‘Gay Marriage’ and Distant Consequences: Homosexuality, Sexual Immorality and the Downfall of American Civilization
Societies that reject ‘absolute monogamy’ (one-man, one-woman) bring about own demise
The other day I stumbled upon this wonderful essay by my good friend Brian Fitzpatrick – which appeared in the Lambda Report on Homosexuality (in 1996), the precursor to and flagship publication of Americans For Truth. I encourage you to read it very carefully – and forward it to your family, friends and co-workers. Maybe even print it out; it’s that important.
So often the debate over homosexuality-based “marriage” is shallow, fearful — and driven by polls, strategic talking points, and politically correctness — or it bends to the demands of selfish homosexual activists and their newfangled “rights.” Brian’s piece goes much deeper – and reading it again after all these years led me to think about how much we have missed in our discourse surrounding the normalization of homosexuality. Tragically, since he wrote this 16 years ago, America’s grave moral crisis has only grown much deeper.
The modern U.S. homosexual (“gay rights”) revolution (pre-Stonewall riots) is all of about 60 years old – a mere deviant blip on the screen of human history. The scholars referenced by Brian take a much longer view, and we ignore them at our peril. Their bottom line: the societal embrace of sexual immorality – which of course includes homosexuality and related perversions – brings about the downfall of civilizations. America will be no exception. – Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH
Brian Fitzpatrick writes:
Gay ‘Marriage,’ Distant Consequences
By Brian Fitzpatrick, Lambda Report*
In his book , On Character, eminent social commentator James Q. Wilson defines virtue as “habits of moderate action; more specifically, acting with due restraint on one’s impulses, due regard for the rights of others, and reasonable concern for distant consequences.”
Alarm bells should ring when prominent commentators start talking seriously about decidedly immoderate notions like homosexual “marriage,” without considering the consequences. William Raspberry recently [in 1996] noted in his Washington Post column that gay and lesbian couples of his acquaintance are “not dangerous,” wondered why some people believe allowing homosexuals to “marry” could threaten their own relationships, and suggested that opposition to “gay marriage” springs from prejudice. He asked, “What are we afraid of?” The answer, of course, is the distant consequences. The health and survival of our civilization is at stake.
To understand the danger posed by homosexual “marriage,” you must join the great scholars in asking some fundamental questions. Why do some civilizations flourish? Why do others perish?
Perhaps the definitive work on the rise and fall of civilization was written back in the thirties by an Oxford anthropologist. In Sex and Culture, a study of 86 human civilizations ranging from Rome to Tahiti, J.D. Unwin found that a society’s destiny is tied inseparably to the limits it imposes on sexual expression. The highest levels of social development are reached only by cultures that practice what Unwin called “absolute monogamy,” in which marriage is limited to one man and one woman, sexual outside marriage is not tolerated, and divorce is prohibited.
Absolute monogamy promotes cultural growth by solving what anthropologist Margaret Mead termed the “central problem of every society,’ to “define appropriate roles for men.” Monogamous civilizations require men to choose either lifelong celibacy or the responsibilities of a husband: fidelity, breadwinning, and fatherhood. Most marry, to their good fortune, because married men tend to be healthier, happier, and more productive than bachelors. Joseph Schumpeter, the great economist, attributes the success of capitalism not to the entrepreneur’s lust for money or status, but to his love of family. The central pillar of any healthy civilization is the self-sacrificing married man who doesn’t spend his income on himself, but prefers “to work and save primarily for wife and children.”
Civilizations cease to grow, found Unwin, within two to three generations after retreating from absolute monogamy. Moral standards erode when a society’s members chafe at the discipline imposed by monogamy, and begin to gratify their personal impulses without regard for the consequences inflicted on others. According to sociologist Robert Nisbet, “What sociologists are prone to call social disintegration is really nothing more than the spectacle of a rising number of individuals playing fast and loose with other individuals in relationships of trust and responsibility.
If individualistic selfishness and self-seeking are not checked, Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin warns us, a society will lapse into “sexual anarchy.” In The American Sex Revolution, Sorokin wrote that “both men and society are degraded” as a culture becomes “sexually obsessed.” “The members of such a society are habituated to look at the opposite sex as a mere instrument for pleasure…to these individuals, talk of human dignity, religious and moral commandments, and rules of decency is just bosh…the society degrades the values of womanhood and manhood, of motherhood and fatherhood, of childhood and venerable age, of marriage and family, and even of love itself.” Divorce, desertion, and deviance become commonplace, when “what used to be considered morally reprehensible is now recommended as a positive value; what was once called demoralization is now styled moral progress and a new freedom.” Sorokin describes this as “moral schizophrenia.”
