political commentary

DOMA Bites the Dust

Photo of the author by T Nelson

L ast week, all the world's attention was focused on a big news event relating to sex. I'm referring, of course, to the story about that poor Dutch lady who experienced continuous orgasms in her foot. Researchers discovered, after repeated experimentation, that stimulating her left foot with an electric current produced “a spontaneous orgasm in that foot.” Doctors said this was probably caused by a nerve injury that produced some sort of neurological miswiring.

I can't help thinking that some similar type of miswiring might also explain the case of Chris Matthews, a reporter at MSNBC, which is known as “the last refuge of insane people,” who reported experiencing a tingling sensation down his leg whenever he thought about Barack Obama.

No one has announced any MRI results of the MiSwired NBC news staff so far. But the human brain is complicated. No one knows how widespread miswiring may be, or whether it may account for tragic phenomena like schizophrenia, alcoholism, and American cable TV news. One might even ask: is it possible that a more subtle form of miswiring could even explain homosexuality? Or is it just another fad—one of those cultural phenomena in the bizarre circus world that passes for human civilization?

These are dangerous thoughts. In today's McCarthyist oppressive climate, you can lose your job for even asking such a question. Anyone expressing an unflattering opinion is pounced upon by what's appropriately called the “gay mafia” and attacked relentlessly. But whether the cause is neurological, genetic, or cultural, the issue struck home last week as the U. S. Supreme Court pushed us closer toward legalization of gay marriage by striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Most social conservatives are resigned to the fact that the Supreme Court will eventually ram gay marriage down Americans' throats whether we want it or not. Many have written it off as a lost cause. But gay marriage itself is not the real issue. Gay marriage is a self-limiting phenomenon. Once the right to marry whoever or whatever you want is granted, the bizarre fad of gay marriage may just peter out, like flagpole sitting or hula hoop twirling. Once the transgressive thrill is gone, people will eventually stop claiming they're in love with the family sofa, their dog, or whatever, and wish to marry it. The short-term goal of the gay rights activists—to gain legitimacy for their cause and to tweak the noses of socons—will have been achieved.

But the gay activists, caught up in their own whims, probably don't even understand that they themselves are only pawns. It's no coincidence that gay marriage is being pushed by the statist left. The reason the left are behind gays so solidly isn't that they are noble champions of human rights, or that they're fun persons and open to change, unlike those tedious sticks-in-the-mud on the right. The philosophy of the left has always been to dissolve the social bonds that people have created, on their own, to organize their lives, and to abolish the rites of passage that people have invented to give their lives meaning. When these bonds are dissolved, the people will be forced to turn to the all-controlling state, and will have no means or motivation to resist it.

But the apparent selfishness of the activists clamoring for a new “right” is a sham. Gay marriage is only one little chip in the foundation of civilization, insignificant in itself. By turning marriage into just another civil contract, entered into for tax purposes, and stripped of any cultural value, it erodes a little bit more of the glue that binds people together. The overriding philosophy behind gay marriage has nothing to do with allowing hot steamy lesbian girl-on-girl action (sorry, sneaky way to get more website hits there), but it has a lot to do with weakening traditional cultural interactions among people so the brotherly hand of the state has a reason to take over. Once atomized into a collection of helpless individuals, the people will need the helping hand of Santa and his 21,292,000 elves just a little bit more to get by.

They probably see it as liberation: sexuality freed from the responsibility of reproduction. A world without consequences and no future is well suited to today's anti-reproductive zeitgeist in a society that no longer feels under pressure to survive, reproduce, and grow. Whether you see it as liberation or enslavement, the end result is the same. The real cost of losing DOMA is that one more of the social bonds that changes a population into a civilization becomes a little weaker. Civilization won't collapse because of it, but our sense of existence as a people with a culture, traditions, and values is being lost, in steps too small and insignificant to notice. These are the qualities that, in the human mind, make a society worth preserving. And maybe that's one of the reasons the left hates it so much.

Take another example: socialized medicine. The government is currently in the process of breaking the bond between people and their doctors. In the old days, people knew their doctor personally. The same doctor that delivered you knew your parents, your genealogy, and your psychological makeup well enough to know what medical problems you might experience. Now your doctor has become another agent of the state. As medical care falls under the control of the federal government, your doctor becomes a government employee, paid by the taxpayer, just like those enthusiastic, efficient and courteous people at the DMV. Already they put into their database the answers to the questions that are burning concerns to your masters in Washington, D.C.: Do you wear your seatbelts? Do you own firearms? Do you eat any forbidden food that might contain trans-fats? What about hamburgers? How much junk food? Do you wear your rubbers when you go outside? Are you now, or have you ever been, audited by the IRS? Would you like to be? Then you better shape up.

No one can be naïve enough to believe that the government won't gain access to this database, if they don't have it already. It's only a matter of time before fines, in the form of differential insurance costs, are imposed for eating foods high in salt, trans fats, and cholesterol. And your doctor becomes your informant. It's one more example of a bond that used to exist among people that is being destroyed.

The social conservatives want to preserve the tradition of marriage, but they honestly don't understand why. And the left will never tell them.