“The Country of Marriage,” as Franck writes, is part of the title of Esolen’s last chapter, the capstone of his book which is, entirely, an argument against gay marriage.
Of course, “The Country of Marriage” is also the title of a book of poems by the deeply Christian Wendell Berry. And Berry, of course, made waves last year by vehemently standing up for gay marriage. As Fred Clark observed at the time, no one should have been surprised by that—Berry’s support of gay marriage is “wholly of a piece with everything else the man has written and argued and defended.” Catholic writer Jerry Salyer argued something similar a few weeks ago.
For the record, I love the image, the idea of marriage as a country or a landscape. But if you’re going to use that idea, you need to put it into Berry’s much larger understanding of what a landscape is. You need to look at the way Berry understands nature, which is very different from what the way Esolen sees it.
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