Focus on the Family and the Eagle Forum today admitted key objectives motivating their war against gay couples:
James Dobson lists a total of six reasons why gay couples will bring doomsday to the family. The first three reasons, predictably, assert that marriage somehow causes homosexuality to break out globally, creates chaos for gay couples’ children and their friends’ children, and compels heterosexuals to throw away all self-discipline. Nonsense — marriage maintains discipline and safety for heterosexuals and homosexuals — and their children.
Dobson’s Reason No. 4 says married gay couples would cause “the end of the state’s interest in marital relationships.” The Eagle Forum’s Lori Waters explains that the existence of married gay couples would give governments a reason to privatize marriage, returning authority over the institution to the churches (many of which are liberal). Then, governments would find a reason to drop the tax breaks and other benefits associated with secular marriage. But who, other than antigay activists or libertarians, would pressure governments to privatize and to end the incentives? In any event, I find it ironic that Focus on the Family for once defends the bogeyman of “secularism.” And if some limited form of privatization could save marriage from political hacks and meddlers such as James Dobson while preserving benefits for children, then perhaps it’s worth considering.
Dobson’s Reason No. 5 says marriages for gays would cause “a severe curtailing of the spread of the Gospel.” But many of these gays are Christians and Jews. So are their kids, and their extended families. Few people have sought to curtail the constitutional free-speech rights of antigay activists — but Dobson and his allies at Exodus have sought to curtail the free speech of tolerance advocates. Dobson’s assertion makes little sense.
Dobson’s Reason No. 6 holds that recognition of gay couples would bring an end to the culture wars. Unlike some of Dobson’s paranoias, this fear is reasonable. His $100 million organization’s revenues are increasingly dependent not upon healing ministries or constructive politics, but upon fueling as many political “wildfires” as possible, profiting from fear and loathing rooted in stereotypes.
To be fair, there are other groups that rely on fear and loathing for their revenues and their sense of purpose.
Can this blog critically analyze the ex-gay movement and its political affiliations without resorting to the same tactics? This is an issue that I struggle with.