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Manufacturing Consent on Same Sex Marriage

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Originally published at The American Thinker.

Author’s preface: I’m gay and I oppose the notion of same sex marriage and the engineering of children for same sex couples. Readers can view my recent speech on this topic given in the rotunda of the Utah State Capitol at the Celebration of Marriage Rally here. An Amicus brief I authored along with Professor Robert Oscar Lopez and Alana Newman for the United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, in support of the State of Utah in Kitchen v Herbert in which we assert that children need and deserve both a mom and a dad can be found here. The issue of same sex marriage boils down to adults selfishly seeking to define a right to have children over and above the right of children to intact biological families.

During a week in which a massive snowstorm delivered a one-two punch to much of the nation, a tiny avalanche of rulings and calculated legislative maneuvers thundered down from courts and statehouses across the country.

Kentucky: A judge ruled that the state must recognize same sex marriages from other states, even though Kentucky has a same sex marriage ban in place.

Virginia: A judge overturned that state’s same sex marriage ban, which went undefended by the state’s new attorney general.

New Mexico: The state’s attorney general has announced he will not defend his state’s prohibition on same sex marriage.

Indiana: The State Senate, despite a 37 to 13 Republican supermajority, voted to postpone the inclusion of a marriage amendment on the ballot until 2016.

All of this followed recent rulings in Utah and Oklahoma which declared those state’s same sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional.

The notion that there is something unconstitutional about not buying into the equivalency of genderless marriage to gendered marriage has seized the imagination of those who hold power.

But who or what is really winning here?

Let’s be clear: the American people have not fallen in love with the notion of same sex marriage, not by a long shot.

The idea of same sex marriage didn’t win at the ballot box in November 2012, or at the U. S. Supreme Court last June, or among certain jurists and legislators since then: The marketing strategy developed by leftist social psychologists did.

Over the years, the Left has diligently developed strategies which win. They don’t promote ideas which win on their own merit; in fact, they have had amazing success promoting ideas that most people would normally reject.

How did the Left gain the upper hand with same sex marriage? A technique identified by Cass Sunstein and Timur Kuran explains the simple, effective process: Availability Cascades.

An AVAILABILITY CASCADE is a self-reinforcing process of collective belief formation by which an expressed perception triggers a chain reaction that give the perception increasing plausibility through its rising availability in public discourse. The driving mechanism involves a combination of informational and reputational motives: Individuals endorse the perception partly by learning from the apparent beliefs of others and partly by distorting their public responses in the interest of maintaining social acceptance. Availability entrepreneurs — activists who manipulate the content of public discourse — strive to trigger availability cascades likely to advance their agendas (“Availability Cascades and Risk Regulation,” Timur Kuran and Cass Sunstein, Stanford Law Review, 1999).

In other words, thinking which once was completely implausible outside only small fringe groups, rapidly gains social acceptance — dominance even — because individuals fear that if they don’t publicly support this novel idea, they will appear unsophisticated, behind the times (as in “knuckle-dragging Neanderthal”) and will become a social outcast in one’s place of work, school, neighborhood, church, or even in one’s own family. Their critical thinking is pushed aside by their inward mechanism which screams “self-preservation!”

The process has proven to work so well, that the White House last year announced the creation of its Behavioral Insights Team, whose mission is to find subtle and unobvious ways to control our behavior. Nicknamed the “Nudge Squad” because it derives much of its impetus from Sunstein and Richard Thaler’s 2008 book, Nudge, they will most likely soon set out nudging us all toward government-dependent, politically correct, Julia-type lives. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue’s dedication to transformational change is appearing to be more and more very Brave New World-ish.

No tactic of the powers opposing Judeo-Christian mores has proven more effective than Political Correctness, wielded skillfully by the Radical Left.

Why is Political Correctness so effective? Non-adherents are threatened with social isolation and anaclitic depression. Though we don’t often recognize it, the tyrannical tool wielded within young peer groups which is such a powerful force in middle schools, high schools, and college campuses retains all its horrifying power to intimidate American adults, causing many to suppress free inquiry and rechannel behaviors.

