I think it is time to stop cowering. Why was it so easy for barbarians to storm the gates of marriage? In great part because the institution’s so-called defenders were paralyzed by fear of being on the “wrong side of history.”
This fear shows, among other things, how little today’s conservatives really do believe in natural law. For if natural law is real, then it cannot be repealed, and in the long run, the only kind of victory its opponents can win is a pyrrhic one. We forget that their recent assaults on it are only the latest stage of a process that has long been gathering momentum. One thing leads to another. They will change the laws of the state, but bring down the civilization in ruins. Though we may hope that a better civilization will eventually take its place, I do not relish the prospect of its fall. It will take a very long time. Many things both good and evil will be destroyed. The bowls of suffering will be turned over and poured out. Most readers will think I am exaggerating the effects of a mere “redefinition.” I don’t think so. There is such a thing as change of heart, but there is no such thing as remaining forever on the same level of evil.
It also shows how little these conservatives believe in God. In his great work The City of God Against the Pagans, Augustine of Hippo got it right. Today, those who worry about being on the “wrong side of history” mean being on the wrong side of the last twenty minutes. Augustine was writing about the right side of the age-old struggle between the lovers of God and His despisers. The faith will endure, and ultimately the saints will be vindicated.
Nations perish. Civilizations perish. Suns and galaxies perish. The City of God is imperishable, and the souls of the blessed will burn like the stars whose places they take. And for all we know, the nation may repent. Do the right thing. Bear witness. Fear nothing. Take no thought for history. Let history take care of itself.