An Update on the Gay Marriage Debate

In an article posted August 26, 2010 by Liz Goodwin titled “Former Bush Campaign Manager Flips on Gay Marriage,” it is revealed that Ken Mehlman–former Bush Campaign adviser and head of the Republican National Committee–is now openly gay and “will raise funds and strategize for the campaign to legalize gay marriage.” Ms Goodwin states he had previously “spearheaded some of the most aggressively anti-gay initiatives in American politics.”

This is a great example of the new situation the Republican party has created for itself as I described in my last piece for America’s Right on Proposition 8.

This kind of action will clearly signal to many religious conservatives that the Republican Party no longer feels that religious conservatives are fundamental to winning national elections. This is quite a switch over the course of ten years, since religious conservatives are credited with putting George W. Bush in the White House in 2000 and 2004. What are the religious conservatives likely to do now?

One answer to this is religious conservatives will do nothing but complain. They certainly will not vote to re-elect President Obama to a second term. So, even if the Republican Party goes for gay marriage, religious conservatives will stay in the Republican fold. This is the age-old “lesser of two evils” argument.

Another possibility is that religious conservatives will shift focus and fight hard in local elections where they have the numbers to win. That way, they can at least have power in the House of Representatives where candidates represent smaller districts. This will limit their power nationally, but they will have influence in Congress.

Another answer is to take back the Republican Party before the next presidential election. This seems highly unlikely. Gone are the days when American presidents win votes by posing with clergy. If the Republican Party is going to woo people who previously voted for President Obama, they do not seem to believe it will happen by ensuring people that they will follow the teachings of the Bible. Furthermore, it is important to remember what many religious conservatives I know have retreated into thinking — that religion is a personal matter to be left out of politics. For some, this goes back to a sense of betrayal they felt when they backed George W. Bush because of his faith, only to be burned by his less-than-conservative fiscal policies. These religious conservatives only use their religion to determine their own vote, not to form public policy.

Another answer is that religious conservatives will bide their time. (You will notice I have left out the third party option, as I still do not see this as the immediate answer, even if it would be the most politically authentic move.) Political movements have their own cycles. Logically, if the economy ever sufficiently recovers, religious values may make a comeback. Right now, though, while the Glenn Beck rally this past weekend shows that faith still draws, even the Tea Party does not always and consistently show tremendous support for religious conservatives. I remember hearing a speech from a woman at a national Tea Party meeting this year who said social issues are divisive to the Tea Party movement. They have to stick to economics only, she said, or the movement will be irreparably fractured.

If nothing else, this change by Ken Mehlman will raise the concern among religious conservatives about “infiltration.” These concerns began way back in the 1960’s when the Republican Party wanted to maintain its purity of thought and spirit against leftist ideals. What happens in large organizations is that people join them and only pretend to believe in the party platform so they can move up in the organization. Once they rise to the top of the organization they begin to reveal their real opinions. I have seen this happen in numerous churches firsthand. This kind of flip flop leads to mistrust among all the organization’s members.

In the end, this battle in the party may be over how the Republican Party defines libertarianism. This is a much more complex philosophy than simply saying people should have liberty. If you ever read the Libertarian Party’s platform you will see it is a document a believing Christian could not follow. The press is playing up the disagreements within the Republican Party. We shall see if these disagreements make the party stronger or weaker in the months to come.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    That photo is creepy.

