Charles Krauthammer published a lovely appreciation of the late Irving Kristol on Friday, Sept. 25. I have bolded the lines that leapt out at me because of how they apply to the objection of social conservatives that homosexuals should not have marriage equality because marriage should never be re-defined, or evolve:
His gloriously unheroic view of himself extended to the rest of humanity — its politics, its pretensions, its grandiose plans for the renovation of . . . humanity.
This manifested itself in the work for which he is most celebrated: his penetrating, devastating critique of modern liberalism, and of its grand projects for remaking man and society. But his natural skepticism led him often to resist conservative counterenthusiasms as well. Most recently, the general panic about changing family structures.
Irving had an abiding reverence for tradition and existing norms. But he thought it both futile and anti-human to imagine we could arrest their evolution. He never yelled for history to stop. He was less concerned about the form of emerging family norms, such as France’s non-marriage Civil Solidarity Pact, than whether they could in time perform the essential functions of the traditional family — from the generational transmission of values to the socialization of young males.
Re-defining marriage to include same-sex couples will leave intact the essential functions of the family. Young males will be socialized. Values will be transmitted from one generation to the next. We work for laws that provide us with equality so we can build lives together using the same advantages and responsibilities that straight people have. We love each other. It’s that simple.