Gay marriage is a hot topic nowadays, especially with the Supreme Court in the middle of deciding whether the laws adopted by various States that do not allow same-sex couples to wed are constitutional or not. Many wait in eager anticipation of a decision and have put forward their arguments regarding the topic. One of the main opinions is rooted in the idea that marriage is a “civil right” and consequently, the government must grant such rights to all people.
The gay marriage supporters have done a clever job of branding the issue, choosing to refer to it as “marriage equality” as opposed to “gay marriage” and framing the issue in the context of a “right”. After all most people, especially in our politically correct world, dare not speak out against “equality” or “rights” and thus are dissuaded from developing any opposition. Psychologically, a cognitive dissonance develops when speaking against equal access and denying others opportunities.
As I always do, instead of looking at the issue in an isolated manner, I have taken a step back to analyze the issues behind the issue.
Let us examine the concrete idea that the Supreme Court has the ultimate decision-making power on the constitutionality of the issue. I personally disapprove of the State’s notion that it retains the power to regulate contracts between private citizens. After all, what makes the Supreme Court so supreme? By the mandate of the law? By the stroke of a pen on paper? What gives the court, composed of chosen (not elected) judges, the right to dictate what goes on in the private affairs between two adults? If the court can tell John Q. Public with whom he can and cannot associate, then does the court not also have the “power” and “legal authority” to tell everyone else from whom to buy groceries? How about telling everyone else which financial planners to employ, or with whom to make friends, or whom to date, or where to go to church?
From a libertarian standpoint, each individual owns and is in control of themself; thus each person has the power to decide with whom they associate.
In a completely free society, this analogy meets its own self-imposed limitation when the argument is carried out to an extreme—if individuals can liberally choose whom they wed, John Q. Public could also choose to marry a stapler, a dolphin, or his sister.
All joking aside, allow me to further the point: We (the people) created the government (via the constitution) and its subdivisions as our agent, so when did we lose our power to stop our own creation from telling us what to do? Do infants tell their parents who wears the pants or vice versa? The Supreme Court is composed of nine judges, men and women who are as human as everyone else. With what supreme judgment and wisdom do they retain the right to tell millions of Americans what to do? How can Judge Roberts, for example, use such a long reach to dictate what Frank and Mary can legally and privately engage in on the other side of the country?
If this is the “land of the free” then why must we seek the approval of government-appointed bureaucrats to decide whether particular private relationships are officially recognized?
At one point, it never used to be this way.
Modern society arrived at the State-sanctioned concept of marriage in recent human history. Before the 1700s or so, marriage was solely a private matter and the religious sacrament was governed by the church. The State had no hand to play in the matter. So, if you lived in England in 1599, for example, in order to get married, John and Sue went to their local religious leader in the church, and then became man and wife.
So what happened? The answer is simple: taxes.
By the end of the 18th century, governments realized that when a married couple died, money and property (new arenas which were ripe for taxation) passed onto the next generation. Legal questions also arose if one parent had a child with another person (or a bastard), and the rightful legal heir came into question. Hence, the State gradually invaded this arena, and the result is that presently marriage is strictly a civil matter. This is why two people can be wed nowadays without ever going near a church—a quick visit to Vegas or a courthouse will suffice.
Finally, the last time I checked, marriage has already been defined in the Old Testament. The caveat, however, is that before Christ, the biblical model of marriage was polygamy—a system largely unwelcome and poorly tolerated in the USA, unless you live in Utah or many other non-Western societies. Accordingly, for all those crying out for “equality” in marriages, all unions will not be equal if polygamy is excluded from the equation; hence “marriage equality” fundamentally entails recognition of all non-traditional marital paradigms.
At this point, I wish to introduce the dangerous leap: for anyone who seeks the government to define (or allow) marriage in any other way, that person is essentially asking the State to re-define a traditionally religious sacrament to fit the State’s viewpoint. If that does not unsettle you, then why should any government entity or the Supreme Court stop there? Why not legally re-define creation? What about evil or sin? Why not give Lucifer a new name and “re-brand” him as a hero-renegade who was unwilling to bend to authority?
The solution you ask? Very simple. Leave the issue where it began—in the church—and let it remain a religious sacrament, as it originally started in the Judeo-Christian tradition thousands of years ago all before the Supreme Court, the US Constitution and America ever existed.
Dr. C.H.E. Sadaphal