What Would Che Think of Same-Sex Marriage?
About thirty years ago, trying to scratch out a living as a free-lance photo-journalist, I took an assignment from the Kansas City Star Magazine to write about the city's gay church, the Metropolitan Community Church by name. In the course of my research, I covered a gay wedding, equal parts traditional and transgressive, to wit, a flower girl and a female best man. (Yes, Virginia, gays had weddings back then and did not even have to pay the IRS a marriage penalty.)
Although I tried to be as objective as possible, the Star spiked my submission for being "too positive." The reader rightly infers that our friends in the progressive media had yet to discover how much self-love could be culled from supporting so seemingly bourgeois a cause as gay marriage, gay anything for that matter.
Indeed, in 1969, the New York Daily News headlined its coverage of the watershed Stonewall rebellion, "Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad." Even the usually insurrection-friendly Village Voice dismissed Stonewall as the "Great Faggot Rebellion."V
These responses represented something of a progressive norm. As testament to the same, Cuban leaders were then attempting to purge their country of homosexuality, which they believed to be as much a by-product of capitalism as homelessness or hedge funds. Poster boy Che Guevara was particularly keen on "reeducating" gay and effeminate men and dispatched thousands, without charge or trial, to concentration camps.
Cuba's proud persecution of gays notwithstanding, many of the same people who are today hectoring imaginary homophobes were then sneaking off to Cuba -- Poster girl Bernardine Dohrn comes to mind -- and singing the praises of this brutally gay-bashing revolution.
At some point, however, progressive activists took up the cause of gay rights as part of the larger switch from revolution to "anti-racism." (The how and when of this will make an interesting history.) Given their continuing embrace of Castro's Cuba and their current alliance with radical Islam, these activists would seem to have little long-term interest in the welfare of their new gay friends. No, what excites them is the opportunity to use gay issues to divide America against itself.
Wittingly or otherwise, the liberal media have rallied to the cause. As seen on films and on TV and especially on Broadway, gay men -- and it is almost always men -- come across as loving and lovable as puppies. Not surprisingly, their cause attracts the young and the good hearted. The message that accompanies the imagery, however, has a bite to it, namely that only homophobes could possibly resist gay pleas for "equality." And so one hears today even the nicest of people throwing words like "hate" and "bigot" around blithely unaware such words sound as harsh and insulting as "homo" and "faggot."
For the not so nice, the same sex marriage debate presents the ripest opportunity for empty self-righteousness since the Surge stabilized Iraq. No one has captured this spirit more convincingly than the now famous (and unemployed) Adam Smith, director and star of the YouTube sensation, "Grown Man Insults Gracious Teen at Tucson Chick-Fil-A."
Smith: You know why I'm getting my free water, right?
Smith: Because Chick-Fil-A is a hateful corporation.
Teen: I disagree. We don't treat any of our customers differently . . .
Smith: I don't know how you live with yourself and work here. I don't understand it. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values. You deserve better.
Teen: I hope you have a really nice day, and . . .
Smith: I will. I just did something really good. I feel purposeful. Thank you so much.
Teen: Have a good day.
Smith: I'm a nice guy by the way, and I'm totally heterosexual, not a gay [unintelligible] in me, I just can't stand the hate, you know? It's gotta stop, guys. Stand up.
Adolph Eichmann protested that he was a nice guy, too. Fascists never acknowledge their own fascism. When the mayors of Boston and Chicago threatened to deny business licenses to Chick-Fil-A, I am sure they thought they were being as "good" and "purposeful" as Adam Smith was when he abused the defenseless girl in the drive-thru window.
Forgive me for playing the fascism card, but mere weeks after Hitler took power in Germany, he went after Jewish-owned businesses. Although stopping short of a kiss-in, his SA henchmen blocked the doors to department stores, painted the Star of David on shop windows, and posted signs saying, "Don't Buy From Jews." The impulse among our own progressive activists, alas, is pretty much the same.
The outcome, however, will be decidedly different. As seen in the good-spirited Chick-Fil-A counter-protest on August 1, scores of millions of sensible, tax-paying, gun-owning Americans are not prepared to yield on this issue. They cannot. Christianity is too central to their identity, and marriage is too central to the idea of Christianity. No amount of bullying will budge them.
When people like "anti-bullying" activist Dan Savage mockingly compare the Bible's cautions about homosexuality to those about menstruation, masturbation, and eating shellfish, they reveal not only their urge to defame but also their ignorance of the subject.
It was not some Old Testament outlier who defined marriage for Christians, but Jesus himself, and he did so in a loving fashion. In Mark 10: 7-12, he cites Genesis and introduces an essential new understanding of God's plan for man:
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Chick-fil-A honcho Dan Cathy captured the spirit of this understanding in his now famous response to a question from the Baptist Press. "We are very much supportive of the family - the biblical definition of the family unit," said Cathy. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives." Yes, the "asunder" part matters.
Procreation obviously matters too, but it is not the essence of marriage. That, according to Jesus, is the spiritual reunification of the two complementary human life forces, male and female. Gay unions can never do that. Two men or two women can never be "one flesh." To call their union "marriage" does not expand the meaning of the word. It erodes that meaning.
Hard core activists know this. They know that serious Bible-believing Christians and Orthodox Jews cannot compromise on marriage. They know that most Christian churches will never accept gay weddings. That is exactly why they force the issue. They want conflict. They want chaos. They want to undermine this, the last great bulwark against socialism.
And they don't care what happens to gays in the process.
They never have.