Today, many are giving their opinions on Judge Walker’s Proposition 8 ruling. Obviously, some are for and some are against it, but my question does not concern itself primarily with either homosexual “marriage” or its apparent legal justification. What I want to know is this:
Can a healthy and unified polity exist which contains citizens who openly disagree about such fundamental matters?
Religion, as even an atheist can admit, has been a principle of cohesion among the peoples of the earth for all of our history. Our foundational myths, stories, beliefs, rituals, practices, moralities, etc. provide us with a framework within which we are able to live a properly communal life with those to whom we are somehow naturally attached. Liberalism, the project of modernity, purports to be able to structure human life in a way that is neutral to all of the differing claims of religion and even culture, but one more question comes to mind whenever this is proposed as a satisfactory answer to my first question:
Why would somebody want to live in this way unless they were not themselves already neutral to the differing claims of all the world’s cultures and ways of life?
In other words, who but a modern man would want to live in a modern world? The only people who actually think that the liberal orthodoxy imposed upon us is, in fact, neutral are people who happen to have no moral objections to the practices in question in the first place. At some level I have no problem with this, for this is just a particular example of the general principle I affirmed above. But our history is not so neat that we can all live in the way we choose, and what we call the “culture war” is really a war between two different cultures that desire to occupy the same seat of power and historical dominance. The only answer I can possibly think of is that we must radically devolve power so much so that no orthodoxy can be imposed so universally and so uniformly that people feel alienated from the very world in which they live. But, then again, the radical devolution of power is itself opposed by the liberal orthodoxy. It seems that we are at an impasse. Let the war resume…
Addendum: I posed this question to Thomas Fleming and here is his response: "The simple answer to the first question is: No, absolutely not. Devolution of power would be the answer, if it were possible, and it would only be possible in conditions of economic, social, and political collapse. The only answer for Christians is to do what they once did: live as Christians. Until they quit listening to and supporting the frauds and quacks who take their money and mount campaigns pretending to challenge a regime they actually support–say, people like Pat Robertson or Bill Donahue or Focus on the Family–even sincere Christians will not only not make any difference, they will not even attempt to lead Christian lives."