Over at our local journalistas’ puzzle factory, Deadline Detroit, Allan Lengel is sure he’s spotted a similarity between Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s defense of the Michigan Marriage Amendment, and George Wallace’s defiant call for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” (“Bill Schuette's George Wallace Moment”). You will never learn from reading Lengel’s article exactly how an immensely popular state constitutional amendment that was passed to protect the definition of marriage compares with segregation. My guess is Lengel had simply worked his way through his alphabetical list of villains to the Ws, and here we are. Next week he’ll be back around again comparing Julie Boonstra to Marie Antoinette.
Anyway, Lengel magnanimously recognizes that, for all Wallace’s bigotry, he recanted his segregationist ideas after becoming a born-again Christian. For reasons he never explains (what can I say? Lengel writes that way) he forecasts that:
Schuette will regret his crusade, much like Wallace did, once he sees beyond the Tea Party and his personal prejudices and religious beliefs. Bill, we’re talking about constitutional rights here. Separation of church and state.
You may not be able [sic] label Schuette a racist for fighting against gay marriage. But you might as well.
He’s operating on the assumption — much like George Wallace did — that it’s OK to try and prevent a certain group of people from having equal rights.
Hatred is hatred. Prejudice is prejudice.
The secret of all effective liberal argument is to conflate unlike things beyond where they can be untangled, and then dare an opponent to untangle them. I’m not going to try. Conflating Wallace-era racial segregation with a citizen initiative protecting an ancient social institution is stupid and obscene. Equating homosexuals denied an imaginary right to a made-up marital arrangement – one never recognized by any tribe or civilization prior to the 21st century – equating, I say, that with blacks being denied fundamental and well-established civil rights such as the rights to vote and to work -- is ludicrous.
Only a liberal would suggest that the custom and practice of marriage as exclusive to members of the opposite sex was a tyrannical idea dreamt up by the Tea Party, or forced upon utopian America by religious fanatics. Only a liberal, (like one person commenting on Lengel’s diatribe) would think it makes senses to accuse AG Schuette of “trying to drag Michigan back to the 1950’s,” as if same-sex marriage existed in Michigan until the Michigan Marriage Amendment was passed.
Only a very shallow liberal, and a secularist, would despise the reality of religious faith so completely as to think that it is a good thing for a believer to “see beyond [his] religious beliefs.” Religious beliefs have to do with ultimate things. The highest things. There is no seeing beyond them. Certainly leftist politics and its tawdry controversies are not “beyond” any religious beliefs worthy of the name. If a person claiming to be a believer does see beyond them, it’s because he’s really never seen them at all – just glanced briefly at them and then forgot them somewhere in the back of his overcrowded skull.
Meanwhile, Lengel is so focused on lambasting Schuette for being a reincarnated Wallace he forgot that he had already explained the Alabama governor’s abandonment of his segregationist ideas by – Wallace’s religious beliefs! – “when he became a born-again Christian and apologized to black civil rights leaders for his racist segregationist stand.” I guess it was Wallace seeing beyond his earthbound regional politics, not his religious beliefs, that got Wallace’s mind right.
And if you yourself simply hate religious beliefs, then don’t preach to us about the separation of church and state. The purpose of that doctrine was to protect the church, not the state. The hatred and prejudice you harbor against believers renders you an unfit guardian of our rights.
Only a liberal would argue that you “might as well” label someone (Schuette) a racist for fighting against same-sex marriage after admitting that it’s probably not justified to do so. (It isn’t).
Never mind Lengel’s adolescent rhetoric of indignation. Hatred is not hatred, because hatred of wrong and injustice is not the same as hatred of what is good and true. Prejudice is not prejudice. Prejudice against empty cant and pulling down timeless structures of civilization by judicial insolence is not the same as prejudice based on race, or on a hypocritical and smoldering enmity towards believers in God and common sense.