Social conservatives and Christians must humanize and frame their side of the debate on issues related to marriage and family through the eyes and stories of children in order to be effective, advocates say.
Speaking in a panel at the Heritage Foundation on Dec. 12, Katy Faust, founder of children’s rights advocacy organization Them Before Us explained that it is time for social conservatives to contend for what they care about through the lens of children’s rights, and highlight their stories. Proponents of same-sex marriage humanized their side of the debate with personal stories and thereby won over significant swaths of the culture, whereas traditionalists spoke in cold, dry statistics, she argued.
Faust began blogging about this in 2012 soon after former President Barack Obama announced he had “evolved” on the issue of same-sex marriage and supported it. She felt compelled to do so particularly because it seemed that when this happened almost everyone in the mainstream media abruptly concluded that the only possible motivation anyone could have for opposing gay unions was bigotry.
But Faust’s understanding of marriage was that it was “the most child-friendly institution in the world.”
Yet when the secular left began using children to back their claims, essentially arguing that children do not care if they lose a mother or a father, she felt she had to speak up no matter how many friends she might lose.
“When you get kids alone and they talk about the things that break their hearts the most, it’s always about their parents. It’s always about how they lost relationship with their mom or dad,” Faust said.
“Being known and loved by the two people responsible for your existence is one of the most universal longings,” she explained, having seen for decades the fallout of parents prioritizing their wants over their children’s needs.
Mothers and fathers are neither optional nor interchangeable, she argued.
“You can and should be the most loving person in the lives of your gay family and friends, and you must defend [traditional] marriage because it is actually a children’s rights issue.”
Them Before Us has assembled a coalition of people who hail from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives: Christians, atheists, same-sex attracted individuals, and others who intend to stand up for the inherent rights of the child.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter