Focus on the Family President: "I don't want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture"

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After more than two decades of crusading against men who are not attracted to women, Focus on the Family, the Christian evangelical broadcast and publishing powerhouse founded by disgraced child development researcher James Dobson in 1977, has raised a white flag in its war on gays. So suggesteth Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, interviewed in the June issue of the Christian mag World:

[World]: We're winning the younger generation on abortion, at least in theory. What about same-sex marriage? 

[Daly]: We're losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don't know if that's going to change with a little more age—demographers would say probably not. We've probably lost that. I don't want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.

[World]: What's the current perception of gay activists about Christian marriage? 

 [Daly]: I sat down with one. He said, "You guys haven't done so well with marriage. Why are you upset about us having a try?" We've got to look at our own house, make sure that our marriages are healthy, that we're being a good witness to the world. Then we can continue to work on defending marriage as best as we can.

Note that Daly says "I don't want to be extremist" before suggesting that Focus on the Family should back-burner the war on gays. 

[Via MoJo]

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  1. Observing the holy sacrament of marriage has convinced me to stay the fuck away. Everything about marriage is gay, starting from before the stupid engagement ring all the way until years after divorce. I get nauseous hearing people being cute about “the wife”, “my hubby”, and how their togetherness isn’t perfect and all that shit.

    1. Marriage is gay, but the word your are looking for is “nauseated.”

      [/Strunk & White]

      1. Everyone loves a pedant.

        [/Another Phil]

  2. Focus on your own damn family

  3. If you wanna get married to Wanda or Bruce, get married.

    Just keep the State out of it.

    1. What if I want to marry Lance or Julian?

      1. Technically, you can, and the State does not prevent it. If you want marriage welfare, you have to be a man and a woman, and your sexual preferences have nothing to do with it. A denial of marriage welfare hardly qualifies as “a war on”.

        I am not sure what benefits I get from marriage but I would give them up in a second. Since I already plan on killing myself rather than take Social Security, I am not getting anything there. Like an idiot, I married for sex and probably got what I deserved. At no time did I think to myself “what will I do without State recognition?” While I understand that our Society With The Perpetual Hand Out could think that State recognition and favoritism of “marriage” is a good thing I get lost when those who are supposed to oppose that sort of thing favor it, for anyone. The injustice to those, gay or straight, who chose not to marry is bizarrely ignored.

        Should all people be able to receive the same benefits from government? Only if they profess to be “in love” or wanting to be together forever? It is wrong to deny them to gay couples but screwing individuals, regardless of their sexual actions, who are not couples is A OK!?

        There simply is no Libertarian argument for the expansion of government benefits based upon ANYTHING. Not if you are pathetic, old, young, stupid, sick, a dick sucker or not a dick sucker. There is nothing moral about a claim upon your fellows. If gay marriage was not about force, for what would they need the government?

  4. Biology – crusading against gays since the dawn of time.

    1. Looks like somebody doesn’t understand inheritable traits! Stupidity: dogging you since the dawn of time.

    2. What does biology say about us?

    3. Well, if biology has been crusading against gays since the dawn of time, it appears that gays have been winning — hands down.

  5. Folks who like the traditional, legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman-the definition that prevailed in the Western world for the last couple millennia until a decade or so ago- are “waging a war on gays”? Sort of like the Taliban?

    1. Looks like the war on gays is just about as effective as the war on drugs, poverty, obesity,………

      1. Christmas! Don’t forget the war on Christmas!

      2. Wasn’t it Jesus who said “the gays will always be with us.” While covertly pointing a thumb and raising an eyebrow at Luke, of course.

        1. Luke 2:11, “And so he spaketh, NTTATWTT.”

    2. Not quite. Folks who want their idea of what marriage is to rule to the exclusion of what other people might think marriage includes are, in some cases, could be seen as waging a war on gays. If you are into stupid war analogies for everything.

      1. That’s the whole concept of “law”: universal definitions (of “marriage” or “arson” or “contract” or whatever) that all of society must recognize.

        1. Laws change. And the past sucked. The fact that something has been the case for a long time is never a justification for anything.

