Invariably the “peak” revolutionary moments in history are but a curtain raiser.
A little while back an article appeared in The Australian entitled “Abbott ‘outsiders’ argument pollutes same sex marriage debate.”
It’s author, Chris Kenny,claimed - contra Tony Abbott - that the impending plebiscite on the definition of marriage “is not a vote about political correctness or free speech - it is a vote about whether people of the same gender can be lawfully married. That is all.”
This, Kenny went on to claim, was the proper “conservative” understanding of the plebiscite.
Could this be the same Chris Kenny who has carved a great name for himself as a notably brave and consistent exponent of truth and common sense in journalism?
A plebiscite about the meaning of marriage is not just another routine day in public affairs. The advocates of same-sex ‘marriage’ are the advocates of a revolution, cultural and political. They are proposing to reverse the meaning of marriage - the foundational institution of society - as understood and practiced throughout history by every civilisation. By any definition, that is a revolution.
Revolutions can appear in our imagination as dramatic events that, with a suddenness and violence that take us by surprise, sweep away things long established. Often it happens that way. But, invariably, these “peak”moments in history are only a curtain raiser. The downfall of establishments is but a turning point. The real work of revolution is what comes next: to enforce upon the losers the ideology of the winners.
From the perspective of revolutionaries, losers are a threat because they adhere to a pre-revolutionary world view irreconcilable with that of the revolution. There’s logic in that, but it’s a subordinate, tactical consideration. More important is the necessity inherent in revolution: there would be no point in having one unless its ideology redefined how society operated after the pivotal revolutionary event. That’s why revolutions are followed by political enforcement and cultural re-education. These are the very soul of revolution.
There is no way, therefore, that a victory for the Yes case will be the end of the matter for the revolutionary cadre and that life for everyone else will return to normal.
If you are a hairdresser or a dressmaker, if you are photographer or a baker, if you are a cook or a musician, if you are an event manager or restaurateur - to say nothing of parents and friends - you’ll be in the gun. You will be dragooned, by inexorable social pressure backed by the law of the land, into supporting same-sex marriage celebrations no matter your convictions or reservations.
Given the record of “gay” activism both here and abroad, which is well documented, you can expect your reputation and your business to be trashed if you don’t comply.
Or, if you’re an employee of a big-end-of-town corporation or government agency and you decline to support policy endorsing gay marriages, gay adoptions, gay access to IVF, gay whatever, then expect to come under immense pressure and possible loss of job if you don’t yield.
Rest assured, in good time, doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and the like will be vetted and the practice of their professions made to depend upon where they stand on gay issues.
Like all revolutionaries, the marriage revolutionaries will go after churches and schools. Like all revolutionaries, they need churches and schools to propagate the great revolutionary lie - all serious revolutions have one, in this case, that marriage between a man and a woman is the same as a marriage between people of the same sex.
Here’s something to ponder, church leaders in particular: there is rather more than less danger for us all in a narrow religious freedom exemption that lets bishops and their clergy off the hook, and saves their consciences, but offers no protections for the rest of us.
An exemption skewed in favour of priests and pastors will only mean that the revolutionaries come after the churchmen all the sooner precisely because they will occupy the last bastion. Understand this: the revolutionaries want the churches, their rituals and blessings, in part for their legitimation, in part to neutralize them and in part to mock in triumph over them.
The lamp of religious freedom can only be preserved, therefore, if it is surrounded by deep phalanxes of ordinary citizens - believers and unbelievers alike, full-bottle devotees along with nominal adherents - all of whom have the right to say “No” to the big lie.
Religious freedom and freedom of conscience in social and political matters are not the private property of the true believers. No less a claim to these freedoms can be made by those who entertain only a dim awareness that there’s something unnatural about a same-sex marriage and menacing about the “militant minority” that leads the campaign for it.
So it doesn’t really require deep insights to recognise that the plebiscite is not about marriage alone. It is, unavoidably, about freedom of religion: and freedom of religion engages, immediately and directly, both freedom of speech and personal sovereignty in making decisions about the vital questions of human life and flourishing. Moreover, those who would rely more on instinct than cultivated principles to chart their response to the marriage revolution have no less a right to preserve their moral autonomy than those for whom clear religious or philosophical convictions are decisive in their judgments.
Kenny goes on to argue that “Abbott’s attempt to make the vote a test case for the ‘outsiders’ world view will not work.” Maybe. But the reasons Kenny gives undermine his own naïve conservatism, if conservatism it is:
“ … support for gay marriage is so widespread and springs from such divergent world views … [it] is not left or right and does not reflect a particular ideological bent …”
Exactly so. This is how revolutions are made. Support for successful revolutions comes from everywhere on the political spectrum. The vital point for the revolutionary elite is to foster the “everywhere” while ensuring that “everywhere” is managed and, ultimately, controlled.
In 1917 support for Russia’s March revolution was widespread and sprang from divergent world views and experiences: soldiers, sailors, peasants, Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, Social Revolutionaries and aristocratic liberals. In October the Bolsheviks finally seized control and the revolution became theirs with horrendous consequences for everyone else.
At one level, Kenny makes a sound practical point. Perhaps, given the “correlation of forces”, Abbott won’t manage to marshal “outsiders” into the “No” camp. If it should so prove, however, then he will have failed for the same reasons that Kerensky failed between March and October 1917.
What we are dealing with here is a revolutionary situation. Make no mistake. Kenny - among others - has been fighting elements of it for years. The issues, however, are all of piece: free speech vs. speech codes; political freedom vs. identity politics; nationalism vs. globalism; nativism vs. cosmopolitanism; integration vs. multiculturalism; and more lately and more intensely, the family vs. its counterfeits.
What holds them together is a post-Soviet cultural Marxism supported with greater or (usually) lesser degrees of consciousness by “fellow travellers”, “useful idiots” and weather vanes from every point on the social and political compass. This neo-Marxism is no longer focussed on overthrowing capitalism but upon overthrowing Western civilisation and tearing up its Judeo-Christian roots. Communism died with the USSR, didn’t it?
Well, no. It didn’t. It relocated. It shapeshifted. And now it’s here.