Recently a friend wrote to me about what has been in the news, lately; this new law in Indiana and all of the upset it is causing. He’s a business person, and so he is upset at all of the problems the law, and the reactions to it from several quarters are causing for the business community in Indiana. I can understand that.
Here is my reply to him, more or less…
Good Morning …,
A nice, long, and thoughtful piece. I enjoyed reading it.
I’ll try to keep this short, but I know it will be too long to meet the Current Brevity Standard (CBS). No imagining necessary about media coverage, My Friend. This thing about pushed everything else aside; which has had me wondering “WHY?” For probable answers to that you may try reading (or re-reading) Whittaker Chambers, “Witness”; not because I suspect Communists, but for reasons which will make themselves clear as you read along.
You make reference to a 20 year period in Indiana of trying to grow the economy; a laudable effort. From the point of view of a lot folks who are way more intelligent than I’ll ever be, the other side in this issue is uninterested in such things. Their focus is on political power, and through it fundamental societal, possibly even civilizational, change. It’s a point which has escaped the notice, I guess, and the reasoning and planning capabilities, of what might be called the traditionalists if one is speaking from a purely, umm, traditional position. And, they, the change seekers I mean, have been at it for much longer than 20 years.
Many brainy types in the legal/academic/thinking professions trace the beginning of this change to the Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, a decision based on the use of contraceptives, and whether or not, I think, the government had a right to control their purchase. It was the beginning of the constitutionally guaranteed…and thus, not only above, but beyond, the law… right to privacy in matters personal between people of an age to consent to them.
Don’t ask me which amendment to the constitution the court relied on to reach that decision. It was the first of many discovered by the Nine Black Riders, the legal Nazgul, in the many penumbrae located in the woods of words, some of which included Roe v.Wade, and the much celebrated decision in a case down in Texas about homosexual relations which contained language from Justice Kennedy that found in the shadows behind the print of our founding document, guaranteeing each individual, more or less, the right to decide for himself what was truth, the right from right from the wrong, the real from the fancied, and etc.
Pushback of a sort came in the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Encoded thus in the law of the land, the original Fed law about religious freedom under Clinton could be seen as a step away from the potential sea change of moral, ethical, legal medical, and societal mess that many feared might be coming, the wave forming offshore…and which surely has broken with tsunamic force; first and foremost with homosexuals, and now with all sorts of things strange and wonderful to behold, and shrink from: same sex unions in the beginning and now marriage, open marriages, triple and quadruple marriages (bringing about the total disappearance of any meaning to the word adultery, and the corresponding sense of faithfulness/fidelity in marriage.) [The latter collapses the covenental nature of marriage, the notion of family, with unknown and uncalculated changes to and the great possibility of harm to children…who are now thought of in many ways as commodities. One of the consequences of that is the commodification of sex itself, and the destruction of its usefulness as an interpersonal/intersexual bond.]
It is beyond my depth to discuss the “advances” in the science of chemical reproduction on the one hand, the industry grown up around it and the corresponding push to change the definition of human; the advances in bio-engineering, cloning, gene replacement, sex-reassignment and God knows what all on several others hands that have happily marched alongside this advancing tide of change. I’ll just say that for the most part these things are all viewed as positive goods; leading to longer, happier, stronger and more sexually attractive, exciting and fulfilled lives. Speaking of which, I saw a photo somewhere recently of a person (?) who has had a third arm grafted onto “its” body.
All of these scientific and clinical wonders remind me of the following: Many, many years ago, when I was a young boy, I read a story in Astounding Science Fiction, a pulp magazine, which was about what happened when a race of heartlessly cruel aliens conquered the Earth, and began “breeding” different types of humans; specifically to do different tasks. Some were bred as draft animals, some as aquatic creatures to keep the sea lanes clear, some for other reasons. One of the illustrations accompanying the article presented the artist’s take on what the different types would look like. I remember the draft animal humans, the riding humans and the “other” purposed breeds. The story itself was a kind of crude and short “Brave New World”, a dystopic view of the future to be sure, but one which is being discussed, more or less seriously by folks who appear to be sane. There has recently been a conference somewhere among deep pockets people to order up research and planning for the end of death. That’s right life immoratl. Who needs promises. We can do it ourselves. And what would an immortal human look like I wondered when i read that; all botoxed up?
For sure, the folks who envisioned a world without any restrictions of who may be married to whom(s) several decades ago looked normal, too. They have become so, along with many kinds of people whose existence was never even contemplated outside the pages of things like Astounding Magazine.
And people like me? Does the name Jeremiah mean anything to you?
Below are some things I’ve come across in the media which might interest you, they are all of recent vintage:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/31/opinion/david-brooks-religious-liberty-and-equality.html?_r=2 (Pay particular attention to some…many?…of the comments for what seems to me a willful misreading and distortion of Brook’s point. You will find the same going on in almost every reports about this law in the media.)
http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/04/who-will-stand (The author, Robert George, may be known to you. He’s a Princeton law professor.)
http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/04/14748/ (A short statement on religious liberty signed by, among others, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, a man of surpassing intelligence and deep faith.)
http://touchstonemag.com/merecomments/2010/11/legislating-morality-2/ (Esolen is a personal favorite of mine. I would wear an Esolen T-shirt.)
For the record, one of my oldest friends was recently described to me as a homosexual fellow. I never knew! Such things never mattered. He was simply my friend. He introduced my first wife and I and painted us a beautiful picture which still hangs in my house as his wedding gift. I’ve known him since we were children. He’s been in a celibate relationship with a woman for at least 30 years.
Several years ago I wrote of my encounters with homosexual men, and “published” it on something called Nashua Patch, an on-line journal of local news and opinion, having been asked to write about things by the editor. For doing so I was excoriated by pro-homosexual folks for the next few weeks, quite to my surprise, for telling how I had been approached and had refused the advances.
Anyway, I like what you had to say, and hope all is well with you and yours.
PS: A friend suggested yesterday that we all begin wearing yellow crosses sewed on our clothing like the yellow stars Jews had to wear in Germany. The idea appeals to me.