Touché, P.J. O'Rourke

As some of GetReligion’s readers have observed in our Comments feature, gay marriage is a frequent topic in this space. It’s a topic I would love to set aside, were it not such an inescapable talking point in religion circles and, by extension, on the Godbeat.

In a brief essay in the July/August Atlantic on conservative talk radio (and leftist equivalents), P.J. O’Rourke proves that the gay-marriage debate need not proceed in a humor-free zone.

The author of Republican Party Reptile and many other books, one of several people appearing in the documentary Breakfast With Hunter and chatting partner with Clive James (click here for a 30-minute webcast that touches on O’Rourke’s non-aggressive Methodism) delivers this zinger that should prove popular among Log Cabin Republicans:

I am a little to the right of Rush Limbaugh. I’m so conservative that I approve of San Francisco City Hall marriages, adoption by same-sex couples, and New Hampshire’s recently ordained Episcopal bishop. Gays want to get married, have children, and go to church. Next they’ll be advocating school vouchers, boycotting HBO, and voting Republican.

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  • Michael D. Harmon

    I subscribe to the Atlantic, so I’ve already read O’Rourke’s piece. I guess it displays the difference between “non-aggressive Methodism” and faithfulness to an institution that, while practiced by fallible humans, was still instituted by God and established for His purposes, not ours. If a purely secular marriage can stabilize the roaming, lustful will, then why is divorce so prevalent, even among churchgoers, who presumably are better suited to its strictures? It remains far more likely, as Stanley Kurtz has pointed out in his columns on National Review Online and in The Weekly Standard, that based on the experience in Scandinavia, gay “marriage” will just be another nail in the secular institution’s coffin. Marriage within the faithful remnants of the Christian church may (if God is gracious to us) remain an institution worthy of respect and emulation, however.


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