Children, be innocent of evil, but as wise as serpents.
For the fact of the matter is that even if the idealistic and secularized liberal feels even a little uneasy about any of the following things, they have no good and cogent reasons for trying to hold them back. Well, other than the fact that you, the untrustworthy one, only need to know more when you are ready, that is, complacent enough…
Behold the “love” of the world:
Polygamy is no longer an outlier for many social scientists, and much serious work has already been done laying the groundwork for its defense (see here, as well as this recent Slate article arguing for it). Polygamy, however, is small potatoes. Polyamory, the idea that many persons sexually involved with one another should be able to accrue government support, benefits, and legal structure to assist in their lifestyle, has a serious academic following (see here and here ; also note it’s happening in Brazil here). And what about the many “gay marriage” advocates in academia who admit that they want to get rid of – move “beyond” – traditional marriage altogether? (see here and here) What about those in the gay rights movement – not a small number – who believe the “next step” should be to help straight people get over their obsession – the hypocritical obsession! – with monogamous marriage? (see here and here and here). And what about the fact that for many, their conception of “civil rights”, grounded on just what I do not know, is the card that would trump all factual reality? In other words, whether or not children in general do better with a mom and a dad, to take one example, is irrelevant (see here – so what is the point of insisting that conservatives provide evidence that pornography is harmful?). Jerry Sandusky aside, pedophilia has been gradually losing its stigma – as long as it is done ethically of course! – and there have been serious academic books written defending it (see here and here; interesting related links here and here).
Likewise, the academic world is finally catching up with Peter Singer, and the Journal of Medical Ethics recently held a conference seriously discussing the merits of infanticide (see here, here, and here). Our current President has not been supportive of bills that would discourage infanticide in the case of “botched abortions” (see here). Further, unlike many European countries, neither the right or left in our country have the will to counter the American wild west of reproductive technologies and “designer babies”, or human cloning en route to organ harvesting, etc. Unbridled commodification of not only sex, but human life itself, is “what’s next”.
If any of these trends gain steamroller traction in the wider culture – something very few thought would happen even for dreams of gay marriage until very recently – on what basis does the idealistic and secularized liberal argue against those advocating for these positions? In short, what this means for me is that, even when it comes to dealing with people’s opinions surrounding gay marriage, I have to hold in check the impulse to say “I respect your opinion”. I simply cannot even say that, even if I respect them as human beings made in the image of God and bought with His own blood.
 Judith Levine’s Harmful to Minors: the perils of protecting children from sex (2003) is particularly interesting here. Levine is very confident, for example, that pre-school level child-on-child sexual exploration is not really harmful to minors (see pg 183). One of the things that sticks out like a sore thumb to this father is Levine’s desire to eschew any discussion – serious or otherwise – of any real sexual boundaries as it relates to age, person, place, etc (see p. xxxii, where she actually calls this an “obsession”). Entitled to sexual pleasure (xxxv) “child…sex can be moral or immoral” indeed (p. xxxiv) and kids can make their own decisions (p. 17). I get the distinct impression that if kids could just be given economic assistance, good health care, and good rather than bad sex – perhaps with experienced adults who know how to give them a good experience? – sex would be “no problem” and be like any other form of “recreation”.
 I need not mention the seemingly unstoppable trend to legalize pot and other substances clearly harmful to society, nor our elected representatives predilection to prey on its own citizens through “sin taxes” and gambling.
 Our likely reaction to these questions only goes to show how much all of us are still under the influence of Christian thought. Most all of these things were common in the ancient world, particularly among the Greeks and Romans (who did not have gay *marriage* however). Of course the influence of Christianity in the Western world has been receding, and seemingly at a more rapid pace as of late. I see the wide acceptance of abortion in our public laws as a profound indicator here. If the Bible’s account of the ancient world is to be believed – and both ancient writers and archaeology gives us good reason to think it can – the killing of infants has always been part and parcel of pagan practices (It is, in fact, sacred ground). These sacrifices were a part of the furniture of ancient life. As regards the insufficiency of “consent” as the defining moral principle in sexual relationships, see this post.