Here’s a money quote:
“if men and women try to create a society in which there is no fundamental agreement about good and evil they will fail; if having based it upon a common set of core values, they surrender those values, it will disintegrate. For society is not something that can be kept together physically; it is held by the invisible but fragile bonds of common beliefs and values. … A common morality is part of the bondage of a good society, and that bondage is part of the price of society which mankind must pay.”
I see no reason to disagree with the good Baron. And, agreeing, I fear for my country.
I am not suggesting that American society is headed for dissolution. After all, one side or another could prevail. Perhaps the old moral consensus will be validated. Very possibly a new moral consensus will emerge, one that excludes us. On the pressing issue of they day, which I take to be gay marriage, I fear that our own debate on whether it’s right to legally enforce a definition of marriage that we know to be right will do us harm. Divided counsels are deadly in conflict. The new moral consensus will not be that gay marriage is wrong but should be permitted. It will be that gay marriage is OK or that marriage doesn’t matter. Our own views will become at best silly eccentricities with a vague tinge of discomfort and immorality. At worst, the immorality will become much less vague, and much more than a tinge.
Some will say that we’ve always had conflicts–divorce, abortion, indiscriminate sex, and sodomy all come to mind. Yet in many cases our views have failed–the plan of happiness has been rejected–with predictably bad results. In others the conflict has merely been postponed. But conflicts cannot be postponed forever when the sphere of conflict keeps widening, and the distance of America’s moral consensus departs farther and farther from the Way.
Let us consider what is at stake.