One of the big steps in winning a social or political battle these days is defining the terms to be used in the debate. Remember how an “unborn child” became an antiseptic “fetus” during the start of the abortion debate? And how left-wingers now call themselves “progressives” since George H. W. Bush turned “liberal” into a slur during his 1988 presidential campaign?
According to a Thursday post by Daily Beast Washington reporter Michelle Cottle, the latest example of this principle is the Family Research Council's use of the phrase “natural marriage” instead of “traditional marriage,” a move to change the terms of the debate because the conservative organization had been “getting its butt kicked.”
Cottle listed a few other examples of word use changing the way people view an issue:
Trying to rally a nation against the estate tax is a tough lift. But a “death tax”? Now there’s rhetorical gold. “Global warming” = scary and bad; “climate change,” not so much.
In some cases, the differences may amount to no more than a couple of letters -- say, the Democratic party versus the Democrat party.
“So with public acceptance of gay marriage growing faster than Justin Bieber’s rap sheet, the culture warriors at the Family Research Council have been hawking their National Campaign in Defense of Natural Marriage,” Cottle stated.
“In multiple email calls to arms,” she noted, “FRC president Tony Perkins is urging people of 'character and values' to 'take a stand' by signing an online petition and, while they’re at it, donating a little something to this 'counteroffensive.'”
Cottle then noted:
By March 31, FRC wants -- nay, “needs” -- 250,000 signatures and $1.1 million to “fund this demanding work of behalf of America’s families.”
At that point, the e-petition will be deposited at the feet of the group’s latest hero, [Texas GOP senator] Ted Cruz, “in a public display of support for natural marriage.”
The reporter also states that “Perkins pleads/warns/threatens: 'I want to encourage you: Natural marriage is not a lost cause in America -- unless we give up and let the same-sex ‘marriage’ advocates have their way because we failed to stand up for what is right.”
Next, Cottle sarcastically stated: “I somehow missed the moment when 'natural marriage' became the preferred term of anti-gay-marriage crusaders.”
The liberal reporter then declared:
After all, plenty of folks would be amenable to, or perhaps even charmed by, the idea of an untraditional marriage.
An unnatural marriage, by contrast, brings to mind all manner of unsavory couplings. ... Indeed, defenders of “natural marriage” talk a lot about how gay marriage is an affront to God’s “natural law.”
“The folks at FRC did not, it should be noted, come up with the phrase on their own,” Cottle said. “The Catholic Church, for instance, tends to refer to 'natural marriage' in contrast to 'sacramental marriage' -- the former being an exclusive, lifetime covenant between a man and a woman of no particular religious backgrounds, while the latter is specifically the union of a man and woman baptized within the church.”
However, natural marriage “has become a rallying cry for those looking to beat back, as Perkins puts it, 'the agenda of the Progressive Left and radical homosexual lobby,'” she stated.
“The debate in question, however, may be beyond the point of such rhetorical retrofitting,” Cottle concluded. “These days, not even the veiled threats of bestiality, polygamy, and other comparably 'unnatural' acts seem likely to derail the marriage equality train.”
In making that statement, Cottle exposed her liberal hypocrisy since she referred to the pleasant-sounding "marriage equally" instead of the more accurate "same-sex marriage."
But, as NewsBusters previously reported, the FRC is also taking action to promote this and other conservative ideals and causes.
In an attempt to duplicate the success of Mike Huckabee's Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, the FRC has declared Saturday, March 29, Holly Lobby Day. That's when supporters of the company -- which is attempting to reverse the Obama administration's decree that employers must provide abortion-inducing drugs to employees -- are invited to shop at one of the chain's 640 stores or help out in other ways.
The event is a result of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing arguments on Tuesday from Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., both of which are owned by Christian families. If the decision – which is expected to be announced during the summer -- goes against them, Holly Lobby faces $1.3 million per day or $475 million per year in fines for failure to comply with ObamaCare.
It's no surprise that the Daily Beast reporter came out swinging after she learned that conservatives were going to replace one term with a potentially more acceptable one. After all, that's a privilege liberals reserve for themselves and their allies in the “mainstream” media.