The family is society’s glue

Letters to the Portland editor, July 9, 2010
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  July 7, 2010

Mr. Inglis's article in the June 25 edition of that paragon-peddler of urban vice, the Phoenix, launches a journalistic battle in his article on the war on "progress" by the unholy alliance of the conservative right (see "Holy War," by Jeff Inglis, June 25). Inglis seems like he wants to partition American society into the morally intrusive, conservative, and freedom-hating religious types on the one side, and hedonistically free, tradition-shunning, free thinking, cleverer-than-thou libertines on the other. Ah, 'tis a great thing to be free, but one has to realize that ironically, freedom, true, lasting freedom isn't free.

Inglis can pretend to live in an historical bubble, and deny that he and his peers aren't heirs to a societal heritage whose values are firmly planted in the Judeo-Christian paradigm, but it is inescapable a fact as the emblazoned "In God we trust" across on the dollar bills or the inalienable rights of all men created equal under God on the Declaration of Independence and which underscore human-rights bills. You may want to pause and rethink your starting assumptions before redrawing the map of human morality and particularly the institution of marriage, which is under attack, but which has been the glue of that atom of society — the family.

Inglis speaks as though we should be entitled to redraw this map in the name of "progress" and speaks of gay marriage and abortion as "rights." Now, I'm in favor of human rights, but these so-called rights actually infringe much more basic and foundational rights. Gay marriage, I'm in favor of if by that phrase you mean "happy" marriage, but if you mean a homosexual marriage — this not only violates the biology for which we were intended, even a Darwinian can admit that, it also violates the meaning of the word "marriage" — which is the bringing together of two complementary and sexually different human beings. I would like ask whether Inglis pondered if his parents should have exercised their right to have a gay marriage, unless maybe he thinks that a child has the right to have a mother and a father, and that we should try to provide them with as much in so far as we can as a society.

Or maybe has Inglis pondered the much more drastic scenario of his parents exercising their right to have an abortion when his mother was pregnant with him — or would he have preferred them to have considered this option when he was safely into the third trimester or maybe a few inches toward the mid-wife's side of his mother's birth canal, before thinking about this "option."

The Phoenix peddles pornography and prostitution in its back pages (where else?, a subtle mark that sin loves darkness) — Jeff Inglis either approves of this as a freedom, presumably also in the name of progress, or disapproves of this as a vice. If the former, then he must see that this freedom is really nothing of the sort — it's a freedom to consign oneself to the slavery of wanton sexual hedonism which wrecks families and lives over and over, and is the very basis of most human trafficking (the present-day slavery). If Inglis disapproves, he is being a conservative and rightly defends that part of the standards which ultimately hold human sexuality valid in the bounds of marriage and sanctifies the good in the name of the true, in pursuit of the beautiful; in a word — "the holy, that which is set apart from the ordinary."

Mark Hickey
Cambridge, Massachusetts

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