In an amoral, hedonistic society, you can’t trust the people you need to trust, not even your spouse. If people can make and break relationships at will, with no legal repercussions or social stigma, they are much more likely to abandon their marriages – at their children’s expense – when they encounter tough problems. Husbands with roving eyes are much more likely to trade in the wife for a new model.
Such selfish, undisciplined societies meet ugly fates. In his Social and Cultural Dynamics, Sorokin studied 1,623 “internal disturbances in Greco-Roman and European history,” and found that sexual permissiveness almost always precedes or accompanies “an explosion of sociopolitical disturbances.” Unwin found that every society, without exception, that rejects absolute monogamy either becomes a stagnant cultural backwater or collapses altogether.
What does all this mean for homosexuality and “gay marriage”? No sector of our society is more obsessed with sex, or more promiscuous, than the homosexual subculture. To accept the practice of homosexuality is to make irresponsible sexual behavior easier for our society. To permit homosexual relationships to be formalized is to establish a dangerous precedent that people may form sexual unions outside the healthy one-man, one-woman framework. In effect, we’d be rejecting Unwin’s “absolute monogamy” model for good, because rights are very difficult to withdraw once they’ve been granted.
What of Mead’s “central problem” in society, defining the duties of the male? Homosexuality does nothing to channel men into the husband/father/provider role that so benefits society. Male homosexuality entices men away from that role, by offering a sexual outlet with no strings attached – and even trains them to view one another as sexual objects through the anonymous sexual encounters so prevalent among homosexual men. Lesbianism eliminates male responsibility altogether.
“But wouldn’t ‘gay marriage,’” counter supporters, “encourage homosexuals to be monogamous?” Hardly. In the homosexual press, “gay marriage” advocates admit openly that they would not remain faithful if married. Homosexual columnist Michelangelo Signorile writes that “gays” would seek instead to make adultery acceptable, by redefining the “archaic institution” of marriage. The purpose of “gay marriage” is to win legal benefits and social sanction for homosexual couples, not to improve their behavior.
According to Unwin “the historical evidence [suggests] that homosexuality is a habit that appears in a society … that has been absolutely monogamous, and is relaxing.” If Unwin is correct, then the increasing prominence of homosexuality in our culture confirms ominously that America has strayed too far from the straight and narrow morality that invigorates cultures. To give homosexual couples the right to marry would be like taking another giant, virtually irrevocable step down the road to sexual anarchy and cultural ruin. Here are the distant consequences that threaten every marriage in our society, including Raspberry’s; here is the reason why opposition to “gay marriage” is not based on prejudices, but on common sense.
America need not slide irretrievably into cultural demoralization. According to Sorokin, “through an earnest and strenuous effort of the society itself, it may regain its mental and moral sanity.” Historian Arnold Toynbee noted in 1972 the beginnings of a “counter-movement of asceticism” in the West. This movement has since become much more prominent. From the intellectual classes have emerged the “communitarians,” who view our culture as overly concerned with personal rights but too little concerned with responsibility and duty. The Religious Right has risen out of the middle classes to promote traditional moral standards. Two mass movements, Promise Keepers and the Million Man March, are challenging men to resume their roles as servant leaders of their families. Tens of thousands of high schoolers celebrated Valentine’s Day this year  by declaring their commitment to sexual abstinence before marriage. These movements deserve support.
Granting homosexual couples the right to marry would be a milestone on the road to cultural oblivion. America’s first step back to moral sanity and cultural vitality should be to reject “gay marriage.” Next, we must return to the ideal of “absolute monogamy,” and start teaching our children that their duty to society is to remain chaste until they wed. As James Q. Wilson observes, “in the long run, the public interest depends on private virtue.”
* Brian Fitzpatrick, “‘Gay Marriage, Distant Consequences,” Lambda Report on Homosexuality, Winter ‘96-‘97, p. 12. This originally appeared as an LR’s editorial. To order the full set of printed “Lambda Reports” (most articles of which were never posted online), send $25 (postage paid) to: AFTAH, PO Box 5522, Naperville, IL 60567-5522. For more information, e-mail Brad Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org or call AFTAH at 312-324-3787.
This article was posted on Friday, August 9th, 2013 at 10:10 am and is filed under "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", "Sexual Orientation"/"Gender Identity" and the Law, Decline of Civilizations, History, News, Redefining Morality, Redefining Normal. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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