A couple of months ago, over the July 4th weekend, I was curious about the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence, never having read them, and discovered that the standard of law is based on, in words of the signers, the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” But of the 27 grievances listed by the writers, the fourth one addresses King George’s political strategy in thwarting the colonists’ passions and frustrating them into staying in line with his dictates. Through the king’s appointed governors, meetings were scheduled at unseasonable times of the year, at great trouble and expense to the colonists, postponed and moved to places away from the public record. The fourth article:
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
For example, a meeting scheduled in Boston, where the public records were kept would be, at the last minute, moved to Salem, a further distance, causing additional travel time and expense for anyone attending. This was done quite frequently with the intention being to ‘fatigue them into compliance.’
What does this have to do with anything these days?
I couldn’t help but make the obvious connection to this savvy sociopolitical strategy of King George when I came across a book, a manifesto of sorts, using the very same strategy, with a twist, by a special interest group.
In 1989, a book titled, After the Ball -- How America will conquer its fear and hatred of Gays in the 90s, presented a comprehensive plan to establish the normalcy of gays and lesbians and to secure broader acceptance and rights.
This gay manifesto was authored and laid out by a pair of Harvard graduates, who eventually moved on to work on Madison Avenue, and who could have, literally, taken a page out of King George’s political strategy book, tweaked and refined it, having modernized and shaped it through marketing tactics.
Here is a short litany of excerpts, word for word, from their book outlining their strategy: (underlines are my emphasis)
It’s time to learn from Madison Avenue, to roll out the big guns. Gays must launch a large-scale campaign—we’ve called it the waging peace campaign—to reach straights through the mainstream media. We’re talking about propaganda
You can forget about trying right up front to persuade folks that homosexuality is a good thing. But if you can get them to think it is just another thing—meriting no more than a shrug of the shoulders—then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won.
Application of the keep-talking principle can get people to the shoulder-shrug stage. The free and frequent discussion of gay rights by a variety of persons in a variety of places gives the impression that homosexuality is commonplace.
Constant talk builds the impression that public opinion is at least divided on the subject and that a sizable bloc—the most modern up-to-date citizens—accept or even practice homosexuality . . . The main thing is to talk about gayness until the issue becomes thoroughly tiresome . . .
[G]ays can undermine the moral authority of . . . churches over less fervent adherents by portraying such institutions as antiquated backwaters badly out of step with the times and with the latest findings of psychology. [This] has already worked well in America against churches on such topics as divorce and abortion. With enough open talk about the prevalence and acceptability of homosexuality, that alliance can work for gays. .
Two different messages about the gay victim are worth communicating. First the public should be persuaded the gays are victims of circumstance, that they no more chose their sexual orientation than they did say their height, skin color, talents or limitations. (We argue that, for all practical purposes, gays should be considered to have been born gay—even though sexual orientation, for most humans, seems to be the product of a complex interaction between innate predispositions and environmental factors during childhood and early adolescence.) . . .
…gayness can be no more blameworthy than straightness. Second they should be portrayed as victims of prejudice. Straights don’t fully realize the suffering they bring upon gays . . .
Admittedly, it was and is a brilliant, and effective strategy -- this self-admitted propaganda, of wearing them down, of fatiguing them into acceptance. It all sounds so familiar today, and now comes into clear focus. The propaganda has been pervasive, the deception profound, and the results astounding.
People who oppose same-sex mock-marriage hear in their conscience voices and know in their hearts that this has happened, articulating it in their rejection of legislative propositions that attempt to redefine what marriage is when they, the electorate, are allowed to vote on it.
The American people have not fallen in love with the notion of same-sex marriage. Its legal acceptance continues to be moved through the courts. But its social acceptance is by no means a done deal.
In the same way the colonists defeated the king’s men by stealth and guerilla warfare, piece by piece, and in the same way the misjudged ruling of Roe v. Wade is being defeated, year by year, bill by bill, man by man, with declining numbers of abortions, so too the issue of marriage can be defended. Even in the face of the wave of recent judicial rulings, a pageant of empathetic rulings that follow in lockstep Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s presentation of the “autonomous self” as the foundation for all moral decisions, literally, unhinging the moral basis of law from the Declaration‘s founding spirit, the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” even in the face of this, the right course can be tacked.
With respect to marriage and what it means for society in general and even perhaps civilization as we know it, may God raise up in our fine state, and others, men and women with bold, astute, and judicious legal minds, that they may stay these adverse cultural forces bent on redefining marriage, and in turn succeed in supporting, defending, and maintaining the foundation of our government and the legal standard of our freedom, so established by the 56 signers of the Declaration who themselves invoked the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
And may you give them, and us, the strength, courage, and perseverance, to maintain, defend, and speak out for what we know in spirit, and hear in conscience, is right, just, and true for all persons; that we may, according to your will, be delivered from being ‘fatigued into acceptance’ of that which profanes what you have, in your wisdom, and by nature, ordained and designed.