August 09, 2005

Destroying the "Traditional Family"

For a long time, I bought the right-wing party line about how allowing gay couples to marry would lead to the “destruction of the traditional family,” as they love to trumpet loudly.

Then I did something the Religious Right just abhors—I thought for myself and then actually became acquainted with some gay couples. I have seen a love and devotion in these couples that reminds me of that I sharedwith my late wife and now with my fiancee. How could these people having the right to get married destroy anything?

In this excerpt from his book “Marriage Under Fire,” Dr. James Dobson wraps up his case against gay marriage. I found it appallingly easy to unravel. Here are a few of his key points and where I see reality is different.

“The legalization of homosexual marriage will quickly destroy the traditional family.” Do you know what really destroys the traditional family? Divorce! Yes, even some of the ministers who so piously preach about “family values” from the pulpit every Sunday have broken their marriage vows and divorced their wives. It just makes common sense to me that we should be a LOT more worried about heterosexuals failing at marriage than gay couples, many who have been together functioning as marred couples for years, having the opportunity to enjoy those benefits.

“Children Will Suffer Most.” Here the esteemed Dr. Dobson points out that homosexuals are rarely monogamous. Again, I’d worry about that 50% divorce rate myself. What is worse, living with two fathers or two mothers or being raised by a single parent? It just makes sense that having two committed partners who love each other and love a child builds a very solid foundation in a child’s life.

“Public schools will embrace homosexuality.” Heaven forbid that acceptance be taught in our public schools. After all, it obviously is not in Dr. Dobson’s church!

“Religious freedom will almost certainly be jeopardized.” Here Dr. Dobson cites examples of legislation in Canada designed to restrict hate-mongering speeches against gays. Thank heavens preachers are free to preach messages of hate and exclusion in our fine nation!

“The gospel of Jesus Christ will be severely curtailed.” The Religious Right’s narrow-minded and twisted view of Jesus would take a hit, that’s for sure. What would come forth is a renewed emphasis on how He loves ALL people who accept him as Lord and Savior.

One might read this and wonder how I, a lowly accountant and sportswriter by trade, would dare to challenge a man so learned as Dr. James Dobson, someone who has sold millions of books and has a nationwide radio ministry.

I would respond by saying I am simply observing my surroundings, opening my heart to the Holy Spirit, and following His lead. I did NOT establish a political agenda and look to filter everything, even the Word of God, through that agenda. I do not fear or hate people who are not like me. Jesus preached love and acceptance and that is the example I try to follow.

People like Dr. Dobson are trying to secure the future of the family by keeping apart people who truly love and are committed to each other, but happen to be gay. Does that sound as stupid to you as it does to me?

A productive focus on the family would be one that helps people, regardless of sexual orientation, make better decisions when they take their marriage vows and offer assistance and guidance in keeping them.

Of course, that wouldn’t sell as many books or bring in as many donations, would it?


  1. I think the big problem with a lot of what passes for Christianity today, is that Jesus and his message are not their focus.

    They seem way too endeared to Paul.

    I don't think Paul forgot his Pharisee roots when he became a Christian.

  2. I agree with your points and want to add
    "Children Will Suffer Most"- I guess the "right" has decided to lay off the pedophilia stuff since it seems that more info has found these people to be hetero...

  3. Good points, Jim.

    I've never found any valid argument as to how gay rights will harm heterosexual marriage. At the same time, the children who don't have married parents now, because their parents are gay, are hurt in numerous ways.