A recent Fox News poll of registered voters shows a plurality oppose gay marriage. Combined with the recent Pew poll showing support among Americans slipping below 50%, could we be seeing the start of a trend?
At a confidential meeting over the summer, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey boasted to influential evangelical leaders that he was the state’s “first pro-life governor since Roe vs. Wade,” reminded them that he had vetoed legislation allowing gays to wed and, in a knowing reference to the Gospel of Matthew, spoke of his moral obligation to help the “least of us.”
But even as Mr. Christie sought to persuade them of his conservative credentials, his own deep-seated discomfort with ideological purity kept creeping in. He suggested that if the Republican Party wanted to win back the White House, it needed to look to a candidate with broad appeal, like himself or Jeb Bush, said one attendee, Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. If it instead demanded orthodoxy, Mr. Christie’s message was “they can pick somebody else and lose,” Mr. Anderson recalled.
With the contretemps over lane closings on the George Washington Bridge on the back burner for now and Mr. Christie laying groundwork for a Republican presidential run, the persistent skepticism, unease and, in some cases, distrust that he faces from social and religious conservatives may be the biggest and least understood obstacle in his path.
…“He has appointed some really terrible judges to the State Supreme Court,” said Maggie Gallagher, a prominent social conservative, writer and senior fellow at American Principles Project, a right-leaning think tank.
Matt Towery, a GOP pollster and debate expert, said that Huckabee potentially bolting from the party would “be a huge issue for Republicans.”
“They can ill-afford a very credible conservative leader shearing away any of their vote in the general election, if he were to get on the ballot in some of the states where that is an issue of significance,” he said.
But Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow of the conservative American Principles Project, said that “many ordinary voters are going to be grateful” should Huckabee strike out on his own.
“He is the kind of man who speaks from the heart, not the pundits’ polling playbook,” she said. “For the last eight years, ‘professional Republicans’ in D.C. have urged GOP candidates to remain silent on some of the core moral issues of our time.”
The current crisis in marriage and family life arises from “a cult of momentary well-being,” stated Cardinal Peter Erdö, the relator general of the 2014 Synod of the Family. In his opening speech, one which traditionally sets the tone for the whole synod, the Cardinal emphasized that “many look upon their lives not as a life-long endeavour but a series of moments in which great value is placed on feeling good … . The future appears threatening, because it may happen that in the future we will feel worse.”
This view of the current marriage crisis is shared by Maggie Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage and the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. “Too many of us no longer believe it is possible to make a lifetime vow of love and live up to it,” so we become trapped in “alienation from our deepest longings,” she explained.
Adding it’s voice to the Christian Post report on the panel, the Daily Signal also covered Maggie at the Values Voter Summit.
“All of the tensions that social conservatives and libertarians have comes from the perception that social issues are holding the Republican Party back,” said Maggie Gallagher, an author and conservative commentator. “But social issues are being scapegoated. The Republicans [in 2012] had a poor economic message.”
WASHINGTON — With conservative Christians and libertarians sharing common ideologies that stand against big government and federal overreaching, the two groups’ need to put aside their few differences and unite in order to defeat a Democratic agenda that “assaults” American liberties, a panel of prominent social conservatives agreed Saturday.
Speaking at a Family Research Council panel at the Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C.,a social conservative pollster, political commentator and campaign advisor for Sen. Rand Paul, R- Ky., discussed the importance of getting the two ideological groups on the same voting path to solidify their stances against issues like big-government overeaches and infringement on personal and religious liberties.
…”For me, the separation [of the two groups] has always been a little odd,” conservative commentator Maggie Gallagher said. “A lot of the tensions that we are experiencing between social conservatives and libertarians, some of it is specific to the issue of gay marriage. A lot of it comes from the perception by many libertarian donors that social issues is what is holding the Republican Party back.”
However, Conway added that libertarians and social conservatives mostly agree on their stance against abortion. While not all libertarians are pro-life, Stafford agreed with Conway by saying that more libertarians are pro-life than people realize.
Sept. 23: Public Forum on “The State and Marriage: Understanding Two Perspectives,” 7 p.m., Thomas Harrison Middle School
The Community Dialogue Project is a structured dialogue to present the community with two different perspectives on the law and public policy concerning marriage. The traditional position – that the legal definition of marriage should be restricted to unions of one man and one woman – will be presented by Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow with the American Principles Project. The view that the state should not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual unions in defining marriage will be presented by James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia. For more information, contact The Community Dialogue Project at CommunityDialogueProject@
Two prominent GOP groups recently issued a report, based on eight focus groups and a poll of 800 registered female voters, on the GOP’s “women” problem. As usual, media accounts zeroed in like a laser on the question of abortion, and here, despite many strong points, the report suggests a variant of the so-called truce strategy. “Deal honestly with any disagreement,” the report recommends, “then move to other issues.”
