|Tom Hanks movie Big,|
which other than bigness, has nothing
to do with today's post
The bigness of it sounds ominous. Probably for good reason. Without the “big” adjective, they’re just things. Segments of society. Elements that carry out certain duties and practices, purportedly for the good of society. But the bigness means there’s an overabundance of power that they yield, whether real or simply perceived.
What happens when two bigs get together? Scary amounts of power. Making it much harder for smalls, like the rest of us, to get heard, to influence, to be free to pursue what we want to do. The collusion of the bigs, the elite powerful, is called cronyism.
When Big Government and Big Business collude, that’s crony capitalism—which is very different from free market economics. When Big Media colludes with Big Government, that’s propaganda and disinformation.
Of the various bigs, I hadn’t really thought about Big Law before. But earlier this week I read apiece by Ryan Anderson, the brilliant crusader for real marriage with the Heritage Foundation, in which he discussed the effects of Big Law on the current culture. He began by referring to a New York Times piece. This is quoting NYT reporter Adam Liptak: “In dozens of interviews, lawyers and law professors said the imbalance in legal firepower in the same-sex marriage cases resulted from a conviction among many lawyers that opposition to such unions is bigotry akin to racism.”
Liptak says he found that no major law firms—that’s zero—offered amicus briefs defending marriage. As he puts it,
Leading law firms are willing to represent tobacco companies accused of lying about their deadly products, factories that spew pollution, and corporations said to be complicit in torture and murder abroad. But standing up for traditional marriage has turned out to be too much for the elite bar.
There are equal stacks of briefs, as many pro-traditional-marriage as pro-same-sex-“marriage.” So there are good lawyers out there. But the elites—the ones in the big firms, commanding the big money, and wielding influence galore—have the mistaken and narrow belief, relatively new in culture and certainly without evidence—that to support traditional marriage is equivalent to hating a segment of society because of accident of birth. And, as Michael W. McConnell, a former federal appeals court judge who teaches law at Stanford, said, “The level of sheer desire to crush dissent is pretty unprecedented.”
Ryan Anderson’s piece conveniently links to yet another piece, “7 Reasons Why the Current Marriage Debate Is Nothing Like the Debate on Interracial Marriage,” which he wrote in August 2014. So, I’m interrupting the discussion of the elites for a moment to recount the list:
1. Support for marriage as the union of man and woman has been a near human universal.
2. Bans on interracial marriage and Jim Crow laws, by contrast, were historical anomalies.
3. Great thinkers—including champions of human rights—knew that gender matters for marriage, and none thought that race does.
4. Even cultures that embraced same-sex relationships did not treat them as marriages. [I think he may be referring to the Roman and Greek empires during their decaying years, when homoeroticism was acceptable, but calling it marriage would have been laughable.]
5. Marriage must be color-blind, but it cannot be gender-blind.… Men and women regardless of their race can unite in marriage, and children regardless of their race deserve moms and dads. To acknowledge such facts requires an understanding of what marriage is.
6. Jim Crow laws were meant to divide the races, but marriage law unites men to women and children to their parents. Marriage has everything to do with uniting the two halves of humanity—men and women, as husbands and wives and as fathers and mothers—so that any children born of their union will know and be loved by the man and woman who gave them life.
7. The Supreme Court was correct in striking down bans on interracial marriage but it should not redefine marriage…. [Earlier in the summer of 2014, in regard to the Loving v. Virginia case] Judge Paul Niemeyer of the 4th Circuit Court explained that “Loving simply held that race, which is completely unrelated to the institution of marriage, could not be the basis of marital restrictions.” But this does not require redefining marriage.
Anderson didn’t include, but there are amicus briefs making the point,[i] that, while race is innate and immutable, sexual orientation is not. The homosexual lobby claims that sexual orientation is the way they’re born and unchangeable—which is why they ignore (or attack) significant and growing evidence that there is no significant genetic component, and many, even thousands, have left the lifestyle, and some have entered into heterosexual marriage and find it satisfying. Sexual orientation simply isn’t like race.
The point is, to anyone who knows the definition of marriage, it’s clear that a male and a female are required. Whatever same-sex couples have (even if they were to be loving, committed, exclusive, and permanent—which is almost without example), it cannot be marriage. Homosexuals are not banned from marrying a person of the opposite sex who is eligible according to law to marry. Nor is there a ban on homosexuals living with the person of their choice.
They aren’t asking for “fairness”; they are insisting loudly on throwing out the purpose of marriage, its relationship to procreation, the terms mother and father, the worldwide religious belief that real marriage is a moral good ordained of God. Throw out what family is, and you throw out civilization and bring on savagery. That’s not just speculation; it’s what we’re watching wherever same-sex marriage has been embraced.
But Big Law, the elites—not necessarily the first we’d turn to for morality lessons—are certain it is immoral to keep the longstanding definition of marriage. And they claim morality requires that we accept same-sex relationships as if they were marriage. Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, made the claim: “It’s so clear that there are no good arguments against marriage equality. Lawyers can see the truth.”
What do ordinary, non-elite Americans think? Probably a wide variety of things, in both directions on the marriage issue—thanks to confusing help from Big Media. But mainly the smalls don’t think that everyone must be forced to believe some specific thing passed down from the elites above. As Anderson describes it:
Ordinary Americans—whether they are in favor of same-sex marriage or opposed—agree that the government shouldn’t penalize their neighbors. Ordinary Americans—even those in favor of same-sex marriage—do not view their neighbors as bigots.
But our governing elites do. So people who believe the truth about marriage need to equip ourselves, because our opponents want to see the law treat all citizens who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife as if they are racists.
If Big Law, in collusion with Big Government and Big Media (and lately with support from Big Business[ii]), holds a particular belief, what is the likelihood they will defend the rights of those whose beliefs they consider on par with racial bigotry?
Anderson asks some important questions:
Will the right to dissent be protected? Will the right of Americans to speak and act in accord with what the United States had always believed about marriage—that it’s a union of husband and wife—be tolerated?
When people ask how same-sex “marriage” can harm me, they are apparently ignorant of the onslaught of religious freedom attacks, and the “gay mafia” tactics to put ordinary minding-their-own-business believers in marriage out of work, out of business, and silenced.
If you were uncertain about which side was right, or which was more moral, consider which is tolerant and which is coercive.
No matter the smallness of our non-elite voices, we need to speak. While we can.
[i] This is one example: Brief of Texas Values as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondents, http://www.jaredwoodfill.net/files/DeBoer_Amicus_Brief_3.31.15.pdf.
[ii] Tim Cook, Apple CEO, stopped short of boycotting the state, but declaimed the law; other CEOs boycotted: http://fortune.com/2015/03/27/apple-indiana-gay-law/.