Turning Ease Into Virtue

Turning Ease Into Virtue August 14, 2009

Yglesias makes a dynamite observation about part of the reason leaders of social conservatives put so much energy into anti-gay crusades rather than any of a number of other matters of social concern (via Patrick Appel):

Most of what “traditional values” asks of people is pretty hard. All the infidelity and divorce and premarital sex and bad parenting and whatnot take place because people actually want to do the things traditional values is telling them not to do. And the same goes for most of the rest of the Christian recipe. Acting in a charitable and forgiving manner all the time is hard. Loving your enemies is hard. Turning the other cheek is hard. Homosexuality is totally different. For a small minority of the population, of course, the injunction “don’t have sex with other men!” (or, as the case may be, other women) is painfully difficult to live up to. But for the vast majority of people this is really, really easy to do. Campaigns against gay rights, gay people, and gay sex thus have a lot of the structural elements of other forms of crusading against sexual excess or immorality, but they’re not really asking most people to do anything other than become self-righteous about their pre-existing preferences.

Reminds me of Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil 143):

Our vanity desires that what we do best should be considered what is hardest for us.  Concerning the origin of many a morality.

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