Information and opinion cascades (also Cass Sunstein and Timur Kuran) promulgated by the Left are meant to overwhelm and intimidate. They cause otherwise freethinking individuals to engage in preference falsification (choosing to publicly deny one’s true thoughts and values in order to maintain a positive standing within whatever social group they happen to find themselves in) due to the threat of social isolation.

The Media plays an enormous role in creating information and opinion cascades by controlling the narrative, i.e., the flow of both information and opinion. In this way, the Left has been wildly successful in the Manufacture of Consent (Walter Lippman), leading people to falsely conclude that implausible notions, such as same sex marriage, are inevitable, when they are not.

But the processes which have led to the surprising success of the Radical Left are also its Achilles Heel.

Consent that is manufactured is not real. They haven’t won in the arena of ideas: They have won through tactics of manipulation, engineered by social scientists, psychologists, clever political operatives and legions of volunteers.

As such, the moral high ground the Radical Left now seems to enjoy is extremely fragile. Popular support has been fabricated. Their only hope of maintaining this perceived moral high ground is to continue to suppress free speech and religion because they can’t risk the proclamation of Truth — either robust expressions in public forums or whispers in private — whether it be the truth of the Gospel, the truth of natural law, or even simple common sense.

Simply put, this means that the recent victories won by the Radical Left is ground which can be regained. If we are as disciplined and focused as the proponents of same sex marriage are, then ground will not only be retaken, but new inroads will be paved. Therefore, we shouldn’t despair; we should regroup and prepare to wage the battle in a new and different way.

Mainstream media is entranced by Political Correctness, which makes our task extremely difficult. Media will never stray from the politically correct narrative, no matter how implausible or ludicrous that narrative may be. We should ignore them, brush them aside and expect nothing but roadblocks from them.

That’s why at this stage in the game, speaking freely one on one, in small groups, or within congregations and parishes, or other civic organizations is more important than ever. Anything that is said by opponents to the radical left agenda gets twisted in the Public Square by media collaborators. So, the Public Square should not be a primary place of conducting business. Our work will continue in homes and church and community meeting rooms.

In a sense, we are not unlike those in the not-so-distant past who opposed the tyranny of totalitarian states, who were unable to broadcast their beliefs, but found a way to competently build large, local networks of relationships which would ultimately lead to the collapse of totalitarianism. We must be creative, and we will. People have found success working under much harsher, more tyrannical conditions than those which confront us now.

This is a call to men and women to rise up to supplant the career politicians and media types who now dominate the national narrative. We can no longer remain silent. We need solid citizen legislators, citizen journalists, and citizen activists to step up to the plate and start filling positions at every level of government, to fill the blogosphere, the airwaves and opinion pages with authentic, pro-human, pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-liberty views. We need to wrest away the narrative from the radical, anti-humanist Left and put an end to the dull drumbeat, the one-note regressive samba, that dominates the media and juridical and legislative chambers today.

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6 Responses to “Manufacturing Consent on Same Sex Marriage”

  1. Firsty Lasty says:

    You're an embarrassment to your community, Doug.

  2. With regard to the Virginia federal judge's decision on same sex marriage (ssm), why don't we argue like this in court?: As a lawyer who follows Constitutional law closely, and actually takes it seriously, I am compelled to say that this decision proves that we still have dictators in robes in this country, imposing their viewpoint on the country under the guise of the constitution. Nobody who drafted or voted on the Equal Protection Clause EPC) of the 14th amendment, in 1868, ever dreamt that they were creating same-sex marriage. (SSM) This understanding isn't even debatable. Therefore, this judge is violating her oath to interpret/apply the law in an unbiased fashion. The claim should've been summarily dismissed, just like the same type of ssm claim was summarily dismissed by the SUPREME COURT in Baker v Nelson. This judge is, therefore, also violating the law by not following Supreme Court precedent that is still in effect. Baker V. Nelson has never been overruled.

    It is not enough to say that equal protection of the law means "everything must be equal" or anything categorical/absolute like that. If taken to that extent, ALL statutory law in this country would be destroyed, as all law has distinctions/preferences. That's why we have law. For some obvious examples, it doesn't violate the epc for congress to spend more money on one program than another, or that wealthier people be taxed more than those in poverty, so that the tax code is unconstitutional. By analogy, if we applied the free speech clause in an absolute form, it would legalized child pornography, for instance, surely not a result the framers had in mind. THE EPC, by its terms and meaning was to attack racism and sexism, NOT EVERY DISTINCTION IN THE LAW. The clause, like other general clauses, requires interpretation, because it is not a code that contains definitions in it. The epc, passed in the wake of a civil war against racist slavery, was designed to eliminate govt discrimination on race, as is clear from the debates, but so, by language applied to attacking sexism. That's all.

