I like Mark Oppenheimer and his work. He writes the Faith column and also specializes in profiling that strange beast the conservative for the New York Times and sometimes other places (like Salon, in which he profiled me).
But sometimes he is just silly, as in this satirical piece, “You can’t talk traditional marriage without shaming divorce.”
First he suggests that the act of seeking to retain our historic understanding of marriage is really an effort to “shame” gay people. Therefore he argues “shaming divorcees” is the first step to demonstrating a sincere respect for “traditional marriage.” And especially “traditionalists” to prove their bone fides by shaming Republicans, and especially Ronald Reagan.
Where to begin? Oh can no progressive anywhere distinguish between “public policy,” “moral argument” and “shaming and stigma?” Apparently not. I have tried hard to say we should treat gay people with respect as friends, neighbors and fellow-citizens. But I have been thwarted by progressives’ insistence that the opposite of “agreeing with me” must be “shaming me.”