You’ve heard it over and over: Gay “marriage” is inevitable. Well, at least that’s what its supporters want you to believe.
In his book, “The Black Swan,” Nicholas Nassim Taleb discussed what he calls the “narrative fallacy.” This refers to our “limited ability” to look at a sequence of facts “without weaving an explanation into them.”
While this tendency helps us make sense of the world around us, it can and often does mislead us. It creates a mistaken impression that we understand things better than we really do. And, it often causes us to view the facts in ways that are consistent with the narrative we ourselves have created.
Case in point: the recent news – or in this case, news blackout – out of Illinois.
A few weeks ago the state legislature took up the issue of same-sex marriage. The outcome was regarded as a foregone conclusion. Illinois is President Obama’s home state, and his party enjoys commanding majorities in both houses. Same-sex marriage enjoyed the support of both the governor and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The president had even personally lobbied state legislators.
Given all that, the vote in favor of gay “marriage” in Illinois was inevitable, right?
Well, no one bothered to tell the state’s African-American pastors. As Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage wrote in the National Review, the pastors “worked hard to reach and convince African-American legislators to stand tall for the truth of marriage.”
The pastors demanded that legislators acknowledge that marriage “is an institution created by God to bring men and women together for the benefit of children that can only be created through the union of men and women.”
Their efforts paid off: Illinois did not succumb to the “inevitable.” They defeated “gay-marriage advocates and their supporters in the legislature in the bluest of blue states.”
If you haven’t heard about this important victory, you’re not alone. Until we here at BreakPoint read Brown’s piece, we hadn’t heard about it, either. Not that the lack of media attention is any surprise, because on this issue I'm sorry to say, the mainstream media are cheerleaders and activists, not reporters.
That’s not only my opinion: a study by the Pew Research Center found that in the run-up to the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex “marriage,” “the news media coverage provided a strong sense of momentum towards legalizing same-sex marriage.” How strong? It said that “Stories with more statements supporting same-sex marriage outweighed those with more statements opposing it by … roughly 5-to-1.”
That kind of coverage bears no resemblance to actual public opinion on the subject. Instead, it presents same-sex marriage as an idea whose time has come and those who insist otherwise as relics from a less-enlightened age.
What happened in Illinois cuts across the grain of this worldview and the narrative it produces. Instead of considering the possibility that the story they are telling is not true, the tellers of this story in the media completely ignore facts that contradict the narrative.
That doesn’t make their story any more true. There is nothing “inevitable” about the redefinition of marriage. While we face an uphill battle, what else is new?
In this battle, the Church matters. All of the Church. What happened in Illinois was the result of African American pastors taking the lead. In other states it may require the leadership of Latino ministers. What matters is that all of God’s people “stand tall for the truth of marriage.”Please be sure to tune in to BreakPoint again this week, as John and I will share our thoughts on the Supreme Court’s upcoming decisions regarding marriage.
What is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense
Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, Robert George | Encounter Books | December 2012
The Black Swan
Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Random House | 2007
Is Same-Sex Marriage Truly Inevitable?
Ben Booker | BreakPoint Blog | June 25, 2013
African-American Pastors in Democratic Illinois Show that Redefining Marriage Is Not Inevitable
Brian Brown | National Review | June 20, 2013
Pew Study Reveals 5–1 Bias for Same-Sex Marriage in Media Coverage
James McGlone and Claire McMullen | The Foundry (Heritage Foundation) | June 21, 2013
On Winning the Marriage Debate
Eric Teetsel | The Witherspoon Institute | June 24, 2013
Break the Spiral of Silence (Part I)
Chuck Colson | Two-Minute Warning | Nov. 2, 2011
Chuck Colson | Colson Center You Tube Channel | Nov. 2, 2011
The Meaning of Marriage, Part 1
Robin Philips | ColsonCenter.org | April 29, 2013
The Meaning of Marriage, Part 2
Robin Philips | ColsonCenter.org | May 6, 2013
Justice Kennedy's 40,000 Children
Robert Oscar Lopez | Public Discourse, The Witherspoon Institute | May 2, 2013