This current legislative and public debate on the Domestic Partnership Bill highlights two words—and the grave dangers of actions based on them. These words are expediency and conflate. Expediency, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, means “the situation in which something is helpful or useful in a particular situation, but sometimes not morally acceptable.” Yes, it may be helpful or useful to our overseas image, and to satisfy the demands of the Court of Appeal that the government provide something “functionally equivalent to marriage” to same-sex couples, and possibly useful in preventing the UK government from forcing same-sex marriage upon this recalcitrant Overseas Territory, but it is not morally acceptable. Failure to act on principle at the high level of Parliament empowers the citizenry to ignore principle and act on the basis of expediency as well.
The second word (and concept) that is spot-lit by the public and parliamentary debate on this bill is “conflate.” It certainly is not a commonly used word. But the practice is pervasive in our society. To conflate means to blend two or more concepts together so as to convey the idea that they have the same meaning, while failing to distinguish their differences. An example from the US press recently reads, “Trump appeals to his slowly shrinking base by conflating protesters and anarchists, with little evidence of the latter (Salon, July 23, 2020).” In this present debate, both protagonists and antagonists have often fallen prey to the strategy of the LGBT movement in their promotion of the idea that to disapprove of some action is to hate the persons doing those actions, as well as espousing the idea that “love is love.” Conflating hate with disapproval, love with approval, as well as erotic love with parental love, brotherly love, and divine love suits the agenda of the LGBT strategists, but are false and dangerous to public morality and the health of our society at every level.
Astute legislators and citizens should not fall into either dangerous pit of expediency or conflation when the stakes are so high. We must stand on—and act on—principle. Doing what is right is not always expedient, so let’s not conflate expediency with rightness.
Pastor Alson Ebanks