Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago activist Ryan Sorba challenged NewsReal Blog’s managing editor David Swindle to a debate about homosexuality and conservatism. This is the first round of what will be three rounds of debate. Each participant will have 700 words in each round.
By David Swindle
If you masturbate then you can’t call yourself a conservative. If you eat pork or shellfish then there’s no room for you on the Right. If you’ve been divorced then you’re going to need to find another political movement. If you don’t identify as an evangelical Christian or a Jew then we don’t want you.
There really isn’t any debate that these four statements are absurd. Who would I ever find to engage in a debate titled “Should Masturbators Be a Part of the Conservative Movement?” It seems silly to think that what one does with their private parts in the privacy of their home with consenting adults should have any relevance when it comes to the political figures and ideas one supports.
But that’s exactly the “debate” that’s going on, thanks in large part to Ann Coulter answering “yes” to the question in the headline by speaking to gay conservative group GOProud. This prompted the ire of WorldNetDaily Publisher Joseph Farah who promptly disinvited Coulter from his event. Never mind that Coulter is a Christian who does not believe in gay marriage.
This controversy leads to this question: What does it mean to be a conservative? What exactly is a political conservative trying to conserve? Answer: a government based on the principles of two documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Conserving such a government today requires our engagement in two interrelated fights. The first is the defense of America at the military level from those wishing to slaughter us, most notably today Islamic radicals and rogue regimes like Iran. We can only pursue this first objective if we fight the second simultaneously: if we make sure that our government does not go bankrupt.
There is no reason that gays and lesbians cannot be a part of these fights too. It’s entirely in their self-interest to do so. Sharia’s mandates for gays are quite clear.
So where does this leave conservatives on the question of gay marriage? The same place where gays are. Contrary to popular belief there is no universal position on gay marriage held by all gay people – thus there is no “gay agenda.” There are gays who support gay marriage, civil unions, and the status quo of no government recognition whatsoever. Therefore, why should there be a “conservative” position on the issue? It makes about as much sense as conservatives dictating whether people should eat pork and shellfish. Culture and politics are not the same thing.
The only genuinely “conservative” response to the question of gay marriage is one rooted in the Declaration and the Constitution where we find this concept: the people are sovereign. The “conservative” position on gay marriage is the one supported by David Horowitz and Dick Cheney: the citizens of individual states should have the right to vote on the issue and make the laws they want. Thus, one can find conservatives with views on gay marriage that run across the board – and that’s what we have at NewsReal Blog.
Now, these positions stated, I turn explicitly to my debating partner Ryan Sorba who has made a name for himself on this anti-gay – or, as he would no doubt prefer, “anti-sodomy” — cultural campaign. Sir, can you look me in the eye and tell me in all seriousness that gays are a greater threat to our nation than Islamofascists, a nuclear Iran, our backbreaking national debt, and our Radical-In-Chief President who – as Stanley Kurtz demonstrates beyond dispute in his new book — is trying to transform America into a socialist state?
You find this crusade so pressing that you would discourage gays and their friends and family from joining us in waging these vital political fights? And you would give further ammunition to leftists to cast us as homophobic, hateful, and intolerant? Why?
How is it that fighting such admirable patriots as Tammy Bruce and GOProud’s Christopher Barron can strike you as a higher priority than than taking on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Anwar al-Awlaki, and Barack Obama?
Next: Ryan Sorba responds.