Conservatives for the homosexual transformation of society

In a perverted parody of the Nativity, Vice President Cheney’s lesbian daughter, whose name is Mary, has announced that she is pregnant, with the child presumably having been conceived without the assistance of a human father, but with a lab technician and a test tube standing in for the Holy Ghost. She and her long-time lesbian partner will raise the child together. The vice president’s spokeswoman said that “the vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation” to the arrival of their sixth grandchild.

At The Corner, that home of nursery-school “conservatives,” John Podhoretz supports Mary Cheney’s decision to conceive out of wedlock a baby that will be brought up by two lesbians. Jonah Goldberg agrees with Podhoretz. It doesn’t occur to these two that there is a stunningly large movement in this country in which homosexual couples are raising children, creating an entire alternative culture of homosexual “families,” which in turn is increasing the demand for the legalization of homosexual marriage. But, if it did occur to them, it’s questionable whether it would bother them. For one thing, Goldberg is a vocal supporter of “civil unions” for homosexual couples, which of course is simply a step toward the full institutionalization of same-sex “marriage.” For another thing, and more significantly, John Podhoretz’s father Norman Podhoretz wrote in Commentary ten years ago (discussed by me here) that the movement for homosexual marriage was a victory for conservatism, because, unlike the homosexual liberation movement of the Sixties and Seventies, it showed that homosexuals were seeking to join the institutions of society rather than tearing them down. As long as a social phenomenon such as homosexual liberation was not grossly disruptive, Podhoretz suggested, conservatives should welcome it. Such were the standards for the maintenance and flourishing of human society as set forth by America’s leading neoconservative. The fact that homosexual couples, by appropriating the institution of marriage for their own purposes, were radically subverting and perverting it, didn’t occur to him. When Podhoretz published that article, neoconservatism died as anything positive and worthy of respect. It had essentially reverted to its pre-neoconservative origins, as a collection of mostly Jewish urban liberals alienated from American and Christian civilization, though the neocons have of course continued in various symbolic ways to support it, such as cheerleading a crusade for global democracy that in reality only weakens America as an actual country.

A final note: When Winston Churchill said in June 1940 that civilization was threatened by “the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science,” he could hardly have imagined the literal perversions and the spiritual darkness that science is now bringing forth, not as the instrument of Nazism, but as the instrument of liberalism—and warmly greeted, moreover, by “conservatives.”

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In a follow-up, Jonah Goldberg complains about liberals who have been attacking him as a hypocrite on homosexual marriage, because, as the liberals put it, by approving of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy he’s not being consistent with his own (supposedly) bigoted (supposed) opposition to homosexual “marriage.” How can you say that about me, replies Goldberg, since I’m a liberal on this issue? He makes clear (just as I said above) that his opposition to homosexual marriage is as soft as an ice cream cone in New York in August:

Personally, as someone who came out in favor of civil unions years ago, I’m at a loss as to why my reluctance to demonize, never mind criticize, Mary Cheney makes me a hypocrite to liberals. Indeed, I’m all ears to learn where or when I’ve personally criticized any specific gay person for their desire to have kids (or get married). The simple fact is that my opposition to gay marriage is pretty much entirely principled and prudential. I know and like plenty of gay people and I personally don’t see huge amounts of evidence that gay marriage is demonstrably more dangerous to civilization than no-fault divorce has been (which doesn’t mean making the problem worse is the answer). What seems to bother a lot of pro-gay marriage obsessives is that I don’t think it’s the signature civil rights issue of our day. I just don’t get that worked up about it, at least not anymore, and this lack of passion is interpreted by zealots as cowardice, strategic silence or bigotry. It’s really none of the above.

Laura W. has a beautiful observation on the importance of our physical, genetic connections with our relatives and the strangeness of the liberalism that denies that. She writes:

You are right that a love of abstraction lies behind the sort of liberalism that masquerades as conservative. But, this love denies not just our particular culture and traditions but even our physical particularity. Even children are expected to find sustenance in abstract ideals.

Only someone strangely divorced from physical reality could think it makes no difference to a child whether he lives with or even knows his biological parents. Somehow love and good intentions can dissolve the human imperative to know our physical origins and to feel our blood connection to a human chain extending into the distant past. By this thinking, a child will never grieve for a father who only contributed his sperm to a laboratory. The father never loved the child, how could he mean anything to her? Presumably the child will also never miss the uncles, aunts and cousins with whom she would feel an uncanny connection because in strange ways they resemble her, but are not her.

One of the hardest things to experience after the death of a loved one is that moment when you catch sight of someone in the street who resembles the person you lost. Suddenly you realize their physical particularity, how you can find the abstractions of love and companionship again, but never have that particular person—that nose, those eyes, that gait. Every transcendent value has its physical counterpart. We cannot have one without the other.

