ATTENTION GAYS: YOUR ROLE IS TO PROTECT HETEROSEXUALS FROM THEMSELVES….The most breathtaking abuse of the slippery slope argument I’ve ever seen is on display today in Stanley Kurtz’s NRO article about incest, homosexuality, and adultery. First he starts with incest:
To see the mechanism of our incest taboo at work, imagine a world in which consensual adult incest was legal. Once we see or hear of couples ? even a relatively small number ? who engage in legal, consensual, adult incestuous relationships, the whole idea of incest with minors becomes thinkable. Preventing incest with minors from becoming thinkable is the purpose of the taboo.
I’m pretty sure that the problem of adult incest is pretty tiny in any case, but does Kurtz seriously think that acceptance of adult incest would actually lead to acceptance of child abuse? What on earth leads him to believe that?
But this is just a warmup anyway, leading directly to his real argument: homosexuality, and in particular gay marriage, will lead via a slippery slope to more adultery among straight people. No, really:
Above all, marriage is protected by the ethos of monogamy ? and by the associated taboo against adultery. The real danger of gay marriage is that it will undermine the taboo on adultery, thereby destroying the final bastion protecting marriage: the ethos of monogamy.
Is he serious? The reason to oppose gay marriage is because it’s the only thing that keeps all us heterosexuals from cheating on our wives?
Men have been cheating on their wives since the dawn of marriage itself, and the popularity of this activity has stayed high through thick and thin. If Stanley Kurtz thinks that adultery has been under control all this time but will suddenly overwhelm society if gays are allowed to get married ? well, he’s living in a different universe than I am.
Is this really the best that NRO can do to try and convince libertarians that it’s OK to be a Republican?