by Eric Teetsel, LifeSite News
[...] The technological-internet revolution began a new era of entertainment in which everything is a commodity. We are no longer a nation of ideas. Policies are products; people are brands. We pay no attention to intellectual boxing matches such as those between Lincoln and Douglas, or Hayek and Keynes. Instead we have beauty pageants in which contestants primp and pose for the affections of the audience voting from home.
No issue demonstrates this more than marriage.
What did the same-sex marriage movement do with this seminal book? They ignored it.
They don’t have answers to the authors’ claims; they don’t need them. Advocates of same-sex marriage aren’t concerned about the logic of their arguments or the precedents they establish. Forget facts; theirs is a more powerful weapon in the era of amusement: fad.
On a recent visit to the veterinarian I noticed a gentleman holding a leash emblazoned with the Human Rights Campaign logo. You know the one: two yellow lines form an equal-sign on a field of blue. I thought a leash an odd place to lobby for one’s political preferences, so I visited the HRC.com store to see what other products an enthusiastic supporter of marriage redefinition might buy. Here’s what I found (ready?):
T-shirts, hoodies, key chains, bracelets, necklaces, cuff links, Frisbees, mugs, tumblers, luggage tags, windbreakers, picture frames, baby bibs, rings, sunglasses, candles, magnets, calculators, blankets, beach towels, stuffed animals, pens, staplers, watches, pins, mittens, earmuffs, scarves, and—my favorite—the equality doggy poop bag holder.
This is really weird, until we understand what the Human Rights Campaign understands. The fate of their movement doesn’t depend on convincing a majority of Americans that they have the best ideas; it hinges upon convincing them that they can either be an “insider” or an “outsider.” They can be on the side of justice and equality, or hate and oppression; to their grandchildren, they can be George Washington or George Wallace.
This is the same force that drives standard consumer marketing. You don’t buy a Louis Vuitton bag because you’ve made a judicious evaluation of the quality of the leather; you buy it because you want to be the kind of person who buys Louis Vuitton.
What are marriage advocates to do? How can marriage—a thorough defense of which requires deep theological reflection or the complex natural law web of anthropological, historical, social, and scientific ideas contained in What is Marriage—compete with “all you need is love”?
More broadly, how can conservatism—whose rich intellectual foundation includes philosophers such as James Madison, Edmund Burke, and Adam Smith—win in an age when Glee and Lady Gaga carry the real cultural heft?