I’ve never studied the French Revolution in depth, but I know it was a horrifically bloody time, a time of national madness. I know that there were many mottos motivating it, but “Liberté, égalité, fraternité,” (“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”) was the one that emerged and endured. It was a secular revolution, very decidedly distancing itself from God or religion.
Over recent decades the United States has elevated personal liberty, in the form of various “rights,” above all other goods, possibly even economic goods (though that’s open to dispute). Rights were once understood to have come from our Creator; now they are higher than God, in our national mind. We create our rights now, and our most recent such invention is the right to untrammeled and unhindered sexual experience. That is the liberty our nation cherishes above all.
Now we’ve set policy according to an insistent (though self-contradictory) cry for “Marriage Equality,” reflecting the godlike status we’ve given “equality” in our land; and the state has also chosen to celebrate a new kind of fraternity or sorority: the sexual kind.
It’s as if we’d taken “Liberté, égalité, fraternité,” and turned it into a new, secular, revolutionary cry for “Sexual Liberty, Sexual Equality, Sexual Fraternity or Sorority!”
I pray this does not signify our nation going mad. Honestly, though, I can’t imagine anyone viewing us from a hundred years in the past, or a hundred years in the future, and seeing it as anything but that.
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