Polemics & Exchanges

On Chronicles’ Straight Eye

Your March 2004 issue (“Straight Eye for the Queer Guy”) was valuable in many ways, not least because the cascading phenomenon of enthusiasm for “gay marriage” or “civil unions” both reveals and contributes mightily to our society’s increasingly rapid slide into what Pitirim Sorokin called the “social sewer.”  Stephen B. Presser puts his finger on the root of the problem (“Marriage and the Law,” News) when he cites language from Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992): “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”  This is reminiscent of Satan’s boast in Milton’s Paradise Lost: “The mind is its own place, and of itself / Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.”  Satan couldn’t do it, and neither can Casey’s imaginary autonomous individualUnfortunately, Professor Presser concedes too much when he suggests that “marriage needs to return to the Church.”  In the first place, that is impossible; no one would notice if the Church tried to claim marriage for Herself, leaving only...

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