David Letterman is clueless when it comes to gay ‘marriage’


I don’t watch a lot of television, but when I do, I make sure to avoid the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

It’s not that he can’t be entertaining at times. It’s that he’s an activist in a suit whose contempt for individuals who aren’t dyed in the wool liberals makes him unbearable to watch. What’s more is that after tearing into guests he disagrees with politically, he runs for intellectual cover by disingenuously reminding his audience “I really don’t know what I’m talking about.”

Rachel Maddow and David Letterman

The thing is, Letterman does know what he’s talking about. At least, some of the time. During an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow last week, he tried to look like he knew what he was talking about but he failed miserably.

Here’s what he said: “Humans have the right to do what humans do, that’s it. End of the story. There’s no argument. There’s no exceptions. Humans have rights and they get to do what humans get to do. Case closed. Good night.”

He is, of course, talking about redefining marriage so to include same-sex couples.

“It’s beyond embarrassing.” he added “It’s exclusionary based on, what? Well, nothing, really, other than the fear people have generated of who knows what.”

Letterman received thunderous applause from his audience for sharing his deep insight on human rights. He even got a nod of approval from Ms. Maddow, a former Rhodes Scholar.

The question Letterman must now answer is: Where do human rights come from? Do our rights come from God? And if so, do we have an obligation to exercise those rights in the way God instructed us to? Or do rights simply come from government? And if so, as Letterman intimated, do we have the right to do whatever we want whenever we want?

As a left-of-center guy, I imagine Letterman wouldn’t have displayed such a laissez-faire attitude had he and Ms. Maddow been discussing banking executives and their decision to bundle mortgage-backed securities in the mid 2000s. I imagine he would say that we have to regulate the banking industry because people might get hurt.

A fair point. But if Letterman were to actually say that, he’d contradict his libertarian-esque claim that “humans have rights and they get to do what humans get to do.”

What Letterman fails to realize is that human beings “do” a lot of things. And a lot of the time human beings “do” things they shouldn’t. For example, some people become prostitutes. Some abuse alcohol. Some abuse drugs. Some think cannibalism should be allowed. And some, like this lobbyist for Planned Parenthood, think murdering a child after a botched abortion should be legal.

Does Letterman think such behavior should be morally permissible? Even encouraged? After all, he did say that “humans have the right to do what humans do.” Is there no limit to what humans should be allowed to do, Dave? Where do you draw the line?

I hope Letterman wouldn’t support those things. Then again, I don’t know that much about him. Is he a Christian? If he is, is he familiar with the creation story? Surely he must know that God did not say to Adam and Eve, “Well, you’re human, and you have a right to do whatever it is you do. I can’t impose my values on you.”

I hope Dave comes to realize that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and that we have been given laws from God to obey for our own good. Even in our pluralistic society, where many people do not believe in God, millions of people support the notion that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. There’s nothing “exclusionary” or “embarrassing” about that, either. What’s embarrassing is that people actually think Letterman’s intellectually lazy comments represent some sort of profound philosophical insight when in reality they are as empty as the suit that sits behind the desk on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author

Stephen Kokx is a freelance writer and adjunct professor of political science living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Peace and Justice. His writing on religion, politics and Catholic social teaching has appeared in a number of outlets, including Crisis Magazine, The American Thinker and his hometown paper The Grand Rapids Press. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and is a graduate of Aquinas College and Loyola University Chicago. Follow Stephen on twitter @StephenKokx

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