Open Letter to Glenn Beck: Short and Long Term

Hello Glenn:

Congratulations on the success of the Restoring Honor rally. I would have enjoyed the experience of gathering on the mall with you and other patriotic Americans.

However, I am concerned that you are sacrificing critical moral values to build short term gain.  It has been disappointing to learn that you have gone on record saying that "homosexual marriage is not a threat to the country.”

Last June I posted an article entitled "Freedom to Marry?" on this blog. In that article, I attempted to explain to a former professional colleague why I support laws that limit the term "marriage" to the union of one man and one woman.

A brief excerpt:

"Inherent in our existence as human beings all of us possess free will, also called agency, or the ability to act for ourselves and not be acted upon by someone else.   …  As members of a civil society, we accept limitations on how we exercise our agency based on two fundamental principles:

  1. A person may act in ways that do not harm or threaten other people or property.
  2. A person may act in ways that do not undermine the ability of the society to flourish and sustain itself.

"The first principle largely addresses immediate or short term affects; the second encompasses long term consequences.  Restrictions on marriage within our society are primarily based on the second principle."

Glenn, I believe you, like too many others, err in limiting attention to only the first principle, without regard to the second.  The Thomas Jefferson phrase you quote, “If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?” certainly is limited to only the first principle.

I believe that we must, as a moral society, accept and defend both principles.  Certainly the Judeo-Christian tradition you claim to espouse encompasses both the short and long term views.

Best regards,

Mark Dixon