Our “On The Square” article today is R.R. Reno’s much-anticipated weekly column. In today’s essay, Reno explores one response to an acclaimed paper arguing for traditional marriage, and analyzes how liberal critiques of traditional marriage unveils liberalism’s vision of itself:
Of course the practice of marriage has varied a great deal throughout human history. But the union of men and women for the purposes of forming a family unit—which is to say the traditional institution of marriage in all its variety—stands alongside religious forms of solidarity as the most fundamental and primeval mode of social organization available to the human species. If, as Koppleman and other liberal legal theorists forthrightly affirm, the modern liberal state can do with this fundamental institution as it wishes, then it seems to me that there is nothing the modern liberal state cannot redefine, reshape, or reinvent.
Creating and never recognizing—it’s a vision of political life that fills me with foreboding. After all, the human person, like the institution of marriage, is (thank God) pre-political, to be respected not remolded, recognized rather than subjected to redefinition.