Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of workshopping a paper at the Seton Hall University Law School. The paper, tentatively titled "“Lost Languages: The Same Sex Marriage Debate and the Limitations of Liberalism,” uses the same sex marriage debate to consider the way in which what I believe is the frequent failure of proponents of same sex marriage to understand what opponents are saying stems from the contemporary assumptions of political and legal discourse. I contrast those assumptions with those of Catholic Social Thought and argue for more openness to arguments that recognize the impact of our particular understandings of tolerance and equality on cultural capital. The paper is not,strictly speaking about same sex marriage, and I point out that the kind of "thick" cultural arguments that I want to make more room for can be deployed in favor of same sex marriage as well as against it. In fact, I suggested that one of my students take that approach in her Law & Theology term paper since she wanted to reconcile support for traditional marriage and concern over its decline with her support for same sex marriage. She got an A.
I had dinner at a nice tapas restaurant in the "Ironbound" or "Down Neck" neighborhood of Newark. It was nice to see that not all of Newark is devastated. I still wonder why it doesn't become more gentrified. I understand that Jersey City is closer to Manhattan but it's gotten pretty expensive too.