  2. Ruth Hammons says:

    IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, NEVER HAS BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE BY THOSE THAT KNOW THIS IS A DEPLORABLE SIN. THEY HAVE THE RIGHTS ALL OTHERS DO AND ONLY RATTLE THE NOISE BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY CAN BUT THEY ARE STEPPING ALL OVER EVERYONE ELSES RIGHTS TO NOT HAVE TO BE AFFRONTED BY SUCH DISGUSTING BEHAVIOR OR HAVE OUR CHILDREN HAVE THIS PUSHED IN THEIR FACES AT SCHOOL ETC…IT IS WRONG PLAIN AND SIMPLE…IF THEY REALLY CARED ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIPS, THEY WOULD GO QUIETLY ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS, AS THEY ONCE DID AND STOP THE NONSENSE BUT NO, THEY RANT AND RAVE AND HAVE NO BASES FOR IT…THEY CHOSE THIS LIFE AND SO THEY NEED TO GET ON WITH IT AND GET OVER THEMSELVES…IT IS DISGUSTING BEYOND BELIEF TO WITNESS SUCH IMMORAL DEPRAVED BEHAVIOR!!! MARRIAGE IS FOR A MAN AND A WOMAN, LIKE IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN FROM THE BEGINING OF TIME…IF THEY CHOOSE TO DO OTHERWISE THEY CAN BUT WE DO NOT HAVE TO WITNESS IT…I SURE DON’T FLAUNT MY PRIVATE DOINGS AND NEITHER SHOULD THEY, IF THEY HAD ANY SENSE OR DECENTCY….NO ONE IS STOPPING THEM FROM THEIR FREEDOM TO DO AS THEY DO, BUT NEED TO BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, WHERE OTHERS TAKE CARE OF SUCH!

  3. J.B. says:

    AMEN, RUTH!

  4. Anonymous says:

    WOW, I admire Ruths forthrightness.

  5. whats_up says:

    @ Ruth,

    ….NO ONE IS STOPPING THEM FROM THEIR FREEDOM TO DO AS THEY DO,

    Actually Ruth people are stopping them from their freedom. That is the whole point. In many states they dont have the freedom to marry. They dont have the freedom to carry their spouse on their insurance. They dont have the freedom to make medical decisions for their spouse. These basic freedoms that you take for granted they are denied. The government should be out of the marriage business alltogether. Let it be decided by the various churches of this country.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Let it be decided by the various churches of this country.”

    The churches are too busy with the ecology, what with the world about to spontaneously combust.

  7. Nick says:

    Ruth, you are exactly what is wrong with religious conservatives. I’m afraid that your statement saying their lifestyle is a choice proves just how much you don’t understand them. What do you think happens? They wake up one day and think, “How can I get attention brought to myself today? Oh I know! ill start being attracted to the same sex!”.

    All they want to do is live their lives with the same liberties that are granted to the rest of us. Would you like to be denied your rights because you are a woman? because at one time that was the norm as well. I suppose that because I cant make myself believe in god that I should never be able to marry, have children and live a happy life.

    If Marriage was simply a religious covenant between a man and a woman I might agree with you, but as soon as legal benefits are added into the mix the freedom of religion should, no, needs to be applied. Your belief that people of the same sex should not be married stems from your own religion. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you, but not everyone shares your views. There is no legal reason why they should not share the same privileges as everyone else.

    They way religious conservatives preach intolerance against gays is my main turn off to the GOP, well that and religious conservatives stance on abortion.

    And if anyone is about to goes off on a page long rant on how I am a just a liberal atheist Obama supporter allow me to save you some time. I’m a proud member of the Republican party and i’m glad that the intolerant environment of this party is starting to subside.

  8. Randy Wills says:

    Well, Nick, that was certainly a passionate response, and can I assume that you may well be a homosexual? Not that it’s any of my business, and I don’t care to make it such, but there’s quite a lot of self-serving rhetoric in your response.

    We are not unreasoning animals, and therefore can, or at least should be, able to decide who and what we’re going to be and do, including how we use our bodies. Living a homosexual lifestyle is a CHOICE, just as living a life as a monogamist in a free-sex-saturated world in a choice that I made. As a heterosexual male, I certainly had the “urge” to indulge in casual sexual relationships but I realized that that is a perversion of God’s laws for caring, personal, relationships.

    In the case of homosexuals, they may well be born with the “urge” to live as homosexuals, but I doubt that it takes any more willpower to live a straight life that it did for me to be faithful to one woman. The only difference is that one is in conformance with both God’s laws and nature’s laws and the other is a perversion of both.

    I say, give homsexuals the same civil benefits as heterosexuals, but leave the “marriage” part to those unions blessed by nature and God.

