The Gay Agenda: Responding as Christian Conservatives

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The news is flooded by coverage of the upcoming Supreme Court case that will determine the status of same-sex marriage across the United States, as well as new legislation in deeply red states to protect “religious freedom” by allowing individuals and businesses to legally refuse service to LGBTQ persons. How should conservatives, specifically Christian conservatives, respond?

Firstly, we must acknowledge the importance of faith. Faith is deeply rooted in the United States from the Founding Fathers to the individual callings Americans receive today to carry out lives of service in pursuit of social justice, such as creating a business and hiring the unemployed or empowering young people to break away from the school-to-prison pipeline. Though we may flaunt the idea of “Church and State,” Christianity has nonetheless influenced both American society and our government.

Where does faith (in this case, Christian faith) come from? 1 Corinthians 13 lays out in detail what love is and finishes in verse 13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Faith is rooted in love, not the other way around.

Why does faith stem from love? Because 1 John 4:8 tells us “God is love.” God does not simply possess love, God’s attributes don’t simply entail love–God is love. How better to fathom God and love than to study the life of Jesus Christ during this Holy week? God’s most loving act was giving up his son Jesus to die for you and thus ensuring your eternal life. Jesus’ most loving act was completing that mission, one of degradation, dehumanization, and the ultimate undeserved suffering.

We are a broken country in dire need of that same unconditional love. What makes America exceptional is when her people carry out bold acts emulating God’s unconditional love. The Founding Fathers signed a Declaration of Independence guaranteeing their execution as traitors if the colonies lost the war. Despite whatever personal vices they may be accused of today, that certainly was an altruistic deed.

What breaks down America and hinders her exceptionalism, however, are the systematic efforts to impose discrimination and segregation, to publicly humiliate, and to oppress. This wolf of oppression has too often been covered in the sheep’s clothes as the words “religious freedom.” Faith and love are preached while cruelty and hate are executed in action; this disconnect may not even be recognized by the one who commits this paradox.

How can we promote American exceptionalism? Christian conservatives should defend the First Amendment in remembrance of the Founding Father’s choice to not have a state religion. Marriage must be understood as an important role in building families to build our village and to raise the next generation of children who then aspire and reach higher than their parents. Marriage in the United States should not be solely subject to a narrow interpretation of a verse in Leviticus while ignoring Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19:12. A biblical and theological discourse on marriage or homosexuality cannot be simply confined to out of context verse pickings.

“Traditional marriage” is an empty phrase without the context of the purpose of marriage, emulating unconditional love. What is “traditional” anyway? Is it whites only marrying whites while ensuring no black person marries a white person? This view of “traditional” marriage was ardently defended only a generation ago. The Supreme Court didn’t rule laws prohibiting interracial marriage as unconstitutional until 1963, and the last state law prohibiting interracial marriage was only officially repealed in 2000 in Alabama.

Is traditional marriage about fertility? Infertile couples as well as older couples are married all the time and we as a society are better for it. Whether through adoption, guardianship, friendship, community involvement, or other forms of sacrifice and service, these couples still contribute greatly to building our village and raising the next generation.

One may define traditional marriage as a life-long family commitment between a fertile man and a fertile woman who physically procreate. That’s more than fine, that’s something that helps our country grow. But that definition doesn’t automatically exclude other forms of unconditional love in marriage.

There is a gay agenda in our country. It’s called equality.

Queer people did not choose their identities. They did not choose to be thrown off buildings by ISIS for being (or being accused of being) gay, nor did they choose to be stoned to death thousands of years ago or today. Despite being bullied, slandered, outcast, dehumanized, hunted, murdered, many still strive to emulate God’s unconditional love.

The ability to demonstrate unconditional love through marriage, including same-sex marriage, is beneficial for the health of our country. These men and women want to raise families in a loving home surrounded by role models. Our country’s desire should not be to impede the growth and strengthening of our village, but to catalyze it.

