Here's a nicely devastating review of David Novak's jeremiad against marriage equality, "In Defense Of Religious Liberty." The whole thing is worth reading, as it helps explain, as I tried to do in The Conservative Soul, how the theocons view religious liberty and civil gay equality as incompatible. But I didn't realize that the theocons had begun to realize the actual words of the Declaration of Independence now obstruct them from their religious vision. At one point Novak

suggests that a slight change to the wording of the Declaration of Independence is required: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” should be replaced by “the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness” since this supposedly helps us to see how the pursuit of life must take its first form asyou guessed itthe pursuit of family through marriage. As for the pursuit of happiness, a short discussion leads Novak to conclude that it can be rightfully exercised only in order to fulfil “the highest good,” which, of course, “is inevitably pursued in the way most people have always sought God.”

It's healthy to see the crudely theocratic assault on modernity expressed so cleary. It clarifies why in fact the founders decided to phrase the meaning of America so precisely: to keep political freedom from the hands of the bossy and Godly.

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