Of course, in the past “same-sex marriage would have been unthinkable or considered ridiculous,” but that’s just my point. When the current president and a popular former president both endorse something, it’s no longer considered ridiculous. And Obama and Clinton aren’t out on a limb (politicians rarely are).National Review Online’s Daniel Foster reports that “exit-polling data from the 2012 election shows that while support for gay marriage sits at 37 percent with voters 65 and older, 52 percent of younger voters support ‘freedom to marry.’” Other than white Evangelical Protestants, a majority of all religious groups in the U.S. supports same-sex marriage.
By all means, defend marriage, invoke the weight of tradition, make all the arguments you can invent with all the passion, compassion, and cunning you can muster. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking any of this readily touches the experience or intellectual habits of a majority. Even Roberts acknowledges that “few people are really listening, that the debate is politically rigged, that few people have the nerve or willingness to hold unpopular positions” and “the development of the culture over the last few decades has inured people to the creational realities.” He makes my point: Surrounded by the white noise of late modern culture, many regard marriage as Roberts and I understand it nearly as exotic as a confession of one person, two natures.
This is exactly right. My fellow social conservatives don’t like to hear it, but I can’t see any other conclusion that makes sense. I think we trads are something like cavalry regiments in the First World War.