Thursday, March 20, 2008

Michael Coren and the Progression of Conservative Thought

In Saturday’s Toronto Sun, Michael Coren makes his prediction “that polygamy will be legal and accepted in this country within five years.” In a column subtitled “On the heels of gay marriage, polygamy knocks on Canada's door,” Coren argued that the redefinition of the institution of marriage to include people of the same gender has invariably led us to this point.

But he wonders why we find polygamy to be so frightening.

It is certainly jarring, but less so than the notion of people of the same gender, incapable of procreation without the abuse of science, parading as husbands and husbands or wives and wives. It is a perversion of the norm rather than a perversion in itself.

Well, at least he got to call it what it is…a perversion. More could be said but that’s not where I’m going with my posting.

Am I the only one who wonders whether today’s conservatives are really only yesterday’s liberals dressed up in today’s clothes? Don’t you have your own secret suspicions? [No? Give it some thought. Think Stephen Harper for just a moment.]

Today’s conservatives—and understandably a great percentage of them are Christians—have been aghast at the attack on the institution of marriage advanced by the sodomists. They can see clearly that “gay marriage” will logically lead to polygamy and they warn society accordingly. But having lost the ground of biblical marriage and having suffered a humiliating retreat, they are about ready to put their loss behind them. In a few years, as Coren notes, one major step closer to being cornered in the box, they will be busy trying to hold the ground against the polygamists. Fast forward a few more years and they will be the very ones defending, if not practicing, the latest liberal victory of yesterday, “gay marriage.”

Unconvinced? Ask yourself how often today’s conservatives tackle the subject of divorce—once upon a time an unheard-of option for the Christian—which today claims about half of all marriages across the board. For that matter, how many pastors will press two people who cohabitate to live apart until marriage, even when they are in the midst of planning their wedding day?

Ask yourself how often today’s conservatives hearken back to the days when Canadian society was protected from sodomists through legal sanction. Even the great majority of Christians are incredulous and distressed by any suggestion to criminalize the disgusting sex acts engaged in by sodomists yet it wasn’t that long ago when they got sick to their stomach to think such perversion might be de-criminalized.

But for the crowning illustration let’s go back to the first half of the 20th Century when Christians (and conservatives) were issuing the strongest possible warnings about a very pernicious and fundamental perversion of God’s sexual gift which was wooing society at the time. The Anglicans, who were in complete agreement with all other Christian bodies at the time, in response to much pressure, warned all members “against the use of unnatural means of avoiding conception.”

Yes, dear reader, less than one hundred years ago, Christians began to break away in great numbers from the constant teaching tradition of Christendom which prohibited birth control. Conservatives ever since have been defending that hard fought libertine (read “liberal”) success of yesteryear. I’ve posted recently and frequently on the same subject. But since I believe this to be the decisive fulcrum of today’s culture wars I hope readers will forgive me for singing the same old tune. I could use some accompaniment.

If we don’t address that fatal flaw—it will require doing business with God on our knees—the descent into chaos will continue unabated.

I respect Michael Coren and his oft-brilliant columns and he has huge appeal among pro-lifers and the more traditional minded Canadian populace. But unfortunately, like his conservative colleagues, I fear he’s a moral relativist. It’s time for all of them to decide whether they are first Christians or first Conservatives.

Let me put it another way. If two thousand years of constant Christian teaching tradition can’t be trusted to reflect the absolute truth of God’s or man’s nature [on birth control, divorce, and sodomy, as well as marriage and abortion], then there’s nothing left but moral relativity and the inevitable collapse of our once great society. And it can have only one end—the pit of hell. Otherwise God is made out to be a prudish fool for nineteen centuries.

Conservatives, I maintain, are like night caretakers at a construction site, ensuring the framing erected by the day shift remains intact until the grand project is finally complete. And the project foreman is a Liberal.

An even bigger question is whether Conservatives can ever be more than the caretakers and cronies of the Liberals. I say yes but that all depends on whether the national pool of Christian thought can recover its integrity—it’s faithful adherence to God’s revelation.

And that, in turn, depends on whether Canada’s Christian leaders, particularly the Catholic Bishops, can recover their integrity. I highlight the Catholic Bishops because on the matter of contraception the Catholic Church seems to be standing alone, at least in its official teachings, in the defense of this age old Christian doctrine. That should make a turnabout less traumatic.

In the meantime, the question remains: Christian first—or Conservative first? And if Christian, then which kind—the fifty year old kind or the two thousand year old kind?


The Sheepcat said...

Hi, I came by via Big Blue Wave.

I'm with you on the need to roll back our culture's acceptance of contraception, but can you please explain the evidence for Coren's being a relativist. I didn't see how that followed from the column you linked to.

ELA said...

Hi Sheepcat,

Thanks for visiting. You are right in saying that my accusation against Coren was not supported from the article cited.

The best way to respond to your comment is to refer you to a follow up post which I did a few days after this particular one. You can find it at this url.

If you read that follow up posting you will see that I am planning yet another posting to try to sort out the question.

Check back later.

Thanks again.