Focus on the Family Concedes Defeat

Which, in this case, only means that someone at FotF took a stats course in college:

We’re losing on [same-sex marriage], especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don’t know if that’s going to change with a little more age—demographers would say probably not. We’ve probably lost that. I don’t want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.

Jim Daly, the new James Dobson, doesn’t want to give up on sex-specific marriage.  He’s got this brilliant idea, though, that maybe if conservative Christian marriages were demonstrably better than those of the wretched world of the unredeemed, the unredeemed would take conservative pronouncements on the true nature of marriage more seriously.  Here he is again:

What if the Christian divorce rate goes from 40 percent to 10 percent or 5 percent, and the world’s goes from 50 percent to 80 percent? Now we’re back to the early centuries. They’re looking at us and thinking, ‘We want more of what they’ve got.'” As he puts it, “we should start with how to get dads reconnected to the family and committed to their marriages.

Of course, there’s no reason whatsoever to think that a big push on patriarchal principles will somehow help conservative Christians stand out from the larger culture.  Not only is there nothing redemptive about singing that aspect of the world’s song, but there’s also no way that conservative Christians acting worldly will lead to some sort of statistically measurable difference between conservative Christians and the world.

I’m terribly excited about this, though.  Every time someone suggests that Godly ethical principles ought to lead to empirically verifiable results, my heart floats high and happy like a hot air balloon.  Yes indeedy, Mr. Daly, being right about marriage ought to lead to better marriages.  Yes indeedy, you ought to have something that people want before trying to sell it; the first step in selling snake oil is getting people to want oil of snake.  Yes, if you’re selling a system guaranteed to be the only one that works, you ought to get it to work first.

Glad someone at FotF finally noticed.

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About Dhouda

"And what shall I say, fragile vessel that I am? I shall turn to others as a friend." Dhouda's Manual, AD 841
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2 Responses to Focus on the Family Concedes Defeat

  1. Otter says:

    I think this is a really good analysis that he’s got here.

    Just today (for the moment, anyway…) I’m thinking about how pervasive the lifestyle is that commits the whole culture (including the Christian subculture) to being divorce-friendly. It’s difficult to see what marriage adds to a culture of bloggers and information-merchants.

    I wonder if Christians were told, “You can save Christianity’s influence over marriage if you wear buttonless shirts and grow your own food,” how many would rise to that challenge. I guess that’s been tried. But the Amish might know more about marriage than Focus on the Family does.

    • Dhouda says:

      Yeah, I think he’s absolutely right: if conservative Christian marriages were substantially better than those of everyone else, then the world would be asking conservative Christians for marriage advice. He doesn’t explicitly say the converse, but seems aware of it: if conservative Christian marriages are no better than those of anyone else, then no one will ask conservative Christians for marriage advice. Whether his ideologies will get him to a better in-house divorce rate than the rest of the world is questionable, to say the lease, but I’m really glad that he gets the necessity of results.

      Do you think the Amish have better marriages over all? Not for nothing, but I’d slice the buttons off my shirts if I thought it would guarantee the matter.

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