COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP)–Saying that the future of America is at stake, pro-family leaders May 23 called on Christians to get involved in the debate over same-sex “marriage” by pushing for the passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment.
“I am not exaggerating when I say the next 12 to 18 months will likely determine not only the future of this country but of Western civilization,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said.
Perkins and other pro-family leaders spoke to several hundred churches via satellite and the Internet at an event titled the “Battle for Marriage.” The simulcast took place a mere six days after Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex “marriage.”
“This is such a critical moment,” Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said. “We do stand at a crossroads.”
Dobson said events of recent weeks — including the fact that Congress seems indifferent to the issue — have made him “discouraged.”
“It just seems like … a mountain too high to climb,” Dobson said. “And I have been chastised by the Lord for that [attitude]. He is still on the throne.”
Holding an oversized gavel to represent judges who have a “super-sized view of their authority,” Perkins said federal judges have not been kind to traditional family values.
“They’ve taken away the right of our children to pray,” he said. “They’ve taken the Ten Commandments and they’ve put them in the closet.”
Adding that the federal courts have stymied a partial-birth abortion ban, Perkins said it’s only a matter of time before a same-sex “marriage” case ends up before federal judges.
“[T]hey’re going to impose upon all of us same-sex ‘marriage’ all across this country,” Perkins said. “… If we do not enact a constitutional amendment, one of these days in the very near future one of these tyrannical judges is going to drop the gavel and it’s going to be the end of marriage in America.”
The only solution, Perkins said, is to pass a constitutional marriage amendment.
“We must amend the U.S. Constitution so that it defines marriage as being between one man and one woman,” he said.
Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, said members of Congress have indicated they have received very little response from voters regarding a constitutional marriage amendment.
“This is the mother of all culture war battles,” he said. “This is the one that decides what kind of a country we’re going to be.”
Believers, Colson said, must place a phone call to their legislators. Traditional mail and e-mails are less influential, he added. The anthrax scare has resulted in traditional mail taking two weeks to reach a legislator’s office. E-mails, he said, can be deleted. Phone calls — to both a senator’s Washington office and the home office — can make a difference.
“Explain it reasonably and calmly and lovingly,” Colson said. “… At the end of the day they’ll … say, ‘I couldn’t get off the phone today. So many people are calling in on this issue.’”
Dobson said it’s critical that believers be able to defend their position. One of the biggest objections comes from those who shrug their shoulders and say, “Who’s [same-sex ‘marriage’] going to hurt?”
“That’s a selfish question,” Dobson said. “The question [should be,] ‘What does it do to the country and what does it do to children?’”
Traditional marriage, Dobson said, cannot “co-exist with homosexual ‘marriage.’ It will destroy the family.”
Scandinavian countries began granting same-sex couples the legal benefits of marriage during the 1990s, Dobson said, and the results have been disastrous. People there have forgotten the purpose of marriage, he said.
“People are not marrying,” Dobson said. “They are cohabiting. That’s what will happen. It is an inevitable result.”
Other negative results will follow if America embraces same-sex “marriage,” he said. Schools will be forced to teach that homosexuality and heterosexuality are equal. In addition, religious freedom will be in danger.
But believers are mobilizing, he said. Dobson mentioned pro-family rallies that have seen thousands turn out to stand for traditional marriage. In Seattle, he said, 20,000 turned out. Rallies in San Francisco (8,000), San Jose (2,000) and Phoenix (8,000) also saw great turnouts, he said.
Dobson has a new book on the issue, titled, “Marriage Under Fire: Why We Must Win This Battle.”
“I am excited,” Dobson said. “Why? Because … I see a rumbling from coast to coast. It hasn’t reached Washington, D.C., yet but it’s going to.”
Legislators in Washington, though, are running from the issue, Dobson said. He said that when he was in Washington recently, several senators refused to meet with him and other pro-family leaders.
“They don’t want to get near to us, because they’re scared of this issue,” he said. “But you all have to convince them that there’s something else to be scared of.”
Only 30 senators have agreed to sign the Federal Marriage Amendment, Dobson said. It will require 67 votes to pass the Senate.
“You won’t believe who’s among the 70 [that aren’t supporting it],” he said.
Colson said biblical arguments won’t always work with non-believers and politicians. He told of a television debate he watched that involved a Christian leader and a homosexual activist. The Christian leader made biblical arguments, but the homosexual retorted, “We’re not asking for marriage in the church; we’re asking for civil marriage.” The Christian leader had no response, Colson said.
“You have to argue on grounds of justice and prudence,” he said.
One of the best arguments, Colson said, is that children are better off with mothers and fathers.
“You can’t have that with just two [homosexual] adults,” he said. “You can’t model the proper sexual relationship between a husband and wife.”
Wellington Boone, a black pastor and president of Boone Institute for Leadership Development, said it is imperative that blacks speak up and distance themselves from those who make parallels between the civil rights movement and the homosexual rights movement.
“They’re not in the same struggle,” Boone said. “I know plenty of people who are … are homosexuals, who have recognized it was sin, repented of their sin and now they’re heterosexual.
“I am black and male. If I change my mind about being black and male — too bad, I can’t become white.”
There is no middle ground on the issue of same-sex “marriage,” Boone said.
“We have got to let them know we’re not confused. … We are standing flat-footed [on] this. There is no wiggle room on this thing here.”
Perkins said voters can acquire contact information for the legislators by calling 888-234-6600 or logging on to www.frc.org.
Internet rebroadcasts, DVDs and videotapes of the simulcast can purchased online at http://www.dvstudios.com/ccn/frc_webcast-AFTER.html, or by calling 888-234-6600. The event will also be broadcast on Trinity Broadcasting Network (check local listings). For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit