Friday, 10 July 2015

Thought For The Day: Adam Gopnik

Now, it has always been my view that gay marriage is the religious conservative's best friend. If it is your aim to remove potentially subversive sex from the American scene, then marriage is always the answer. Indeed, if your goal was to stop gays from ever having sex again, then you ought to want to make gay marriage compulsory. But this essentially conservative decision creates an odd panic. What will come next, they cry? Polygamy, or legalised bestiality? ...

No, what the opponents of gay marriage really cannot stand, I realise as I read them, is being criticised in the same spirit as they choose to criticise their opponents - not as holding a morality that might be too stringent to be obeyed, but holding a morality that was never really moral at all. Their complaint is, in its way, one that seems fixed in the political choices of the late Roman Empire.* The only alternatives they can recognise as real are either power or persecution. Either you are the magistrate making rules, or else you are the martyr being sacrificed to them. This love of authority, and panic at its absence, is perhaps their central shaping conviction...


Adam Gopnik, A Point Of View, BBC Radio 4 and online.

* The Iron Age, really.

No comments:

Post a comment