Johns Hopkins Becomes Latest Battleground On Same-Sex Marriage


There’s controversy brewing at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University over remarks made by designated commencement speaker Dr. Ben Carson. Already a noted critic of the Obama Administration, Carson has compared same-sex marriage to bestiality and pedophilia, and his status as commencement speaker is now in doubt.

Carson has sort-of apologized for his remarks. The pseudo-apology was admirable on two counts—he acknowledged that his wording was poorly chosen, but made no backtracking on the fundamental principle itself.

I would agree that the wording was poorly chosen, and not just for PR-related reasons. There’s no automatic linkage of same-sex marriage to pedophilia and other aberrant practices. The path from Barney Frank to Jerry Sandusky is not inevitable. At least it doesn’t have to be. In a recent post on the redefining of marriage, I said that when same-sex marriage supporters say that don’t want this practice extended further, I’m inclined to believe them.

But in that same post, I added another question, which is relevant again here in the Johns Hopkins case, and it’s this—on what basis do you stop the redefinition of marriage as just being between two people, regardless of gender? The entire crux of the same-sex marriage push has been that these are people in love, and it’s hateful  and intolerant to draw a line at them marrying.

Well then, why is not hateful and intolerant to stop a man from being with a 16-year-old if they’re both “in love”? Why is not hateful and intolerant to stop someone from having four or five wives if everybody’s in love? In short, what is your basis for drawing the line? Or do you believe there is no line? If same-sex marriage supporters believe there is a line, let’s hear it. Or if they believe that all boundaries are hateful and intolerant, let’s hear that.

If there is no line, then the downward path into all kinds of sexual aberrations that I think most same-sex marriage supporters would be horrified by, becomes all too realistic.

In my earlier post, I laid out the case for the line being at a man and a woman, one I believe stands up on non-religious grounds. I won’t reiterate it all here. I will point out that this breaking of boundaries did not start with the same-sex marriage movement. Monsignor Charles Pope, in a thoughtful article, says that the roots of the current crisis were planted long ago, when pleasure started to become the exclusive basis for heterosexual relationships.

Once “being happy” and “being in love” become the accepted norm between a man and a woman, what basis was there to stop the same from being extended to those who experience attraction to those of the same gender? There was none, and to borrow Msgr. Pope’s words, we are now “reaping the whirlwind” of what was sowed long ago. I suspect there are very among us who can claim innocence in this regard.

But in acknowledging that the current climate was prepared for long ago, going back at least to the late 1960s and arguably before, we can find hope. The cultural victories of 2040 and 2050 will be won by laying the groundwork today and regardless of how this plays out in the short-term, that’s where the focus needs to be.

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About Author

Dan Flaherty is a freelance writer living in southeastern Wisconsin with a passion for the Catholic Church, the pre-1968 Democratic Party, the city of Boston and the world of sports. He is the owner of, and the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in late 1940s Boston.

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