The main issue at hand is that when one side refuses to compromise, you have no room for the democratic process. It is often assumed that a democracy by its nature is not a tyranny, but this is a mistaken notion. Surely we've all heard the line "the tyranny of the masses" before. In a democracy it is entirely possible for the majority to force their will upon minorities who think, live, and worship differently. In the United States, we have come, over time, to believe that the rights of the individual are the keystone of our society, and therefore the rights of minorities, no matter how few in number, are equal to the rights of the majority. This topic arises in the book I recently reviewed, Divided by God, on my other blog. I'll discuss these matters more fully on that blog, but here let me say that one area of great contention that we are still wrangling with is how much religious views should inform our law-making.
Again, the fact that we discuss this question is not a problem in itself. The idea that believers want their laws to reflect their values (albeit values given to them by a religious system) is not unreasonable. The trouble arises when believers want their values placed on everyone, without compromise. This is exactly what men like James Dobson, the writer of this article, desire. Since the current generation of conservatives arose, it has become a popular strategy to present themselves as the "victims" of a liberal elite that rules the country. Never mind that Republicans control a majority in both chambers of Congress and the White House, never mind that most Supreme Court Justices are conservatives. Let me give a quote that I think demonstrates the mindset (and gameplan) of these guys.
If the battle to protect marriage takes even five more years, liberal judges and activists will have destroyed this 5,000-year-old institution, which was designed by the Creator, Himself. Even now, they are close to achieving that coveted objective.
Now this is pretty good spin for some guy who just said in an earlier paragraph that 20 states had voted for constitutinal amendments banning gay marriage! Wow, the attack on "traditional" marriage is so strong that only seven states in the union so much as extend benefits to a same-sex partner.
Of course, he's unabashedly arguing that the Christian definition of marriage is the definition of marriage. Never mind what Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or anybody else thinks. Islam certainly doesn't include a ban on multiple marriages. And of course, no mention is made of the many societies that historically allowed and even promoted homosexual unions dating back thousands of years.
And naturally, he doesn't even address the practicality or morality of a system of law where one religion decides what's allowed and what's not. But then, he's not concerned with those things. He doesn't really care what anyone else has to say on the matter; he's got what he thinks is right and by God, he's going to make us all live that way whether we want to or not. I guess there are some issues where one side has to beat the other. Slavery, for example. You can't compromise on that. But contrary to this idea that gay marriage is an attack on "traditional" marriage, in what way are anyone's freedoms or rights reduced by allowing same-sex couples the same privileges as opposite-sex couples? And it's questions like that that these guys don't address. They're not interested in debate; they're interested in telling you what to do.
That's not the kind of thing any American should stand for. This "debate" over same-sex marriage is no such thing. It's mostly just a bunch of rhetoric and polemic. It's about fanatics who want to control us all. TWM ain't standin' for that. Neither should any American who values freedom.