Appealing But Deadly

Conservatives accepting sexual revolutionaries into their ranks are inviting their own movement's demise.

Bari Weiss is an incredibly appealing young woman. She is smart and brave and a wonderful writer. 

She first came to prominence as an undergraduate at Columbia University for her outspoken support for Israel among the antisemites who seem to inhabit Morningside Heights up in New York City. 

She went to the New York Times as one of those “conservative” writers the Times invites in from time to time. She split from the Times over wokeness and opened her own Substack called The Free Press, where she is practically printing money. Her Substack is bringing in millions. She is an excellent editor. She was one of the journalists invited to examine the Tweets that demonstrate how the U.S. government violated the free-speech rights of various individuals who broke ranks on things like Covid. 

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A few weeks ago, Weiss addressed the annual conference of the indispensable Federalist Society. [I am an old personal friend and public policy ally of FedSoc leader Leonard Leo.] Weiss spoke on the recent attacks by Hamas on the people of Israel. She spoke about the broader threat to Western civilization from troglodyte terrorists both abroad and on American campuses. 

Weiss said she delighted to find common cause with largely conservative lawyers as she is a woman of the left. We have united, she said, to meet a common foe. She said this was all the more remarkable because she is a “married” lesbian. At the end, they gave her a sustained standing ovation.  

A very smart and accomplished woman I know refers to such contexts as “rat poison.” She puts this in the context of popular culture. People of a certain age will remember the 1989 rom-com When Harry Met Sally. It is the funny and heartwarming story of infidelity. It seems nice and fun and acceptable, but it is really rat poison. Eat it and die. The point is that rat poison is tasty to rats and it kills them. They do not know they are eating poison. Rat poison kills us, too. 

Bari Weiss may be good on free speech. She may be good on Hamas and Israel. She may be good on a lot of pressing issues, but she is a sexual revolutionary. She is this whether she knows it or not. She is a very pleasant even winsome young woman, and she is on our side on so many things, and these are aspects of the rat poison that comes next: she is an out, “married” lesbian and therefore a sexual revolutionary. The face she puts forward is rat poison. Hamas is not an existential threat to this country. The sexual revolution is. It is tearing us apart. Even the woke mobs harassing Jews come from the chaotic, fatherless void that is the sexual revolution.  Hamas is not an existential threat to this country. The sexual revolution is. It is tearing us apart. Even the woke mobs harassing Jews come from the chaotic, fatherless void that is the sexual revolution. Tweet This

I can hear the knowing chortles from here. 

Our opponents will squeeze my cheek and say, “How adorable, Austin, you are living in an ancient world that does not exist any longer. You will die soon and so will your silly beliefs. Society moves on.” 

Even our friends may say, “It’s over. The whole gay marriage fight is over. They won. We lost. There is no interest anywhere in overturning Obergefell. Time to accept them as allies on other important issues. Stop being so mean.” 

But consider when Robert Reilly published the masterful book Making Gay Okay—Reilly had the chutzpah to mention “sodomy” several hundred times in the book—with the exception of First Things, conservative outlets tended to ignore Reilly’s brave and insightful book, and First Things panned it. This was in 2014, a year before Obergefell, a year before it was supposed to all be over. Consider that Obergefell was imposed by the Courts after we had won thirty-two statewide races in support of man-woman marriage. 

By then, though, the right had already begun accepting the rat poison. Consider that even during the marriage debates, prior to Obergefell, the main messaging spokesmen on our side refused to criticize homosexuality per se and only talked about kids needing a mom and a dad. 

And it has only gotten worse. Writer Douglas Murray is practically worshiped by our side. Murray is terrific on Hamas and free speech, and he fancies himself a savior of Western civilization. At the same time, Murray sneers at Christian teaching on human sexuality. He is an out and probably quite active homosexual. This is rat poison. 

There are more. 

There is a gay vulgarian named Tim Miller who works at the anti-GOP Bulwark website, who has worked at high levels in Republican politics for years, including as top advisor to Jeb Bush. Rat poison. 

There is gay-married Garrett Bewkes who is the Publisher of National Review. Rat poison. 

Spencer Klavan is an editorial gatekeeper at the conservative Claremont Review of Books. He is “married” to the general counsel of the conservative Daily Wire. Rat poison. 

One could go on and on. I am not claiming these people are rat poison. I’m pretty sure that all of them, with the possible exception of Douglas Murray, are delightful people. I am claiming that what they present to the world—the normality of homosexuality, especially in the context of political and cultural traditionalism—is rat poison. And the further problem is that we keep eating it.  

What is to be done? First and foremost, hold fast to the truth. Speak it when you can. Be fearless. Be daring. You may be ostracized. You may save souls. And above all else, understand when you see rat poison.


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