamental change like this might mean.
First, there’s the lesson of experience in that everything the government does which attempts to drive the behavior of the public rather than reflect it carries with it a host of unintended consequences – and most of those are bad. Nobody thought that instituting a miniscule income tax on the richest Americans would eventually result in a significant number of people who don’t consider themselves rich paying more than a third of their income to the government. Nobody thought that attempting to lift poor people out of crushing poverty would result in a 70 percent illegitimate birth rate in the black community. Eliminating the definition of marriage as an institution by which a man and a woman formalize a relationship for at least the potential purpose of producing offspring will have all kinds of effects nobody has prepared for.
And second, where this has been done already we can already see some of these. Less than a year after gay marriage was instituted in Holland, that country’s supreme court found it couldn’t stop polygamy once the door had been opened. And with polygamy, you’ve now thrown open the door to not just Muslims, but Muslims who are fans of sharia to stampede in. And in a generation or two of one guy having four wives and three kids with each one, you can see the kinds of demographic shifts which will turn your country into something completely different. If you can’t see that, go ask any Lebanese Christian who had to flee that country after basically being bred out of political power. Or ask a Swede, a Frenchman, Dutchman or Bosnian Serb. These things happen. And if you’re concerned about the demographic effect of illegals from Mexico coming in, understand that Mexican culture really isn’t all that different from American culture at the end of the day. It’s not identical, but there is agreement to be found.
Compare that with, say, Somali culture. And recognize that we’ve brought in the better part of 100,000 Somali refugees into this country and collected them in communities like Minneapolis, Lewiston, Maine and Murfreesboro, Tennessee; in the latter two areas those Somalis have now become a significant proportion of the population and already have birth rates which greatly outstrip the population at large. There is no assimilation into American culture among those people. Allow polygamy, which will be the next great social debate here just as it’s been in Europe following a relaxation of the standards on marriage there, and you will end up with Muslim majorities in American communities in much shorter order than anybody would ever imagine.
The societal implications of those kinds of developments will put us in a position we can’t even fathom. And what’s most interesting is the more Muslims you have, the more problems the gay community has; if you think the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is mean to gay people, feel free to peruse what the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance is.
Sure, much of this is speculative, and if you’re not convinced these concerns are valid, fine. You don’t have to be. We can have a civil discussion about whether these concerns are valid and/or how to accomodate some sort of formalized relationship for gay people while alleviating the concerns of the other 97 percent of the population.
Just don’t be an asshole about it. We have too many of those already.