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Social Attitudes and Shame What is a Conservative?

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Resource Bank for Defense of Marriage

by Christopher Chantrill
August 17, 2006 at 5:04 pm

BACK IN THE 1970s gay advocates scorned “bourgeois” marriage. Now in the 2000s they are advocating “gay marriage” on civil rights grounds. And the occasional liberal court has agreed with them.

The gay marriage advocates have insisted, writes Ryan T. Anderson, that nothing about gay marriage implies polygamy or bestiality. Indeed conservatives who have argued that if gay marriage is justified on equal protection grounds then any sexual relationship can be so justified have been stigmatized as

slippery-slope reasoners, scaremongers, and bigots. After all, it was said, no one seriously argues in favor of state-sanctioned polygamy or polyamory.

But now polygamy and polyamory advocates have published an ad in The New York Times titled “Beyond Gay Marriage.” It has

more than 300 signatories include feminist icon Gloria Steinem, NYU sociologist Judith Stacey, Columbia University anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli, Georgetown law professors Robin West and Chai Feldblum... [and Nickeled and Dimed] writer Barbara Ehrenreich.

So you know that things are getting serious on the defense of marriage front.

Just in time there is a resource bank available to defend traditional neterosexual marriage and it’s on the web at www.princetonprinciples.org.

It’s entitled Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles and it headlines recent research on the benefit of marriage for men, women, and children. Best of all, it has a bibliography where you can get to the primary sources on marriage research.

Here are the ten principles:

  • Marriage is a personal union, intended for the whole of life, of husband and wife.
  • Marriage is a profound human good, elevating and perfecting our social and sexual nature.
  • Ordinarily, both men and women who marry are better off as a result.
  • Marriage protects and promotes the wellbeing of children.
  • Marriage sustains civil society and promotes the common good.
  • Marriage is a wealth-creating institution, increasing human and social capital.
  • When marriage weakens, the equality gap widens, as children suffer from the disadvantages of growing up in homes without committed mothers and fathers.
  • A functioning marriage culture serves to protect political liberty and foster limited government.
  • The laws that govern marriage matter significantly.
  • "Civil marriage" and "religious marriage" cannot be rigidly or completely divorced from one another.

Makes you think, doesn’t it.


Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008

Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.

Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
John Farrell, “The Creation Myth”


Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill