The Family Research Council held its annual Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC, this weekend. To me, it’s important to listen to and try to understand people whose views you don’t agree with so I spent about two hours tonight watching portions of the presentations from Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Paul Rand, Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Gov. Sarah Palin. I finished off my evening by watching the panel discussion on Marriage in America: the Road Ahead. I drew the line at watching Alan Robertson from Duck Dynasty or the Duggers from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting. One can only take so much whining about religious persecution in an evening.
I can sum it all up in one sentence: homosexual activists are threatening people’s religious freedoms.
But here are some of my highlights with their points and my BPJ comments:
Senator Ted Cruz:
- Cruz: Last week was the anniversary of my 21-hour filibuster that begat the 2013 government shutdown. My six-year-old daughter, Caroline, said that nothing I have done in the US Senate has impressed her more than when I read The Cat in the Hat on the Senate floor.
- BPJ: Caroline, I agree with you completely.
- Cruz: The only way to turn this country around is to “defend the values that are American values. We stand for life. We stand for marriage. We stand for Israel.”
- BPJ: I remember the Declaration of Independence a little differently. He’s got the “life” part correct, (we can debate his interpretation of “life”), but I thought after that, it was liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Where is Israel mentioned in our Constitution? From the founding of the first colony at Jamestown in 1607 until 1914, the region that is now Israel was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. And even after that, Israel didn’t exist until 1947. To his credit, unlike many of the other speakers, Cruz didn’t speak much about the war on marriage equality. It was like he got to the end of his speech and then realized he needed to hit that point so he threw it in at the end.
Sen. Rand Paul: As he took the stage, he had a video of a sonogram and the heartbeat of a fetus playing. I know that most musicians are Democrats, but is there no one that will license his campaign some music?
Gov. Mike Huckabee:
- Huckabee: “This nonsense that has happened where individual judges around the country decided that they can upend the duly passed laws and constitutional limits in states that affirm natural marriage – we need to say no: judges don’t get to legislate.”
- BPJ: This was a common view of many of the speakers in that judges have overstepped their bounds by deciding that laws are unconstitutional. I hope that Gov. Huckabee and others read this. The judicial branch interprets laws and determines whether they are constitutional. That’s why we have a judicial branch of government. They’re not “over-stepping” their bounds when they overrule the majority. They’re there to protect the minority rights.
Gov. Sarah Palin:
- Palin: Unlike Senator Cruz, who gave a near perfect oration without any notes, Ms. Palin had a script in front of her, but she kept tripping up over what she was saying. These slip-ups caused her to resort to her “I slaughter mooses” shtick. She really talked more about herself than she did about politics. And she attacked the liberal media and made her usual series of gaffes. She mentioned that truth was an endangered species at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue.
- BPJ: All this time I had been worried what would have happened if McCain had been elected President and then died. All my concern was for nothing. Sarah Palin would have been at the Willard Hotel instead of the White House during the rest of McCain’s term in office.
Panel on Natural Marriage:
The religious right seems to have shifted their rhetoric from defending “traditional marriage” to “natural marriage.” This is probably because they finally realized that marriage has had a checkered past, with arranged marriages, prohibitions on interracial marriages, etc. So now they are talking about “natural” marriages, which basically means that the couple can produce a children. This concept is just as lame as “traditional marriage.” I have many friends who are married but have chosen not to have children. I guess their marriages are no more valued than mine to my husband. And forget marrying later in life, when you can no longer have children. Nothing really new or exciting except I did enjoy watching the only non-politicians on the panel: Melissa and Aaron Klein. Melissa is the cake-baker in Oregon that refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. Her story is so interesting that she’ll be the subject of next week’s blog.
The conference ended with the presentation of the Inaugural Cost of Discipleship Award to Mariam Ibraheem, a woman who refused to renounce her Christianity and was imprisoned in Sudan and then sentenced to death. She was given the choice to convert to Islam, but she refused. Ms. Ibraheem’s story is truly compelling and heart wrenching. She gave birth to her second daughter with her legs bound in chains, and only after significant international pressure was she freed and allowed to immigrate to the United States. Ms. Ibraheem’s strength and courage in the face of religious persecution is truly inspirational. I do find it ironic that none of the speakers could see the parallel that the LGBT community faces in countries throughout the world that criminalize homosexuality, often because of the lobbying activities of “Christian” pastors from the US. In Nigeria, Gambia and Uganda, gays and lesbians can be arrested and even killed if they don’t renounce their sexuality. And why? Because homosexuality is contrary to the predominant cultural or religious view in those countries.
BPJ CONCLUSION: Our nation and the world will be a better place if we follow the teachings of Christ and practice peace instead of war, embrace those who are different from us and adopt the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.