Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gay Marriage Contraversy Highlights Need for Separation of Church and State

In an essay entitled Marriageretired USMC Gunnery Sergeant John McClain layed out the Christian position on gay marriage. Here are some excerpts:

   Much has been made of the many acts defining marriage as the bonds between a man and a woman, which, as instituted by God, was described as the binding of two into one, and remaining one for life.   For thousands of years, this [marriage] institution has remained that of religion, in particular our common form of marriage being of Christian descent, and in keeping with the principles first set forth by God in the Garden of Eden, between Adam and Eve.   Either all who support this demanded change are fools, or they have intent to destroy what true marriage has provided us, as societies, for all the time it has been established.  If they are fools, we are fools to even countenance their cries.  If they do have the intent to undo what marriage un-arguably has done throughout history, we must consider them enemies of society, and deliberately destructive.  Is it possible to consider this issue in any other way and be true to logic, reason, and the nature of Man?
It is well worth reading the whole thing

I've left the following comments [See note below]:

"This piece demonstrates why a free and civil society requires the separation of church and state; i.e., a secular state.
"Yes, "For thousands of years, this institution has remained that of religion." And for thousands of years we had slavery, tyranny, religious persecution. Then came the Enlightenment with its discovery of individual rights, and its glorious offspring--the United States of America. Finally, religion was relegated to its proper place as a private matter between the individual and his conscience. The premise that the Christian concept of marriage is right simply because it is old can also justify slavery, tyranny, and religious persecution.
"Marriage is not "the binding of two into one," but the legal recognition of a multifaceted values bond between two consenting adult individuals. One does not cease to be an individual at the point of marriage. Since this country was founded on the principle of the inalienable and equal rights of the individual, which includes contract rights, it follows that two same-sex individuals have the same rights to legal recognition of their values bonds as two opposite-sex individuals--since no one's rights are violated.
"The concept of marriage presented here is a Christian/religious/mystical one ("instituted by God"), not an objective one (based on "logic, reason, and the nature of Man"). The essential similarities between same-sex and hetero-sexual marriage far outweigh the differences. Both types of couples are capable of romantic, sexual, financial, familial, and other bonds. That the first cannot procreate--although they can adopt--validates the sub-category "gay" marriage, but does not invalidate the fact that gays are capable of marital bonds. Pro-creation for rational beings of reason is not the only purpose of either sex or marriage.
"The issue is not just one of definitions, however, but also one of rights. My wife and I have been married for over 40 years. How does the marriage of two gays violate my or my wife's rights? It doesn't. Who is initiating force or fraud against us? No one. Each of us has the right to our own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, so long as we don't violate the same rights of others. The question is not "Should gays be allowed to marry?" The question is, "Who in a rights-respecting society has a right to stop them?" Indeed, who would want to? Gay marriage does not in any way disparage or undermine traditional hetero-sexual marriage, and I challenge anyone who thinks so to explain exactly how it does.
"The government's sole purpose, as understood by the Founders and as logic and morality dictate, is to protect individual rights. Therefor, as the individual's servant, the government is duty-bound to legally protect gays' marital rights. To characterize those of us who uphold America's individual rights-oriented ideals--ideals for which our military is purpose-bound to protect--as "fools" and "enemies of society" is a smear that rivals anything the statist Left can muster. In fact, the only legitimate society--and the only one capable of promoting a benevolent human co-existence--is one based upon the moral principle of individual rights. Laws that impose the Christian concept of marriage on society defy what America stands for, and therefor should be repealed across the board. Christians have no more right to impose their ancient biblical commandments by law than Islamists have to impose Sharia Law or that Communists have to impose atheism."
[Note: Just as happened the last timemy comment was removed shortly after I posted it. It seems the owners at Gulf-1 can't handle a rational intellectual challenge.]

For more, see: 

Gay Marriage and Individual Rights

Message to Gov. Christie and His Critics: Gay Marriage is a Moral Right

Should a "Homosexual Contract" be called something other than marriage?


Steve D said...

The argument goes that all down through history; no society has ever institutionalized gay marriage. I would agree that legalizing it is an enormous social experiment.

I would also agree that outlawing slavery was another enormous social experiment; one I am glad we made.

I hope someday we outlaw tyranny as well, and religious prosecution, and eliminate polio. So many good experiments to try – so little time.

Mike LaFerrara said...

We have a good template to work from, though--the greatest "social experiment" in world history--The Declaration of Independence, which institutionalized inalienable individual rights as the foundation of society.

Mike Kevitt said...

There's a specifically defined and described relationship called marriage, upon which government gives status, beyond other relationships. This does constitute force or fraud. To widen the defifition or meaning would be to widen the force or fraud. I say, eliminate the special status, make sure that contract law is up to par, then open the floodgates.

Mike LaFerrara said...

Mike: If I understand you correctly, you seem to be saying that contract law should not be based upon the meaning of words.

The definition of words and the role of government in contracts are two different things, but the second must still be based upon the first.

Definitions are objective; i.e., based upon the observable facts of reality that underpin the concepts that words symbolize. Proper definitions are not and should not be arbitrary government constructs.

Since the government's role is to protect contractual freedom, this necessarily includes legally recognizing and enforcing contracts that conform to the objective definition of the concept "marriage." This is not government "giving special status," but recognition of a legitimate contract based upon a legitimate concept. Therefor, the concept marriage must be properly defined before we can begin discussing contract law as it relates to marriage.

Contract law, just like definitions, needs to be objective. Put another way, we need the "floodgates" of objectivity.