In the arena of political discourse, a “straw man” is often a weak or extreme argument one side in a debate falsely attributes to their opponents. It’s an age-old tactic that presents a nice-sounding argument that is, in reality, easily refuted or “knocked down.”
That is the tactic now being used to defend the court-ordered legalization of same-sex “marriage” in Massachusetts last year.
With over 6,000 same-sex couples “wedding” in the Bay State since May 2004, proponents of this change are crying, “See, the sky didn’t fall. The world hasn’t come to an end. And everything is just lovely!”
However, virtually no one in support of authentic marriage ever said that marriage would be destroyed or the country would fall into anarchy the moment same-sex “marriage” in one corner of our nation became a temporary reality. Setting up and knocking down this kind of straw man may feel good, but it does little to deal with the real issues involved.
It’s a bit like a “friend” of a patient with slow-growing cancer saying, “Don’t worry, your cancer really isn’t affecting your health yet. Everything’s fine.” This is a much more apt analogy. Furthermore, the other side calls what is distorted “good,” so it’s no surprise they don’t see a problem.
The pro-family community has always maintained that the oxymoron of same-sex “marriage” is detrimental to the institutions of marriage and family, harmful to children, and ultimately destructive to our society. Nothing taking place in Massachusetts over the last 15 months or so has altered that prognosis. You see, this debate is really not about “equal rights,” as the proponents of homosexual behavior like to frame it, but about redefining marriage, family, and, yes, American culture. And such things don’t happen over night (they’re not designed to).
Nonetheless, if allowed to proceed, like the proverbial frog in the pot, we may well wake up one day in the not-too-distant future to find that marriage and family have lost all present meaning.
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.