Comments

  1. Mark says

    I’ve noted Santorum in debates has pretended he’s being singled out for some BIZARRE reason when the topic is gays. He’d now swear he’s not obsessed and has never been obsessed.

  2. Mary says

    As a social conservative, and someone very close to Santorum in worldview, let me offer a possible reason for why he finds gay rights questions so interesting. Gay rights, similar to other social issues, involves a discussion of “capital” that is hard to measure. You can know how much the latest congressional bill will cost, you can put a specific number on the debt and reasonably project an accurate deficit. But no one knows how much social stability we lose or how much social progress we gain if the culture changes its mores. This makes social issues fascinating in a way that economics can never be. It also arrouses (a poor choice of words, maybe!) the curiosity of conservatives, who are apt to believe that societies disintegrate a lot more easily than they improve – and so tend to always be on the lookout for what they perceive as the latest threat to social stability.

    Of course, it could be that he just fantasizes about getting a good ass-pounding from a handsome stud. But I thought I’d offer a more original idea since I’m kind of the resident weirdo here!

  3. Nat says

    “This makes social issues fascinating in a way that economics can never be. It also arrouses (a poor choice of words, maybe!) the curiosity of conservatives, who are apt to believe that societies disintegrate a lot more easily than they improve – and so tend to always be on the lookout for what they perceive as the latest threat to social stability.”

    I’m not going into the complex specifics of gays in relation to societies, but I will make two points on the nature of history and societies.

    1) The notion of societal collapse is inherently myopic, and it’s a trap that even people who should know better fall into (Jared Diamond is the one that best comes to mind). Societies rarely disappear; there aren’t that many examples in recorded history of peoples or societies utterly disappearing. What people really mean when they fret about disintegration is that they’re unhappy with the reconfiguration that takes place.

    2) But the essence of humanity is its dynamism, and that dynamism is utterly uncontrollable in the long-term. Humanity is best thought of as a seething mass of emotions and ideas, beyond the control (thus far at least) of any one person or group. The essence of a society is akin to an iceberg; most of it is below the surface, and it can’t be seen until it’s too late.

    For that reason, it’s dangerous and short-sighted – for those interested in societal stability – to focus on what is ultimately tangential to that stability. In the particular matter of gay rights – divorced from a particular ideological stance – the sea change isn’t going to be people with the same genitals cohabiting and calling it marriage. The sea change already occurred in the nineteenth- and twentieth- centuries: industrialization, consumerism, birth control seem to me the big three. Once you moved most people out of the rural setting, once you started inculcating them with the idea that acquiring and using material possessions was a valid choice, and once people could start easily controlling pregnancy, the society that social conservatives envision became impossible.

  4. Mary says

    “In the particular matter of gay rights – divorced from a particular ideological stance – the sea change isn’t going to be people with the same genitals cohabiting and calling it marriage”

    …And you know this how? That’s my point. The long-term effects of gay equality are unknown, and so it’s natural that a social conservative wouldn’t want to risk them. And I don’t believe socons are actually envisioning a return to an agricultural society, just a somewhat stable one.

    But your post was otherwise enjoyable and well-written.

  5. ThomT says

    Santorum might actually be more credible if he’d simply come out and honestly admitted his hatred and disgust for homosexuals. Every time he is questioned about gay marriage he runs off at the mouth about polygamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, etc., etc., etc. So why don’t those questioning Rick ask him why the very same laws he professes to be protecting, which clearly specify one man and one women, can’t simply be altered to define marriage as a legal union between any two consenting adults who are not currently a part of a legally recognized union. This would eliminate the Santorum’s illogical, disingenuous, and unfounded arguments which, by the way, are nothing more than his pandering to the far right evangelicals

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