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Interview: Dr. Allan C. Carlson, president of the Howard Center

( [email protected] ) Mar 30, 2004 04:58 PM EST

Dr. Allan C. Carlson, president of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, who gave the opening address of the World Congress of Families III on March 29 in Mexico City, Mexico, has been one of the influential pro-family advocates. He is the author of The American Way and a Distinguished Fellow for Family Policy Studies for Family Research Council.

The Christian Post was able to hold an interview with Dr. Carlson on Thursday before he left for Mexico.

Katherine Phan: What is your response to the new changes made in the wording of the Federal Marriage Amendment?

Allan Carlson: I think the advocates of the amendment are coming to amendment that will pass. They are trying to get the votes.

I think the language in the old FMA, the one they had before two days was stronger, to the new version but this is the new version and it seems that will go.

Katherine Phan:What would you say allowing civil unions mean for traditional marriages?

Allan Carlson: The reason we priviledge marriage and tie benefits to it is to protect and encourage the institution into which new life comes. That's why we have benefits because traditional marriage creates children and that is where they have the most opportunity to grow up to be healthy, happy children.

To extend the same benefits to relationships that do not create children surely dismantles the very reasons for those benefits.

I begin to ask: what's the point? It undoes the special quality of a unique relationship. I don't think it deserves the same benefits.

Katherine Phan: How will the third meeting for the World Congress of Families resolve the different stances on the issue of civil unions between the numerous pro-family groups attending?

Allan Carlson: We're not going to be coming up with one resolution on this one issue that everyone would sign-off on. First of all, it would be an international conference and I think that each country brings to it different detail regarding the family law and different treatment.

What we will do is make a joint effort to protect traditional marraige which is vital to the future of every nation.

Katherine Phan: How much do you feel the The Howard Center for Family Religion and Society has accomplish in terms of defending the natural family?

Carlson: I think we accomplished a great deal in terms of articulating a new language regarding the family. The 1948 Geneva Declaration affirms that the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society.

We use the term 'natural' in that sense. It grows out of human nature and it grows out of creation. It is not something to we cannot tinker with, change, alter. It's part of the created order. It's natural to the human nature.

I think we have done a job recovering the word 'natural.

Katherine Phan: What do you suggest for Christians to do to protect the natural family?

Allan Carlson: The first thing Christians can do is to encourage their churches to do a better job at preaching this.

Most of the Christians were silent when the no-fault divorces swept 19-0 through American law in the 1940s. That did terrible damage to the family in America but very little was said from the Christian institutions.There was very little protest.

When was the last time a pastor gave a good rousing sermon on traditional marraige? Many have been very weak in terms of determining the teachings of the church. The church needs to start first and foremost at establishing a good sense on what traditional marriage is. There is good background to fall back on. Martin Luther, Treaties on Marriage. The Roman Catholics have been a wonderful.

They have good resources to fall on back in theology but the churches have not done a good job.

Katherine Phan: What would you say in response to those who say that Jesus didn't address homosexuality in the Bible?

Allan Carlson: I don't think that's true. Leviticus text was quite clear. Genesis text was quite clear and Christ himself refers to homosexuality even though he didn't explicitly use the word 'Sodom' and 'Gomorrah', but he refers back to the event in the text and condemns that they are wrong and in some cases that they are evil. People misread the Bible.