In our critique of similar thinking by the Republican National Committee in its autopsy, “Building a Winning GOP Coalition,” we argued that this analysis of the abortion issue gets the political truth exactly backward: The more we run away from, or mute our voice on, the life issue, the less voters trust the GOP, the more Democrats are allowed to define the GOP brand on the life issue as “anti-woman,” and the fewer new voters we attract, especially among Hispanics and other new Americans.
As hard as it is to see from Washington, women’s problems with the GOP are not being driven by abortion. The May 2013 Gallup survey we cited in our report showed that when women were asked whether they favored making all or most abortions legal or illegal, the GOP’s overall position was preferred, 57 percent to 40 percent.
When we look at how women respond to the actual policy proposals that GOP candidates are making and defending on the campaign trail, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposal to limit abortions at 20 weeks, or after five months of pregnancy, based on the child’s ability to feel pain, women favor the GOP’s position by a margin of 2 to 1 or more.
In fact, women favor a 20-week, five-month limit by even larger margins than men do, as The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake acknowledged in an article titled, “Guess Who Likes the GOP’s 20-Week Ban? Women.” Mr. Blake cites a Quinnipiac poll showing that 60 percent of women support the proposal, 10 points higher than men. Only 25 percent of women said they’d instead prefer a 24-week limit, giving the 20-week, five-month limit an incredible 35-point edge among women.
GOP candidates have a real opportunity to make the Democrats pay a political price for their increasing abortion extremism, positions that turn off women even more deeply than they do men.
So if it is not abortion, what is the GOP’s real problem with women?
A Crossroads GPS/American Action report takes steps to acknowledge what should be obvious — economic issues, not social issues — are driving women’s doubts about the GOP. When asked during the 2012 American National Election Survey whether the economy would be better if a Democrat or a Republican won, women picked Democrats 49 percent to 31 percent. Similar uncertainties about what electing Republicans would mean for their pocketbooks also drove the youth gap (51 percent to 27 percent) and the Hispanic vote (57 percent to 23 percent).
There are signs both Democrats and Republicans are now slowly beginning to understand that.
The Washington Times covered the recent “Catholics in the Public Square” event held in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as Maggie Gallagher’s discussion on defending traditional marriage:
Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow of the American Principles Project and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, focused her talk on the national discourse promoting “gay marriage” and its threat to religious freedom.
“Marriage is a universal, human, social institution and exists in virtually every known human society,” Gallagher said. Nevertheless, Americans are being asked to “accept the basic untruth” that “gay marriage” and traditional marriage are the same thing.
“We are seeing an unprecedented effort to enact their world point of view. You are like a racist if you oppose gay marriage, and the tools that are available both in government and in applied society to oppress racism are now going to be directed at people who stand with the Catholic faith.”
At the conclusion of her talk, Gallagher spoke of the recent string of victories in favor of “gay marriage” in the court system.
“The big question on the table is if the Supreme Court rules that ‘gay marriage’ comes to all 50 states, is that going to be, as our opponents hope, the Brown v. Board of Education of America or will it be the Roe v. Wade? The answer is up to you.
The Catholic Sun reports that Maggie Gallagher is attending the “Catholics in the Public Square” event held by the Phoenix Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and the Knights of Columbus. From the article:
With the general election little more than 60 days away, those who want to be informed about their civic responsibilities as Catholics won’t want to miss the upcoming “Catholics in the Public Square” event in downtown Phoenix Sept. 6.
Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, the public policy arm for the Catholic dioceses of Arizona, said the biannual event has drawn a capacity crowd each time it’s been held.
“It’s a really good time to reflect upon what it means to be Catholic and the issues that are most important to us,” Johnson said.
The Phoenix Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and the Knights of Columbus are hosting the event, which features Mass at St. Mary’s Basilica followed by a program at the Diocesan Pastoral Center with big-name speakers. This year’s lineup includes Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom, and Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow of the American Principles Project and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage.
Ongoing threats to religious liberty and the upholding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman are two concerns the U.S. bishops have addressed repeatedly. Sears and Gallagher are expected to address both, as well as other issues, in their presentations. John Garcia, public relations director for the Knights of Columbus of Arizona, said religious liberty is a top concern of the Knights.