          1. That’s not true. The fact that something has worked *at all* in the past is evidence that it will continue to work *that well* (but no better) in the future — while brand-new ideas may seem brilliant, but will necessarily carry unintended consequences. That, in a sentence, is the argument for incrementalism.

          2. Laws change. And the past sucked. The fact that something has been the case for a long time is never a justification for anything.

            And yet I have yet to hear a justification for changing the definition.

      2. If you are into stupid war analogies for everything.

        That’s kind of the problem, Zeb.

    3. Exactly, sort of how the Taliban is against changing the traditional, age-old definition of “women.”

      1. Uh, I wasn’t aware on the Taliban disagreeing with Westerners on which people were women.

        1. No just to what extent women are full persons.

    4. Doesn’t the whole issue boil down to “some people (mostly older) just don’t want to see two dudes kissing when they go outside”?

  6. Do you have a reference or a link or anything for that “disgraced” bit?

    1. Yeah, that caught my attention, too.

    2. It’s Mike Riggs. He’s not interested in facts, only that the trailer hitch for the cosmo lion is tightly secured.

    3. I spent a few minutes searching and didn’t see what that refers to, so I wonder as well.

    4. Well there was this..

      “…the boy’s father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son’s maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger. ” – James Dobson

      1. Liar. That was from a letter to Dobson that he printed in his magazine and (stupidly) approved of.

        Pretty weak tea for “disgrace” anyway.

        1. ie, those words were not written by Dobson.

  7. “The war on gays?” Really? Opposing gay marriage is declaring war on gays?

    Reason, you’re better than this. Just because Radley went HuffPost doesn’t mean the rest of you have to.

    1. It’s not just gay marriage. Dobson and his ilk have been actively trying to eliminate gayness through various means. I’m not keen on stupid war metaphors myself, but I can see that the general christian right approach to gay issues could be described as a war on gayness.

      1. The funny thing is, their efforts to “eliminate gayness” don’t bother me as much as their efforts to stifle the right of contract. They want to eliminate gayness? Go ahead, have your camps, and people who voluntarily want to repress their inner homosexual in order to reconcile with the Flying Spaghetti Monster can go ahead and attend to their hearts content. You want to think homosexuality is an abomination and punishable by an eternity in the depths of hell? That’s your bag, man. You want to deny two (or more) consenting adults from entering into a legal contract recognized and enforceable by law, even if you accept them as wonderful parts of the diverse tapestry of humanity? Fuck off, slaver.

        Its about rights, not what is “right” in a moral sense. My sensibilities are more offended by a loving and caring person who wants to deny rights than by a bigoted asshole who wants to extend rights.

        1. Of course, I recognize that most of those who support gay marriage (albeit they mostly support it on IMO unfounded grounds of equal opportunity rather than contract rights) are broadly tolerant of homosexuality (as am I), and most who oppose gay marriage are broadly bigoted against gays and find homosexuality an abomination. But my point is that I can find, politically at least, more common ground with the guy that says “That’s fucked up, twisted, and wrong, but I ain’t gonna stop you” than I will with the guy that says, “your expression of love for your same sex partner is beautiful and should be celebrated, but I don’t think the law should recognize your contract.”

        2. The funny thing is, their efforts to “eliminate gayness” don’t bother me as much as their efforts to stifle the right of contract.

          Keep in mind though, while the right to contract with respect to same-sex “marriage” was not addressed in Baker v. Nelson , 409 U.S. 810 (1972) (See the Jurisdictional Statement of Appellants of Baker v. Nelson , No. 71-1027 (Oct. Term 1972) ), a long line of cases from the Supreme Court, starting with Nebbia v. New York , 291 U.S. 502 (1934) have used rational basis scrutiny for deciding challenges based on the right to contract.

        3. Marriage isn’t a contract, at least not in the usual definition of the word.

      2. I’m not keen on stupid war metaphors myself, but I can see that the general christian right approach to gay issues could be described as a war on gayness.

        Yes, and the person describing it thus would be rightly called stupid. As I implicitly called Mr Riggs.

  8. According to the latest Gallup poll, they’re not too well on abortion, either.

    1. Link? I really want to believe you I’m disturbed that there are still mainstream anti-abortion voices around.

      1. You would be disturbed if mainstream voices wanted to protect the personhood of the unborn? OK, I guess.

    2. Abortion is at least in the neighborhood of 50-50 still. People’s attitudes about later term abortions in particular have shifted towards being against it. It’s questionable whether that means people want more laws against abortion, but at least it’s somewhat in play. Gay marriage is a completely settled matter among youth. Bigots are just undeniably on the wrong side of history.

      1. Bigots are just undeniably on the wrong side of history.

        So then nearly every human who ever lived was a bigot?

        Moses, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Sir William Blackstone, John Locke, Noah Webster, John Bouvier, Thomas Stanley Matthews, Stephen Field, and George F. Edmunds were all bigots?

  9. We’re winning the younger generation on abortion, at least in theory.

    And the difference between theory and practice is…

    1. We’re winning on abortion!

      http://www.theonion.com/articl…..rti,20488/

  10. I’m thinking of the children.
    Just like I do when I jerk off.

    1. The little boys, or the little girls?

    2. Yucccccccccccccck

  11. Here’s an idea: Let’s make it all Common Law. Religious people can have our ceremonies in our houses of worship, and non-religious people can shack up and consider themselves married. Everyone else is free to recognize or not recognize marriages based on their own standards. Get the state out of marriage.

    1. There are thorny issues of immigration law, hospital visitation rights, and Fifth Amendment exemptions from testifying against one’s spouse to iron out though.

      1. Social Security, pension benefits, child custody, inheritance rights…”everybody define ‘marriage’ any way that works for you, fuck the State” isn’t going to work.

        1. Fine, then have a registry of “commitments” or whatever you choose to call this civil thingy. If someone decides to have a church wedding, and make it a civil thing too, they sign up, if not, then it’s just between them and their god.

          1. This. But it’s still going to be messy.

        2. I think it should be based on who runs the organization involved. Governments should just recognize common law marriages as valid in spousal privilege, custody rights, social security, inheritace, etc. Privately run hospitals should have their own visitation policies (i.e. a Christian hospital does not have to allow same-sex visitation). You get the gist?

          1. I’d go with that plan, but practically speaking, think you’ll have a hard time getting it to fly.

        3. I don’t know why it shouldn’t work. Why not just allow people to designate whoever they want to be their next of kin, visit them in the hospital, collect SS death benefits, etc. Why do all of these things need to be tied to marriage?

          1. Most people are unaware of what their “marriage contract” contains anyway. It isn’t until you talk to a divorce lawyer that you get the idea of it’s massive scope.

            It isn’t like they couldn’t throw out the State contract. Other than the State bennies, is there really any of the other things that can not be civilly, contractually settled?

            1. The 5th amendment protection from having your spouse compelled to testify against you can’t really be contracted away. But that’s kind of an anachronism anyway.

              1. Eliminate it. I see no reason that you should be able to get a “get out of testifying” card, anyway. You shouldn’t be able to conspire to commit crimes, no matter your personal relationship with the conspirator. It wouldn’t even require a Constitutional Amendment because there would be no “spouse” if the government didn’t recognize the distinction.

    2. Here’s an idea: Let’s make it all Common Law. Religious people can have our ceremonies in our houses of worship, and non-religious people can shack up and consider themselves married. Everyone else is free to recognize or not recognize marriages based on their own standards. Get the state out of marriage.

      Under the common law traditions that we inherited from across the pond, same-sex “marriages” were not recognized.

  12. An interesting side note, I don’t know how many of you watch the show “Sister Wives” on TLC (and I’d imagine very few and I only watch because I have a fiance that I live with), but the family it profiles recently had to flee Utah for Nevada out of fear of being broken up and/or the man being prosecuted.

    I’m curious what the general consensus is here on polygamy? And I’d be especially interested in hearing what the broadly “progressive” contributors (the ones that occassionally say something coherent and thoughtful and aren’t simply idiots named Max) like rather, MNG, and Tony have to say on the matter.

    1. My position on marriage is that government should not be involved, but that state governments do have the power to regulate it if they want (and they all do). I think that all marriage battles should be fought at the state level and that marriage shouldn’t even be an issue at the federal level.

    2. I don’t care how many wives or kids a man has as long as he supports them and the wives are all adults. I get pissed when I read about the polygamists who say they want the government to leave them alone but they have no problem getting welfare for their 27 kids. And I don’t care what someone’s church says – if they are “married” to a 14 year old bride they are a pedophile who should be jailed.

      1. I don’t care how many wives or kids a man has as long as he supports them and the wives are all adults.

        Curious, here. Are you saying it’s the man’s responsibility to support all of his wives or just the children? I ask because I would be willing to wager that is the expectation of the states, and the men aren’t made aware of it until the judge at his divorce orders a big fat child support/alimony settlement when earning power is roughly 50/50.

        Equal protection, indeed my ass.

      2. And I don’t care what someone’s church says – if they are “married” to a 14 year old bride they are a pedophile who should be jailed.

        Is that a big problem.

        I am no big fan of polygamists, but saying that they are all going after young girls sounds a lot like, “Teh gays are going after young boys!”

        1. I think he’s saying anyone who is going after young girls is a big problem, not that polygamists generally going after young girls is a big problem.

          But yeah, I’ll agree that I premise my support of polygamy on the notion of consent to contract, which means legal adult under no duress (a not insignificant amount of immigrant polygamy if under duress, rendering any existing contract null and void).

    3. I don’t think there’s any comparison to make, and that gays shouldn’t have to answer for polygamists before they are allowed their equal rights. Let polygamists have their day in court. I don’t really care that much how it turns out, it’s just not my problem.

      Though I do have an argument against polygamy–that it is inherently a form of religiously-enforced subjugation of women, and thus should not be endorsed by the government.

  13. This is not a white flag. For one thing I’m sure this guy is going to be branded a sellout by a lot on the Christian Right. I would not be surprised if someone replaces this guy very soon. Secondly even if he does stay he really didn’t back off the Focus agenda if you really read what he has to say. I wouldn’t read to much into this. I really think the quote has more to do with the typical “us against the evil, corrupt world” social conservative moping than it does with an actual desire to accept those with differing lifestyles.

    1. The Christians don’t seem to mind forcing the rest of us to accept their lifestyle choice.

      1. The Christians don’t seem to mind forcing the rest of us to accept their lifestyle choice.

        Who has forced you to do anything?

        1. I’m forced every second of my life to endure heterosexual marriage.

          1. Then, stay away from your mom and dad 😉

            1. They are no longer married, and everyone is grateful for it.

      2. I don’t get this. What part of the Christian lifestyle have you been forced to accept? People seem to feel very free to bash Christians on a regular basis, and not sound too accepting when they do so.

        1. The poor Christians. People who believe in magic should be left alone and never criticized, even when they are telling me what my rights should be based on what they think their magic book says about it.

          They say gay marriage is being forced on them. So I can say straight marriage is being forced on my. Christians need to realize that they are not the “default” point of view, legally or otherwise.

  14. In order to understand the nature of a civil right, one must look into the nation’s history and tradition for a careful description of that right. Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 at 703.

    What was the careful description of that right?

    The relationship of “husband and wife” is “founded in nature, but modified by civil society: the one directing man to continue and multiply his species, the other prescribing the manner in which that natural impulse must be confined and regulated.”

    1 William Blackstone, Commentaries *410.

    “the establishment of marriage in all civilized states is built on this natural obligation of the father to provide for his children”

    id. at *35.

    Marriage is “is made by a voluntary compact between man and woman.”

    John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government ? 78 (1690)

    Marriage “was instituted ? for the purpose of preventing the
    promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity,
    and for securing the maintenance and education of children

    Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language (1st ed. ) (1828)

    Marriage is a ” contract, made in due form of law, by which a man
    and woman reciprocally engage to live with each other during their
    joint lives, and to discharge towards each other the duties imposed by
    law on the relation of husband and wife.”

    John Bouvier, A Law
    Dictionary Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States
    105 (1868)

    “For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and
    necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit
    to take rank as one of the coordinate states of the Union, than that
    which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as
    consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one
    woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that
    is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guarantee of that
    reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in
    social and political improvement. “

    Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15 at 45 91885), quoted in Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 at 344, 345 (1890) and United States v. Bitty , 208 U.S. 393 at 401 (1908)

  15. “disgraced”? Can someone clarify that for me?

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