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Biblical and Civil Arguments Heard During the “Battle for Marriage”

"I am not exaggerating when I say the next 12 to 18 months will likely determine not only the future of this country but of Western civilization"
( [email protected] ) May 24, 2004 06:06 PM EDT

Several thousand Christians rallied on scene and several hundred churches across the nation tuned in to hear prominent pro-family leaders debate over same-sex marriage via satellite and the Internet, May 23, 2004. The “Battle for Marriage” broadcast, sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Family Research Council, drew arguments both biblical and civil, on why traditional marriage must be protected.

“I am not exaggerating when I say the next 12 to 18 months will likely determine not only the future of this country but of Western civilization,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council during the Colorado Springs rally.

“This is such a critical moment,” Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said. “We do stand at a crossroads.”

Dobson encouraged Christians to defend their position against the oft-used question: “Who’s [same-sex ‘marriage’] going to hurt?”

“That’s a selfish question. The question [should be,] ‘What does it do to the country and what does it do to children?” said Dobson. “Traditional marriage cannot co-exist with homosexual ‘marriage.’ It will destroy the family.”

Dobson used the example of Scandinavian countries, where same-sex couples were allowed to “marry” since the 1990s.

“People are not marrying,” Dobson said. “They are cohabiting. That’s what will happen. It is an inevitable result.”

Dobson also explained that once America sanctions homosexual “marriage,” schools would be forced to teach homosexuality as a norm. Churches that do not recognize homosexuality would also be in danger.

Nonetheless, Dobson said he is excited to see the silent majority arise to express what is right. He noted the pro-family rallies that turned out supporters by the thousands: 8,000 in San Francisco, 2,000 in San Jose, 8,0000 in Phoenix and 20,000 in Seattle.

“I am excited,” Dobson said. “Why? Because ... I see a rumbling from coast to coast. It hasn’t reached Washington, D.C., yet but it’s going to.”

While the citizens have expressed their support of traditional marriage, Dobson said the legislators in Washington are “running from the issue.”

“They don’t want to get near to us, because they’re scared of this issue,” said Dobson. “But you all have to convince them that there’s something else to be scared of.”

To date, only 30 senators have agreed to sign the Federal Marriage Amendment – the legislature needed to protect traditional marriage and void the gay “marriage” licenses sanctioned in Massachusetts since May 17th. To pass the senate, it requires a 2/3 majority or 67 votes.

“You won’t believe who’s among the 70 [that aren’t supporting it],” he said.

Perkins also agreed that a Federal Marriage Amendment was needed.

“We must amend the U.S. Constitution so that it defines marriage as being between one man and one woman,” said Perkins.

Holding onto an oversized gavel to represent the “activist judges” that have a “super-sized view of their authority,” Perkins said action was needed to stop federal judges from taking away the rights of families.

“They’ve taken away the right of our children to pray,” he said. “They’ve taken the Ten Commandments and they’ve put them in the closet.”

“[T]hey’re going to impose upon all of us same-sex ‘marriage’ all across this country,” Perkins said. “... If we do not enact a constitutional amendment, one of these days in the very near future one of these tyrannical judges is going to drop the gavel and it’s going to be the end of marriage in America.”

Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship called the same-sex “marriage” issue “The mother of all culture battle.”

“This is the one that decides what kind of a country we’re going to be,” said Colson.

He then encouraged believers to take their voice to Congress. Since traditional mail takes two weeks to reach a legislator’s office and Emails are often deleted, he told the thousands listening to pick up the phone and call both a senator’s Washington office and home office.

“Explain it reasonably and calmly and lovingly,” Colson said. “... At the end of the day they’ll ... say, ‘I couldn’t get off the phone today. So many people are calling in on this issue.’”

Additionally, Colson said that since biblical arguments will not always work with non-believers and politicians, a Christian leader must “argue on grounds of justice and prudence.”

The best of those civil arguments, according to Colson, is that children are better off with both mothers and fathers.

“You can’t have that with just two [homosexual] adults,” said Colson. “You can’t model the proper sexual relationship between a husband and wife.”

Wellington Boone, an African American pastor and president of Boone Institute for Leadership Development, said black Christians in particular must stand up against those who bind the gay-rights movement with the civil-rights movement.

“They’re not in the same struggle,” Boone said. “I know plenty of people who are homosexuals, who have recognized it was sin, repented of their sin and now they’re heterosexual.”

On the contrary, Boone said, “I am black and male. If I change my mind about being black and male -- too bad, I can’t become white.”

There is no middle ground on the issue of same-sex “marriage,” Boone said. “We have got to let them know we’re not confused. ... We are standing flat-footed [on] this. There is no wiggle room on this thing here.”