Agrarianism & Gay MarriageBy Jerry Salyer for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC
Rod Dreher has an American Conservative post up expressing concern regarding Wendell Berry’s views on “gay marriage”. Dreher is reacting to statements like the following, made by Berry during a recent discussion with journalist John Miller: “I really don’t understand how you can single out homosexuality for opprobrium and wink at fornication and adultery, which the Bible has a lot more to say about. The churches are not going to come out against fornication and adultery because there are too damn many fornicators and adulterers in their congregations.”
It is worth noting that Berry questions not the churches’ authority to censure homosexual acts as sinful, but rather their sincerity insofar as they “single out” homosexual acts while overlooking other sins. Of course at first this accusation of hypocrisy is perplexing: How many conservative churches endorse fornication and adultery? But perhaps we should keep in mind that Mr. Berry is of an older generation. When he refers to fornication and adultery, it is possible he does so as someone who grew up prior to the normalization of divorce — in which case he has an excellent point.
Personally I think it unwise to make too much out of some out-of-context and filtered snippets. And as Dreher himself recognizes, nobody who knows anything about Mr. Berry expects “a full-throated, Family Research Council-ready defense of privileging traditional marriage coming from him”.
That said, I can empathize with Dreher’s concerns, and would add that the brutalization of nature so vehemently (and rightly) denounced by Berry is not unrelated to liberalism’s militant refusal to accept the existence of any natural order. Leftist gush about the environment, alternative energy and organic agriculture should never be mistaken for anything other than the new-and-improved consumerist hedonism that it is.
Who am I to insist that a man cannot marry a man? Who am I to insist that mountaintops belong on mountains?