Marriage continues to be assaulted by the progressive cultural pluralities as last week, the U.S. Supreme Court considered California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Additionally, several high profile politicians, who previously stood strong for traditional marriage have ‘reversed’ their long-held beliefs; most alarming, author and pastor Rob Bell, recently said in an interview, “I am for marriage, I am for fidelity, I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man.” He went on to say, “I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs—I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”
These events serve as a strong reminder to us about the need to communicate wisely and clearly our position in favor of marriage between one man and one woman, and against marriage counterfeits. The ongoing debate also reminds us of the need to thank those who stand with us. Today, I ask you to join me in taking two action steps.
1) Educate and Equip Yourself with the Arguments – I encourage you to take time to read the Policy Pages from Center for Arizona Policy on why marriage matters. Equip yourself with the data and rationale for why our laws grant benefits and rights on the basis of marriage between one man and one woman. Marriage has provided the cornerstone, the foundation of our civilized society. Marriage benefits society, that’s why society provides benefits on the basis of marriage. Let’s emphasize what we are for, not what we are against. Equip yourself with the logic as to why domestic partnerships and civil unions should not be adopted by lawmakers.
Why does this matter? You may have been offended by Bill O’Reilly’s statement that those who are supporting traditional marriage must do more than just be ‘Bible thumpers,’ but if we are going to do battle in the realm of cultural policy, does it not behoove us to understand the typography of the ground in this being waged? With this said, we know this is a spiritual battle, but please understand the public fight is in the media and those speaking against the progressive views of marriage using only Biblical references and language are painted as ‘out of touch’ and ‘not for equality’ and quoted inaccurately in the media. These emotional arguments using the name of God as justification for our position simply are unpersuasive and out of place in these debates. To win these debates, we must communicate clearly why marriage matters and we must re-establish the meaning and value of marriage.
2) Thank Those Standing in Defense of Marriage – The reality is that those who want to redefine marriage hold tremendous power. We are witnessing an unprecedented public relations campaign to redefine marriage and cultural values. From Hollywood to Wall Street, pressure is mounting on many leaders to oppose true marriage. So when politicians stand up and do what’s right, they must hear from us, and know that we support them. Please take time today to send all your elected officials, who support traditional marriage a quick note thanking them for standing strong in the public square.
We must support public figures like AZ Congressman Matt Salmon. He made headlines this week because he reiterated his longstanding support for marriage between one man and one woman while also stating his love for his son who is homosexual. Yet the headlines didn’t just highlight his belief in marriage, a story in the Huffington Post commended the congressman for his positive demeanor and positive approach to the issue. His love for his son is unwavering, yet that does not make his values any less true. His son also courageously spoke of his love for his father. Both men handled the issue incredibly well, emphasizing their love despite their differences on this issue.
This is what it will take to ultimately win the marriage debate! Not merely putting a good face on, but genuinely caring for the opposition; and at the same time articulating our arguments in favor of marriage wisely and clearly. Thank you for your prayers and actions; ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’ Gal 6:9