May 22, 2012
I had the enjoyable experience of returning to Minnesota last week and adding a trip to Wisconsin. Joining the FRC-Heritage Foundations Values Bus in Minneapolis, we first heard famed talk show host Hugh Hewitt make an impassioned appeal for marriage at the Minnesota Family Councils annual dinner.
Of course, we will be accused of pushing marriage for religious reasons. Dont shy away from that, Hewitt said. God created the institution of marriage for our good. Consider Genesis, where God creates the world and everything seen and unseen. He blesses all saying it is good. The first time He says anything is not good is when He sees that the man is alone. Nor should we ever be ashamed of the Gospel. Jesuss first miracle was done at the Wedding at Cana.
Still, Hewitt said, we are not seeking to impose our religious views on society in general when we defend marriage. We can consider the Founders of our country. They appealed to the laws of Nature and of Natures god in the Declaration of Independence. Our very existence as a nation is premised on the natural law that we know is written on the hearts of men.
When I was interviewed on the Values Bus by Minnesota Public Radios (MPR) Rupa Shenoy, she noted the opposition of leading Minnesota liberals--Gov. Mark Dayton, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken--to the marriage referendum. I would not be drawn into criticizing local leaders. Instead, I made the case that marriage benefits everyone.
I related to MPR how, when I visit my friend Jim in prison, we are surrounded by fatherless young men. This is a national tragedy. Two-thirds of the teen murderers in our prisons and three-quarters of the incarcerated teen rapists are fatherless young men. I even noted that they write plays about the brutal murder of Matthew Shepherd, the young gay man killed in Laramie, Wyoming. His killers were two fatherless young men. Marriage, I told Rupa Shenoy, blesses everyone and bashes no one.
The venomous attacks on Minnesota for Marriages Kalley Yanta will backfire, I believe. She is called a spokeshrew and a witch promoting hatred by opponents of the marriage initiative. Such nastiness is counterproductive, especially in Minnesota.
Watch Kalley Yantas mild-mannered, reasoned Marriage Minutes on the web and try to fathom how anyone could call this lovely woman names. Its interesting that those who yell bully loudest seem to be the most practiced at bullying.
We rolled into Wisconsin on the Values Bus. Stopping in Madison, we were aware we were in the heart of Dane County, the only county in the Badger State that did not support marriage in the 2006 referendum. Still, even there we got waves and smiles. Its hard not to smile when you park next to a German restaurant and go in to hear an oompah band. (I loved seeing the childrens faces in the next booth. They were so excited. Such precious innocence. No one told them yet that polka bands are not cool.)
That 2006 Wisconsin vote for marriage should give us all heart. That was the year that Nancy Pelosi and her friends were swept into power in Washington. It was a year when we were told the old values were out.
But there in progressive Wisconsin, every county except Dane County joined the Wedding March. A stunning 59% of Wisconsinites backed marriage. Thats a landslide in any state. But in the home state of Battling Bob Lafollette, it shows that marriage has the widest support.
Marriage is not wedge issue. Its a bridge issue. I had a Minnesota State Rep. tell me that her Somali and Hmong (Cambodian) constituents had paraded through her office pressing her to vote for marriage.
Vice President Joe Biden claimed to be stepping into history when he said counterfeit marriage was inevitable. Actually, its evitable. And Biden may have stepped on a rake.
Support for marriage spans the divide. Wherever the people can speak, they say: I do.