The Marriage Debate in the Wake of the Buckley Conservative Movement
For the opening speech of the Portsmouth Institute’s Friday session, Maggie Gallagher traced the effects of a few cultural (particularly marital) trends on the conservative fusionism that William F. Buckley, Jr., helped to develop.
- On the character Bill Buckley cut for himself by “refusing to grow” (meaning to become gradually more liberal upon becoming famous). Stream, download (52 sec).
- On the left’s attack on conservative fusionism, assuming neutrality and leveraging Americans’ general prosperity. The focus of this audio clip is abortion, but the interesting application to the same-sex marriage issue comes, first, in the further challenge of the notion that cultural traditionalism can coexist with limited government and, second, in the disallowance of traditionalists to continue to practice their faiths without bowing, in the public square, to a radical proclamation on marriage. Stream, download (2 min, 5 sec).
- On the intellectual difficulty that divorce and same-sex marriage present to those who wish to choose a traditional marital arrangement, in which both sides agree on the indissoluble nature of the relationship — are enabled, that is, to make vows that they truly know mean in the eyes of the law what they profess them to mean. Stream, download (3 min, 25 sec)
- On the same-sex marriage movement’s attempt to make marriage address the cultural problem of toleration in such a way as to detract from the institution’s ability to address its own mission. Stream, download (59 sec)
- On the danger (especially for cultural conservatism) that the traditionalism of the creative class — in which group Gallagher includes business people, especially entrepreneurs — are breaking away from the structures of society that have nourished our own. Stream, download (2 min, 25 sec)