A Social Conservative Responds to Glenn Beck
By: David Bozeman
On the 8-11 O’Reilly Factor, Glenn Beck, when asked about social issues such as gay marriage, opined that “we have bigger fish to fry,” given how our country is burning. He concludes (and I’m paraphrasing) that it’s not like the gays are coming for us and can take our money.
Our MONEY? So conservatism, which is predicated on the belief that our rights are bestowed by God, is a mere ideological tool to keep the tax collector out of our wallets? We are supposed to turn a blind eye to the re-defining of cultural norms and the rot that mesmerizes and influences young people, numbing a generation to the tragedy of out-of-wedlock birth rates hovering around 40%?
Beck, of course, is a man of faith who encourages all Americans to find strength in theirs, for which he believes we will be stronger as a nation. Still, those sentiments, however heartfelt, serve as a generic call to take up God and social issues once the important stuff like ballooning taxes, deficits and regulations are taken care of.
The right often — and unnecessarily — presents a false dichotomy between social and economic conservatism. The two are sometimes surprisingly intertwined, so, yes, Glenn, gay marriage does matter. It may not take money out of my pocket now, but we have seen the damage societies inflict upon themselves when they tell generations to come that marriage is whatever makes ME happy, that fatherhood has no distinct meaning and that motherhood is a social construct designed to suppress women. When the concept of a two-parent family, traditionally the building-block of a free society, is not nurtured or is contorted beyond all meaning, guess who steps in to fill the void? Here comes Nanny, as in the Nanny State! Is it a shock that the most sexually permissive countries in Europe are also the most socialistic? Is it mere coincidence that the loosening of sexual mores in the 60s and 70s saw meteoric rises in out-of-wedlock births and accompanying calls for federal spending on day-care, abortion on demand and, basically, a cradle-to-grave safety net? Columnist Robert Knight wrote in the June 14 Washington Times that, “Socialists have been at war with sexual morality since the French Revolution. . . Is Barney Frank wrong when he orchestrates bigger government but right when he promotes sexual immorality?”
Certainly for any movement to grow, it must define itself behind a strategy that is both vital and winnable. Clearly, the Tea Party is in, the Moral Majority is out, but conservatism, by its very definition, defies the edicts of the trendsetters and forges onward. Conservatism speaks to our humanity and not just the financial bottom line. True conservatives are not afraid to speak out against art and entertainment when it debases our better natures and celebrates boorishness and illicit sex. Filth and perversion don’t necessarily demand government action, but public censure is sometimes justified (and surely the fathers of America deserve an apology from Jennifer Anniston, who announced that women don’t need men to become mothers — yet how many out there find her remarks trendy and cute?). No one is advocating a return to the Victorian era or even the 1950s, but a nation that cedes its resistance to the nips at its defining values will likely surrender its moral firepower to the full-blown attacks, as well, and remain a free society no longer. How do you think we got where we are, Glenn?