"Pro-life" is "anti-choice" and, very likely, anti-woman. Opposition to illegal immigration is opposition to immigration and, indeed, blatant racism. "Pro-marriage" is "anti-gay marriage" and, in all honesty, "anti-gay". Pay attention at all and you'll find all of these views not only present, but prevalent today.
At first blush, the war appears to be a war of words. "You say potato and I say ...", well, you get the idea. But dig down and you'll find there is much, much more at stake. In English, "tomeighto" and "tomawto" may be different pronunciations for "tomato", but they refer to the same thing. On the other hand, "pro-life" is not "anti-choice" (and "pro-choice" folk are not pro-choice) and "pro-marriage" is not "anti-gay marriage" let alone connected in any way to an opinion on whether or not people should be engaging in sexual relations with the same gender.
It is not, then, a war of words, but differences in ideology. "Pro-life" holds that human life is valuable and ought to be protected. "Pro-choice" holds that a woman's choice is valuable and an unwanted baby is "a life worth sacrificing." "Pro-marriage" argues that "marriage" has meaning -- the union of one man and one woman -- and anything else is not marriage. "Pro-gay marriage" argues that marriage no longer (Anyone with any integrity admits that it once was the case.) means what it once meant and now means some sort of loving commitment and should, thus, be ripped from its moorings and handed over to whomever they deem ought to be able to have it. (That is, "Traditional heterosexual couples can be 'married' -- 'some sort of loving commitment' -- and two same-sex people can be 'married', but certainly polygamists and polyamorists cannot. That makes no sense at all! We still favor 'marriage' even if our definition is sketchy and illogical!") The two sides of these discussions are not the same. These are antithetical positions. It isn't a difference in language; it's a difference in principle.
Of course, no one is arguing that it is merely a difference in language, even though we appear to be using the same words to mean different things. Everyone understands that it is a fundamental difference in principle. The fight, then, is not about words, but about principles. And that's where we're having difficulty. We are arguing words and the principles are slipping away.
In an article in Salon magazine, staff writer Mary Elizabeth Williams admits that abortion is killing a baby. She agrees that when a woman has an abortion she speaks in terms of a "fetus", but when the baby is wanted, the pregnancies are "unhesitatingly described in terms of 'the baby' and 'this kid.'" Her own wording is telling. She calls the "pro-life" arguments "diabolically clever" while necessarily referring to them as "anti-choice". "Who wants be on the side of ... not-life?" she asks. She refers to herself as "pro-choice", but says of her side, "the language of those who support abortion has for so long been carefully couched in other terms." You see, you cannot support "choice" where the choice kills a baby without supporting abortion. And she agrees. "I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing."
On the "same sex marriage" issue, we see the same thing. Sarah Cueva wrote just before the election last year, "In an age that is increasingly supportive of equal rights for people of all sexual orientations, it is vital for the survival and viability of the GOP that the official party platform change to one that states its support for gay marriage." Young Republicans are arguing "America has bigger problems than who can and cannot marry; it is time to move beyond this and focus on bigger problems." You see, to them the question is not the definition of marriage. They have already redefined it.
What is the problem, then? Why would I say that we've lost the war even though we're still fighting the battles? It's because the problem is not that we have faulty logic or poor arguments. It is not that we don't have truth on our side. It is because no one cares anymore about truth. No, that's not even accurate. It is because the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). It is because the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God (Rom 8:7). It is because sin sickens the mind (Rom 1:28) and the more sin is indulged, the sicker the mind gets. It is, then, because we are fighting a war of words when the problem is a heart problem and the war is with people whose eyes have been blinded by the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). Our best weapons, then, are not well-laid arguments and cogent logic, but prayer and the Holy Spirit (Eph 6:12-18). As one old Christian band put it, "Get on your knees and fight like a man." Better yet, let's go with Paul:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Phil 4:6).By all means continue to hold to the truth, make the best arguments, stand for what's right. But understand at the end of the day that your best laid logic is aimed at the head and the heart is what needs to change. Don't neglect that reality. And don't rely on human reason. The problem is much bigger than that. Fortunately we have a much bigger Answer.