I am becoming more comfortable with my role as a 'blue-state conservative'. I am used to measuring words, to the conversational confusion that ensues after a clueless liberal assumes political esprit de corps, to the downright rage that often ensues when I simply say what I think.
Homosexual 'marriage' is an interesting case in point. For example, I am pleased with the outcome of the referendum in Maine that repealed a judicial mandate to legalize gay 'marriage'. But simply expressing that point of view could pose real danger to my social, and even professional, prestige.
I find that the best way of defending my point of view is by simply being myself. Doing so is simple, yet difficult.
As myself, I'm not out to bash anyone else's point of view. I'm not out to be negative. My views on gay marriage are positively informed, if challenging, and come from a sense of optimism about people. The difficulty is that conversations are often orchestrated to put defenders of marriage, well, on the defensive. Do you ever get the feeling that you are tenaciously clinging to your viewpoint (which makes perfect sense to you) while trying to defend yourself from the charges of being a bigot?
I once had a conversation, albeit a one-sided one) with an acquaintance about gay marriage. It was on Facebook. By the second post, I was accused of defending 'bigoted views'. I defended myself, saying that those who know me would never think of me as a bigot. "Oh," went the reply "I never called you a bigot." Well, what do you call one who holds bigoted views? Etc.
There is a spirit of manevolence in the pro-gay marriage folks. I hate to say it, but it is the natural result of defending a sinful behavior, and usually results from a desire to excuse either the pro-gay person's own behavior (homosexual or no) or that of someone they love. There is no common ground, no understanding. They really can't countenance opposing views, because if gay sex is wrong then other stuff may be wrong, too.
It takes a good deal of pluck to defend tradtional views of marriage. You'll be accused of being everything that self-styled progressives despise: rigid, judgemental, holier-than-thou, etc. The irony is that each of these maledictions could be re-pasted on the forhead of the would-be crusader for gay 'rights'! Doubt it? Try having a conversation with them about it.
The best defense of marriage is the family itself. Have a big family. Be happy. Be very happy. It's the best rememdy for what ails the culture. Raise your kids to respect themselves. Shower them with love. That's the positive. But don't be fooled - it ain't easy. It takes a lot of courage to get married. It takes even more to have kids. But it's worth it.
That's the optimism. Optimism exists in the face of challenges, otherwise it is platitudinous.
So, I'm happy about the results of yesterday's referendum on gay marriage in Maine. I'm not sure what it portends for our culture, but I'm willing to be optimistic. I'm also willing to stand up to the bullies. Someday they might thank you for it.