Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Referendum --Egos, Errors and Omissions

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Referendum 73 (or 74, I've been told both) has been filed. It is a Referendum to overturn SB 6239, a bill that has been signed into law by Governor Gregoire, but is on hold pending the outcome of the Referendum.

Referendum 73 (or 74) was crafted by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and was filed singularly by Joseph Backholm with FPIW on Monday.

The referendum will be processed by the state and will be available in the coming days.

I think it is probably a good thing that NOM is involved. They are a national organization and have been helpful and successful in other states. They say they need to raise several million dollars for this campaign.

However, I am disappointed that other leaders in the state were not included as signers on the referendum.

It does make a difference. It is important. It can be very important. Some will remember Referendum 65, some years ago, and the public fight that followed between two individuals. It was not productive. Frankly, it was embarrassing.

I, along with many others who have been planning and working toward the effort to overturn SB 6239, have advocated that Representative Matt Shea, Senator Val Stevens and Pastor Ken Hutcherson should have been included or have even been the only signers on the Referendum.

That was a unanimous feeling among a large coalition. In fact, that same coalition expressed no confidence and opposed the current arrangement by a vote.

It was an error to omit Senator Stevens, Representative Shea and Pastor Hutcherson.

When asked why they could not be included, NOM and Backholm said these others had not been "vetted" and may have said or done something in the past that would be harmful to the campaign."

They also said Focus on the Family would not participate financially under any other terms.

While it has been downplayed, who controls a referendum is important. It is not a matter of ego, it is a matter of maximizing the effort with the broadest possible coalition. It is also a matter of responsible stewardship and trust.

Larry Stickney was the signer on Referendum 71. In the strictest sense, he owned it. He did a marvelous job including everyone who was willing to support the effort, even though there were a few within the Christian community who actively and relentlessly worked to undermine it.

Had R-71 prevailed, there would have been no SB 6239, at least not this year.

Joseph Backholm, Joe Fuiten and those most closely involved with FPIW have the ultimate control over the most important decisions regarding the referendum campaign.

Why am I being so candid? I know I'm opening myself to the wrath and public criticism of adversaries, both within and without.

Here's why.

An unexpected number of personal email and phone calls yesterday caused me to prayerfully think about this issue, have an in depth conversation with our board and ultimately respond to our readers.

While disappointment and disgust were the topic of most calls and email that I received, there was concern and the questions, "How should we respond to this? What are you going to do?"

Here's what Faith and Freedom is going to do. And I'm asking our thousands of readers to do the same.

Please look past the egos, errors and omissions. And actions, attitudes and motives.

Marriage is too important to do otherwise.

If these things are allowed to become a focus, it will lead us to the least and lowest. We must seek the highest and best.

We must not in any way, for any reason, oppose this effort or even "sit it out silently."

We are going to support Referendum 73 (or 74) in every possible way. I'm asking you to do the same.

I have been asking for those who are willing to not only sign a petition, but willing to circulate petitions in their communities to sign up with Faith and Freedom. The response has been overwhelming. In fact, if everyone who has signed up so far collects a reasonable amount of signatures, we are nearly at the 127,000+ required for the referendum.

We are organizing leaders in various parts of the state. As soon as Joseph Backholm and NOM make the petitions available, we will be in touch with you and begin the process.

I believe other organizations are ready to do so as well.

We will also be asking you to sign the petitions to put I-1192 on the November ballot as well.

Both R-73 (or 74) and I-1192 have a very important function in defending marriage. If you want to know more about how each will work, please review 2 of my blogs from last week. They explain each.

I-1192 is explained in "How To Save Marriage" Feb. 9, 2012.

A Referendum is explained in "Saving Marriage---The Referendum" Feb. 10, 2012.

This is a morally historical moment in Washington State. I personally believe each of us will be held accountable for our actions or in-actions---our motives, and the way in which we respond to this challenge to natural marriage.

Let's act as though it all depends on us and pray as if it all depends on God---because it does. God will take care of all the other matters.

This is a spiritual matter, not a political one. Neither is it about building an organization or a mailing list. It's about the Kingdom of God and His righteousness on this earth.

If you have not yet joined us to circulate petitions, please do so now.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning-Very Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.


