The Supreme Court’s ruling in Lawrence v. Texas has created panic and confusion among conservatives.  They want to support the three conservative justices who dissented from the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down Texas’ sodomy statute, but they don’t quite know why.  Justice Scalia, they say, must be wrong in thinking that a rational distinction can be made between sexual acts practiced by the heterosexual 97 percent of our society and acts practiced by the homosexual three percent: “The Texas law says that gays cannot do what non-gays can do.”  Furthermore, the Texas law could not be defended with states-rights arguments, since the Court had already assumed (in Bowers, 1986) the power to meddle in such matters.

This was, in essence, the reasoning (if it can be called that) of Justice Anthony Kennedy in writing the decision.  Arguing from the basis of “equality of treatment and the due process right to demand respect for conduct protected by the substantive guarantee of liberty,” Kennedy concludes that “moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate government interest.”  Sodomy statutes, he argues, are not just about sex: “When sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring.” If Kennedy thinks intimate conduct is only one element in an enduring personal bond, he must know very little of either prostitution or of the “gay” lifestyle, which encourages homosexuals to have, literally, hundreds of partners in the course of a single year.

It is clear, from the nature of Kennedy’s argument, that Justice Thomas was correct in predicting that Lawrence will open the door to homosexual marriage.  Leftists know this and say so.  Conservative supporters of the decision know it, too, but they prefer to say they do not.

The Lawrence decision is the usual farrago of potted history, bad logic, and false consciousness that we are used to in Supreme Court decisions, and it reveals the shallowness and ignorance of the men and women who control the destiny of our country.  After an historical survey of sodomy legislation that might have been drafted by NAMBLA or Lambda, Kennedy can find no better argument than the principle of equality.  If person A may perform a certain act with person B, then persons C through Z have the right to do the same.

To realize how zany the argument is, apply the reasoning to other cases.  In forbidding adultery, incest, and statutory rape, state governments forbid some people to do what others are allowed to do (namely, perform acts of consensual sex).  In forbidding strangers to spank rude children while allowing such punishments to be performed by parents; in allowing some people over 18 (citizens) but not others (aliens) to vote; in allowing priests to preserve the secrets of the confessional, etc., governments are denying “equality of treatment” and “the due process right to demand respect.”

In Lawrence, observes Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court has taken sides in the culture war—the revolutionary side.  Although sodomy laws often did apply to members of both sexes and to married couples, the Christian religion has always stigmatized homosexuality—not just behavior but the inclination—as evil and unnatural.  Now, it is true that even in the most rigorous Christian societies, a distinction can and should be drawn between sin and crime.  Pride, envy, and disloyalty may be more sinful than adultery and homicide, but the former are typically ignored, while the latter are punished severely, often capitally.  Most Christian societies, however, have punished notorious cases of homosexuality with rigor, partly out of a desire to extirpate a vice so closely connected with paganism and partly in order to discourage homosexuals from recruiting young men and destroying, so it is believed, their chances of salvation.  What Kennedy and the conservatives are saying is not only that Christian morality is a minority position in the United States (which it is) but that it is bunk and always has been.

Although it is a mistake to reduce all political conflicts to questions of principle, Lawrence represents a self-evidently absurd ideology that conservatives have very unwisely embraced: the abstract principle of equality, which not only supersedes but positively eliminates the reality of human differences based on sex, kinship, marriage, nationality, religion, and morality.  Throughout human history (and prehistory), these particular relationships were at the heart of all moral and political understanding, until they began to be undermined by political dreamers during the Renaissance and Enlightenment.  But even in the past three centuries, no government—not even communist Russia or Nazi Germany—succeeded in eliminating them.  Only revolutionary liberals (some of whom now call themselves “conservative”) have been so bold.

The Texas statute was not “silly” (Justice Thomas’s adjective) when it was passed, and it is not silly now.  Even if it were, “the Constitution of the United States,” as Sam Ervin used to say, “gives every man the right to make a damn fool of himself,” and, as Senator Sam would have added, it gives that same right to every state.  But in the revolutionary America defended by conservatives, neither the Constitution nor Christian morality is of any account.

This is an important lesson for Christians to learn.  On every important moral and social principle, the three branches of the U.S. government are supporting the cultural revolution that the left has been waging since even before Robes-pierre substituted the worship of “The Supreme Being” for the Christian religion.  The Lawrence decision was written by a Reagan appointee and supported by a Bush appointee (David Souter), a Ford appointee (John Paul Stevens), and an Orrin Hatch appointee (Ruth Bader Gins-burg).  Sandra Day O’Connor, also a Reagan appointee, while not entirely agreeing with Kennedy’s reasoning, also voted with the majority.

There are many sound reasons for voting Republican in elections, but resisting the cultural revolution is not one of them.  We live not in a degenerate pagan society whose individuals are open to moral and spiritual conversion but in a post-Christian society whose every principle is opposed to us.  No election will change that reality.