Just last week, the New York Times ran a profile of a new ‘kinder and gentler’ Focus on the Family under current president Jim Daly who purports to be trying to change the tone of the debates over contentious issues like abortion and marriage equality while defending his conservative Christian positions on such issues.
Daly operates under the impression that so long as he approaches these debates in a gentle, thoughtful, and prayerful manner, he can open others up to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, make converts, and ultimately win people over to his side of the argument.
Today, on Focus on the Family’s radio program, Daly and co-host John Fuller welcomed George Mason University Law School professor Helen Alvare onto the program to discuss “The Erosion of Marriage in America,” which Alavre blamed on everything from no-fault divorce to the practice of in vitro fertilization.
And while Daly, Fuller, and Alvare were all very careful to continually insist that they were speaking out of love and respect, when it gets down to it, Alvare said, it is ridiculous to think that the Constitution contains any sort of right to marriage equality and so the state simply needs to tell gay couples that “marriage is not in the cards for you”:
I don’t think that the Supreme Court wants to live through another forty years of post-bad decision making like they did with Roe v. Wade. There is no question that Constitution does not textually have a right to same-sex marriage. There is no question that it has been banned – you know, we only have a few states allowing it now. To say that it’s a constitutional right would be ridiculous and I don’t think they want to be fighting over it for the next forty years.
There is a reason why, pre-Christianity as well as today, the community of citizens has always understood that there is something different about what a man and a woman do when they are romantically interested together and that naturally leads them to say I want you for my whole life. The fact that this natural connection, older than Christianity, leads to children; the fact that children seem to need, empirically speaking, a mother and a father is why whatever the state wants to say to gay and lesbian citizens – and hopefully they say we love you and we’re not going to discriminate against you – they cannot say what you do and what opposite sex couples do has the same intrinsic outcomes and therefore interest of the state. It simply is not commensurate.
We can also say one final thing, which is when the state is tempted to say this, what you do, opposite sex couple, and what a same-sex couple does, which they can talk about a long-term emotional commitment that we have seen if we reduce marriage to people’s emotional feelings, we get more divorce, we get less marriage, we get more children outside of marriage and the poor pay more. We don’t have to speculate about this any more, we have seen it. There has been a horrid natural experiment in our country; we know what we are talking about.
We love you. We won’t discriminate against you as gay and lesbian persons, God willing, in the future. But marriage is not in the cards for you.
This seems to pretty well sum up the new approach from Focus on the Family, which is to insist that gays are loved and respected and should not be discriminated against … but that they just shouldn’t ever be allowed to get married.