Polemics & Exchanges

Grand Theses

I fear that Chilton Williamson’s column in the June issue (“Neither ‘Gay’ Nor ‘Marriage,’” What’s Wrong With the World) loses its point about a third of the way through—and conveys an uncharitable impression of the author that I know to be untrue.  While the gay issue often provokes conservatives to have an instantaneous emotional reaction, perhaps we can dispense with the scattershot polemics and disentangle the various threads of his complaint.

To begin with, it is somewhat disconcerting to find an off-the-cuff defense of polygamy in the midst of a defense of traditional marriage: “The basis of the marital relationship,” we are told, “what makes marriage marriage, is a relationship with a member (or, in polygamous societies, members) of the biologically opposite sex.”  I’ll leave it to others to defend the traditional Christian conception of marriage against the Williamsonian assault.  I’ll also leave alone his disapproval of the Special Olympics, confident in the belief that people in wheelchairs have enough problems, of which Williamson’s views on their athletic abilities are but a minor footnote.

Getting back to gay marriage, the author asks “how far the liberal impulse behind it will go,” and posits a...

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