Many of our political battles today — marriage, public schools, religious belief, homosexuality (and sexuality at large) — actually revolve, in the public sphere, around what you think “privacy” really means. The Federalist, for instance, recently pointed out:
The left’s operational concept of freedom is that you are allowed to do and say what you like—so long as you stay within a certain proscribed window of socially acceptable deviation. The purpose of the gay marriage campaign is simply to change the parameters of that window, extending it to include the gay, the queer, the transgendered—and to exclude anyone who thinks that homosexuality is a sin or who wants to preserve the traditional concept of marriage. Those people are declared outside the protection of the law and in fact will have the full weight of the law bear down upon them until they recant their socially unacceptable views. –The Federalist
For our culture today, privacy has one essential meaning: the right to do whatever I like while no-one else is watching. Or, to be more precise, to have some space in my life where I can do what I like. To put a finer point on it, to have a space where I can engage in any sexual activity I like without society condemning me.
But by restricting privacy to one single set of physical acts, our libprog culture is engaging in a bit of tail-eating. As pressure increases to accept anything done “in the name of love” (given “love” is now a synonym for sex), and given the increasing pressure to, in fact, make such acts a matter of public concern, the libprog worldview is shrinking the concept of privacy into nonexistence. The irony of those who’ve built their entire worldview on “get out of my bedroom, it’s private,” getting into everyone’s bedroom in the name of tolerance (in order to enforce “freedom”) seems to be lost on the average libprog thinker.
The real essence of privacy is the right to think what we like to think, to believe what we like to believe, regardless of whether or not anyone agrees with us. These private beliefs must be translatable into public action if privacy is to have any real meaning — for instance, the right of a church, or a family, or a family business, to refuse to pay for contraception for its employees, or to refuse to expend personal, creative, or social effort in supporting homosexual marriage. There is not only the right to believe what you choose, but also to refuse to support those who believe differently than you in their activities.
The left strongly supports “conscientious objectors,” those who refuse to join the military because they are pacifists, in their nonaction, but refuses to support churches and family businesses who refuse to support homosexual marriage. The left supports the rights of teacher’s unions to endorse political candidates with money taken involuntarily from teacher’s paychecks, and yet wants the government to censor “news outlets” to “make certain they’re telling the truth about political candidates.”
And yet both are founded on privacy — the right to refuse to support those who you don’t agree with in taking an action in the public space.
As the Federalist says, privacy includes — must include — the right to be wrong, or it has no meaning at all.