Opinion

Surprise! You are now a bigot

byMichael Pakaluk
6/29/2007

In my last column, I argued in effect that Catholic parents should no longer send their children to public schools in Massachusetts. Seek a private or parochial school, instruct your child at home, or simply leave the state. Why? Because public schools are now required by law to be instruments of indoctrination in gay ideology.

Few Catholic parents seem to grasp this point, because they do not yet appreciate the revolution that has been worked in our laws over the last four years. They think that when same-sex marriage was recognized legally, the only thing that changed was that tolerance was extended to a handful of people. Not so. What really happened, is that the apparatus of the state changed its direction of support. Those laws that used to support you (admittedly, only in a vestigial and minimal way) have now been turned against you.

In order to see how the schools must now act, it helps to reflect carefully on the civil rights movement of the 60s. Think first about the long decades of segregation in the South and separate but equal. Think about the absurdity of a black-skinned man not being able to use the same water fountain or restaurant as a white-skinned man, because his skin was a different color. When you recall these things, are you feeling angry again? Now think of that righteous anger as expressed in the zealous efforts of the civil rights activists. Think of all the righteousness and moral fervor that was directed by those activists in the North against any bigots and white supremacists in the South who defended segregation.

Think next about how the public schools became enlisted in efforts to combat racism. I do not mean desegregation and busing. I mean: Black History Month; textbooks which prominently displayed interracial couples; films about how wrong prejudice is; discussions about the importance of accepting different people regardless of their appearance. The schools, rightly so, saw it as their solemn duty to educate children against racism. They aimed to eliminate racism, and the entire curriculum in the school was adapted to this goal.

I am asking you to contemplate these things because, as a Catholic parent, you wont have the slightest idea what you are up against unless you appreciate that now you are on the receiving end of a similar assurance of moral righteousness.

Same-sex marriage is ultimately based on a misguided analogy with racism. It presupposes that, just as we shouldnt treat someone differently based on the color of his skin, so we shouldnt treat someone differently based on his sexual proclivities and patterns of sexual behavior.

Dont get me wrong: I agree that the analogy rests on a hundred confusions. Skin color is irrelevant to our character (as Martin Luther King famously said), but how we act sexually is not irrelevant. There is no natural skin color, but there is a natural and right use of sex organs. Male and female are complementary, but its nonsense to speak of complementary skin colors. Again, the fact that some men desire to have relations with other men no more inevitably settles their identity as gay, than the fact that most men desire to have relations with all other attractive women inevitably settles their identity as promiscuous.

But it hardly matters that the analogy makes no sense. That might have mattered, if a law proposing same-sex marriage were ever debated by the people and voted on, because then the arguments bearing on its nonsensicality could have been stated and discussed. But there was no public discussion, and there was no vote. Four whacky justices were abetted by one weak-willed governor and a hundred cowardly legislators.

Now the analogy is firmly embedded in law. But then so is a chief consequence of the analogy, namely, that anyone who rejects same-sex marriage is an irrational bigot whose hateful views should be suppressed. And that (I trust) includes you.

Suppose you are a decent family man, not unlike David Parker in Arlington, working hard at a job and trying to raise a family. You take it for granted, as something unquestioned, that only a man and a woman can get married. The alternative strikes you as ridiculous, not even up for debate. Perhaps you are religious and you base your views ultimately on the Bible or Church teaching, or perhaps you simply have good sense. As for homosexuality, you perhaps distinguish between the feelings and the actions; and you wouldnt think it a good thing to engage in the latter, even if you had the desire to do so.

In the state of Massachusetts, something happened to such a person between 2003 and today. Four years ago he was a good family man and an upstanding citizen. His views were still reflected in the law and supported in the schools. Today, however, that same man is a bigot. The law is against him, and public schools on principle must teach that such a person is filled with hatred (a homophobe) and despicable. Indeed, the schools are obliged to teach his own children that he is a bigot. More than that, theyll do so convinced that they are fulfilling their high moral duty. And any sign of resistance on his part will be interpreted by them as only more evidence of the mans bigotry.

Theyll no more listen to him than the SJC, the governor, or the Legislature did before them.

Theyve left such a man little alternative but to vote with his feet.

Michael Pakaluk is currently finishing three books: a textbook on accounting ethics; a translation of Aristotles ethics; and a biography of Ruth V.K. Pakaluk.