Quote of the day

“Institutions tend to be strongest when they make significant moral demands, and weaker when they pre-emptively accommodate themselves to human nature.”

— New York Times columnist Ross Douthat

Read his column on gay marriage for the rest.

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4 responses to “Quote of the day”

  1. I think Douthat survives at the Times because his socially conservative (almost invariably correct) conclusions follow only after lenthy efforts to treat the views of his opponents fairly and even generously. No such fair-and-balanced approach is required of those who support conclusions more congenial to the paper’s editors, as this weekend’s encomium to “cultural Catholic” gay sexologist Dan Savage’s position on non-monogamous marriage richly illustrates:


  2. The thing most swingers don’t realize until it’s too late is that while the body may enjoy infidelity, the heart and emotions tend toward monogamy. It is rare indeed for any couple, no matter how liberated, to truly avoid the jealousy that will eat away their marriage.

    Women understand this far better than men. Men seem to need to learn by doing, while women know it by instinct. Paradoxically, men are much less forgiving of the infidelity of women than women are of the infidelity of men. A double standard still exists in their minds.

  3. @Ron,

    I think you may have some bias here towards Douthat. As someone on the other end of the political spectrum–a socially liberal, fiscally moderate/sane atheist (but who was raised catholic and considers himself fairly culturally catholic…)–I find Douthat to be one of the most egregious columnists I read because he tends to cherry-pick his data in order to justify some over-generalized conclusion that fits with his social beliefs.

    This column was no different. He provides one one-sourced claim that people are now more opposed to adultery–(who exactly?? and where and what data?)–while divorcing less… and uses that to attack dan savage–whose position overall–that we should not use idealistic and generalized laws to understand the world–is actually much more burkean in its conservatism than Douthat’s is…

    Personally–I really don’t understand why people–and certain catholics in particular–get so bent out of shape about gay marriage–when divorce is a much bigger threat to marriage. If every opponent of gay marriage would be as adamant and willing to change the constitutions of each state to ban divorce–I’d give them a lot more credit..


  4. It would be interesting to see what are the rates of adultery, divorce, “swinging”, venereal disease, of gay marriages compared to heterosexual marriages. It is perhaps too early in the development of these new social conditions for such a study. Also most studies are so biased either way who knows if it would be true or useful.

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