Evangelicals were John McCain’s most reliable supporters in the 2008 presidential contest. Exit polls had white Evangelicals voting 74% for him (black Evangelicals, of course, went Barack Obama’s way). This degree of ‘solidarity’ is about as high as it gets among the coalition that makes up the Republican Party. In contrast, 83% of white Jews and 97% of blacks voted for Obama.
Evangelicals were also the most reliable voters against gay causes. Evangelicals voted against gay marriage 81% strong in California — where only the name ‘marriage’ was protected, since gay civil unions have all the rights of marriage within the state. They also went against gay marriage 81% strong in Florida — where civil unions were abolished by the vote — and voted 81% against gay marriage in Arizona.
So Evangelicals were stronger against gay marriage — by about 10% — than they were for John McCain.
Evangelicals were somewhat less protective of children (or perhaps confused), voting 65% against gay adoption in Arkansas. Overall, one could point to Evangelicals — who make up almost a quarter of the electorate — as the strongest opponents of gay rights, even as one could point to Jews as gays’ strongest religious supporters (62% of Jews voted against the Florida marriage amendment and thus not to abolish homosexual civil unions or the possibility of gay marriage). So much for the term ‘Judeo-Christian’ having much political meaning.
Given these voting patterns, there is a substantial disconnect between the Evangelical rank and file and many in the Evangelical leadership. On December 2nd, Richard Cizik, the Chief Lobbyist and Vice President for Governmental Affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) said on National Public Radio that
I would willingly say that I believe in civil unions. I don’t officially support redefining marriage from its traditional definition — I don’t think.
Who knows what Cizik would ‘unwillingly say,’ but what he said was quite enough. After all, the NAE claims to represent 45,000 U.S. churches — churches that claim allegiance to the same Bible that calls homosexual behavior an ‘abomination.’
Yet, it is hard to say whether Cizik topped Dr. Neil Clark Warren. Dr. Warren has in recent years made a name for himself advertising his eHarmony online dating service. Evangelicals, in particular, have thronged to eHarmony, making Dr. Warren wealthy. So what did Dr. Warren do when he was sued in New Jersey by a homosexual who claimed he was being discriminated against because he couldn’t get a gay date on eHarmony?
‘Fold’ is the answer.
Readers of FRR may recall that New Jersey wanted the Boy Scouts to use gay scoutmasters because of its gay rights law. Yet when the dust settled at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Boy Scouts were vindicated — their Constitutional right of association trumped New Jersey’s gay rights law. Surely, a website dedicated to heterosexual marriage would be free of having to also be dedicated to homosexual trysts.
Despite this precedent, when eHarmony was pressed by New Jersey’s attorney general, it decided to just fold. And a magnificent fold it was. In an out-of-court settlement, Warren’s enterprise agreed to cover $50,000 in administrative costs for the Attorney Generals’ office, pay the homosexual $5,000 for his trouble, and give free six-month memberships to the first 10,000 homosexuals who register for a new ‘egayharmony’ site! (Which, by the way, is not equal, but ‘separate but equal’ treatment — shades of the Jim Crow laws before the Civil Rights act).
An enterprise that regularly touted its wares on Focus on the Family radio, folded rather than stand up for even the most rudimentary Christian principle. Now, those who use eHarmony will know that they are helping homosexuals to ‘hook up,’ spread disease, create generalized mayhem, and flaunt their sexuality in front of God, society, and the rest of the world. Bad? Certainly. Worst? Hard to say.
New Lows With Prop 8
Supporters of Proposition 8 in California, including Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, hit a number of new lows.
As noted, Proposition 8 reserved the name ‘marriage’ for the union of a man and a woman — but nothing more. In part because of the campaign for Proposition 22 in 2000 — a campaign in which those opposed to gay marriage said that they didn’t object to homosexuality, didn’t care about what homosexuals did, didn’t care whether gays got civil unions, etc. — California passed several laws favoring gay rights, with legislators and homosexual activists citing these very ‘don’t cares.’
Those laws require pro-gay ‘education’ about homosexuality in school, the right to ‘civil unions’ as the equivalent of marriage in all but name, and all kinds of special protections and legal enhancements for those who enjoy homosexual activity. So unlike Florida’s pro-marriage proposition, California’s was exceedingly narrow. The only legal change required by Prop 8 would be the denial of the name ‘marriage’ to homosexual civil unions. Nothing more.
Yet the advertising for Proposition 8 — including ads sponsored by Focus on the Family Action — suggested that its passage would protect kids from pro-gay education, keep their teachers from ‘coming out’ to students, keep homosexuality a private matter, and the like. None of these implications or claims was true. Only the name ‘marriage’ was in play. To be sure, had it failed, homosexuals might have felt emboldened to do even more recruiting and advertising. But Prop 8 was about signage — the name on the ‘marriage store.’ The store itself had already been frittered away. As Rick Warren indicated (News One, 12/28/08), “I’m not opposed to gays having their partnership. I’m opposed to gays using the term marriage for their relationship.”
