We are losing on gay “marriage.” The conflict continues—there was a victory last week in North Carolina!—and the overall end is not yet clear. Still, we’ve lost millions of skirmishes: the hearts of people who think marriage is for any two adults who want to put that name on their relationship, and who think that sexual ethics are of no importance.
Here in my opinion are ten main reasons. I call your attention especially to the ninth, which has to do with paying the price it will take to turn the battle around; and also to my closing note that this is not the whole story.
1. We have been strategically oblivious. The gay-rights insurgency has been following a strategy published more than twenty years ago. Their plan had significant vulnerabilities we could have dealt with effectively in the early 1990s. Instead we paid no attention, and now the challenge is exponentially harder. Their strategy’s weaknesses remain, but the gay rights movement has amassed cultural strength to compensate.
2. We are unequipped to use our own best weaponry. There are many powerful, love-centered, natural-law arguments against gay “marriage,” but how many of us know what natural law is, or how to understand and present it in this case?
3. Even were that not the case, we live in a culture that is impervious to good reasoning, having little education or experience with genuine critical thinking, and being accustomed instead to the manipulations of sloganeering and imagery.
4. Lacking awareness of how to use own best weaponry, we are left with picking up our opponents’ missiles—that same sloganeering and imagery—and lobbing them back half-spent.
5. We have yielded authority to empirical research “experts,” forgetting that no one has any empirical information yet on what will come of a multi-generational experiment in gay “marriage.” Lacking a scientific reason to oppose gay “marriage” we have needlessly assumed we have no reason.
6. We have been weak in understanding, advocating for, and practicing the proper meaning of marriage among ourselves.
7. We are embarrassed to be involved in a “culture war,” having accepted the liberal message that it’s unseemly and that we’re responsible for it. We’re not. They invaded existing culture with dangerously disruptive cultural ordnance. We are simply trying to hold ground.
8. We are overly cautious over what we might lose—tax exemptions, jobs, reputations—by standing up for what is right.
9. We have never adopted a mindset of training for battle. Training is hard. It takes discipline, study, and the courage to face potential losses. But we have either misunderstood what it takes to prepare for a fight like this one, or we’re embarrassed to think of ourselves as being in it, or we’re unwilling to pay the price for our nation’s and our children’s spiritual, cultural, moral, and political health and safety.
10. Where we have not made the above mistakes—where we have understood, reasoned, loved, and practiced well—our voice and presence have been stifled by the educational, cultural, and media elite, who have ensured that their message would shout out above all. (We could examine the reasons that has happened, but that’s for another day.)
Soon: how we can turn this around and win on gay “marriage.” Because I believe there is hope.
Edit June 5: My follow-up post took a different direction when I gave it more thought. To frame it as winning on gay “marriage” would have been inadequate, distorted, and wrong. I have written and posted it now as A Vision For Marriage In Our Culture: Ten Essentials.