Since the last presidential election, I have become convinced that it will be impossible for future candidates to oppose gay marriage. As public opinion swings in favor of same-sex nuptials, there simply won’t be room for candidates who continue to support the traditional definition of marriage. If I am right, Governor Romney will be found to have been the last candidate to hold such a position.
Enter Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey who is widely believed to be a contender for the Republican nomination in 2016. In a gubernatorial debate yesterday, he weighed-in on the issue and reasserted his opposition to gay marriage. Politico reports:
Republican Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that if one of his four children came out as gay, he would “grab them and hug them and tell them I love them.”
He would also tell them “that Dad believes that marriage is between one man and one woman,” he said…
“My children understand that there are going to be differences of opinion in our house and in houses all across this state and across this country,” Christie said. He said he would respect voters if they approved gay marriage, but said the decision does not belong to the courts or the legislature.
If Christie keeps this up, he may prove my prediction wrong. I guess we’ll see.
In case you’re interested, our Prime Minister (Australia) is very vocally opposed to same sex marriage. He was voted in just over a month ago with an overwhelming majority. Interesting …
to be fair the opposition has a leadership battle where the Atheist Julia Gillard OPPOSED gay marriage and the CHRISTIAN Kevin Rudd SUPPORTED gay marriage!!!!
If we’re willing to vote for a candidate who isn’t against gay marriage, we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.
“isn’t against gay marriage”
And here is part of the problem. How about “isn’t for preserving marriage.” Or “opposes true marriage.” WADR, Paul, You have adopted the opposition’s framing of the debate.
Should we all move to ‘the land down under’?
Christie could prove you wrong, but President Obama made similar claims early in his first term campaign and then decided (when it was needed to rally his troops) to go public about same-sex marriage.
“Should we all move to ‘the land down under’?”
Possibly. Good weather, good projected economic growth, low government debt, low deficits, low unemployment, subsidized education and health care, they speak English, and there’s a decently sized evangelical contingent.
Paul, would you be willing to vote for a candidate that isn’t a Christian as long as they oppose same-sex marriage?
“Would you be willing to vote for a candidate that isn’t a Christian as long as they oppose same-sex marriage?”
Ian poses an interesting question. The term “Christian” has been hijacked. I want more specifics on a candidate’s definition of what he means by “Christian” if he’s going to self-identify as one, and use that as a “calling card.” I would vote for a non-Christian candidate if he promoted policies consistent with biblical values, the same as I would hire a competent non-Christian brain surgeon if I needed one.
Paula writes: “I would vote for a non-Christian candidate if he promoted policies consistent with biblical values”
Would that include a Muslim? Some Muslims would probably like to see Old Testament types of punishment exacted for homosexual conduct, I’m sure.
What sort of policies do you think should be implemented that “promote Biblical values”? Should stores be forced to close on Sunday? Should blasphemy and heresy (however you define it) be crimes? The Biblical standards for marriage are quite high: it forbids marriage between believers and unbelievers as well as divorce in most situations. Should these standards also be reflected in public policy?
Paula, I only posed the question based on the reasoning used by Paul’s response. “If we are willing to vote for a candidate who isn’t against gay marriage, we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves”. I will try not to hijack the thread with anything polarizing. I guess to that point, are Biblical values the only reason you choose one political candidate over the other? My example goes back to Romney-I knew many Christians that said verbatim-“he does not believe/worship the same God we do, but he agrees with us on social issues, so that’s why I’m voting for him.” To me, if 1 or 2 social issues are the only thing you look for in an elected official, it says a lot about how you view other people. Would you vote/want someone who is lost to govern you, only because they agree with 1 or 2 social issues for you? I realize it’s not that simple and personally, the whole “lesser of two evils” argument is garbage. I realize this could spinoff into a philosophical montage on if/should Christians participate in elections so I’ll stop here before I get myself into trouble.
