Miss California USA Keeps Her Title

Miss California USA Keeps Her Title

By Maggie Gallagher - May 15, 2009

So Donald Trump, the big, strong alpha male, steps in to rescue the fair damsel in distress. Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA, will keep her title.

Good for him.

Carrie is going to be OK. She's going to have far more powerful and numerous defenders than me. She will define her own mission and speak in her own voice.

God works in such mysterious ways.

Why didn't Human Rights Campaign step forward to defend Carrie from mistreatment? It would have been such a brilliant move -- in one fell swoop, gay marriage advocates could have allayed growing fears. Are they really all about love and tolerance, or are they -- as many Americans now experience them -- a movement that increasingly dehumanizes those who disagree with it, calling them "bigots" because that's a word that means "your views don't count."

How can anyone say gay marriage has no consequences when we are watching the consequences of speaking up for marriage unfold on the national stage, under the klieg lights?

I think I know why the gay marriage elites missed this obvious opportunity: They can't defend Carrie because they really do believe Carrie is a bigot and should be treated like a bigot. It doesn't matter how nicely you say, "I think that a marriage should be between a man and a woman." Just saying that, in their eyes, should put you beyond the pale.

Most people, including gay people, are not like that. I know. I'm out there. In the middle of the stream of invectives directed at those who speak up for marriage (bigot, hater, liar; liar, hater, bigot -- the constant repetition tends to dull the effect), I remember the moments of grace I have experienced.

I remember the lesbian woman at a Harvard feminist conference (I've mentioned her before) who came up to me to say:

"Thank you for speaking up for the unborn babies. I disagree with you about gay marriage, but nobody else here shares my views about abortion. So I want to thank you."

She didn't have to reach out to me across the lines of intense disagreement to find a commonality -- she wanted to do so.

Americans are like that.

In March I watched a focus group conducted by my group, the National Organization for Marriage. I saw a New Jersey woman in a same-sex civil union speak with an evangelical Christian. Together they tried hard to square the circle -- to somehow both be in favor of each other's contradictory positions.

One of my colleagues was appalled: "They are so unprincipled."

"No," I said. "They are trying to figure out a way in which everybody can be OK. It's really great to live in a country where people are like that."

If gay marriage were an issue left up to ordinary Americans, they would work it out. They would work really hard to find a way that everybody can be OK.

The gay marriage movement, however, is by definition not like ordinary Americans. It is an elite, powerful political movement, which also has immense dominance among other sources of cultural power, including the academe, where truth gets defined and judges are educated; the media, who collectively determine what the people are permitted to know about the world outside; and Hollywood, the people who sing our songs and create the stories through which we perceive our own and others' lives.

Only the church remains as the one source of cultural power -- the power to name reality -- that gay marriage advocates do not control.

"Liberty, when men act in bodies, is power," Edmund Burke once wrote. He also wrote, "We ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations, which may be soon turned into complaints." Especially, Burke added so presciently, when talking about "so trying a thing as new power in new persons of whose principles, tempers, and dispositions they have little or no experience, and in situations where those who appear the most stirring in the scene may possibly not be the real movers."

Copyright 2009, Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher

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