I’ve had to make political peace with SSM because it is a cultural juggernaut that makes sense by the standards of the mainstream today. I’m doing this not because I endorse SSM, but because as a conservative, my instincts toward prudence tell me that my energies would be better focused on figuring out how to protect religious liberty and ensure the vitality of traditional Christian teaching in a culture that embraces SSM. That can look like capitulation to some on my side, but I tell you, in a hypothetical in which social-conservative GOP radicals in Congress shut down the government down to get Obama to surrender on same-sex marriage, I could not in good conscience support my side. The destruction to the kind of political trust and shared understandings needed to govern in our system would not be worth anything plausibly gained by the shutdown.