Liberalism and the slippery slope
Posted by Phil Peterson on Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 02:06 PM
I intended to write a post on the ramifications of sexual liberation (or the sexual “revolution”) in terms of its impact on our mores in the future. This is a subject which is broached quite often although the arguments in favour of greater liberation are never considered in the fullest sense of their real long term consequences.
The legalisation (or intended legalisation in the case of many American states) of Gay “marriage” was a massive step in the relentless march of liberal sexual morality (and this has occurred despite popular resistance to it - as with all the other cherished ideals of the liberal project). The question however is, how much further is this going to go? Have we gone far enough? Have we now permitted absolutely everything under the sun or are there still limits which gnaw away at the concept of the “sovereign” individual (and those limits therefore deserve to be destroyed because the individual is “sovereign”)?
After Gay “marriage”, what next? Charles Krauthammer hints that the legalisation of Polygamy is next on the agenda – and as a typical Neoconservative he has no problem with that either (Krauthammer had no objection to Gay “marriage” in agreement with his fellow Neoconservatives).
The legalisation of Polygamy would be an even bigger step than the legalisation of Homosexual relations and the conferral upon such relations with the sanctity that attaches to traditional marriage. No Western nation has allowed Polygamy since the West became Christian. And it is obvious that nothing other than Christian doctrine could stand in the way of legalisation because the liberal concept of “sovereign individuals” offers no resistance whatsoever. If the principle is that consenting adults can do as they please (or as our resident Libertarian priest John Ray says, “I don’t judge a man by where he inserts his penis”), then there is certainly nothing in liberal doctrine to prevent the legalisation of polygamy if the “participants” in question are consenting adults.
But it doesn’t end there. If Polygamy can be legalised, what else can be legalised? There is Incest, of course. At present, Incest is against the law in the majority of Industrialised nations and it is a crime punishable with imprisonment. But these punishments find their origins in Christian doctrine. There is nothing in liberal doctrine (as currently formulated) to prohibit it. If we follow the principle of the “sovereign” individual, it is difficult to see how liberal doctrine would prohibit it. The concept of sovereignty is very wide and needs to be understood in the proper sense. If the individual is “sovereign”, his sexual desires triumph (unless involving physical force against the consent of other adults) any taboos that society may have – as we have already seen with the repeal of laws against miscegenation, sodomy, bestiality (in some jurisdictions) and now Gay “marriage”.
Since the only source of resistance to the progressive project of legalising Incest could come from Christianity and since Christianity is effectively dead or dying in much of the West, on what grounds could the legalisation of incest be opposed? If we live in a society in which the individual is sovereign, where one cannot be “judgemental”, then it would appear that the grounds for opposition to the legalisation of Incest are very thin indeed (I refer to the legalisation of Incest where the “participants” are adults – not if some of them are children, which will always be prohibited because liberalism recognises that children are incapable of giving consent).
If Incest is eventually legalised (and this could happen a decade or two from now), where does it leave society? The basis of society are the most fundamental of all human relations – the relations of fathers with their sons, of brothers with their sisters, of mothers with their sons and their daughters or of fathers with their daughters. The sanctity of these relations is the bedrock of civil society and it is the basis of the family without which, arguably, society would collapse.
As these examples show, liberalism is self destructive. The concept of the “sovereign” individual (as opposed to the concept of free men living in a moral society – morality which is to be traced ultimately to the will of God), ultimately leads to the abyss of sexual, racial, religious and moral Nihilism, which is a short stop away from the total destruction of our society.