In an e-mail interview with Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George, authors of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, Kathryn Lopez asked:
Lopez: This week has taken on historic proportions. Aren’t you a wee bit concerned that you might be on the wrong side of history?
A & G: There is no wrong side of history; there’s only the wrong or right side of the truth. Marriage is founded on the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, the biological truth that reproduction involves a male and female, and the social truth that children benefit from a mother and father.
The ash heap of history is filled with “inevitabilities”: As recently as the 1970s, Marxism and the ERA and total and serene social support for abortion were the wave of the future, challenged only by the dying and the ordained. Things are rather different now. “History” has no mind; the future isn’t fixed. It’s chosen. That’s why arguments matter.
The wrong side of history came up when Kathryn Lopez spoke with Maggie Gallagher:
LOPEZ: Can’t it be argued that this a civil-rights issue? And you’re on the wrong side of history?
GALLAGHER: Of course it can be argued. It’s being constantly argued that way! To agree with that analysis is to agree with two things: First, mothers and fathers aren’t important to their children’s well-being. It’s mere irrational bigotry that makes us think bringing together the child’s own natural parents in one family is significant, or the basis of marriage. Second, “history” is morally progressive. For me that myth died with Roe v. Wade in 1971. “The right side of history” is the progressive substitute for Providence.
Maggie Gallagher has the progressives’ number. It is highly ironic because it’s so true and such an oxymoron. Progressives recognize no authority greater than themselves to which they appeal, nor do they concede natural law, so what are they left with except to call on history as their arbiter of right and wrong? Yet who are they to determine that history has a right or wrong side, and to call on history to condemn the actions of others? Progressives don’t even heed the reality lessons taught by the events of history or they would give up their statist utopian vision once and for all as untenable.
Want to be on the right side of history? Be on the right side of Providence.
Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
“But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;Take warning, O judges of the earth.Worship the Lord with reverenceAnd rejoice with trembling.Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,For His wrath may soon be kindled.How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!Psalm 2
Image from The Federalist Papers on Facebook.