Monday, February 13, 2012

How Big Is The Republican "Big Tent"?

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Thank you to everyone who has signed up to help with marriage petition circulation. Terrific response so far.

If you are willing to help and have not done so yet, please take a minute and sign up here.

If you have signed up , perhaps you could encourage friends and family members to join us in Standing For Marriage.


Today, Governor Gregoire will walk away from the teaching of her parents and her church and perhaps her own sense of what is morally right and will sign into law SB 6239, a law that redefines marriage, undermining the sanctity of our oldest and most fundamental spiritual and cultural institution. One that predates organized civilization itself.

The response of conservatives and people of faith is to seek to overturn the bill because we believe it is wrong and harmful. As you know, that process is well under way.

We believe redefining marriage in this way stands in defiance to biblical teaching, accepted social mores and the biology of normal human sexual relationships. It steals from children the right and psychological need for a male father and a female mother in their most formative years.

And it does not provide "equality." It provides "special rights."

Certainly, biblical Christians and many conservatives are committed to overturning the bill and making political corrections as best we can, which includes electing people to public office who reflect and support our deeply held social and spiritual beliefs. Most of us in that category are Republicans. Not all, but most.

So...... I received an email on Friday from Alex Hayes.

Alex is the executive director of the "Main Stream Republicans of Washington." I have known Alex for a number of years. Many of you who live in Washington know him as well. I like and respect him as a person. I believe that is mutual. However, I have profound and fundamental differences with him regarding certain beliefs. As he does with me.

The following is his email. Read it, then I have a couple of questions for you.

Dear Gary,

Yesterday I talked to my friend Maureen. She'd made a big decision and a few people were angry with her. I could tell she needed to hear a few kind words of support. I gave her a hug, and told her that I thought she'd done the right thing.

My friend is Representative Maureen Walsh and the big decision she made was to vote for marriage equality in the State House.

Maureen wasn't the only friend I talked to yesterday. I reached out to members who had voted both for the marriage bill and against. I can tell you that all of them cast their votes sincerely and conducted themselves in the debate with great courtesy and thoughtfulness. Civility prevailed in the legislature.

The Mainstream Republicans of Washington believe in a big tent for our party - a tent large enough to include both supporters of marriage equality and defenders of traditional marriage. We know that a belief in limited government, and a coalition large enough to elect majorities in the State House and Senate, depends on socially moderate Republicans.

Where civility prevailed on the floor, it's failing in some of the angry comments directed at both supporters and opponents of the bill.

This is why I need a favor from you - regardless of your view on gay marriage I'd like you to call the following legislators and thank them for their work.

Representative Maureen Walsh - 5th LD - (360) 786-7836

Representative Glenn Anderson - 16th LD - (360) 786-7876

Senator Steve Litzow - 41st LD - (360) 786-7641

Senator Andy Hill - 45th LD - (360) 786-7672

Senator Joe Fain - 47th LD - (360) 786-7692

Senator Cheryl Pflug - 5th LD - (360) 786-7608

One truth that unites us all is that the most important issue facing our state is the budget.

With the marriage bill passed it's time to refocus and deal with the profound mismanagement of the state by the Democrats. Cleaning up this mess will require every Republican in the legislature. It will also require a Republican Governor, A Republican Senate and a Republican House.

United, we will prevail in 2012.

Kind regards,

Alex Hays
Executive Director, Mainstream Republicans of Washington.

A couple of questions:

  • How "big" should the Republican Party "tent" be?
  • Should Conservatives and Christian citizens vote for and support politicians who do not support some of our most fundamental moral beliefs, such as the sanctity of life, of marriage and of the family? What if they support some of our moral beliefs but not others? What if they are fiscally conservative, but not socially conservative? Should we vote for the proverbial "half loaf?" The lessor of two evils?
  • Should I work for and contribute money to the Party in the name of unity, for the sake of "winning," even if the Party is not united in support of the moral positions that originally drew me to the Party? Many in Party leadership advocate that those social issues should not be given priority by Republicans, even though the Democrats and far left have made redefining marriage their number one priority this session---above all fiscal and budget matters.
  • Is civility the highest virtue in government? I'm not advocating otherwise, I'm asking you to think about it. What do you think?
  • Is any "future success" dependent upon electing social moderates?
  • Is the proper response to those Republicans who voted to redefine marriage, to call and "thank them for their work?" Or to look for an alternative and work to replace them in the next election with someone who represents your moral views?

Thank you, Alex, for bringing this to mind.

I know I will get calls from certain people suggesting I ought not to have said all this. It is happening more and more frequently.

I am not suggesting anything other than that people give these questions some serious and prayerful thought. Please feel free to share your thoughts, they will be read by many.

Thank you for supporting us.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.