If there's one thing the Supreme Court accomplished last Friday (besides unleashing cultural chaos on America), it was ending the liberal media's charade. Whatever scrap of journalistic impartiality existed flew out the courtroom window Friday when the press decided these five justices not only invented a right to same-sex marriage but to censorship too.
Less than a week after the Court trampled the Constitution, one of the biggest stories of the ruling is the industry tasked with relaying it -- the mainstream press. After years of trying to drive out debate, the liberal media is using the cloak of the Court to do it. Desperate to take away the voice of Christians at the public table, the Left is already on the march to undermine the very freedom that gives breath to the speech it now enjoys.
Despite being one of two nations in the entire world who forced this on their people by the courts, much of the media has declared victory over a dispute that's barely existed two decades. Americans who believe in thousands of years of human history must now surrender to a four-day-old "right" -- or shut up altogether. "What they believed yesterday is no longer acceptable today," wrote Howard Kurtz, a Fox News analyst. "If you are an American who is opposed to gay marriage... you barely see yourself reflected in the coverage. The message is that you are clueless, out of touch, a lost cause. And in some quarters, it's worse: that you are a bigot, a homophobe..."
In the hundred hours since the opinion was released, we've already seen the gloves come off. At a newspaper in Pennsylvania, editors warned that they would "no longer accept, nor... print, op-eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.' ...This is not hard: We would not print racist, sexist or anti-Semitic letters. To that, we add homophobic ones. Pretty simple."
These are the conversations taking place in newsrooms all across the country. This is just one that happened to go public. Not surprisingly, people were outraged and flooded the newspaper with scathing emails and phone calls. Within hours, the editors issued an apology. It was, John Micek, said, a "genuine attempt at fostering civil discussion." (Not very genuine, it seems, since ending the discussion doesn't exactly foster one.) Still, Micek said, "These pages... belong to the people of Central Pennsylvania. I'm a conduit, I recognize, for them to share their views and to have the arguments that make us better as a people. And all views are -- and always will be -- welcome."
For how long, no one knows. Over at the Daily Beast, editors are already calling the justices' four dissents "treason." And it doesn't take much imagination to assume that Americans who believe the same as President Obama did three years ago will be accused of the same. Obviously, FRC has been dealing with these attacks for some time. But after Friday, the campaign to blacklist those who still believe in natural marriage became surprisingly ferocious.
When Ken Blackwell appeared on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" to talk about the Supreme Court's marriage ruling, left-wing groups mobilized thousands of people to contact the network, demanding it ban him from future shows. It's a deliberate attempt to silence your voice, which we represent in Washington. "You better be ready and you better be prepared because it's coming," Rev. Franklin Graham warned. "There will be persecution of Christians for our stand."
In the media, there already is. The press is no longer a guardian against censorship but a portender of it. And this much is clear: they'll shove anyone out of the public square who doesn't stand their ground. Of course, the sad irony of their intolerance is that if anyone should be a natural ally for free speech, it's the press. After all, our right to disagree springs from the same well as their freedom to write about it.
If there's one thing conservatives have going for them, it's that the media has inflated the support for same-sex marriage for so long that they've actually started to believe it. It will come as a great surprise then, as I'm sure it did to John Micek, when millions of Americans start pushing back on this effort to drive conservatives underground. In its arrogance, the Left seems to have overlooked the fact that the Court ordered same-sex marriage by the slimmest of majorities -- one that happens to reflect the deep divide of its country's own people.
The marriage debate isn't over, and FRC will do everything it can to make sure it stays that way. Today, we're launching a new movement called Project Tolerance: Preserving Your Voice in the Public Square. The media is already hearing from the Left -- now it's time they heard from us. If you want to know what you can do in the wake of Friday's ruling, here's something: click over to FRC's site and sign up to join the pushback.
First, Republicans were saying too much about social issues. Now they're not saying enough! Or so says the media, which is desperately trying to fit the GOP into its narrative about conservatives' weakening resolve to fight for marriage. Most reporters are hoping for a self-fulfilling prophecy: they talk about Republicans' supposed silence until it actually happens. Unfortunately for the mainstream press, the Republican Party hasn't exactly fit into the weak-kneed box the media designed for it. In Politico, headlines like "GOP Congress shows little appetite to fight gay marriage ruling" hardly fit the reality.
From the most powerful seats in Congress to the GOP presidential campaigns, outrage poured in from all corners of the Republican Party on Friday -- despite the fact that Congress wasn't even in session when the ruling came down. With a few exceptions, leaders were unequivocal that this was an attack -- not just on America, but on the party's core values. They resolved to fight for the people's right to govern themselves, and to protect their religious freedom in the process. Their disappointment rang out from the Republican National Committee, governors' mansions, and attorneys general in dozens of states the Court disenfranchised.
Of course, the GOP may not have decided how to move forward to defend marriage, but there's no doubt that they will. But to suggest that Republicans didn't issue statements on marriage isn't just shoddy journalism, it's a bold-faced lie. In fact, if you're looking for some encouragement, check out this list to see just how overwhelming the response actually is.
What could liberals possibly want after same-sex "marriage"? The answer is: a whole lot. Conservatives have always argued that redefining marriage is just the tip of the iceberg. But don't take our word for it. Take Jillian Keenan's or Fredrik Deboer's. They're just part of the growing post-ruling chorus of activists to throw open the gates to polygamy. And under the Left's logic, why not? With love and consent as the Court's only conditions, group marriage won't be far behind this latest redefinition.
In an article for Slate not too long ago, Keenan argued, "The definition of marriage is plastic," Keenan tells readers. "...Marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less 'correct' than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults... So let's fight for marriage equality -- and then let's keep fighting. We're not done yet." Deboer's new Politico column mainstreams the idea even more. "Now that we've defined that love and devotion and family isn't driven by gender alone, why should it be limited to just two individuals?"
According to Gallup, Americans could probably be persuaded. In just 14 years, support for polygamy has more than doubled -- the result of Hollywood's broad desensitization campaign. In Chief Justice John Roberts's dissent, he recognized the slippery slope his country is on.
"It is striking how much of the majority's reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If '[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,' why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise 'suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,' why wouldn't the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children?"
Gay activists have rejected that argument out of convenience. They refused to sacrifice any of their own political legitimacy on a deeply unpopular relationship like group marriage -- even though the same arguments apply. For years, FRC has argued that polygamy would be the next legal shoe to drop. Now that the mainstream media is coming clean about the threat, maybe more people will take it seriously.
Sunday morning, I had the privilege of preaching in one of America's most historic churches, First Baptist Church of Dallas. Eighteen months ago when Dr. Robert Jeffress invited me to speak at their annual Freedom Sunday service, no one knew it would be just two days after the Supreme Court redefined marriage. Here is a link to my message entitled, "Time to Stand."
** If you missed my CBS interview on the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision, check it out below.
*** If you're as baffled as we are about the justices' logic on marriage, check out the analysis by FRC's Travis Weber "Four Reasons for the Supreme Court's Marriage Decision" in Townhall.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.