MARRIAGE WARS, PART 3
Just when we thought something was happening in the sodomite marriage wars, it looks like we�ll be sandbagged again.
A little history of some of today�s players is in order.
Nashif is a political hack with a nasty look and a bad temper. He is cynical, self-promoting, and ambitious. He is the key man in the Oregon Family Council (OFC), a largely do-nothing political organization that once held great sway during the heyday of conservative church political action � the mid and late 1980s and early 1990s. They are most noted for producing an ostensible �voter guide� that purports to give Christian voters a look inside the souls (and morals) of political candidates in Oregon. The Guide has not been much of a seller or any significant influence in the last decade.
As I see it, Nashif has been angling for a chance to return to the glory days of OFC when he had some real political clout. The homosexual marriage issue has provided the possibility of that Phoenix-like revival. OFC formed a sub-group, the Defense of Marriage Coalition (DMC).
Back in the early 1980s, under the aegis of Friendship Unlimited Inner City Ministries, a ministry outreach to street prostitutes, my wife and I started Multnomah County Citizens Against Pornography (MCCAP), to battle the burgeoning porn industry. Early in the group�s activist work, I received a call from a young attorney named Kelly Clark. He offered to assist MCCAP with legal advice and help from time to time. Knowing how hard it was to come by offers of legal help on the conservative side of issues, I was excited about the offer.
I called Paul Salgado, the director of Friendship Unlimited, to tell him the good news. Paul was possessed of the strongest spiritual gift of discernment of anyone I have ever met (even to this date). He never advertised this gift but he regularly astonished me by telling me accurately, in advance, how this or that person would respond and whether or not they were trustworthy. Paul was quiet as I told him of Clark�s offer. When I finished, he said, �Be very careful of this man. He is a snake.�
I knew well not to take Paul Salgado�s warnings lightly. I backed off.
It was only a few years later when Kelly Clark�s name appeared in the papers as a Republican candidate for the Oregon Legislature. Remembering the name and the warning, I was curious to see what would develop. I even passed on the warning to some friends who were Republican Party activists. (It would be interesting to find out how the OFC voter guide had him listed.)
Boy, was I glad I had listened. Clark won the seat and immediately went south. This was the time of the �beginning of the end� for the power that had been wielded by the conservatives in Oregon � even within the Republican Party, the liberals (called �moderates� by the media) had largely taken over.
Clark led the charge on �homosexual rights� legislation � even to the point of an outright revolt against the Party leadership. He received an ACLU award for this (more on this later). During that time he became an arrogant drunk, dumped his wife, and took up with a young woman who worked for the state. He quietly went into rehab, but when he got out he began stalking the girlfriend (who had left him). He finally wound up forcibly detaining her in her own apartment and sexually abusing her for several hours. As a result, he became a convicted sex offender and lost his license to practice law for a couple of months. (Funny how the Oregon Bar can forgive sex offenders among their own, but not among the Catholic priests.)
On April 7, 2004, the Willamette Week (WW), a Portland-area yuppie-liberal weekly tabloid, �outed� Clark for all this and openly wondered how the former �hero� to the homosexual cabal in Oregon could suddenly pop up again as the attorney for Nashif�s Defense of Marriage Coalition. (All this can be read at the WW website)
That�s right! Tim Nashif, jousting off to fight the evils of sodomite nuptials (and resurrecting his status as a �player�), has demonstrated all the discernment of a gnat and hired a champion of homosexual rights to argue against the rights of homosexuals to marry.
Now, mind, Clark says in the WW article that he is ambivalent about homosexual marriage. He is not sure why he is uncomfortable with them but it may be, he intones, � . . . just because I�m a Southerner, or an Episcopalian or I have a fear of new things.� (�Fear of new things�? That sounds suspiciously like homophobia! Kelly, say it ain�t so!) As to �civil unions� (�marriage� under another nom de plume), Clark is all for them � except he doesn�t think they are �fair enough to gays.� I suppose, since marriage and civil unions are precisely the same in legal status, Clark would make it �fair to gays� by elevating sodomite �unions� to a higher plane than mere heterosexual marriages.
Speculation on that aside, consider the pickle we are now in.
In the first place, it was the Christian Coalition of Oregon which initially got the ball rolling on petitions to outlaw sodomite marriage and to recall the Gang of Four in Multnomah County who had homosexuals jumping the broom in defiance of state law since March 3.
Nashif has co-opted these petitions. Apparently, to him, there is no one who can run this campaign properly but he alone. No simple work-together agreement. He has to be in charge.
Looking at his brilliant choice of legal counsel, I am trying to imagine how well the rest of the effort will go under his leadership.
Among other things, Clark was the lead counsel who crafted an agreement with the ACLU, from whom he received accolades for his support of �gay rights.� The pact was to drop all the pending lawsuits over the illegal issuing of marriage licenses by Multnomah County. In exchange for this, �our side� is being allowed to intervene as defendants in the suit ACLU was to file against the State of Oregon � a suit challenging the constitutionality of Oregon�s marriage laws.
This brilliant decision took �our side� out of the offensive position (the best position to be in), and put us squarely on the defensive � the position from which Christians and conservatives have lost all our court battles for all of these years! Thanks, Kelly. Thanks, Tim.
Worse than that, Kelly Clark agreed to �fast track� the case to the Oregon Supreme Court for their decision as to whether Oregon�s marriage laws conflict with Oregon�s Constitution (they don�t, but we�ll see some creative footwork by the Oregon Supremes).
Do you remember having to wait years for �our issues� to wend their way through the courts to reach the Oregon Supreme Court? I do. However, it will not be so for the sodomites. No. We can�t have them wait in line like everyone else. By all means, let�s move them to the head of the line! Thanks again, Kelly! Thanks again, Tim!
Do you feel sandbagged yet?.
� 2004 Paul deParrie - All Rights Reserved
Paul deParrie is a 17-year veteran of anti-abortion street activism, a preacher, and a social critic. He is the author of "Dark Cures: Have Doctors Lost Their Ethics" (Huntington House) available at NewsWithViews Online Store Front. deParrie may be reached at: [email protected].
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"Many people in the pews are just comfortable, unregenerate souls headed for Hell as a result. Worse yet, the entire culture has felt the false comfort of the �God loves you the way you are� gospel to the point where they have become the hardened, stony ground of the wayside in Jesus� parable."