Given how far Evangelical leaders went with their rhetoric and money — about $30 million was spent by the pro-Prop 8 side, $45 million by gay activists — it can be argued that Prop 8’s passage was a victory. Yet, even with the questionable rhetoric and heavy advertising, it barely passed. Further, if Barack Obama had not been running on the Democratic ticket, it would have almost certainly failed. Why? Because most (51%) whites and Asians (who made up 69% of the electorate) voted against it. Prop 8 won because of the black vote — a vote that went 70% for Prop 8.
Of course, that’s not how Prop 8 supporters described it. Reuters (11/6/08) quoted Jeff Flint, one of the managers for the Prop 8 campaign, as saying “we won because we stuck to our guns of being pro-marriage and not anti-gay.” Gay marriage ban supporters avoided any public criticism of homosexuals, even when they said they did not want schools to “teach” gay marriage.
And all of this has happened in just the last two months! The Evangelical leadership is quickly retreating from anything resembling historic Christian principles regarding homosexuality. The same kinds of thing happened in the Episcopal Church, now famously being torn asunder by the pro-gay tilt of its leadership versus the anti-gay sentiments of the laity.
Will the disconnect between what their followers believe and what the Evangelical leadership is doing have any repercussions? The Episcopal Church leadership ‘owns’ the facilities of the denomination, so its opinions are hard and costly to oppose. After all, they might take church property away from dissident congregations. The Evangelical leadership has nothing but ‘moral suasion’ and a kind of tradition on its side. Indeed, churches usually have to pay (or donate) to be affiliated with given leaders or organizations.
The folk in the pews — as demonstrated by their votes on gay marriage — are not likely to ‘go along’ with the leadership if it wants to compromise on gay rights. Stay tuned. This, like the Episcopal mess, could be a barnburner.
Ever wonder why the media is so tilted to the ‘immediate’ instead of looking ahead? When a reporter doesn’t have children of his or her own, what happens after one retires or dies is of lesser moment. Out.com (10/31/08) says:
The chief political correspondent for The New York Times since 2002, Adam Nagourney, is gay, as is his predecessor in that job, Rick Berke, who started in the paper’s Washington bureau in 1986 and is now a top-level editor in New York. Likewise the Times’s lead Barack Obama reporter, Jeff Zeleny, its lead Hillary Clinton reporter, Patrick Healy, and the man who ambled behind George W. Bush in 2000, Frank Bruni. There’s Michael Finnegan, a campaign heavyweight at the Los Angeles Times, and Jonathan Darman, Newsweek’s 27-year-old wunderkind political scribe.
Gays Still Less Healthy
If gays are ‘accepted’ and ‘protected,’ if homosexuality is taught in public schools as a good thing, will gays be healthier? Such is the claim of gay activists. ‘Reduce homophobia,’ they assert, ‘and we will be as healthy as anyone. It is society’s discrimination and non-acceptance, not out lifestyle, that makes us less healthy.’
Now we have a test out of all places, Massachusetts — home to perhaps the most gay-friendly governments at the state and local level, and home to gay marriage, as well as gay ‘super rights.’ It recently reported the findings from a grand statewide survey (November 2008) in which almost 40,000 adults were interviewed. This report by the Department of Public Health used data collected from the 2001-2006 Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. 97.1% self-identified as straight, and 2.9% as gay/bisexual.
So, in a state that bends for all things homosexual, are gays healthier? Not a chance.
The health profile of gay/lesbian/homosexual residents was poorer than that of heterosexual/straight residents on just about every measure, including self-reported health, disability-related activity limitation, heart disease, asthma, current and past tobacco smoking, anxious mood and depression, 30-day binge drinking and substance use, and lifetime and 12-month sexual assault victimization. In addition, lesbians were more likely to be obese.
As FRI has noted and published, all the large surveys heretofore in the professional literature — from Kinsey to the U.S. 2002 National Survey Of Family Growth — have reported similar findings. And they emerged from this survey too, even though the head of the Massachusetts department of health is openly gay.
Again we ask: if discrimination is the problem, why are homosexuals less healthy in even the most gay-affirming and accepting locales? To read the whole report, search Google for ‘A Health Profile of Massachusetts Adults by Sexual Orientation Identity: Results from the 2001-2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Surveys.’
FRI’s Visit to Moldova
Pictures from our sucessful visit to Moldova. FRI is working to get the ‘ducks in a row’ in Eastern Europe, so that this distressed region does not undergo further distress with gay rights and gay marriage. Many, particularly the high school students at the advanced schools, were extremely grateful to receive the information that FRI provided.
Very few students were ‘sold’ on the pro-gay rights line. Indeed, most appreciated the kinds of information that would help them combat the kinds of rhetoric coming from the European Union in general, and Sweden in particular. Most were attentive, and the questions they asked were typical of the ones Americans ask (e.g., Why do people want to engage in homosexual relations? Are they ‘born that way’ and if not, why not? How come we haven’t been told these kinds of things?).