Skip to comments.Yes, Letís Keep Government Out of Marriage
Posted on 04/01/2013 1:42:04 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Last week at RedState, we spent a lot of time focusing on politics from a faith perspective because it was Holy Week. Throughout the week, many people who support gay marriage lambasted me and others that Christians were just trying to use government to legislate marriage or morality.
But I agree that we should keep the government out of marriage.
Last I checked, George and Martha Washington did not get remarried after 1776 when the United States declared independence from Great Britain. Nor did they do so after 1789, when the constitution was enacted.
In fact, not one of the founding fathers married prior to 1776 remarried the same person after the United States was formed.
Government did not create marriage. The only laws on the books related to marriage are state laws and federal laws that recognize the marriage structure that previously existed before the government established them.
To be sure, over time those marriages evolved. The age of consent and the ability to contract have changed and impacted marriage, but the structure and operation of marriage were still the same.
The most significant changes in the law regarding marriage have been on how to end a marriage, not how to begin a marriage or what constitutes a marriage.
But marriage pre-existed the state and has evolved institutionally over a few thousand years.
What’s happening now is that gay marriage advocates are attempting to use the state to change marriage. When they say Christians are trying to use the state to legislate their version of marriage, they are full of crap. All Christians are doing is defending an institution that already exists from being changed to something it has never been.
It is the gay marriage advocates who want to force, by the power of the state, a pre-existing institution to change. If the state has the power to change the definition of an institution that it did not create, the state can force everyone to do so. It is already happening in this country at the state level.
Marriage may evolve to include gays one day. But the time is not there year. The laws enacted across the country to preserve the status quo are just that there to keep the state, via the courts or legislature from changing an institution neither the courts nor legislatures of the several states created, but chose to recognize.
Let’s be clear here you can support gay marriage, but don’t tell me Christians are trying to legislate their version of marriage. The only people trying to legislate, from the bench or otherwise, are gay rights advocates who refuse to let the institution naturally evolve because of their own impatience for the trappings of normalcy in a society that has long viewed them as outside the mainstream.
That the loudest proponents of gay marriage cannot even be honest in what’s going on loudly suggests they are not being honest when they say they’re cool with conscientious objectors to the whole idea. Consider, for example, this blog post from the Cato Institute entitled, “We Support Gay Marriage but Oppose Forcing People to Support It.”
They filed an amicus brief in support of Elane Photography, which was punished in New Mexico for refusing to help a gay wedding. Cato bases its defense on photography being protected by the first amendment. But note this:
Our brief explains that photography is an art form protected by the First Amendment because clients seek out the photographers method of staging, posing, lighting, and editing. Photography is thus a form of expression subject to the First Amendments protection, unlike many other wedding-related businesses (e.g., caterers, hotels, limousine drivers).
So if you are a Christian caterer, bed and breakfast, etc. too bad. You will be forced to provide services to a gay wedding. You will be made to by the power of the state. That’s where we are headed. If the state has the power to change the definition of an institution it did not create, the state can compel your services to that institution.
So yes, let’s keep the government out of marriage. Its definition will change over time through the natural evolution of all institutions. That evolution may include gay marriage, but it might not.
I posted this before:
My wife and I are religiously married (Jewish). The state has no business regarding my marital status. Most of my wife family immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine. According the her it is common in Israel to marry without civil license.
A couple of caveats. We were both in our late 30s when we married (my first her second) and we did not plan to have children. My wife already had two great children, the youngest was my best man.
we definitely need a separation between merge and state
Too bad that someone in the GOP didn't trounce on the fact that an estate tax is unfair to everyone gay and straight as life savings that have already been taxed many times over should not be hit with a death tax by the greedy government. I also think the woman should be suing her estate planner. There are lots of ways she could have structured this estate and avoided most if not all of the tax. Her sob story is not really about gay marriage but our unfair and greedy tax code. It is the same government she is crying to for gay marriage is the same one who needlessly taxed the hell out of her partner's estate.
