A small, pedantic point about the nature of conservatism:

Rod Dreher makes himself too easy of a target (having a bit too much of the journalist in him--he's far too likely to take "I talked to someone who told me x" as dispositive), so usually I avoid him. But he has a fear-mongering streak which occasionally goes too far. Witness:

Ross Douthat says we are going into an unprecedented social experiment — “the final, formal severing of marriage from procreation” — in which, liberal optimism notwithstanding, nobody has any idea how it’s going to turn out.

Which brings to mind several responses, the first of which is: duh. One of the key facts about the future in general is that no one has any idea how it's going to turn out. All we can say is that it will probably be different somehow. It's this uncertainty about future states that is supposed to drive conservatism: not a doctrine of no change at all, but a doctrine of slow and measured change. Turning from our current social and cultural mix towards "traditional marriage" is also a change and, as a change, one that is like to bring about consequences not anticipated by its advocates. So to claim a lack of knowledge about the future as the downside for one position on where marriage should go, and not for the other, comes off as bad faith, especially when the engine driving uncertainty is not the substance of the change but the fact of change itself.

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