Dear Marriage Supporter,
This week the battle for marriage in our country has taught us quite a lot about what this fight means for us and for our country. It has also taught us a lot about the meaning of some other things we take for granted.
What Leadership Means
In New Jersey this week, we learned the meaning of leadership — or, rather, its opposite. Governor Chris Christie on Monday abandoned his principles and the people of New Jersey to the whims of an activist Judiciary when he withdrew his administration's appeal to the Supreme Court of a lower ruling that had ordered same-sex 'marriages' to begin in the Garden State.
As I noted in my comments on the decision Monday, "The mark of a leader is to walk a principled walk no matter the difficulty of the path. Chris Christie has failed the test, abandoning both voters and the core institution of society — marriage as the union of one man and one woman."
To be fair, Christie is not responsible for redefining marriage — that was accomplished by an out-of-control judiciary. However, he is responsible for leaving the field of battle and refusing to fight a principled fight when it was most needed. By surrendering, he has guaranteed defeat in the Garden State.
But while this surrender proved to demonstrate what leadership is not, the same day provided a contrasting image of leadership worth celebrating: that, from Pennsylvania's governor, Tom Corbett.
Governor Corbett was pressured following the Christie administration's announcement to follow suit in Pennsylvania and give up the Pennsylvania government's defense of the standing law in that state that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. But Corbett isn't backing down. He said that the case in New Jersey was "no precedent" for what is going on in Pennsylvania and that he would see the case there through the full process of judicial review. Thank you Governor Corbett for demonstrating what it really means to be a leader!
What Privacy Means
Recently I wrote to our California supporters to urge them to support NOM's efforts in California as part of a coalition to defend students' privacy there against a heinous law recently passed which allows any student to use the shower, bathroom or locker room of his or her choice regardless of biological sex!
We are working with the Privacy for All Students coalition supporting a ballot referendum to overturn this dangerous and invasive new law. Certainly students with gender-identity confusion shouldn't be subjected to bullying or discrimination, but California law already protects students from such discrimination and bullying. Rather than protect against bullying, the new law IS bullying! It violates student privacy and security by forcing them to share the most vulnerable areas of school with members of the opposite sex. Imagine being a high school girl forced to undress before the eyes of an opposite-sex peer, and to be told that his so-called "gender identity" entitles him to shower next to you. Worse, if you complain, you might be accused of discrimination against him!
This is an outrageous new law that is terribly conceived and horribly flawed. It just shows you how much the homosexual lobby thinks it can get away with in advancing their agenda.
Please visit www.privacyforallstudents.com today to find out how you can help us ensure every student in California has the right to his or her privacy upheld and protected by the law! If you live in California, please download a petition and return it promptly. And please consider making a contribution to help the campaign be sure they collect the signatures they need.
What Liberal Thought Means
A remarkable essay earlier this month deserves to be read and re-read by every marriage advocate in our country. It is a great resource for engaging in conversation and debate about this issue, whether at home, at school, around the water-cooler at work, or in the public square.
The essay by James Kalb was published in the Catholic World Report on October 2nd and it eviscerates the liberal thinking that has too long dominated our nation's public discourse, and undergirded the Supreme Court's decisions in June against DOMA and Proposition 8:
Liberal thought is entrenched as the basis for public discussion, and it doesn't like the idea of a network of expectations and obligations to which people are subject other than those generated by state and market. What's just, liberals believe, is for individuals to be free from all social pressure in their private lives as long as they perform their duties as employees, taxpayers, and citizens of a diverse, tolerant, and multicultural society. If people are pressured to act one way or another for some reason other than the needs of liberal institutions, that's bigotry and discrimination, and eradicating it is one of the central duties of government.
However strong and entrenched that way of thinking is, it needs to be disputed and overthrown.
Kalb explains what we lose when we trade age-old institutions like marriage, which pre-exist the state, for a modern notion of rights and privileges which the State arbitrarily creates out of thin air:
If marriage is to be something we can rely on, it can't be a sentimental celebration or optional lifestyle choice whose content depends on the orientation and goals of the parties. It has to be understood as something definite that, simply because of what it is, has intrinsic functions that are basic to human life. To be itself, it must therefore be understood as a union of man and woman that accepts the natural consequences of such a union, and there have to be distinct understandings of men, women, the relations between the two, and what they owe and have a right to expect from each other.
Be sure to read the whole wonderful piece today.
What Fatherhood Means
An article in the Washington Times this week revealed growing concern about "irresponsible fatherhood" in our country and lamented that "despite myriad efforts by fatherhood programs, too many men are ending up in multiple relationships, with multiple children from multiple mothers."
What the article failed to mention was that efforts to protect and promote fatherhood are distinctly at odds with the drive to redefine marriage. Because when marriage is redefined, so is the meaning of fatherhood. Rather than the father being a unique and irreplaceable role in the life of a child, a father becomes merely "Spouse 1" or "Spouse 2" — interchangeable and replaceable, an optional role easily replaced in an 'alternative family' model.
But we did have two shining examples of fatherhood this week, of a kind: spiritual fatherhood. Two great pastoral leaders gave shining examples of what it means to care for the 'children' given to one in ministry.
Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, IL responded with a strong press statement to a planned same-sex 'marriage' protest at his Cathedral on Tuesday — part of a larger effort of lobbying by same-sex 'marriage' activists in Illinois who are beginning to see the writing on the wall that gay 'marriage' advocates simply don't have the votes to redefine marriage in this fall session.
In response to plans by a group named the Rainbow Sash Movement to disrupt the Cathedral's religious services on Tuesday, Paprocki announced:
People wearing a rainbow sash or who otherwise identify themselves as affiliated with the Rainbow Sash Movement will not be admitted into the cathedral and anyone who gets up to pray for same-sex marriage in the cathedral will be asked to leave.
Of course, our cathedral and parish churches are always open to everyone who wishes to repent their sins and ask for God's forgiveness.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, another spiritual leader has taken a strong stand in the face of plans to undermine true marriage there.
I've told you before about plans by the Richmond City Council to use a same-sex 'marriage' ordinance as a political power play. Well, the members preparing the ordinance are still at it; and that attracted a strong response from a local pastor, Bishop Daryl Husband, Sr. of Mount Olivet Church in Richmond.
Writing at the blog of the Coalition for African American Pastors, Bishop Husband had this to say about the ordinance:
Today I urge the people of Richmond to stand up to our City Council and tell them that the people of Virginia have already spoken on marriage — loudly and clearly. We believe that this vital institution — the bedrock of our society — is solely the union of a man and a woman. This arrangement has served all civilization well for countless ages, and in our day is the best means we have of ensuring every child the opportunity to have both a mother and father. Tell your Councilmember to scrap this terrible proposal, Ordinance 2013-154, and to stop playing politics and get back to work for the people of Richmond.
Bravo to these brave men for standing up for marriage and leading their congregations to do the same!
What Marriage in America Means
Finally, from Hawaii comes an important reminder of something that we here at NOM have always maintained to be crucial for the fate of marriage in the United States. On this important issue, the people should decide!
A coalition called Let the People Decide, of which NOM is a very proud partner, has begun running some wonderful ads in Hawaii and I want to share one with you today. It's especially touching because it reflects the great cultural heritage and richness of Hawaii which some of us perhaps have experienced in visits to the beautiful state. And thus it reminds us, too, that marriage is a universal value that every heritage and every culture has treasured and honored throughout history. Hawaiians are asking for their right to do the same — and I pray that they are afforded that right!
Thank you for continuing to stand strong for marriage and for our treasured freedoms. It is my honor to stand with you.