It’s the new gotcha question of the 2016 campaign: Would you attend the “gay wedding” of a friend or family member?
Republicans would rather talk about the economy or foreign policy, but wherever they go, many of the GOP presidential contenders find themselves asked whether they would go to such a ceremony. And Paul Kengor, a historian and author, says Republicans are setting themselves up for failure by falling for such a trap.
In an exclusive interview with WND, Kengor advised Republicans “to firmly respond that things like this have nothing whatsoever to do with being president, with cutting taxes and the deficit, with restoring economic growth, and with fighting ISIS. They have everything to do with liberal ‘journalists’ trying to corner and take down Republicans. I would tell the Republican to look the ‘journalist’ in the eye and say, ‘What you’re doing here is totally transparent. Your political bias is glowingly apparent. Stop it.'”
Kengor, author of the upcoming “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage,” acidly remarked, “Well, congratulations to the liberal media! They’ve got their new liberal-gotcha question for 2016.”
He added, “My favorite liberal-gotcha question always directed at Republicans is this one: Do Jews go to heaven? I warn Republicans to be ready for that one, too.”
If their answers are any indication, the Republican field is divided on the question of personal opposition to same-sex marriage:
- Rick Santorum declared he would not attend such a ceremony because “that would be a violation of my faith.” In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, Santorum stated that in the case of a homosexual friend, “I would love them and support them, but I would not participate in that ceremony.”
- Ted Cruz rejected the question as hypothetical and stated the real issue was whether the federal government would take authority to regulate marriage away from the states.
- John Kasich told a homosexual friend he would attend his wedding.
- Scott Walker said he had attended a reception for a homosexual wedding.
- Marco Rubio told Jorge Ramos in an interview, “If there’s somebody that I love that’s in my life, I don’t necessarily have to agree with their decisions or the decisions they’ve made to continue to love them and participate in important events.”
Pastor and radio host Carl Gallups told WND he understands why Republican presidential candidates don’t want to antagonize the media by flatly answering that they would never attend a same-sex wedding. But the author of the theological bestseller, “Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation,” believes attending a homosexual wedding is a statement of support for the institution, not the people involved.
“I know Rubio and others who said they would go gave the mainstream and politically correct answer,” he said. “At first glance, it appears to be an answer based upon ‘love.’ Who wouldn’t like an answer based upon love?”
But Gallups added, “However, I would not attend a homosexual wedding. In my opinion, to do so would lend validation to one of the most dysfunctional and disconnected statements about marriage, home, and family on the planet. When one attends a wedding, the implied statement for most people is: I support this couple. I support this marriage. I support what is happening here today. I am here as a witness to this event because I support what is happening here. Attending a wedding is a powerful statement about your condoning of the specific happening being celebrated by that gathering and that event. I am not prepared to make a statement like that.”
More than that, Gallups warned, endorsing homosexual behavior is a dire offense for would-be leaders who claim to be Christian.
“The cliche ‘What would Jesus do?’ is sometimes a useful tool for making tough decisions,” he said. “I prefer to ask, ‘What did Jesus say?’ or ‘What did Jesus do?’ or “What does the Bible clearly declare about this issue?’ Usually, these type questions remove all speculations regarding ‘what Jesus might or might not do.'”
Gallups continued, “In this case, the matter is pretty clear. There is not one statement of support for homosexuality or homosexual marriage anywhere in the Word of God – not one. Homosexuality is not celebrated in God’s Word; instead, it is condemned as a ‘perversion’ in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus did not condone homosexuality. Rather, he said that the judgment that happened at Sodom and Gomorrah was a statement to the world about the judgment that would come upon the wicked world system in the last days (see Luke 17 for starters). There really is no biblically contextual wiggle room on this matter.”
Psychologist Michael Brown, who holds a Ph.D. from New York University and has written books on homosexuality, agrees that attending a wedding constitutes a declaration of support for the union. For that reason, Brown said, “I could not attend a homosexual wedding, since I would be celebrating and affirming something I cannot celebrate and affirm.”
Brown, author of “Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality,” said it isn’t offensive for Christians to remain true to their faith by declining to attend a homosexual wedding.
“When my wife, Nancy, and I were married in 1976, we invited the local rabbi, who had become a dear friend,” Brown said. “But he told us that he could not attend since, although we were Jews, this would not be a traditional Jewish wedding and, therefore, not a real wedding to him. We were not in the least bit offended and continued to be friends. My hope is that this could happen with gay couples as well.”
Republicans who claim to support family values, Brown said, need to fully understand what they are endorsing when they attend a homosexual wedding.
“The Republican candidates should think about this issue in depth before they speak, and then they should be true to their conscience rather than politically correct (or incorrect),” he said. “That’s the only way we’ll know where they stand.”
Gallups also said attending a homosexual wedding constitutes a political act in itself.
“A homosexual wedding is a direct statement of lifestyle and your view of society’s foundation. It is a lifestyle that flies in the face of the Word of God, the entirety of human history, physiology, human reproduction, man-woman relationships, CDC statistics on the spread of disease, etc.,” Gallups said. “Again, I cannot validate that relationship. So, no, I would not attend a homosexual wedding – even if it were that of someone in my family or some other person about whom I cared deeply.”
But as Kengor observes, whatever their beliefs, the best way Republican candidates can avoid losing this political game is by refusing to play by the leftist media’s rules.
“I would tell the Republicans to turn the question back on the liberal ‘journalist’ by saying this: ‘The United Methodist Church of Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren and the Roman Catholic Church of Joe Biden and Martin O’Malley both reject gay marriage,'” Kengor advised.
“Go ask these Democrats how they feel about rejecting their churches’ central teaching on the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. Ask them why they’re thumbing their noses at their churches.”
He added, “I would tell Republicans to tell these ‘journalists’ – if they’re genuinely ‘journalists’ – to apply their journalistic microscope on gay marriage to the Democrats, too – not just to Republicans.”
Brown concluded, “Republicans can turn the tables and encourage the same reporters to ask Democratic candidates if they would support forcing a Christian or Muslim photographer to shoot a same-sex ceremony if it violated their beliefs.”