Don’t get me wrong. I am sure that Ben Carson is a lot smarter than I am and Mike Pence is much better at dealing with the media. And had I been in their shoes I would not have done nearly as well as they did. But after ruminating over these issues related to homosexual rights, I am convinced that a different approach is essential.
In his altercation with Dr. Carson, Chris Cuomo began by asserting that homosexual marriage was the new direction of our society, that the courts were now catching up, and that homosexual marriage would be the new normal in the future.
It would have been interesting if Ben Carson would have taken him on regarding his foundational premise by making the point that this is not the view or will of the American people, that wherever the issue has come to a vote, always, or almost always, they have voted against including homosexual relationships as marriage, often with very strong percentages. He might have followed that up by, “Chris, are you asserting that the will of the American people does not matter?”
This is, of course, would have led to Cuomo asserting that judges determine the law of the land, to which Carson could have responded that the Constitution determines a law of the land, and that the courts are being stacked with liberal judges who ignore the Constitution, which is serving to force on people a liberal agenda that they don’t want.
This discussion would have gone nowhere, but two positive outcomes would have resulted. First, it would have gotten Dr. Carson out of the crosshairs, allowing him to escape the gotcha moment. More significant, it would have established a narrative that the homosexual issue is two-sided and not one-sided as Cuomo presented it by in essence saying, “Homosexual marriage is where we are heading and you need to reconcile yourself to that reality. How do you plan to do that?” The approach I advocate would have altered the discussion by asserting, “Wait a minute Chris. That’s not where the American people are. You are running roughshod over their position.”
For Ben Carson to take the approach I am advocating would have required courage, which I am convinced he has, and it would have been risky. Since he has indicated that he plans to announce in May whether he will run, it may have been a good test to see if he could get traction aggressively taking a conservative position.
Regarding the situation in Indiana, the typical conservative response to the insistence on homosexual rights comes in the form of wholehearted agreement that no one should infringe on the rights of homosexuals, and that doing so is not their intention. I believe that by using this approach ultimately the conservative will find himself cornered. An even greater downside is that this starting point allows for no conservative pushback whatever, ultimately conceding all the territory to the homosexual agenda.
A better alternative for a conservative is transitioning the issue to Christian rights. When a reporter asserts that a baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a homosexual wedding is infringing on gay rights, a good response would be, “Have Christians no rights?” Here again, nothing would be settled, but this approach also would make the issue two-sided rather than one-sided. He would have raised the issue that Christians have rights, too. It might even be asserted that religious rights are included in the Constitution whereas homosexual rights are not. Again, this would only result in a major argument, but an argument is better than a concession. At least the case has been made that homosexual rights are not the only ones to be considered.
In short, as long as conservatives stay on defense they will find themselves defeated and will do no good for the Christian cause. It would be refreshing to see some politician aggressively take on the liberal establishment and media. It has been pointed out that in the last presidential election half of the evangelical voters stayed home, which resulted in Romney’s loss. Maybe if candidates went on the offense on conservative issues, they might actually gain far more support than they lose.