The following is a real statement from the Traditional Values Coalition, reproduced in its entirety without modification:
For Immediate ReleaseContact: Destiny Decker(202) 547-8570March 15, 2013A Painful AdmissionWASHINGTON, D.C. — Traditional Values Coalition president Andrea Lafferty issued the following statement in reaction to Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s recent repudiation of his stance against gay marriage in reaction to his son’s homosexual preferences:These past few days have been very painful ones for me.Earlier this week one of my children came to me and told me something which was shocking.He is a drunk driver and has been driving drunk regularly since college.I have taken several days to reflect on this and I have decided to reverse my earlier opposition to drunk driving.My child is a drunk driver and I love him. It is a part of his identity, who he is.I have reflected on all of this, consulted Scripture (the story of Jesus changing water into wine when the wedding he was attending in Cana ran dry is particularly relevant) and decided that drunk driving is a generational issue. Younger people take a much different view of drunk driving than older people.Therefore, today I am reversing my opposition to drunk driving. My child has caused me to revisit a decision which, up until now, had been based simply on morality.My child is a drunk driver. That has personalized the issue for me and taken me above the whole discussion of the morality of it. It is now personal with me.In addition, I would like to say that drunk driving will make all of us stronger drivers. Think of how much more interesting driving will be in the future if more people have the freedom to drive drunk. It will sharpen the defensive driving skills of the rest of us.
“This unreleased press statement follows the same twisted, self-serving logic that several public officials have used in explaining their switch from opposing homosexual marriage to favoring it.”If you remember nothing else from this exchange, remember this: our children are learners and unable to determine morality and then hand it down to their parents and other impressionable adults. This is one factor in why our culture is so morally upside down!
“This whole line of argument suggesting that opposition to homosexual “marriage” is a personal and “generational” matter is equally silly.
“There are absolutes. There is right and there is wrong. There are objective truths. A civilization which has no governing principles or laws is doomed to collapse. That is the soul of conservatism.
“The tough part of being a parent is telling one of those young souls whom we have been charged with raising that he or she is wrong. But because it is tough that doesn’t mean that we are excused from doing it or we can delegate our responsibility to a teacher or “the village” or some other entity.
“Parents hold the primary responsibility for the upbringing of their children. Parents are fully capable of still loving a child who is wrong.
“American parents hold the power to begin the process of reversing this dangerous downward trend. Our children look to us for direction and we owe them more than a collective shrug.
“I wish no harm to either Senator Portman or his son but they are wrong.
“And Senator Portman’s attempt to use his position in the Senate to affect the future path of our culture and the lives of other Americans compounds the wrong.
“Being a good parent is infinitely more difficult than being a Senator or President. And telling someone you love that he or she is wrong is the most difficult part of that difficult job.
“A nation which recognizes this is on the road to a vast spiritual recovery.”(Please Note: The introduction to this article is satire. Drunk driving is immoral. I abhor it. I also believe homosexuality is immoral and sinful.)
To which I respond:
I know your message wasn’t really meant for me. I came upon it because the man I will soon marry happens to be on your distribution list for reasons neither of us can fathom. We were not your intended recipients, and so perhaps I am disinclined to a charitable reading of your statement.
Sadly, I cannot escape the conclusion that you are not only losing the debate on the question of marriage equality, but that you are losing it because you are putting out stupefyingly incompetent arguments.
Swapping in “drunk driver” for homosexual in Senator Portman’s own statement as though it makes your point obvious is so intellectually vacant as to be almost funny. Almost. It would be funny if there weren’t people who would somehow find it persuasive, and we could all hold our sides in collective glee. Unfortunately, I am sure that many of your fellow travelers will read your statement and think you nailed it.
However, what anyone who gives it more than three minutes of actual thought can see is how your attempt at wit actually makes my side’s point for us. Because it is in close personal relationships with people that we truly see the impact their lives and decisions have on those around them. And it is in those relationships that the difference between drunk drivers (and I must admire your restraint; I’m rather surprised you didn’t go for the gusto and pick “serial killers”) and homosexuals become most apparent.
The father of a person who drives drunk can see the devastation that behavior can wreak. He can see the lives lost to reckless driving. He can see the guilt that plagues his son when sobriety comes. He can know the fear and the frustration of wondering if his beloved child is hurting himself or someone else on any given night.
It is precisely the lack of this kind of fear and devastation and pain that informs Senator Portman’s change of heart. Rather than seeing horrors and harms, he has (presumably) come to understand exactly the opposite of what you aver in your ersatz statement above. He can see firsthand that his son and his relationships do not hurt other people, but rather are no less deserving of our respect and protection than anyone else.
The loved one of a drunk driver sees closer than just about anyone exactly why it’s immoral. And the loved one of a gay man can see closer than just about anyone exactly why it isn’t.
Your argument is a glib shambles. It belies a terrible poverty of thought. I would almost imagine you would be embarrassed by what you put out on further reflection, if I thought you capable of either reflection or embarrassment.
In any case, you are losing. You lost soundly enough in my state, and you failed to prevent the marriage I’m planning for the near future. And you’ll continue losing if the garbage I quote supra is the best you can do.