Friday, November 09, 2012

Marriage and Marijuana

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Michael Mahoney at the Seattle Weekly probably spoke for most of the secular progressives around the state yesterday when he said, "A political earthquake shook our state on Tuesday, as a majority of Washington voters seized the opportunity to vote in favor of recreational use of marijuana, gave the thumbs-up to same-sex marriage, and re-elected a biracial president."

Mahoney said, "Don't know about you, but I plan to get thoroughly blazed at a gay wedding sometime in the not-too-distant future."

And so the party has begun.

Yesterday, Joseph Backholm, director of the Preserve Marriage Washington, conceded that this particular battle for marriage has been lost. And why.

And using marijuana is now a legal recreational sport.

I have some very candid, straightforward comments and observations about marriage and marijuana.


Yesterday Joseph Backholm, who headed up the failed effort to protect marriage in Washington state, conceded that the R-74 battle had been lost.

However, Backholm apparently had concerns about losing for a number of months. He told David Crary, with the Associated Press 8-months ago that "Nobody wants to be the first to lose, but that's a reality that people in Washington state are thinking about."

Friends of Faith and Freedom gathered upward of 80,000 signatures for R-74. I was unaware that those thoughts were being discussed. I never heard that sentiment.

Crary also reported in the same AP article that the fact that Washington State had passed the 2009 "Everything but marriage" (R-71) domestic partnership bill, would be helpful in redefining marriage in the November election. And it was.

A fact that both Larry Stickney and myself along with others had strongly argued 4 years ago.

Although Backholm and Joe Fuiten eventually got on board behind the R-71 effort after a concerted and sustained effort to undermine it, a great deal of damage had been done. And "Everything but Marriage" became law in Washington State. People who support natural marriage lost.

Had these few people not so actively worked to undermine R-71, many whom I have talked with even today feel there would have been no R-74---at least not at this time.

The "Everything but Marriage" law was the last and necessary incremental step to redefining marriage.

The effort to undermine R-71 included very personal and slanderous attacks toward Stickney, and particularly myself.

Soon after Sen. Ed Murray's law was passed by the Legislature, I requested a meeting with a number of pro-marriage lawmakers who presently serve and Larry Stickney and Steve Pidgeon. I told them we had to do something significant and pledged my full support, but to avoid a repeat of the public attacks and in what I felt would be the best interest of our shared commitment to protect marriage, I would not accept any formal role of leadership.

However, our concern and actions to create a more unified effort was soon seen to be moot.

During a meeting with most of the recognized Christian leaders in the state, it was unanimously, by voice vote, decided that the leadership did not support Joseph Backholm becoming the leader of the effort.

Meetings that followed were often marked by strong disagreements and shouting, with Fuiten or Backholm being shouted down in some cases. I stopped attending the meetings. A server at one of the hotels where one of the meetings was held wrote me a private email saying she reads my blog and was so happy she had not seen me in attendance at the meeting. She said had she not been a mature Christian, what she saw and heard could have shaken her very faith.

Several journalists with major news sources in the state, whom I've known in the past, have told me off the record some of the actions they have seen have blown them away. Thankfully they never made a big story of it. Some would have.

R-74 was ridden by strife from the beginning, with both Joe Fuiten and Joseph Backholm trying to beat one another into the Sec.of State's office to be the actual signator on the Referendum.

When Steve Pidgeon presented Initiative 1172, which I felt was a strong initiative and would have helped strengthen marriage in WA state, we pledged our full support. And gathered tens of thousands of signatures, however in the end, those who had worked to undermine R-71, also worked to undermine I-1172.

So why revisit this?

Because it speaks more to the future, than about the past. And we must address the future now, not merely out of reaction to the next secular progressive's attempt to redefine the culture.

I hold no bitterness toward anyone who said anything about us personally. I have dealt with that spiritually.

However, I deeply care about Life and Marriage and Family and Freedom and how activists are changing the landscape of the culture, and I don't think it has to be that way.

Backholm told the press yesterday that the loss is attributed to Washington state being a very liberal state, the active support by the Seattle Times, the fact that marijuana was on the ballot and because of the large amounts of money raised by the other side.

It is true, Washington is a liberal, unchurched state and the other side raised a fortune.

However, is this why we lost? If money is the issue, why is the ballot count not so different from R-71 four years ago, when we only spent a couple of hundred thousand dollars, because that's all we had. And why has the R-74 leadership not spent all the money they raised for R-74 on the referendum. Is it next year's budget? Who knows.

I know that my comments here will create a firestorm of personal attacks. I'm already being attacked for not attacking the leadership of R-74 and because I supported R-74. And have been attacked by leaders with R-74. I will likely be attacked by others as well.

But can we not step back and take a look at ourselves. We are beating ourselves. I don't know a lot of things, but I know God is not the author of confusion.

This, my friends is confusion. Can we not reconcile with God and ourselves, choose new leadership and become the force for biblical values we can be? There are younger, honest, properly motivated leaders among us who feel called to lead on these issues. Can we not identify them and work with them?

I have written this from a profound spirit of concern. Please receive it in this spirit.

May God help us.

I'll get to marijuana later.