Column Correction on Jeb Bush and Marriage

In a previously published column I wrote about Jeb Bush’s evolution on marriage, which The Christian Post, The Washington Times, and other news outlets published, I erroneously attributed three quotes and part of a sentence to former governor Jeb Bush that were statements made by former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

No one appreciates someone else attributing a statement to them that they did not make, including myself, which is why I am more than willing to acknowledge the error, as inexcusable as it was and explain its origin.

To clarify, the following text was erroneously not deleted; I had compiled it for a different column referring to Hillary Clinton but the published column erroneously attributed the text to Mr. Bush [In March: “I support gay marriage personally and as law.” In June: “DOMA discrimination holds us back from a more perfect union.” By 2014, Bush rationalized, “I re-evaluated and changed my mind on gay marriage. We have all evolved on gay marriage since 1990s.”]

This sentence, [In 2007 Mr. Bush both publicly supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and also argued “states should decide gay marriage, they’re ahead of the feds.”] should have instead read: Jeb Bush publicly supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996. Mr. Bush also has argued that states should decide marriage. (Several source links were not published but now are.)

I had been working on several columns with different versions relating to my argument that because Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have so much in common, together they present a convincing all-inclusive 2016 presidential ticket.

During my research I categorized quotes by issue to characterize Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton as the dynastic duo 2.0 version of former presidents George Herbert Walker Bush/William J. Clinton.

Due to numerous changes and unforeseeable extenuating circumstances, I unintentionally and without any malice towards Mr. Bush did not catch the error to delete it, for which I take full responsibility.

However, by removing this text, my column still presents valid concerns about Jeb Bush, his claims about faith and his position on marriage. I am certainly not the first or the last to suggest that Mr. Bush’s views on marriage have “evolved.” It’s a common theme expressed in the news, which I did not originate.

Bush, like Obama, like Clinton, and many others, have all evolved on many policy positions. But the Bible does not evolve on anything. It has never changed in communicating God’s non-negotiable foundational truth about a person’s sexuality, identity, marriage, family, children, and societal purpose.

Nor was my column the first time I, or anyone else, have written about marriage or homosexuality. As I have expressed numerous times I support legal protection for all American citizens. I oppose any percentage of a population whether 3 percent or 99 percent that either legally prohibits Christians from freely worshiping (which involves political and social engagement) or legally requires Christians to commit an act that their faith prohibits. Biblically, Christians would be justified in non-compliance.

Christians are not forcing gays to convert to their beliefs. But gays are forcing Christians to convert to theirs. And because Christians won’t convert, they are losing their livelihoods and potentially facing imprisonment. I can’t recall in my lifetime gays losing their livelihoods or going to jail if they didn’t convert to Christianity.

The underlying problem conservatives and especially evangelicals have with Jeb Bush and every non-conservative extends well beyond evolving views on marriage. Those who reject biblical authority cannot wisely counsel those who claim they accept it. This is why the cited verses and the pastors’ comments are essential: not only for right living but right living with God—for his glory, a far greater purpose.

Everyone makes mistakes, and when they are mine I promptly acknowledge, correct, and take full responsibility for them. But the worst mistake anyone could make is to reject the transformative and life-giving truth only Jesus Christ freely and mercifully offers.