Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The Cause of the Decline of American Morality

Every once in a while, the Right lets its true self show. It's not always pretty, in fact it's downright nasty at times.

I found this letter to the editor in the Opinion Pages this morning, and had to read it three times to make sure that I understood the point that the writer was trying to get across. I didn't have to re-read it because it was unclear, but because I couldn't believe that a modern, civilized person would make such a point. The letter was under the heading, "The Denial of Freedom to be Discriminatory," see if this makes your head hurt as much as it did mine:

Patrick Guerriero is certainly right that the Constitution was "designed to protect and ensure equal treatment for all Americans" ("'Til Death Do Us Part," editorial page, Dec. 4). But surely that referred to the principle of equal treatment as a matter of government policy. The reason that the social issues, such as gay marriage, are becoming so intractable is that equal treatment has been misread to require that individuals, too, be nondiscriminating. If they own businesses or apartment buildings, for example, they are no longer allowed to exclude those of whom they disapprove. Since it is through the personal freedom to make such discriminatory choices that morality-based institutions like marriage are formed, defined and enforced, the denial of such freedom has led inevitably to the confused moral morass we see today.

The reason we are now faced with having to decide as a matter of national policy what constitutes marriage, is that we have lost the freedom to make personal decisions on the subject. It is unclear if Mr. Guerriero considers our nation's Founders "real conservatives," but it is certain that all of them would be turning in their graves to hear that their Constitution requires acceptance of gay marriage.

Steve Wunsch
New York
Just focusing on the passage I've bolded above (I wanted to re-post the entire letter so I couldn't be accused of a lack of context), if I read Mr. Wunsch correctly, the reason for our supposed moral decrepitude is that we are no longer allowed to discriminate against people we don't like (especially if we have a business). And that such discrimination is the basis of morality-based institutions? Could I possible have read that correctly?

Of course this kind of thinking shouldn't surprise us - and yet it continually does - because the Right's not-so-hidden secret is that they have to appeal to the mouth-breathing hordes of racists and fundamentalists which comprise their base. Every once in a while, one of them figures out how to take pen (or keyboard) in hand and exposes that base for what it really is.

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