  1. Gary,

    Well stated, sir. This issue transcends each of us individually and we must not let internal strife even begin to rear it's head, or we will lose the battle before we have even truely begun. This is the opportunity for us each to lay down our pride and move forward with that which glorifies God above all. Thank you.
    - GM

  2. Christian, statesman, gentleman, leader. God bless you Gary.

  3. I worked on the referendum 71. Gary exhibited leadership then, even when the pastor from Bothel tried to derail it. He is now giving wise counsel and leadership again. Thanks Gary for being more than all this other junk. Your leadership is greatly appreciated.God's blessings to you.

  4. I believe you are taking this issue and addressing it the wrong way . Christ's Kingdom is not of this world . The world system has already been condemned , and it ready has been defeated on the Cross. We do not use the same system to defeat evil , we defeat evil with the Love of Christ . Evil will not remain where Christ lives .

    Same sex marriage bothers me also , for one it establishes an equal footing with marriages that are equal to marriages of a mom and dad. The consequences are unknown . The basic sex and other teachings kids learn in school will be PC and disregard the morality and religion of many of the families who can only afford public education . Undermining families is always harmful.

    Plus I have seen where ever same sex marriage becomes totally acceptable , tolerance for religion becomes less and in many cases open bigotry becomes acceptable .

    Making this a religious issue is wrong . It will back fire on the church . The church of Christ is about attracting those in the world to the church , it is not about attacking the world and condemning it . Think about this , eternity , those who are supporting same sex marriage and the other popular evil driven concepts , mandatory abortion on health care , etc , already are separated from God . Their eternity without God goes beyond any Referendum or political battle we may come up with . I see this actually as a great time for the church , the world has never needed it so much.

    Christ had compassion on the world , remember he fed them with the seven loaves of bread, he walked with the sinners, he loved them , he did not compromise His beliefs , but he took those out of the world system into the Kingdom of Heaven . That is what our Referendum should be , coming alongside those of are in the world , loving them through Christ , let Christ handle the results . We just do our job description , Love , the world system will do its job description , hate , divide , kill. . But using words and religious beliefs to change the system by laws will not amount to a hill of beans if it is done without Love .

    Just saying ,


  5. "This is a spiritual matter, not a political one."

    You can repeat it as many times as you wish, but it still won't be true. Attempting to overturn a law enacted by our elected representatives is an inherently and immutably political act, no matter how you slice it.

  6. Had R-71 prevailed, there would have been no SB 6239, at least not this year.

    I COMPLETELY AGREE. Strength to you.

  7. anon 11:47 This is a spiritual matter. Just because it is playing out through the political process does not mean it is political. It is spiritual.

    1. So, what you are seeking a political solution to a spiritual problem? How is that not theocracy?

  8. God has made it very clear that he doesn't want homo marriage. It is a spiritual matter and He won't let it happen.

  9. Friends and fellow disciples of Jesus Christ

    Please stop wasting your time at this foolish game. Mick is exactly right on the most basic and obvious point to even the least discerning. This is GOD'S judgement NOT the Churches (ICor5:12,13). Gary, Joseph and Joe F as well has Ken have been apprised of this basic scriptural fact many times - but each of them willfully choose to ignore the clear teaching of the Word of God. For that, they will have their punishment from God - may it come swift and be certain - so that Christ's Kingdom is no longer sullied by these silly men who prattle about things they know nothing about.

    The fact is this bill has NOTHING to do with a genuine God blessed marriage ("that which GOD has bound together" - NOT "that which the STATE has bound together") which can only happen by His Spirit. This bill is simply about a partnership entity and contract made and enforced by the state and falsely gussied up with the word "marriage" BUT it is NOT marriage. The State has no more authority to marry two people than they have to heal blind eyes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Please stop wasting your time on the foolishness of the world and instead focus on the works that Jesus has called us to - feeding the poor, healing the sick, meeting the widows and orphans, etc., all in Jesus precious name.


  10. Its about liberty and freedom to choose what type of society we want to live in. It will get repealed. And it should go to THE VOTERS, who should make the decision what values their state are comprised of, rather than some temporary political hacks. I will attain 10K signatures if it kills me.

  11. Thank you Gary for your very 'Christian' handling of this matter and your encouragement for others to do likewise.


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