    Randy

  9. Anonymous says:

    Excellent point, Randy.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Marriage is a Christian institution, always has been, always will be. However, I believe gay couples should be afforded the same protections as other couples under the law. SO how hard is it to to separate the two by requiring a union at the courthouse, regardless of whether that couple is gay or straight? Everyone has to go down to get a license. At the same time they can sign paperwork say some nice words whatever, to make that union official. Afterwards, they can perform whatever ceremony is required by their specific religious institutions. This solves any issues regarding the separation of church and state and gives all people the same rights under the law as partners. I mean seriously, all the government has to do is change the certificate from “mariage license” to civil union or whatever you want to call it.

  11. Randy Wills says:

    Jennifer @ 1:41 PM:

    I don’t think that your rational suggestion would be good enough for the homosexual activists. It is not just equal protection/benefits that they want. It all has to do with destroying any concept of morality based on the Word of God and,in the process, creating an environment in which there is no moral code by which any act can be judged.

    Randy

  12. whats_up says:

    @ Randy,

    Why dont we try and see. What is the opposition to civil unions that I find some evangilicals have? Why do they want to deny thise rights to homosexuals? If we try and then you prediction comes to pass I would be right with you Randy, however some Conservatives in this country wont even budge on this issue, why do you think that is?

  13. Randy Wills says:

    Jennifer:

    I believe that the answer to your question is that many “Conservatives” conflate their religious beliefs with goverment. As strongly as I believe in the God of the Scriptures, I believe the government should be neutral in religious issues.

    In this case, guaranteeing equal civil rights to all persons is fair and proper, but the term “marriage” has a deeply held religious connotation and should be respected as such without predjudice towards those who choose a civil union of same-sex individuals.

    And btw, I think that your suggestion has been tried in certain states, but I don’t follow the issue closely enough to know how that is working out. All I do know is that the homosexual activists in such places as CA seem to be unable to work towards a mutually respectful solution. Too bad.

    Randy

  14. Nick says:

    Randy, your incorrect to assume that i’m a homosexual, not that it would have anything to do with the topic at hand. Marriage pre-dates Christianity, so claims of ownership to the concept of marriage are rather ill conceived. As for homosexuality being a choice – it would be as easy for them to live a straight life as for you to live the life of a homosexual, and i’m quite sure you would find that completely repulsive.

    I’m sure you love your wife. How would you feel if you were prevented from being married due to religious beliefs of others that you did not share?

    Just one pointer to offer, you should really learn to start of responses in a way that doesn’t involve an ad hominem attack. it will make your arguments at least slightly more believable, at least it will after you ignore all the blatant un-truths in your response.

    1. Marriage is old – ancient Mesopotamia old – although i’m sure you don’t buy that because you believe the earth to be only 2000 years old, its actually measured in billions if you didn’t know.

    2. You have a total lack of any evidence backing up your bold claim that homosexuality isn’t a choice, and before you ask for mine, here you go. http://www.skeptictank.org/gaygene.htm

    I’m almost positive I find homosexuals just as distasteful as you do. The difference is I am able to take in opinions other than my own, and also to accept facts that are contrary to my personal feelings on the subject.

    Honestly, the term “marriage” in our laws should be replaced by “civil union” in all situations. That way marriage can remain a “Christian” concept, even though it never really was yours.

  15. Randy Wills says:

    Nick, You’re too angry to have a rational and respectful discussion. I re-read my comments and I find nothing personal in my stated perspective.

    My homosexual friends who actually know me will be greatly distressed by your ranting response and personal attacks on me. Maybe you should try re-reading them yourself – less reflexively. I suspect – but again, I may be wrong – that it is my belief system (Christianity) that you rail against.

    Randy

    P.S. Two thousand yesrs old? I ddn’t know that anyone thought that the earth was only 2,000 years old. That would mean that it didn’t exist before the advent of Christ, and that doesn’t seem to be historically accurate. As far as I’m concerned, it’s simply as old as it is, whether is 6,000,000,000 or beyond mankind’s ability to measure it accurately. The God whom I worship is eternal (ageless), so I don’t concern myself with such arguments. It simply has no relationship to how I live as a follower of Jesus Christ.

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