    There appears confusion on the basic role of judges in interpreting. It is the framers' understanding and the public's understanding, at the time, of what they were enacting, that counts. Otherwise, the judge is not interpreting, but simply applying the judge's own views into the clause, the latter is what occurred in the above Virginia case. The judge in this case, not only re-wrote the meaning of the const, but invalidated legitimate, democratically-enacted law by the voters of Virginia. Therefore, the democratic process, the const, and the rule of law were all damaged in this case. Nobody would stand for a judge to "interpret" a will the way the judge wants it, instead of in light of what the testator wanted, same concept here. That's what interpretation is, applying the law in the view of the lawmaker's intent/understanding. If the judge can ignore the framers' understanding, like in this case, and create ssm then judges have no principled way of limiting marriage at all, so that polygamist and incestuous marriages MUST be created as a matter of const law, too. They have no principled way of drawing the line, when they've already crossed the line, in other words.
    Now, it should be made clear that my only goal in constitutional law is to preserve the integrity of the const., wherever there is an attack on it, and to likewise preserve the rightful results of he democratic process, when not in conflict with the const actual meaning, regardless of what issue is brought before the courts. I WOULD NO LESS ATTACK A DECISION THAT HELD THAT STATES MUST ONLY HAVE ONE MAN/ONE WOMAN MARRIAGE. The const doesn't take that position, either. It leaves those decisions to the people and their elected legislators, the democratic process. EPC creates no effect on marriage, other than prohibiting marriage law against inter-racial marriage, which the supreme court has already dealt with in the case of Loving v. Virginia. However, Loving case has no application to this definitional distinction in this case.

    I wish everybody, Including judges, would step back from their own favorite policy preference and look at the law in a neutral, dispassionate, unbiased manner. It seems like the only thing we actually hear is, essentially, because a person opposes a law, thereby the law must be unconstitutional !!! That is the antithesis of legal reasoning. If their favorite policy isn't in the const, as ssm isn't, they need to go through the legitimate democratic process of passing their policy through the legislature, the direct ballot as a state const amendment, or a federal const amendment, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE HAS TO, and quit asking for preferential treatment by getting lawless judge to do it by force of will. The latter is just asking for preferential treatment, not equal treatment. Yes, even civil rights law has to be passed legitimately. It's not enough to say "it's a civil right, so it must be protected by judges.", when that alleged civil right has not been enacted democratically. The law define what a civil right is, the claim of civil right doesn't ipso facto make it a law. The epc was enacted through the const amendment process, through the correct procedure, but it doesn't mean everything is equal, we didn't enact socialism though it, for example. This applies to all policy, not just ssm. I'm only commenting more on ssm,because that is what this fraudulent decision undertook. The const is too important to be utilized as a weapon for anybody to use, especially a judge, to get their preferred policy without the const required process. We are becoming more and more governed by unelected judges in a judicial oligarchy, instead of a democratic republic that believes in the rule of law. The const requires a republican form of gov't, and this decision attacks it.

  3. according to Leviticus 18 verse 22 it is still an abomination n the eyes of the Lord, no matter what a judge says he/she is not above the laws of the Lord our G-d.

  4. Leo Nin Adkins says:

    Well even though the old testament actually doesn't mean anything and is there for reference (if you read your own bible, you would know this), I would like to point out of the other things that Leviticus bans, such as Mixed Fabrics In Clothing, The Consumption of Pig, Making Idols (and Metal Gods) (Which, if you look at all these metal crosses around the world, and in our nation alone, it violates this alone.), Using Dishonest Weights/Scales etc.

    Here is a link to a full list of what is banned in Leviticus: http://leviticusbans.tumblr.com/post/23730370413/76-things-banned-in-leviticus

    Yeah, if you want to live by Leviticus, you best live by EVERY SINGLE THING that it bans. Then again, you Christians are so hypocritical when it comes to following what is in the bible.

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