In August Colorado became the seventh state to qualify an amendment for the Nov. 7 ballot to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Colorado joins Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin in marriage amendments slated to appear on their respective fall ballots.
Organizers gathered 130,000 signatures, nearly double what was needed to qualify for the ballot. Colorado Senator Wayne Allard said at a press conference in June, “The U.S. Constitution is already in the process of being amended to reflect a new definition of marriage – but not by democratically elected members of Congress, yet by unaccountable and unelected judges.” Allard echoed the view of many Christian leaders in the popular “Justice Sunday Rallies that have been broadcast to churches across the country. “It’s time to send to the states a Constitutional amendment that protects traditional marriage and prevents judges from rewriting traditional marriage laws.” “I’ve introduced an amendment to the Constitution that simply defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, while leaving to state legislatures the freedom to address civil unions however they see fit.” The Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) is a front issue burner in Washington and Colorado has been at the forefront of the issue since Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) introduced the Federal Marriage Amendment to the house more than two years ago.
In June President George W. Bush made a statement in supporting the MPA. Gay activists called it a “political ploy to raise the President’s approval rating.” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid from Nevada said, “It’s the administration’s way of avoiding the tough, real problems that American citizens are confronted with each and every day.” The President’s speech was ten minutes long and it was thought by some to be a long overdue campaign promise. While forty-five states have acted to define traditional marriage as between one man and one woman, many judges and state legislators have overturned marriage bills-even though they were voted for in state elections. The President referenced that by saying, “Marriage is the most fundamental institution of civilization, and it should not be redefined by activist judges.” Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy wrote in an op-ed piece, “the amendment should be called the “Republican Right Wing 2006 Electoral Strategy Amendment” he accused the President of using “fear tactics” to rally its “extreme base.” Although polls differ on the amendment, the average American believes that State rights and the will of the people should be the deciding factor, not for judges to decide. Considering that gay marriage in Senator Kennedy’s state of Massachusetts was passed by activist judges, and many states that passed an MPA type bill were thwarted and overturned in the courts, many Americans seem to be wearily welcoming to the debate.
“Instead of getting married again, I’m just going to find a woman I don’t like and give her a house” -Lewis Grizzard
In Any town, U.S.A, I believe it is the will of the people to use up every last inch of open space to create an environment of all executive houses. Maybe that is wrong, maybe this is just the will of the builders and the developers, and perhaps the city council. Almost everywhere you look there is an imbalance of “executive housing.” It begs the mathematical question on how many executives are there? And are there enough to buy these over sized houses on tiny lots of land? The theory goes something like this: A married executive relocates to town from the coast (pick one), moves his executive wife and 2.4 children and then the happy couple decides they no longer want to stay married. Then a second executive home is purchased for the executive wife who takes 1.2 children with her, she remarries another executive, who has 1.2 children as well, and a dog. The blended family then has to move into a bigger executive house with a tinier yard and then if statistics are right this executive couple splits a second and third time- hence other executive houses and a bunch of children who are doing their best to learn what it is like to solve the executive housing glut. This of course doesn’t give any mention to the original executive patriarch (from the first marriage) who is doing his part to keep the cycle going too. So if divorce creates the need then supply meets the demand of too many communities.
Another algebraic problem is, if the divorce rate is over 50% in this country, then how many of the divorces are granted to the same people? In other words if the same people are getting married, divorcing, then repeating the cycle again and again, does it stand to reason that just a small part of the adult population is raising the divorce statistic? According to Yale and Swarthmore University Sociology Professor, William Weston, “The divorce rate for first marriages is at 40 percent and second marriages at 60 percent which is good news overall.” Many feel that properly equipped and prepared newlyweds will help continue to drop the divorce rate even further within the next decade. There are a percentage of divorces that approach the silly line of over 3 marriages and divorces. Too many times multiple marriages multiply by two and triple the victim rate when it comes to children and finances. According to Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind” which reveals the six abilities white-collar workers must master to survive in an outsourced, automated, upside-down world:
“People living longer means less turnover in housing stock, which translates into more construction.” Pink predicts that 50-year or even 75-year mortgages could become common. “And I wouldn’t be surprised to see continued growth in co-housing (seniors forming the equivalent of 21st century communes), multiple generations of families living together under one (large) roof, and other alternative housing arrangements. Family structure has grown more diverse over the last couple of decades.
But the structure of housing has stayed pretty much the same. Maybe not for long.”
When Pink says “Family structure has grown more diverse” we get back to the theory of communities with the seeds of first, second, and more marriages living within blocks of each other. Looking through Any Town USA or any virtual community website from major developers a home buyer can look through vast amounts of “multi-planned communities that have it all!” The websites boast, “Shopping, schools, community centers, and green space.” Some even ask the question, “What else could you need?” What you won’t find too often advertised in the “master plan” is counseling, wrap around-front porches, backyards, public transportation, and churches all instrumental in developing authentic community, accountability and committed relationships.
Dateline May 17, 2004
I got a call from a radio station manager in Massachusetts this week. He wanted to talk to me about writing radio spots that would help Christian radio listeners deal with the aftermath of May 17, 2004, the day Homosexual Marriages were legalized in that state. I asked him- what the climate is, and he said, he doesn’t know. He asked me to come up with some spots that deal with the question “What’s Next?” So I asked him “What is next for Massachusetts?” He was at a loss. So was I. But as we talked about a strategy something came to mind. What is the major playing card that proponents of homosexual marriage play in defending the “civil right” of marriage? There are actually two (and one is not the Queen of Hearts-you guys). “The why should people care -if they love one another?” card is a major card. Defense: Then if an aunt and a nephew love one another why shouldn’t they get married? Or if two men love three women why shouldn’t they get married?
Hopefully we understand why that is wrong. But why is marriage so important? The answer: a mother and a father. If all the studies show that children do better in society when raised by a mother and a father (which they do) does that not point to why marriage should be between one man and one woman? However our society and media have made light of this truth. Men and women have just about forfeited the exclusivity of marriage by not holding our vows sacred and to be guarded. The truth is that selfishness or “wants” do not constitute a right. So aside from two wayward judges in Massachusetts the majority of our society does not want homosexual marriage. The judges were bent on social engineering and used their gavel to pass the new law.
How do we come to grips with this? What I told the program director at the station is that we need to get behind the President’s Federal Marriage Amendment which defines marriage as only between one man and one woman. So I sent the produced spots that support a Federal Marriage Amendment. I also told him that his station could initiate a campaign that married couples would renew their vows on a Sunday set aside in the state of Massachusetts and the station should cover it. Mobilizing Christian couples to define Marriage as between one man and one woman. The media is our mission field and although we were thwarted in the proactive way we wanted, we now have an opportunity to re-group. May 17, 2004 may have been a battle that was lost, but we can still fight to defend marriage.