This was going to happen.
Do I mind gay people marrying? No. As a Christian, I see marriage as between a man and woman, but I don’t impose my beliefs as other people’s laws. There is no Christian Jihad. What I do mind, however, is America’s meanest winners—social liberals. Drowning social media in vicious posts, these sleezoids run the gamut from toothy condescension to hyper-sexual mockery. It’s been ugly.
Worse yet are fellow Republicans who had, until now, suppressed their spite. Witness Fox News’s Megyn Kelly. Releasing her inner hatemonger, Kelly grilled Mike Huckabee with all the warmth one might offer a war criminal—then gushed over gay conservative Guy Benson. Don’t get me wrong; I too appreciated Guy’s thoughtful words. But the way Megyn fawned, I felt driven beyond mere appreciation…to prayer. Yes, I started praying to Guy Benson. Just like Megyn. The results? Thus far, inconclusive—but hey, Guy works in mysterious ways.
Nowadays, many people despise Christians. Unlike the gentle tones required of us (lest Megyn lead torch-bearing villagers to our door), we receive taunting rage from all sectors of the rainbow. Our emotions are frayed. Our minds are tired. We hurt inside.
Improving Our Message
But to be honest, some misery is self-inflicted. Look at our messaging:
1. We say: “It’s wrong to ‘redefine marriage.’”
We mean: “Broadening marriage diminishes the sacred traditions that created it.”
They hear: “We Christians like having something you don’t. Makes us feel important. We also enjoy exclusive clubs, where we mock peasants and have servants light our cigars. Bow to us.”
2. We say: “This is a slippery slope. Next come polygamy and incest.”
We mean: “Broaden the definition of an institution, and opponents will further weaken it.”
They hear: We hate gay people, but since we’ve no valid reason to deny choices that don’t affect us, we’ll use ‘What’s next?’ scare tactics. Dogs and cats living together? Why, that’s just weeks away.”
3. We say: “This is all part of a gay agenda to destroy churches.”
We mean: “Many people—including a strong contingent in the gay community—hate Orthodox Christianity. These people will use gay marriage as leverage to destroy churches.”
They hear: “It’s a conspiracy, man! I’ve stored supplies in my bomb shelter, and you’ll never put those implants in my head! Want a Confederate bandana? My wife left me for some college prof…whatever, man!…just makes me stronger for the mission…I’M STRONGER FOR THE MISSION!!”
4. We say: “We hate the sin, but love the sinner.”
We mean: “We love everyone, regardless if their practices run contrary to our beliefs.”
They hear: “Sinner!”
“Redefine.” “Slippery slope.” “Gay agenda.” “Sinner.” Regardless of intent, our phrasing holds us back.
A Tale of Two Tactics
There are two tactics for discussing social issues in a multi-faith society:
- War of Beliefs: “My beliefs are better than yours, and they should be everyone’s laws.”
- Fair Standard: “I support every choice that doesn’t take away someone else’s choice.”
While the first tactic pits belief against belief, the second holds all beliefs to one ideal—an ideal most everyone supports. So, “Fair Standard” is naturally popular.
But then, “War of Beliefs” still sells sometimes, right? Sure it does; when neither side offers “Fair Standard.” Watching both sides demand their beliefs be made law, voters must decide which beliefs they prefer. In time, they’ll tilt against Christian values (which are viewed as more restrictive).
But to see that tilt supercharged, watch what happens when we use “War of Beliefs” and the Left uses “Fair Standard”—as occurred over the past decade with gay marriage. The Left said, “As long as gay marriage doesn’t take away the choice of straight marriage, it should be allowed.” Boom! In record time, society went from opposing gay marriage to supporting it—and this support grows each year.
Incredible. Even our best rhetorical gymnastics (“Redefine,” “Slippery Slope,” etc.) couldn’t slow the results of fighting “Fair Standard” with “War of Beliefs.” It’s the worst case scenario.
So, can “Fair Standard” work for Christians? Absolutely! In fact, it’s our natural position. Unlike Islamic Jihadists, Christians follow a Savior who preached holiness, but never forced unbelievers to live like believers. There is no Christian caliphate. This is why America—though founded in Christian beliefs—is so religiously diverse. Our heritage—our Christian heritage—allows for it.
And now, regarding gay marriage, there’s good news: The Left has taken “Fair Standard” as far as they can. Gay people marry now. From this point forward, Leftists must use “War of Beliefs,” attacking religious liberty and criminalizing religious standards. So, they’re stuck with the bad strategy, and most delightful of all, their addiction to control will force them to use it. They simply must attack freedom.
But What Do I Say?
Remember, if we try to take back gay marriage, this will be seen as “War of Beliefs,” and we’ll lose (plus, we’ll be going beyond Christ’s example). So don’t take it away. Use it. Here’s how:
Are you arranging it with people who freely choose to participate? Then that’s a celebration.
Are you demanding participation from people who disagree, in hopes of closing businesses and churches? Then that’s a weapon.
Hey, do what you want, believe what you want, live your life! But keep marriage a celebration, not a weapon, okay? Your happiest day is for inviting people, not targeting them.”
Suppose all Social Conservatives began using this approach tomorrow. What would happen by, oh, say, 2016? Wouldn’t we be the good guys? Wouldn’t the Left be the bad guys? Just like that, my friends, the momentum turns. Buh-bye, Hillary!
I know we hurt inside. Facebook celebrations at our expense hurt. Taunting liberals hurt. Megyn Kelly hurts. But to turn our frowns upside down, now is the time! Now is the time to use the Left’s lust for control! Now is the time to smirk and frustrate liberals! Now is the time to be really, really…naughty!
The tide is turning, if we let it. The Left has run out of road, if we stop paving it.
Now is the time.