Our Lady of Moral Value

Since opposition to gay marriage has suddenly become an essential Moral Value, and voters’ support for constitutional amendments banning gay marriage in 11 states was probably significant in electing George W. Bush, this publication feels it is high time to rethink our basic understanding of right and wrong. To that end, we offer this ethical advice column, which is much classier than that one in The New York Times.

Dear Moral Values Lady,

Having had two divorces, four abortions and a stem-cell transplant, I have always considered myself one of those live-and-let-live liberals. But when I went to my polling place to vote for John Kerry and saw that same-sex marriage was also up for a vote, I couldn’t stop myself from touching that screen to oppose it. Since then, I’ve been feeling this strange surge of empowerment as a heterosexual.

I get this guilty frisson of validation when I realize that, by voting to define marriage as an institution solely between one man and one woman, I have also deprived an entire people of an essential human right. I’ve even wondered what it would be like to deprive them of more rights—and yesterday, I felt this sinful little burst of pleasure when I cut one of them off in traffic. Am I evil?

Dear Ms. Oregon,

Only in a secular humanist, Blue-State way. In an American Moral Values way, you’re a real mensch. You are also helping to keep America strong.

There’s a proud American tradition of displacing one’s feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing onto a target subgroup, then uniting as Americans to dehumanize its individual members. I am happy to see that you are doing your bit to revive this precious legacy that was all but destroyed by the civil rights movement.

Now that those pesky liberal laws have forced the dehumanization of blacks, Jews, Native Americans and the dirt poor into the closet, our current administration has ingeniously provided its electorate with a target subgroup that is—at least to the mainstream media—white, affluent and godless.

Finally, here’s an enemy you can accuse of burning down your plantation, killing Christ, or hitting on your sister with no fear of being called a bigot. And when some well-heeled, college-educated queer, who speaks in grammatical sentences, informs you that he and/or she is “a person, too,” you can feel really good retorting: “No, you’re not—you can’t get married!”

Wake up and smell the decaf, hon, America needs a moral compass, and this presidential term, it’s gay marriage. If they couldn’t hate and fear committed unions of same-sex couples, straight Americans would be forced to wander aimlessly in an amoral, existential void, with no recourse to God or Country. They would have to figure everything out for themselves. Now, THAT’S evil.

Dear Moral Values Lady,

I should be back in Iraq with my army division, shelling the crap out of Falluja. Instead I got sent home because of how one of my buddies accidentally blew my kneecap off while we were shooting at some old Arab ladies. Things are real boring here, as I am used to bombing hospitals, torturing detainees and other exciting human rights violations too numerous to mention. So last night I drank two six-packs of Bud, got into my Hummer, and ran over five orphans, a peace activist, a nun, and a baby seal. This Wednesday I am due in court for my arraignment. Should I admit I did wrong?

Dear GI,

You seem like a nice young man to me. As long as you are against gay marriage, I don’t see anything that you have to apologize for.

If the government feels compelled to prosecute you, however, I would make Moral Values the centerpiece of my legal strategy. I mean, what’s 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians and a little roadkill, compared to the evil of gay marriage? I have no doubt that George W. Bush’s Justice Department will agree.

Actually, you sound like good attorney general material to me, honey. Now that your career as a soldier is over, I advise you to, quick, get a law degree; then use Moral Values to redress the course of American jurisprudence! I can just hear you now, arguing in court to overturn wrongful past convictions: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client must be acquitted! Yes, he murdered, but he murdered a liberal. And if John Wilkes Booth were alive today, he would be AGAINST gay marriage!”

Why not take Moral Values all the way to the top? Amend the Geneva Conventions to allow torture but prohibit gay marriage! That Twinkie defense was getting old, anyway.

Dear Moral Values Lady,

I am a 55-year-old lesbian and have lived in Boston with my lover for seven years. Just after Massachusetts legalized gay marriage, we rushed out and got hitched. We were so happy! But now that George W. Bush has won the election, people are telling us it was wrong to get married, knowing that Karl Rove and the Christian right were using this issue as their main organizing tool against John Kerry. I feel terrible. Is this all my fault?

Dear Mistake of Nature,

Yes. And for that, I would like to thank you. In fact, I would urge you to redouble your efforts to legalize gay marriage. As long as you and other target subgroups keep insisting on fitting in to the status quo, there’s no limit to the number of Republican presidents we’re going to have!

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