As we noted earlier today, GOProud’s effort to get the GOP and the conservative movement in general to ignore the social issues at the core of the Religious Right’s agenda is not going over very well.
And now comes the news that the American Principles Project, founded by the National Organization for Marriage’s Robert George, has told the American Conservative Union that they will not participate in next year’s CPAC because of GOProud’s sponsorship:
I write to inform you that the American Principles Project has decided not to participate in the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) due to the planned participation of the organization known as GOProud.
Last year, of course, the American Principles Project participated in CPAC despite the presence of GOProud. That was a mistake, just as it was, in our opinion, a mistake for CPAC to countenance GOProud’s participation. Having now examined closely GOProud’s mission and its behavior since its inception, we can only conclude that the organization’s purposes are fundamentally incompatible with a movement that has long embraced the ideals of family and faith in a thriving civil society. Needless to say, we are deeply persuaded that a thriving civil society is an indispensable bulwark against the relentless expansion of government, a phenomenon that has gripped much of the Western world and helped to fuel the present fiscal and economic crisis.
It is also clear that GOProud’s reason-to-be is built around a form of identity politics that conservative thought formally rejects because of its understanding of human nature. Each item on its broadly stated agenda can be pursued, and is being pursued, by groups that do not focus on such identity politics. Rather than join as individuals and be welcomed and respected into these groups, GOProud pursues policy outcomes that are rooted not in the broad conservative principles it claims to support but in the identity – in this case, sexual and behavioral identity – politics it advocates. This politics inevitably leads to outcomes that confront the conservative core, as Christopher Barron, chairman of GOProud, seemed to acknowledge in a statement to The Advocate in July 2010 that underscored his personal support for same-sex marriage and a long-term strategy to impose it.
But GOProud has done more than simply omit a core tenet of conservatism from its agenda. It has demonstrated that its agenda includes assaults on the very conservative leadership that has brought our movement a fresh opportunity to steer our nation once again onto the right course. At a time when the rest of the conservative movement has been focused on how to convert the overwhelming election victory of November 2 into a policy advance that strengthens both the economic and social underpinnings of our republic, GOProud has chosen this very hour to attempt to attack Sen. Jim DeMint and even question his place, and the place of those of us who share his socially conservative views, in the conservative movement … What is at stake in your decision regarding the partnership of GOProud in next year’s CPAC is precisely this: will CPAC embrace a deadening egalitarianism at the expense of marriage and the family as long-established social institutions? This is not a decision merely for one event but a fundamental question for the integrity of the conservative cause.