Following the US Supreme ruling on R-71 names yesterday, I have been talking with many from the press, both locally and nationally.
A question that has been raised in several different ways is, "Would you do it again?"
Another related question goes something like this: "If the names are released to the public, will it have a chilling effect on people signing future petitions to repeal same-sex marriage in Washington State?"
I get what the press and a few others are saying.
First, we did not enter into the R-71 campaign lightly or without a great deal of prayer and discussion with leaders from various faith organizations and specifically with a number of elected officials who are also people of faith.
Obviously there were those who disagreed and voiced their opposition from the rooftop.
A number of state senators and state representatives not only agreed with R-71, but actively participated in the petition gathering.
Senators Dan Swecker, Val Stevens, Janea Holmquist, Pam Roach and others in the senate strongly supported the effort and spoke on the record in opposition to the "everything but marriage" bill.
Representative Matt Shea was part of the leadership team of R-71. Other representatives joined in active support.
In fact, Senator Dan Swecker told us privately, we must run R-71 and told his colleagues in the Senate prior to their vote, that "this will be our last opportunity to vote on same-sex marriage," urging them to reject the bill.
Those beliefs were reflected by a number of other elected leaders. They simply were not in the majority of the present Legislature. You can change that.
You will recall that Republican Senators Dale Brandland, Curtis King and Cheryl Pflug broke from their colleagues and voted in support of the homosexual agenda and against defending marriage.
Our involvement was a prayerful one.
Yes, I would do it again.
The opposition had many faces and yes, it hurt personally. It was not, however, about me or Larry Stickney or Matt Shea or Dan Swecker or Val Stevens or Pastors Roy and Valerie Hartwell and all the others who supported it. It was and is about a fundamental principle of standing in support of natural marriage, which is the cornerstone of every successful society.
Natural marriage is biblical and it is right. And it is essential to a sustainable and healthy culture.
With all of us, it was never about political posturing. It was about standing for righteousness.
There are few, if any, including the sponsors of the bill itself, who do not admit that "everything but marriage" was an incremental, perhaps the last incremental step to same-sex marriage in Washington State.
Yes, I will do it again, if necessary.
Will releasing the names of those who signed petitions have a chilling effect on people signing future petitions that oppose homosexual marriage?
I don't know. Each individual will be required to look into their own heart and make that decision should it be necessary.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, and we will do so actively and boldly, speaking biblical principles and biblical truth into the culture at every opportunity.
Even if we were to be the proverbial "voice crying in the wilderness," we would continue. And I believe many others share that commitment.
At age 22, I stood at an altar in my home church in the Yakima Valley and promised God I would follow wherever He would lead me. Marjorie and I have been true to that to the best of our ability. That promise has taken us to ministering to kids in Seattle, Salem, Oregon and North Hollywood, California and serving as lead pastor to a couple of great churches. It has taken us to helping start and build over 140 Christian churches in countries from Kenya to Korea. It has led us to use television and radio and the entertainment industry to advance the Christian message.
We have been blessed and tried by fire.
There are Christian leaders who have said the battle for marriage is lost in Washington State---we must recognize that we are now post Christian.
I do not agree.
It does not seem that we need leaders who posture politically so much as we need Christians standing publicly for what is right--- for what is biblical, humbly praying for another great awakening and a spiritual, political and cultural restoration.
That can happen.
Thank you for standing with us.
Your friend and brother.
Faith and Freedom
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