Val­ues ac­tivists con­cede ‘bruis­ing’, vow to fight on

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY CH­ERYL WETZSTEIN

De­spite their elec­tion night “bruis­ing,” so­cial-con­ser­va­tive groups are coun­sel­ing each other to keep the faith and pre­pare for an­other day.

Al­though new bat­tle plans have not been made pub­lic, the so­cial is­sues of abor­tion, same­sex mar­riage, fam­ily break­down and the ex­pan­sion of the wel­fare state will re­main in play. La­men­ta­tions were heard from many cor­ners.

“The event we have just wit­nessed was far more than a gen­eral elec­tion — it was a ref­er­en­dum on the soul of Amer­ica,” Mathew Staver, founder and chair­man of Lib­erty Coun­sel, wrote on Nov. 6.

“Mil­lions of Amer­i­cans looked evil in the eye and adopted it … Abor­tion, same­sex mar­riage, and im­moral­ity car­ried the day,” he said. But “no mat­ter what the pop­u­lace does, we are not al­lowed to wa­ver and must re­main stead­fast … God calls us to re­main faith­ful, no mat­ter the con­se­quences.”

“On ev­ery level — pres­i­den­tial, con­gres­sional, so­cial — it was a bruis­ing day for our move­ment that no amount of spin can im­prove,” said Tony Perkins, pres­i­dent of the Fam­ily Re­search Coun­cil and its po­lit­i­cal-ac­tion group.

“Amer­i­cans had a choice, and they made it,” but only a few pos­i­tive high­lights came from it, Mr. Perkins said, point­ing to the elec­tion of new con­ser­va­tives in Texas, Ne­braska and North Carolina, and re-elec­tion of oth­ers in bat­tle­ground states of Min­nesota, Iowa and Ohio.

So­cial-con­ser­va­tive groups suf­fered a com­plete rout on ho­mo­sex­ual mar­riage: They and their al­lies failed to pre­vent same-sex mar­riage from go­ing into ef­fect in Maine, Mary­land and Wash­ing­ton state, and they failed to add a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment in Min­nesota that would have de­fined mar­riage as the union of one man and one woman. Min­nesota vot­ers even threw out Repub­li­can lead­er­ship in both of their leg­isla­tive cham­bers, partly be­cause of the mar­riage amend­ment.

More­over, in Iowa, vot­ers chose to re­tain a state Supreme Court judge who ap­proved ho­mo­sex­ual mar­riage for the state in 2009, again buck­ing the ef­forts of tra­di­tional-val­ues groups.

In Florida, vot­ers re­jected mea­sures that would have banned tax­payer-funded abor­tion and per­mit­ted pub­lic fund­ing of reli­gious schools.

Pres­i­dent Obama’s re-elec­tion means his sig­na­ture health care plan will go for­ward with its re­quire­ment for free con­tra­cep­tion and abor­tion-in­duc­ing prod­ucts, and he will likely se­lect at least one more Supreme Court jus­tice.

The pro-life camp, on the other hand, came away with mea­ger re­sults — a rare vic­tory was ap­proval of a Mon­tana law that says a par­ent must be no­ti­fied be­fore a girl younger than age 16 can get an abor­tion.

“I’m sure that most of you, as I am, are a lit­tle shell-shocked at the re­sult of the elec­tion. I was one of those op­ti­mists who be­lieved we could elect a pro-life pres­i­dent and maybe even put a pro-life ma­jor­ity in place in the Se­nate,” Carol To­bias, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Right to Life Com­mit­tee, said in an email to sup­port­ers. “We do not al­ways un­der­stand why some­thing hap­pens, but we do know that we are in God’s hands. We will not give up.”

In a Fam­ily Re­search Coun­cil Ac­tion we­b­cast on the “af­ter­math and af­ter­shocks” of Elec­tion 2012, Mr. Perkins steered sup­port­ers to a col­umn by Matt Lewis in the Daily Caller that said Republicans need “mod­ern­iza­tion, not moder­a­tion.” It’s time to “find a way to make con­ser­vatism rel­e­vant to a new gen­er­a­tion and, frankly, to a larger de­mo­graphic group,” Mr. Lewis told the we­b­cast.

“The val­ues is­sues” are a bridge to con­nect with His­pan­ics, Asians and other non­white groups, agreed Mr. Perkins.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.