[See how Laura’s argument has converted a former libertarian on this issue. He used to think homosexuals ought to be able to do as they like, including adopting or having children. Now he realizes that there are factors relating to the human and social good that transcend individuals’ wishes.]

Stephen F. writes:

The Mary Cheney pregnancy keeps weighing on my mind, as predictable as it was. It’s the same old story. “Gays just want to be let alone,” so you leave them alone, and they come back in your face. The comments you linked to at The Corner reveal the bankruptcy of ideas and principles concerning marriage and families in America’s great conservative magazine.

1. Goldberg: I have “principled” opposition to gay marriage, but no evidence gay adoption is harmful, and it’s too late to oppose it anyway. In fact, it’s an unimportant topic to begin with, although for some reason I got excited about it in the past.

2. Lopez: I’m for fathering and keeping the traditional definition of marriage. But I’m not going to offer an opinion on Cheney’s pregnancy, because it’s purely a private matter. I am being more generous and tolerant here than the hypocritical liberal media.

3. Derbyshire: I have some quirky, unserious opinions that might lead some to call me NR’s (only!) “homophobe,” but child-development literature assures me that the Cheney child will turn out fine.

4. Podhoretz: The birth of a child is always something to be celebrated. Anyone who voices misgivings about Cheney’s pregnancy is the kind of person who is mean to babies and hates families.

In other words, conservatives can’t criticize us, because we have nothing against traditional families, and liberals can’t criticize us, because whatever our personal preferences, we respect and support homosexual families.

I can’t help seeing this event as another sign of your “apocalypse of liberalism.” When the “conservative” President congratulates the vice-president’s lesbian daughter on her test-tube pregnancy, and the National Review proudly boasts that it has nothing to say on the issue, the destruction of our values has reached a new phase.

It’s such a clear instance of the inability or unwillingness to recognize transcendent realities. If you see marriage as a transcendent institution, if you see the relationship of a child to his biological father and mother as essential and vital, you can immediately grasp the destructiveness of gay adoption and “marriage.” But as it is, the mere assertion that gay couples “deserve” the benefits of marriage and “love” the children they produce or adopt silences all opposition, leaving only isolated resistance from people citing data, or the Bible, or their own personal preference for heterosexuality.

And the same thing is true of so many of the other issues of the day. The inability of a white person to see himself as white. The inability of the U.S. government to see that Iran is an enemy. The inability to preserve a beloved and benign practice like putting up Christmas trees in public. The inability to see the “airport imams” as evil.

LA replies:

As I was reading Stephen’s summary of The Cornerites’ comments, I wondered whether Stanley Kurtz, normally NR’s most vocal critic of homosexual marriage, had said anything about Mary’s baby. A google search reveals nothing.

Tom S. writes:

The absurd response (or non-response) of the “National Review” crowd to the whole Mary Cheney imbroglio just serves to point out what has been obvious for at least the last ten years or so; National Review, once a serious intellectual conservative magazine, has ceased to be any of the above. It ceased to be serious when Buckley imported his “Children’s Crusade” to run the magazine in the mid-1990’s; it ceased to be intellectual when references to “The Simpsons” and “Battlestar Galactica” replaced references to Burnham, Madison, and Voegelin in its pages; and now it has ceased to be in any way conservative. As recently as the mid-late 1990’s, conservatives opposed single parenthood—now, it seems NR cannot even work up the gumption to criticize single parenthood for lesbians, an issue that would have produced guffaws on the right back in the 1980’s. As Bertie Wooster would have said, “Jeeves, I stand in awe…”

Gintas writes:

Laura’s observations are bolstered by all the tales of adopted children tracking down their original mothers. Deep down they want to re-connect a bond that was broken.

Laura W. writes:

There are two assumptions, or widely circulated myths, that drive the view among ordinary Americans that gay marriage is inevitable. The first, as I have said, is the myth that there is nothing inherently superior to parents who are biologically related to their children.

The second is the myth that homosexuality is a “genetic” condition. While it is well-documented that some people who choose a homosexual lifestyle have an inborn predisposition to enjoy and crave homosexual sex, it is not proven that most people who choose to live as homosexuals fall irrevocably into this category or are incapable of any desire for the opposite sex. Nor is it proven that those who crave homosexual sex cannot have healthy heterosexual relationships. This much is known for certain: it is not physically impossible for a homosexual to engage in heterosexual sex and produce a child. The basic biological rules still apply.

Thus one of the central arguments for homosexual marriage, that it prevents a life of tragic childlessness for homosexuals, is illogical. Homosexuals who desperately wish to be parents can find someone of the opposite sex and create a “good enough” family. Many people marry someone who does not meet all their dreams and create happy families.

Isn’t it strange that in an age when everyone is encouraged to be sexual omnivores, the idea that a homosexual who wants to have children might try to acquire a taste for the opposite sex is strictly verboten?

How puritanical!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 10, 2006 11:50 PM | Send

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