Helpful or hurtful? One day after President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., said the GOP's opposition to gay marriage is "not a comfortable place" for the party in the long run. "It's a generational issue," he said. "Demographically, I think Republicans have to, you know, take a look at what issues are going to appeal." A recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed that support for same-sex marriage has grown substantially in recent years, especially among young people. Opposing gay marriage may not be a "comfortable" position, but it's the right position. And what Davis fails to take into account is that the pendulum may be swinging back. The same Pew study that shows growing support for same-sex marriage over the past two decades also shows that this support looks to have peaked and may in fact be headed downward again.
Battleground billboards. An organization called Created Equal believes the key to outlawing abortion is to win hearts and minds by graphically showing the horrors of the procedure. So, in cooperation with Operation Rescue, the organization uses huge mobile billboards depicting images of aborted babies in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, and Iowa. If you find the strategy a little too in your face, consider this: Powerful, provocative images have been vital in social movements in years past. Photos of lynch mobs smiling for the camera while a dead black man hung from a tree over their heads shocked the United States to eliminate Jim Crow laws. Dorothy Lang's photos of poor Dust Bowl families and television images of fire hoses turned on civil rights protesters helped create social change. You can view the "Vote Pro-Life" mobile billboards on the Created Equal website, but beware: These images are not for the squeamish.
Not just a Tea Party. In Indiana, Richard Mourdock put an end to Richard Lugar's 35-year U.S. Senate career. The Tea Party got much of the credit, but the truth is more complicated. Lugar ran a terrible campaign. He was aloof and failed to attend important political events. A controversy over his residency-he sold his Indiana home years ago, moved to the D.C. area, and claimed a family farm as his state residence-only added to the impression that he had lost touch with his conservative roots. The result: Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer, trounced him. The question now is whether Mourdock can prevail in the general election. Indiana has been a red state, but Democrats now see an opportunity. Their logic is that Mourdock is too conservative and a moderate Democrat can now win. The good news for Mourdock is that he had more than just Tea Party support in his primary campaign. The rest of the news is that he will need that center-right coalition, and not just far-right activists, to come out for him if he is to win in the general election.
Did you hear? You may have heard news reports that cohabitation before marriage doesn't increase the chances for divorce. Take, for example, the article from the Christian Science Monitor, headlined: "Cohabitation before marriage? It's no greater divorce risk." Is that true? According to Focus on the Family's Glenn Stanton, the answer is no. He said that both the research and the journalism are incomplete in important (and misleading) ways. Stanton maintained that there is a "long, impressive, and diverse body of research showing that premarital cohabitation is generally shown to be associated with greater divorce risk in marriage." Even this study acknowledges this reality, saying that "it has been well documented that women and men who cohabit with their future spouse are more likely to divorce" than couples who did not cohabit. So why didn't the mainstream media report this conclusion of the study? Provocative and simplistic headlines get attention. They sell papers or attract clicks online. But the truth is often both more complicated and less sensational than headline writers prefer.