23 Feb Strengthen the Family, Strengthen the World
Defending Marriage Must Take on Different Tone
February 14, 2007
The last election brought a change in tone to Congress. This change forces supporters of pro-family initiatives such as the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) to focus not only on who will and who will not vote to support the FMA, but to monitor legislation that could put pro-family support systems at risk. Putting pro-family support systems at risk stifles the efforts of United Families International and other pro-family groups to help you in the defense of marriage and traditional families. Friends, with this change in the tone of Congress we are needed more than ever as a watchdog over political forces to undermine the family unit.
A good example of a pro-family support system put at risk by the new Congress is the recent consideration of Senate Bill 1, the lobby reform bill. Most of the provisions of that bill are necessary and appropriate. But Section 220 would have silenced grassroots-based advocacy groups such as UFI by impeding you from making your views known to your elected officials on pending legislation.
Along with other major pro-family groups, UFI mobilized a grassroots effort to remove this section from the bill. Tens of thousands of citizens quickly responded (thank you if you were one of them!) and the Senate dropped this section before passing the bill. However, we could see it reappear in the House.
On another front, there is an effort brewing by liberal members of Congress to muffle conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Legislation to re-impose a Federal Communications Commission regulation called the “Fairness Doctrine” may sound reasonable, but on closer analysis this would clearly produce negative consequences to the work of promoting traditional families.
The “Fairness Doctrine” would require all talk show hosts to provide equal time to both sides of an issue whenever they aired controversial statements. For instance, if Hannity were to discuss the reason to support traditional marriage for 30 minutes of airtime, he would have to also discuss the reason for supporting homosexual marriage for 30 minutes. Violation of the regulation could carry heavy fines by government bureaucrats. As a result, most stations will likely not allow the airing of anything controversial. News reporting would be exempt from the FCC rule.
Conservative talk radio is where discussions of issues important to families occur, and occur often. These discussions provide an essential counterbalance to the liberal bias in the traditional media’s “news” reporting on family and social issues. It is difficult to imagine where we would be as a country without the contribution talk radio has made to our political debates over the past 20 years by providing more balance and perspective. We will need to keep a close eye on this issue as the session in Congress proceeds.
Indeed, as you see, the tone of Congress has changed. To combat the change and to be successful in the battle to support the traditional family, we must change our political strategy and work harder to defend marriage and all of its support systems. Please consider making a generous financial contribution to help in our efforts.
Thanks for all you do to help defend marriage.