Today is the day after Palm Sunday, the day Jesus entered the temple area and overturned tables in anger because a place of prayer was consumed by a market for priests to make profit. The priests certainly didn’t enjoy Jesus’ disregard of “tradition,” in fact they plotted to kill Jesus. They missed the message. The Gospel isn’t centered around earthly rules; the Gospel is centered around the love of Jesus Christ for every single person.

Families with same-sex parents may not be “traditional,” but what should matter to conservative Christians is not a constructed idea of manmade traditions susceptible to changing winds, but rather the underlying root to Christianity and conservatism: unconditional love. Through unconditional love we expand opportunity and liberty, we gain knowledge from one another, we challenge each other, and we build a village by building families.

Same-sex marriage does not threaten “traditionally” married couples or the sanctity of marriage. What threatens the sanctity of marriage are the scores of politicians who lambast same-sex marriage, yet meanwhile engage in extramarital affairs. Perhaps they one day will see same-sex couples committed to fidelity as a wake up call for how they should aspire to live their own lives, lives of unconditional love and dignity.

Opposing same-sex marriage will not prevent same-sex couples from loving one another, or becoming a family. All opposition will do is deprive citizens of their right to human dignity and equal treatment before the law. All opposition will do is ensure “legal” discrimination and the institutionalization of second class “others” while meanwhile the supporters of this injustice cleanse their hands of its evils under the misconstrued cover of “religious freedom.”

Conservative heterosexual Christians may not completely understand why someone is attracted to or falls in love with a member of their own sex, just as a gay person may not completely understand how it feels to be attracted to the opposite sex. However, both still have the ability to value each other’s roles in building a larger village through families, where everyone can join together for a common good.

Same-sex marriage can bring faith, hope, and love to our nation. As a conservative Christian, it seems right to support this cause that expands liberty, opportunity, freedom, and challenges all couples to commit to unconditional love, manifested first and foremost in God, as well as in their relationships to each other and to the broader community.

It is time to flip the table to ensure the meaning of marriage is exalted by purpose and grounded by unconditional love, not impeded by societal definitions of tradition which shift like the sands of the Sahara. Now is one of those key moments in history where bold action, inspired by God’s unconditional love, will make America even more exceptional.

This article presents the views of author Alexander Bobroske, not necessarily those of the Georgetown University College Republicans or GUCR Board. This piece belongs solely to Mr. Bobroske and cannot be reproduced in any way without his approval. For more GUCR updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Democratic Senators Aren’t Even Reading Bills Anymore

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On September 25, 2014 Eric Holder announced his intention to resign from his post as Attorney General. Twenty-six weeks later, however, Holder continues to wait for his most likely successor, Loretta Lynch, to be approved by the Senate. Combined with Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) recent doubts about Lynch’s approval by Republicans, it appears that with this delay Mrs. Lynch might never become Attorney General.

What is keeping Lynch’s nomination from being voted on, let alone approved? After all, she began meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee almost five and a half months ago.

An anti-human trafficking bill that was introduced by Republicans two months ago with bipartisan support recently cleared a subcommittee with approval from both Republican and Democratic senators. After moving from the subcommittee to the larger Senate body for amendments and debate, Democrats still approved it. At the last second, however, an ‘anti-abortion’ clause was found in the document and Democrats called back their support.

It’s important to note that the language of this bill had remained unchanged since its introduction more than two months ago. That means that the nine Democratic senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee who discussed this bill ‘extensively’ probably did not even read the bill at all. But what does this have to do with Loretta Lynch?

What should have been a fairly simple nomination vote to approve Lynch as Attorney General has now been delayed because of Democrats’ recent delay of the anti-trafficking bill vote. Speaking on the floor of the Senate, an aggravated Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) explained why he was holding up the Lynch nomination. This bill provides help to people who are victims of forced prostitution and human trafficking, which is a much more moral and important cause than letting Eric Holder retire. Yet even with the ‘anti-abortion’ clause removed and an opportunity to vote on the bill with that change, Democrats continue to remain inactive, and Sen. McConnell determined to finish the bill before any discussion of the obviously less-important nomination of Lynch for Attorney General.

As a result of the fiasco Democrats’ have caused by not reading the bill they were supposed to be debating, Lynch’s nomination has been postponed and the Republicans who were planning on supporting her have had more time to research her career and political views. This has translated into finding more faults and more reasons to vote against Lynch, who was nominated by President Obama last fall. With all the extra time to dissect Lynch’s career and legal views, all but four Republicans plan to vote against her.

All of this trouble, of course, could have been avoided if the nine Democratic senators on the Judicial Committee had paid attention and done their job correctly. Now, a new storm has erupted on Capitol Hill and it’s unclear when the Lynch nomination will be voted on. Until then, Sen. McConnell has rightly refused to allow the nomination until the anti-trafficking bill can be settled, showing that at least one person in Congress has their priorities straight.

This article presents the views of author Cole Horton, not necessarily those of the Georgetown University College Republicans or GUCR Board. This piece belongs solely to Mr. Horton and cannot be reproduced in any way without his approval. For more GUCR updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Could It Be Cruz?

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Like it or not, Ted Cruz’s candidacy is no joke. The Texas senator is a serious candidate and a savvy politician. His polarizing style is anathema to some, including Republicans, but to others it is the surest sign of his conservative bona fides. Cruz may be underestimated in the 2016 race, but this is for good reason. His campaign is fraught with significant challenges, including questions of experience and electability.

Early 2016 polls put Cruz at the bottom of the Republican pack, with support at 4.6 percent in the RCP Average. These numbers have already led many in the media to write off Cruz’s candidacy. One such headline read in the most definitive terms, “Let’s Be Serious About Ted Cruz From The Start: He’s Too Extreme And Too Disliked To Win.” Perhaps. But, the pronouncement is premature. It reflects more the distaste of the talking class than any accurate assessment of the conservative base.

Cruz’s televangelist-like speech on Monday rang with a chorus that called on the audience to “imagine.” He told them to imagine “booming economic growth,” “abolishing the IRS,” and a federal government that “works to defend the sanctity of human life and uphold the sacrament of marriage.” To many conservatives, Cruz hits all the right notes. His challenge will be to leverage his claim to being the most conservative candidate in the race.

In a speech delivered at CPAC earlier this month, Cruz previewed the strategy for his presidential bid: “We need to reassemble the Reagan Coalition,” he said. “We bring together fiscal conservatives, social conservatives and national security conservatives.” Yet, Cruz appears more concerned with energizing the Republican base than on gaining the support of disaffected Democrats and Independents. His strategy may take him only so far and would probably prove devastating against the Democratic nominee.

Of course, there is also the issue of experience. Cruz, a one term Senator, lacks the political experience of his potential competitors. His resume is nonetheless impressive. Before his election to the Senate in 2012, Cruz served as the Solicitor General of Texas, arguing many high-profile cases before the Supreme Court. He was a “brilliant” student at Harvard Law and became the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States. But, as Republicans have long argued the foolishness of electing one term Senator Barack Obama, the case for Cruz becomes more tenuous. In an editorial drawing many similarities between Cruz and Obama, the Wall Street Journal highlighted this particular difficulty: “Mr. Cruz will have to convince GOP voters that he is not another self-centered governing rookie who thinks he doesn’t need to work with members of Congress, however much he despises them.”

This lack of support among party elites is perhaps even more concerning. While Cruz brandishes the fact in his battle against the establishment, he will need that very support in order to win the Republican nomination. Candidates do not win without money or the endorsement of the party. Being the “most hated man in the Senate” is no way to get that support. Cruz can continue his crusade against the party elite, but grassroots support alone will not take him to the White House. If he doesn’t realize this fact, then “imagining” will be just about all he’ll be doing.

This article presents the views of author Kevin Toohers, not necessarily those of the Georgetown University College Republicans or GUCR Board. This piece belongs solely to Mr. Toohers and cannot be reproduced in any way without his approval. For more GUCR updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.