I agree the govt has no business in the affairs in marriage.
The citizens have granted the govt too much power to determine morality through swift, Orwellian procedures.
I got a better idea. We define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, civil or religious, like it always has been. Then we label dissenters as the godless Commie scum they are, and treat them as such.
RE: Then we label dissenters as the godless Commie scum they are
I don’t think Ted Olson is a commie... he’s just totally misguided on this issue.
I agree, ditch the federal definition of marriage and leave that one to God and the churches.
Knowingly or not, he serves their ends:
26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
What if you are a 35 year Green Beret who is Muslim and has 4 women that you want to marry, does the government need to decide if those marriages are valid for housing and rations and as dependents when you are stationed and housed in obscure places on the planet, or do they just depend on the Mosque to define it?
Then anything goes, because in America, the Mosque and the atheist and the Mormon and the Episcopalian are on the same footing as whatever church you belong to.
I have always maintained that this is the solution to this problem, on two levels - first, the practical one. If you get pissed about gay marriage, the REAL reply has always been, “married in what church or religion or spiritual tradition”? In fact, that goes right now. But state marriage gives the illusion that none of that matters, that marriage is something that stands on its own, without any support other than state acknowledgement. Hello? How is this possible? Which brings up the second point - What part of the government has the authority to validate the love and commitment between two people before God? Zip.
In point of fact, a marriage license is a TAX ID. That’s it - it’s your verification to the tax authorities that you are married, or to the healthcare tax authorities that you are married, etc. Which means that in its usual way, government has reduced the absolute highest, to the absolute lowest. But the real atrocity is that so many people have been fooled by it, and even welcome it and defend it.
Apples and oranges. MARRIAGE is defined by the religious or spiritual tradition, given that such a religious or spiritual tradition is acknowledged AS a religious or spiritual tradition under the 1st Amendment. Government entitlement identifications are a COMPLETELY SEPARATE ISSUE. Should you be responsible for shortening your name or coloring your hair if the government computers don't have enough spaces or color choices in its database?
But as usual, ansel12, you confuse things with a twist. Because in addition to your basic marriage confusion cited above, you then added (1)a marriage of an active duty combat armed forces person to a member of enemy forces (2) in a time of war (3) while personally fighting in that war (4) involving polygamy (5) in group that claims to be a religion while requiring the murder of anyone who rejects it and thus more clearly defining itself as a terrorist organization than a religion (6) and thereby implying that said active duty combat armed forces person has doubtful loyalties to his country.
Quite a score, even for you. I hope you're paid well to write your disruptive, cognitive dissonance crap, because you sure put a lot of effort into it.
That is a good question. BTW, if the state is involve, I believe marriage should be defined as between a man and a women who have both reached their majority.
I guess I’m a libertarian whose default position is to not involve the state in my business whenever possible. It’s never the perfect solution, and you may very well be correct in this case. As I stated in my first post while we have raised a child together, we did not plan on having children of our own. If we did I most likely would have obtained a marriage license.
Anyway, thanks for the response.
Aside from your childish personal attack, what in the world are you talking about? Would you show me the post and quotes where I did that?
In 1780 the federal govt, and the military was already necessarily in the business of deciding on the validity of the marriages of GIs.
But they were married and the community at large recognized their married state. And having their marriage recognized with the protections and obligations attached to it was the goal of going through some ceremony witnessed by others.
Getting the government out of marriage wouldn’t be difficult if enough people wanted to do so.
I agree with you. But I also agree that states should step out of the way, too.
When the priest, minister, or other religious leader conducting the marriage ceremony says “By the power vested in me by the State of New York (Texas, Florida, whatever)...” it makes me gag. I thought we were supposed to have a separation between church and state in this country?
Unfortunately the cat is out of the bag on the state and federal level.
Social security benefits, federal tax classifications, and other federal goodies make it impossible to get the federal government out of the marriage business.
When were the first official state marriage licenses required in America?