Robert Reilly is one of the more respected men in Washington, DC. As a very young man, he was a special adviser to President Reagan. He is a longtime music critic, specializing in teaching the emergence of amazing new orchestral music. He was a spokesman behind the green line during the Iraq war, reporting directly to Paul Bremer, head of the occupational authority. He led the Voice of America.
Reilly’s new book cannot get a hearing; there is a media blackout, a stonewall even among the conservative press who, according to a high-ranking think tank scholar at the Hudson Institute, owe him at least a hearing on his controversial new book Making Gay Okay, out now several weeks from the Catholic publisher Ignatius Press.
But so far, silence–or the sound of slamming doors.
Nothing in National Review, not even National Review Online. Nothing in Weekly Standard, even though Reilly reached out personally to his old friend Bill Kristol. Nothing in the American Spectator, which has already rejected a piece on the book by one of their longstanding contributors. The Wall Street Journal didn’t even lead the publisher along. They said simply and firmly, “no.”
What is everyone so worried about?
The book takes a highly critical look at how the LGBT movement has moved so swiftly through all major U.S. institutions including the military, the psychological establishment, the courts, education, and even the Boy Scouts. In some ways, the leaders of the LGBT movement ought to consider the book a love song to their political acumen and amazing successes. No one thought twenty years ago that they would have made so many remarkable advances.
Reilly takes a deep look at how it happened. He starts with a philosophical premise: that Jean-Jacques Rousseau–who taught reality could be changed and that any institution standing in the way of such changes needed to be overthrown including the family–swamped Aristotle, who was in love with unchanging reality. For gay to be okay, reality had to change, and Rousseau laid the groundwork for that.
Reilly moves into very tough and dangerous territory, and this may be at least one of the parts of the book making conservative editors edgy. He suggests that inveterate sinning can lead to a deadening of the conscience and, in order to maintain inveterate sinning, an elaborate edifice of justification must be erected. The edifice of justification is built not just by the sinner but a willing society around him. Reilly minces no words. The sin he has in mind is sodomy. Even that word is deeply offensive to LGBTs. He refers not to same-sex marriage but to “sodomitical marriage.” He shows how sodomy was punished sometimes by death throughout history including in the early United States.
Twenty years ago, even ten years ago, such arguments were quite common, that homosexuality was not healthy for the individuals who practiced it or by society that allowed it.
In the beginning of the same-sex marriage debate, however, the arguments changed. No longer could homosexuality be criticized. The only argument advanced was that children need a mother and father, something that same-sex couples cannot provide. This argument was backed up by voluminous social science data that has been almost overwhelmingly rejected by the American electorate and certainly by the courts that, state-by-state, are imposing same-sex marriage.
There is also the thinking among young editors that who are we to judge the private behavior of others. And there is the nearly overwhelming trend in America not to be mean, and criticism of gays is considered mean. The rise of libertarianism has not helped the cause to turn back the LGBT advance.
And so, we have an important voice in Washington, DC whose tough but very interesting book about the victory of the LGBT movement cannot find an audience in mainstream conservative outlets. As the Hudson scholar said to Breitbart News, “Reilly deserves an audience. If they disagree with the book, then they should disagree, but they should engage.”
Bob Reilly has put in most of his life to advancing conservative arguments at a very high level and even under enemy fire. Friends of Reilly say hate the book, if you must, but it is wrong to ignore it.