[Rob Tisinai of the blog Waking Up Now has written an excellent series of critiques of Robert George's anti-SSM arguments. I'm very happy that Rob's series will now be reprinted here on "Alas." Enjoy! --Amp]
Over the next few weeks I’ll publish a series of posts analyzing Robert George’s article, “What is Marriage?”
Robert George authored The Manhattan Declaration and is the Founding Chairman of Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage, but don’t let that fool you. He’s an intellectual heavyweight, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. A recent profile in the New York Times dubbed him America’s “most influential conservative Christian thinker,” and described his reputation:
Karl Rove told me he considers George a rising star on the right and a leading voice in persuading President George W. Bush to restrict embryonic stem-cell research. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told me he numbers George among the most-talked-about thinkers in conservative legal circles. And Newt Gingrich called him “an important and growing influence” on the conservative movement, especially on matters like abortion and marriage…
George has assumed his mantle as the reigning brain of the Christian right.
George published “What is Marriage” in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. It’s been hailed as “a definitive defense of the institution of traditional marriage.” Just two months after its publication, it became the most downloaded paper of the past year at the Social Science Research Network.
The article’s over 40 pages long, and my analysis will match that easily. I’ll post it in chunks every two or three days.
Blogging is inherently presumptuous: Look at me! I wrote this! You should read it! But it feels especially presumptuous asking people to read a long, multi-part rebuttal to an academic article. I hope you’ll do it anyway, for several reasons.
- George’s article has substance. If you’re ever frustrated — or even embarrassed — by having to deal with arguments from the likes of Brian Brown and Bryan Fischer, arguments so ludicrous they fall apart on their own, then Robert George will seem like a whole new world. Even if his brain gets it entirely wrong, it’s still a powerful brain.
- George’s article may improve your own thinking about marriage equality. There’s little challenge or growth in dealing with ridiculous opponents. Wrestling with George’s arguments forced me to think more deeply about same-sex marriage and marriage in general. You might find this, too.
- George’s article will be influential. You know those talking points spouted by foes of equality? The next round of them are being harvested from George’s work. Knowing his work will arm you against them.
- I could use your help. Robert George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and I’m…not. I’d like to pull these rebuttal posts into a single downloadable file, something that would benefit from your insights and corrections to this series of posts.
So that starts tomorrow. In the meantime, you can download George’s article here if you want a head start.