Some couples got married in Las Vegas, NV yesterday, a headline which now joins “Dog bites man,” and “Spring Flowers Bloom” in the archives of conspicuous banality. The question in Nevada shifted from “could it ever happen?” to “will it happen?” to “how come it has taken so long?” [more from Ralston]
Conservatives who are still uncomfortable with the idea of letting a relatively small number of homosexual citizens in the state take on the joys and obligations of marriage may not take much comfort in the thought that part of their message over the last 30 years has been received: Government should not intrude on our private lives. And, when we’re talking about truly private matters – who can argue with that?
It’s never been a simple matter to claim religious authority in the public sphere. It’s especially difficult in a country in which initial religious practice ranged from the Brownists in Plymouth – marriage was an invention of man without scriptural authority, to Catholics in Maryland – marriage was a sacrament. [CJPH] However, it’s also never been a simple matter to avoid entangling religious beliefs and political ideologies – witness the Rovian formula welding Patriotism and Christianity for the benefit of the Republican Party.
The result has been a right wing conglomeration of the fiscal ultra-conservative (Grover Norquist) added to the religious ultra-conservative (Patriot Pastors) mixed with the military/financial interests (Koch Brothers, Wall Street). At some point the seams start ripping.
Small But Not Too Small?
It’s impossible to have “small government” if the government is tasked with supervising individual sexual behaviors. It’s impossible to have “small government” if the government is charged with executing statutes on family matters and women’s individual healthcare decisions.
It’s impossible to have “small government” while maintaining a military budget of at least $682 billion – as large as the combined military budgets of the next ten highest national budgets combined. [WaPo] And, it’s impossible to have “small government” if we also want to secure fiscal and economic stability. We tried ‘de-regulation’ and what we got was Enron and Lehman Brothers – and the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Now the frazzle shows up in the religious realm. It’s now impossible to anchor a political ideology on a floating buoy – public opinion has moved remarkably on same sex marriages in the last decade. What was a useful wedge issue in 2004 has become something to avoid in 2014. Witness the palaver over Blundermeister John Boehner’s decision to campaign on behalf of a gay Republican in California? [TDB]
No majority is ever permanent. No radical ideology is ever secure.