Unhappy Father's Day: FRC Says Same-Sex Marriage In California Threatens Dads' Annual Celebration
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:50:02 PM EST
Sunday was Father's Day. Like millions of men all over the country, I enjoyed a little extra attention from my family. I got cards from my daughter and son, and my wife made one of my favorite meals, topping it off with her sinfully decadent coconut cake.

Alas, this domestic bliss will soon be a thing of the past. The Family Research Council (FRC) has informed us that this could be the last Father's Day ever. Why? Because same-sex couples are allowed to marry in California!

I know; it doesn't make any sense to me either. Yet there it was in newspaper ads all over California.

As The Washington Post reported, "This past weekend, the Family Research Council ran ads in California newspapers declaring, `Beginning Monday judges are removing the word husband from California marriage certificates. The next step will be to remove the term father from birth certificates. Enjoy this Father's Day....It might be your last.'"

(By the way, the FRC's claim about marriage certificates is, of course, not true. They used to refer to "bride" and "groom." Now they say "Party A" and "Party B." Big deal.)

Why must these Religious Right organizations always reach for the most hysterical and lurid rhetoric they can find? Don't they realize it makes them look foolish? Try as I might, I have yet to figure out how the language on a marriage certificate of a same-sex couple in California (or indeed any state) could possibly affect my status as a father or shut down Father's Day.

Groups like the FRC employ the most incredibly lame arguments imaginable against same-sex marriage. They are constantly telling us, for example, that churches will be forced to marry same-sex couples or that expanding gay rights generally means churches will be required to hire gays or admit them as members.

Not as long as we have the First Amendment. A house of worship is free to choose which couples it will marry. Protestants have no right to demand marriage in a Catholic church. Nor can a church that employs only male clergy be required to hire women. Churches also remain free to expel any member for any reason.

The FRC's claims are scare tactics, pure and simple - and the fact that the organization constantly resorts to them is further proof of how weak its arguments are. I challenge the FRC and other Religious Right groups to come up with one good, secular reason against same-sex marriage. I don't think they can do it.

Some don't even try. Recently, an ultra-conservative Roman Catholic group called the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) placed a two-page ad in The New York Times blasting same-sex marriage. TFP cited several Catholic theologians and papal decrees against the practice.

That's nice - and it might have some relevance if this were medieval France. But it's modern-day America, and while I'm perfectly happy to let the pope issue all of the decrees he wants, his interpretation of Catholic dogma simply cannot be the basis for U.S. laws. Nor can a narrow interpretation of the Bible offered by James Dobson and his pals.

So how about it, FRC? All I want is one solid secular reason why same-sex marriage should be banned. And don't try to give me that "marriage-is-about-raising-children" line. Many couples marry and never have children, either because that is their choice or an inability to conceive. (Plus, plenty of gay couples raise children.) Although it has been adopted by some courts, that argument is absurd. You must do better.

One solid secular reason is all I want. I'm waiting.




Display:
panic button. Dobson et al wouldn't be using the rhetoric if it didn't raise money. I'd guess that "teh gay" is a handy label to which the Dobson-listeners can attach any and all anxieties, social, relationship, economic, whatever.

by NancyP on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:09:20 PM EST

Start counting: You'll be hearing dozens (at least) of lies and falsehoods in the coming months from FRC and TFP and others of their ilk. Shame on them!

But here's a convenient argument I always use when they start their "but my church will be forced to marry those people" blather: "The Catholic church and some other religious groups (Christian and otherwise) do not recognize civil divorce. Have you ever heard of the Federal government or any state or local government requiring them to do so? Of course not; they're free to refuse to recognize divorce, and they'll be free to disregard civil marriage."

by S1 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 02:20:32 PM EST


to do as Germany (and other European countries) does. EVERYONE is married in a civil ceremony before a judge. That is your LEGAL union (wedding, handfasting, marriage, or whatever you want to call it).

IF you want your union blessed in church, as in a traditional marriage ceremony, you are certainly free to do it, but it has no bearing on your rights as a couple, legal or otherwise.

Perhaps it is time to get the church out of the equation here, too. Civil unions for everyone, and church weddings for those who desire one. It would certainly take out the talking points for the fundies.

by phatkhat on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 03:21:47 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Book Report: Yes, Politicians, We Know You Love The Bible. What Else Have You Read?
Real estate magnate Donald Trump says lots of outrageous stuff, but none of it seems to slow him down. His latest gaffe, however, ought......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
American Renewal Project
On my journey to the American Renewal Project in Austin, Texas, I listened to hard right talk radio out of Houston.  There was an......
By wilkyjr (7 comments)
`Just Go Somewhere Else!': A Cavalier Dismissal Of A Serious Concern
A few years ago, I took part in a panel discussion on church-state issues at a Seventh-day Adventist church in Takoma Park, Md. During......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
John Dorhauer Puts Christian Right on Notice
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer was a front pager here at Talk to Action years before he was elected General Minister and President of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Father Of Falsehoods: Why Ted Cruz's Dad Is Wrong About Prayer In Schools
Many misconceptions abound about the issue of prayer in schools, and some people persist in believing a lot of myths. One of the most......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
A Texas Size Conspiracy
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has recently been indicted by a grand jury for an illegal investment scheme.  He faces felony charges. Word has......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Are the Anti-Planned Parenthood Smear Videos... Investigative Journalism?
I have been glad to see journalism catching up with the anti-Planned Parenthood scam videos. From The Huffington Post to the New England Journal......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Liberty's Latest Ploy: What's Up With The Sanders Invite?
The announcement that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will speak at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Sept. 14 has left a lot of people......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
Creeping Christian Rightism in the Democratic Party
The executive director of a DC group with deep roots in the Democratic faith outreach schemes of a decade ago, has a regular column......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Ghosts Over Mississippi
     Clinton, Mississippi is home to historic Mississippi College.  The Southern Baptist school is owned by the state Baptist convention in the Magnolia......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
The Cardinal's Gasbag: Catholic League Leader Rushes To Defend Dolan From AU Criticism
There is a thing called Godwin's Law on the internet. It holds that if an online argument goes on long enough, someone will drag......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
The Theocratic Politics of Raphael Cruz
"There's a relationship there that's unlike any in American history to my knowledge. We've just never seen anything remotely like this...   I believe......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
An Assassin's Motivation?
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof quietly sat in the prayer meeting at African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina before he shot......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Christian Right Turns to Nullification to Counter Marriage Equality
Last year in The Public Eye magazine, Rachel Tabachnick and Frank L. Cocozzelli warned of the trend on the religious and political Right toward......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Historian Gerald Horne on Charleston, Church, & Slave Resistance
Professor Gerald Horne of the University of Houston notes the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was at the center of Black resistance to slavery......
By Chip Berlet (1 comment)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (4 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (1 comment)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.