I think it’s all talk from Christie. As he’s said, if the voters are for it, he won’t fight against it. Sounds like a cop out. And don’t forget the bill he signed against counseling homosexuals. I live in Jersey and he does not represent believers.
Bolded portions added by me:
Since the last presidential election, I have become convinced that it will be impossible for future viable candidates [in national elections] to oppose gay marriage. As public opinion swings in favor of same-sex nuptials, there simply won’t be room for viable candidates [in national elections] who continue to support the traditional definition of marriage. If I am right, Governor Romney will be found to have been the last viable candidate [in a national election] to hold such a position.
It’s entirely possible that today’s Republican party will continue to nominate presidential candidates who oppose same-sex marriage but who are not “viable”, i.e. reasonably likely to win elections.
The system is heavily biased toward there being two parties. It abhors a situation in which one party is a perennial minority. In such a situation the minority party will modify its platform so that its support increases to roughly the same level as its opposition. What’s not a given is the manner in which the platform will change.
When you follow right-leaning media closely enough you can sort of see this happening in slow-motion. For instance, World Magazine has traditionally towed the conservative line. A few months long ago it featured a series of articles and blog posts that were highly sympathetic to current immigrants and to the idea of increasing the level of legal immigration, including from Mexico. More recently World ran a number of pieces that were critical of the death penalty as it is currently implemented in this country. Both of those represent violations of conservative Christian political “canon”.
If ground must be given up then World seems to advocate retreating on issues like immigration and the death penalty instead of others it deems more important. Secular conservatives, in contract, might prefer to retreat on issues like recognition of anthropogenic global warming and/or same-sex marriage.
Christie signed into law that counselors cannot use therapy to change minors from gay to straight. Sounds like he is really on the side of sin.
Ian writes: “Would you vote/want someone who is lost to govern you …”
We have a Constitution which, in Article VI, explicitly states that there shall be “no religious test” for federal positions. Do you think this article should be removed from our Constitution? It almost sounds like you think we should be electing the “Pastor-in-Chief”.
Besides, I’m not sure how one determines the spiritual state of others with any degree of reliability. There are many liars out there, as I’m sure you’re aware. Further, even if one is a “True Christian”, there is no guarantee they’ll have the knowledge, wisdom and temperament to govern well. Was George W Bush a good president? What about Jimmy Carter? Both had serious flaws and blind spots.
It’s not necessarily contradictory to support a ban on official religious tests while simultaneously holding the view that believers are enjoined to vote only for other believers.
Essentially he’s saying, “Everybody should be free to run ‘their guy’ for office; Christians should support ‘our guys’.”
This is tangentially related: Denny’s new book is on sale at Westminster Bookstore for only $9: http://www.wtsbooks.com/what-is-the-meaning-of-sex-denny-burk-9781433536090. WTS Books is great (great shipping policies, great sales, everything is packed VERY well), so I recommend everyone support them and get this book. (I was not paid for this endorsement!)
I think long-term (2020 and beyond) Denny is right on the viability of Presidential candidates opposing gay marriage outright. However, the fact is that Evangelicals make up a great portion of the Tea Party and mainstream conservatives who consistently vote in Republican primaries. I expect Christie to hold onto his position and make rhetorical moves to the “center” if he receives the nomination in 2016. If he wins then he is sure to jump on the gay marriage train at some point in order to curry favor by the time re-election rolls along and the country is even more pro-gay marriage. Everything in his history and tendencies points to this eventual evolution.
Here’s another reason.
A typical politician with no backbone: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/21/new-jersey-formally-recognizes-same-sex-marriages/
His pro-life stance is weak and he’s done nothing here in Jersey to end abortion. He’s okay with it prior to 13 weeks and holds to the exception clause.
He’s been tough on public schools, but my taxes have gone up and he’s given nothing back to families who do not use public school for their children.
I really do not understand why people think he would be a good representative. His way of dealing with people certainly does not represent what believers should want in a leader.