Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Once and Future Marriage

The American Conservative

Dear Reader,The classically or traditionally minded will tell you that marriage is the fundamental political institution. I’m telling you right now. As a casual scan of Genesis would remind any reader, it is hard to tell a story of humanity’s transition from tribal to civil life or explain the emergence of property law without telling the story of marriages. Executive Director of the Institute of Family Studies Michael Toscano isn’t looking that far back in his Thursday essay on marriage, though. Toscano tells the story not of how marriages made the public, but how a public, historical idea of marriage became privatized, like so much else, over the last century with Republican support.

Toscano’s is a timely essay, of course, because as commented on in assistant editor John Hirschauer’s column, debate in the Senate on the misnamed “Respect for Marriage Act” ended this week with the support of twelve Republican senators. While those senators largely appealed to the same reasoning that privatized marriage to justify their votes, Democrats are clearly ready to advance a very public account of marriage law and what it means, on the warpath against nonprofits that will not affirm unions contrary to natural law and human tradition.

And for some indirect World Cup coverage from all of us here at The American Conservative, here’s contributing editor Sohrab Ahmari on the triumph of Enlightenment fundamentalists. While in the Bush years, there was robust debate about liberal imperialism and expectations that Iraqis and Afghans would adopt “Western values,” today in Qatar there’s little to show for two decades of failure as Western liberals insist on forcing foreign racial and sexual political norms onto the host country.

Micah Meadowcroft
Web Editor

The Once and Future Marriage

As conservatives pursue family policy, they should strive to resurrect the idea of “public marriage.”

On Marriage, Betrayal

Twelve Republicans voted to recognize a definition of marriage unknown in human history until the cosmic equivalent of yesterday.

Triumph of the Enlightenment Fundamentalists

Apparently the whole world should look and sound and act like the liberal West.

The Best of Rod’s Blog:

  1. Ukraine War: Seems Like Old Times
  2. ‘No Enemies To The Right’
  3. Santa Muerte & The Spiritual Realities of the Drug War
Sudden and slashing reforms are as perilous as sudden and slashing surgery.
―Russell Kirk
From the Archives

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Robert W. Merry

The American Conservative exists to advance a Main Street conservatism. We cherish local community, the liberties bequeathed us by the Founders, the civilizational foundations of faith and family, and—we are not ashamed to use the word—peace.

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