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Thursday, July 02, 2015

 

Mark Steyn: Going with the Flow

Mark Steyn is one of the best wordsmiths in the world. Read the whole thing.

In the end, most people want to be like most people. That's why they tell you the weekend movie grosses on the Monday morning news and put the Top Ten bestsellers at the front of Barnes & Noble - so that you can like what everybody else likes.

So I find the idea that tens of millions of American "traditionalist" conservatives are going to lead their own lives immune to the broader culture somewhat unlikely. Were the same-sex marriage decision, for example, merely a judicial ruling, Barack Obama would not have lit up the White House in LGBT rainbow colors. It is after all "the people's house" and half the people aren't entirely on board with this. But he chose to see this not as a mere judge's ruling but as an ideological victory - and to celebrate it as such. And he's thereby telling you that this shift is an official one, backed by the state, and state power, and it won't stop here.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, in an actual bit of jurisprudential footnoting in the midst of his Hallmark greeting card on the raptures of gay love, said that organizations would still be free to teach and promote the old form of restrictive straights-only marriage. That's awfully sporting of him, but the Boy Scouts of America provide a clue as to how it's likely to work out. In the late Nineties, the BSA said no to gay scoutmasters. I was on the floor of the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles in 2000 when they had some Eagle scouts as an honor guard - and in my section of the crowd everyone booed. And I remember thinking, "Man, these Dems are nuts. Booing boy scouts?"

But the booers won. Over the next decade, gay-friendly churches (Episcopalian, Congregational, and the other post-Christian ones) booted the scouts from church halls where they'd met for decades; Disney cut them off the list of approved charities to which their employees were permitted to donate their "Ears To You" fundraising proceeds; other corporate benefactors from the US soccer league to Lockheed Martin severed their ties ...and the number of new recruits to scouting dwindled remorselessly, and so did their finances. And in the end the boy scouts' leader caved - but too late. In the blink of an eye, the boy scouts had been, as my friend Ezra Levant likes to say, "de-normalized", and banished to the fringe, and nice soccer mommies don't want l'il Jimmy playing on the extremist fringe.

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