Wednesday, April 13, 2011


 After several years of frustration in attempting to convert my liberal friends to a more courageous way of thinking, I have determined three things:
  1. My efforts have been largely futile.
  2. Liberals are converted over time; due to facing critical life circumstances, and/or the recognition that liberal ideology is simply non-enduring.
  3. Derision and name calling does nothing to assist in their conversion.
In light of these revelations, I’ve decided that my efforts might be better invested in discussing the virtues of conservative thought, as opposed to pointing out the blatant fallacies of liberal thinking. Now, this does not mean that I will refrain from comparison and contrast, it simply means that I will attempt to couch my words in non demeaning ways in my observations. Perhaps my words will capture the attention of a young liberal thinker in his or her journey to a more courageous way of thinking. My discussion will be delivered in 10 parts.This being part 2 of the discussion.

The second virtue is that  the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity. Among these customs, conventions and continuity is the long established institution of marriage. Conservatives understand and believe that the re-defining of marriage is a dangerous step toward the break down of the society at large. The arguments that conservatives make are not strictly philosophical. They are indeed practical as well.  Let's analyze the concept of redefining marriage. We must first ask obvious, but surprisingly overlooked questions. Why do we have marriage in the first place?  Where did it start? Who benefits from the custom, convention and continuity of marriage?  If we honestly and accurately answer these questions, we must intellectually arrive at the conclusion that the health of a culture can be largely measured in the resolve of that societies adherence to a strict definition of marriage. Marriage was not, is not, and should not ever be about individuals, but the advancement of a civil and ordered society.

It seems marriage was established in the earliest known forms of civilization, to establish a structure for the rearing of children, to ensure they grow up to be  responsible and productive, and to assist in the daily struggle of survival.  It was families that formed clans, villages and ultimately cultures. If we take the redefinition of marriage to its logical end ... i.e. androgyny, we lose the very fabric of our culture. Maybe that's what some people want. Conservatives think that's not a good idea.  

Last I checked, it takes a male and female to make babies. Most, but not all, babies grow up to be adults who ultimately pay taxes, influence society and contribute to its betterment. So it follows that the society at large benefits from the institution of marriage. You'll have a hard time showing me a culture that has thrived outside of the institution of marriage. To redefine marriage is to dismiss the practical evidence of its importance.

By definition, conservatives wish to maintain those systems, institutions and values that have proven effective. Marriage is at the foundational level of those institutions which conservatives wish to "conserve."  Conservatives can point to history and demonstrate not only the relevance but the necessity for maintaining marriage as a sacred institution. To redefine marriage is to dismiss the wisdom of the ages and pursue a degree of narcissism known only to the most decadent of societies. You see marriage isn't about the needs of the individual ... those can be fulfilled outside of marriage. Marriage is about the needs of society and should be nurtured if that society wishes to survive. Conservatives should stand strong on this issue, for it is foundational to defining our values.

Conservative adhere to custom because it provides a framework for passing along values. Conservative adhere to convention because it provides a structure for making sense of the world, and how best to live within it. Conservative adhere to continuity because it provides the best chance for the survival of the society.  Marriage is the institution that wonderfully exemplifies these three concepts. In the conservative's mind, if you change marriage, you change everything. So, for you liberals who are still reading ... understand we're not going to roll over on this issue. Redefining marriage cannot help our society, so why do it?

The outline for this treatment is credited to Russell Kirk and the web site at: