Culture Challenge of the Week: Poll-Driven "Principles"
The American people are not stupid.
Recently, President Obama announced he'd discovered a new conviction in favor of homosexual marriage (conveniently timed to maximize his standing at a $15 million Hollywood fundraiser among the liberal glitterati). It was nothing more than a blatant attempt to fire up his base, particularly young liberal and independent voters: If they don't vote, Mr. Obama loses big-time.
But the American people are not buying into his pandering. A CBS/New York Times poll found that 67 percent of all Americans think Mr. Obama's announcement was "mostly for political reasons." Just 24 percent thought his decision came "mostly because he thinks it is right." Even half of the Democrats surveyed chalked it up to politics. (Ironically, a White House spokesman complained that the New York Times poll was biased — an astonishing claim coming from the left.)
Overlooked in the fuss over Mr. Obama's statement — and the sound of political backfiring — was this data, reported by the New York Times:
About 4 in 10, or 38 percent, of Americans support same-sex marriage, while 24 percent favor civil unions short of formal marriage. Thirty-three percent oppose any form of legal recognition. When civil unions are eliminated as an option, opposition to same-sex marriage rises to 51 percent, compared with 42 percent supporting it.
The numbers unmask the fraudulent claims that homosexual marriage is inevitable or a nonissue for open-minded Americans. On the contrary, those numbers help explain why more than 30 states so far have declared their support for marriage as a union of man and woman — specifically refuting the homosexual lobby's demand for marriage equality.
Make no mistake, it has taken courage for everyday Americans to take that stand. The liberal media, political interest groups and left-wing politicians are quick to slap the labels of "homophobe" and "bigot" on anyone who prizes principle over polls and morality over the mistaken marriage equality.
Americans know marriage has a fundamental meaning, and they expect their elected representatives to prioritize principle over politics.
And that's why the secret GOP memo publicized recently by homosexual columnist Andrew Sullivan represents a huge betrayal of Americans in general and Republicans and conservatives in particular.
Mr. Sullivan reported the existence of an advisory memo from a veteran GOP pollster urging the GOP to have an evolution of its own and get onboard the same-sex-marriage bandwagon. (It's a noisy bandwagon, true, but as the Times poll shows, the bandwagon is a lot smaller than people think.)
How to Save Your Family: Insist on Truth-Driven Principles
The pollster's advice was flawed on two counts: First, he fails to realize that the meaning of marriage is rooted in deep principle, not fluctuating polls. And second, the polls show that both Mr. Obama and the pollster miscalculated.
Marriage, as the union of a man and woman, enjoys enduring support. Americans are sympathetic to others who want to ensure the free exchange of information about medical issues, hospital visitation and the like, regardless of a person's sexual orientation. But they strongly reject characterizing homosexual relationships (even committed ones) as marriage equivalents.
Traditional marriage proponents believe what they do because God — not pollsters — decided the meaning of marriage. And the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow really doesn't care what a GOP strategist thinks is the most popular stance. So it's a faulty premise to suggest that it's only a matter of time before all segments of society rethink their opposition to homosexual marriage.
Believers stand on principle: Marriage is the union of one man and one woman who become one flesh through their sexual complementarity and, by their love, create new human beings. Homosexual relationships — even when lengthy, warm and steadfast — simply are not the same.
The real question is whether the GOP has the courage to stand on principle as well. Or whether, like Mr. Obama, GOP "principle" will reveal itself as the weather vane of political expediency, turning with the wind in the direction of dollars, donors and demagogy.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at email@example.com.