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I was reading a post on the blog my daughter writes about our 3-year-old grandson. He had been waiting all spring for the vegetables to come up in his garden. Eagerly, perhaps overeagerly, he yanked up a green top. He showed it off to his playmate.
While reading the blog, my friend, a political scientist, interrupted to tell me that President Barack Obama had endorsed the idea of men marrying men and women marrying women.
My friend, a Ph.D., said a president can strongly influence public opinion. He cited former President Richard Nixon’s trip to China. Before he went, 75 percent of Americans opposed recognizing Mainland China. Afterward, 75 percent favored doing so.
My learned friend said something similar could happen with what Mr. Obama calls “marriage equality.” President Obama shares my friend’s exalted view of the powers of the presidency. In 2008, President Obama told us when he clinched his party’s nomination that we will look back and say “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.”
I was skeptical then. And now. If he has such vast powers over the seas, it ought to be small potatoes to get the unemployment rate under 8 percent. That number still rises. And the oceans of red ink are rising, too.
I remember the story of King Canute of England. He, too, was surrounded by lackeys and lickspittles who felt a thrill go up and down their legs whenever his highness spoke.
“Think I can keep the oceans from rising, do you?” the king asked his fawning hangers-on. He commanded them to take his royal throne to the seashore. Then, he commanded the tide not to rise. They all pressed in to see. When the tide came in, this royal press corps got all wet. And wise old Canute enjoyed a hearty laugh.
Neither kings nor presidents can contravene the laws of nature or of nature’s god. King Canute understood this. President Obama may yet learn this. The president says he has “evolved” to see the case for what he terms “marriage equality.”
If the rest of mankind had evolved to a similar embrace of same-sex couplings, evolution would have ended as abruptly as the age of dinosaurs. If this is what “marriage equality” means, then we will achieve this liberal goal the day zero equals one.
Back in his garden, my grandson tells his little friend that the daddy carrot came together with the mommy carrot and made a baby carrot. He already knows the law of nature and of nature’s god. Bright lad.
Let us pray that President Obama learns them, too, before we all get wet.
Robert Morrison is senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.