I Suppose Social Conservatives Should Feel Fortunate ...
... that at least it wasn't Rob Portman's daughter wanting to get an abortion that caused him to make a a social policy about-face :
Republican Sen. Rob Portman said Thursday that he now supports gay marriage – a surprise turnabout on a hot-button social issue, sparked by a deeply personal reflection that began two years ago after Portman’s son, Will, told him that he is gay.That's right. Don't let those timeless truths of a pesky religious faith stand in the way of your own personal Jesus. Actually, Mollie Hemingway says it better:
Portman said his previous views on marriage were rooted in his faith.
But “the overriding message of love and compassion that I take from the Bible . . . and the fact that I believe we are all created by our maker . . . that has all influenced me in terms of my change on this issue,” he said.
Leaving apart the question of whether marriage law should be changed, this strikes me as a problematic approach. I mean, marriage law should be changed or it shouldn't be changed -- but it shouldn't hinge on the sexual attractions of one senator's son, should it?
What if a conservative senator said, "I'm reversing my views on whether abortion should be legal because my daughter got pregnant and wished she weren't."
One of the fascinating things about society today is that personal experience trumps everything else in argumentation. Very few people seem to care about fundamental truths and principles while everyone seems to care about personal experience and emotion. It's the Oprahfication of political philosophy.
Should a conservative determine good policy this way?