As if on cue, an example of today’s version of satanic banality. I’m really sticking my neck out on this, but here goes.
But first, remember the conclusion to my latest blog when you parse “satanic”:
The man who approaches Paradise Lost expecting to find the same Satan venerated by Scandinavian black metal bands and Anton LaVey will turn the final page of the poem and suffer sore disappointment. Milton’s Satan never kills anyone, neither does he rape, steal, or utter vulgarities. He does not kidnap children, establish cults, teach magic, participate in Halloween, or teach teenagers to play Led Zeppelin records backwards. He is not even terribly interested in conning others into such foul activities. Rather, one could triangulate the personality of Milton’s Satan using just three figures from popular culture: singer Katy Perry, fictional boss Michael Scott, and motivational speaker Tony Robbins.
* * *
I have no reason to think that Dr. Robert Luo or George Arison rape, steal, utter vulgarities, kidnap children, establish cults, teach magic, participate in Halloween, or teach teenagers to play Led Zeppelin records backwards. They’re just in love, and love is love, and they’re living the American dream. They’re just so gosh-durn normal (in a way that only gay couples with $300,000 to spare can be) that “‘We got pregnant before we were married …,’ Dr. Luo said.”
Scratching your head about that? Wondering if one of these men might be suspected of being a woman?
Nay, nay! It’s just that before they enjoyed their first-world destination wedding in Bora Bora and their legal-positivist union at San Francisco City Hall, they enjoyed the WEIRD perk of “engineering” a family.
Yes, there are two buns in hired ovens.
Their story is a veritable rats-nest of ARTsy deathworks, howsoever winsome and seductive.
Yes, I’ll admit it’s winsome and seductive (maybe I should be viscerally repulsed, but I’m not). Still:
- They’re not really married. (I say that as someone who thinks he knows what marriage is, and this isn’t it.)
- Their pseudo-marriage is inherently infertile.
- They’re “commodifying” wombs to bear children that would be the product of high-tech, white-smock adultery (There! I said it!) if only they were really married.
- They revel in all this and engineer their way into the fawning New York Times Weddings section.
- Society apparently has already coined a term for children like the boy and the girl currently being gestated by the women they’ve commodified: “twiblings.”
So am I saying these two guys are evil all the way down?
Not at all — if only because then I’d have to think the same sort of thing about personal friends of mine who are, variously, gay, or who are in “same-sex marriages,” or who have resorted to questionable reproductive technologies in the face of infertility.
Indeed, I’d like to think that, even if I didn’t have such friends, I could (1) remember that I’m not the ultimate judge and (2) take an empathetic trip along the imaginative path from a prototypical fecund conjugal marriage to the surrogacy simulacrum thereof in a rich gay couple “getting pregnant.”
For instance, their respective desires for the quasi-normalcy of children made them pariahs in the gay dating scene until they found each other. There’s the seed of something good there.
The Church has been too reticent about addressing these issues. The ethical principles are not right there on the surface, in the classical forms of decalogue sins.
And it wouldn’t necessarily dissuade anyone if the church did address them, as the sexual revolution is a juggernaut, and there’s nobody here but “consenting adults. Mr. Arison is ethnically Georgian, yet dismisses the Georgian (Orthodox) Church as “espous[ing] homophobia.” He’s living according to his own principles, and we have fashioned a world to “enable” him and his boyfriend — or we’d call if “enabling” if this wasn’t all so fashionable.
As it is, I’m oddly grateful for the obscurity of this blog, and understandably grateful that I have no job anyone can take from me. I doubtless have unpersoned some certified victim groups by this paroxysm of phobias.
* * * * *
You can read my more impromptu stuff at Micro.blog (mirrored at microblog.intellectualoid.com) and, as of February 20, 2019, at blot.im. Both should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly, should you want to make a habit of it.