Marriage: A Ceremony Complicated By Government Interference

shutterstock_130862363The Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is the new norm.  But the real question is, should the government have any say in what constitutes marriage at all? What if there was a way to stop the controversy? What if we took government out of the business of marriage completely?

We have seen, over the past 6 years, government remove any signs of “Faith” from our schools, our government offices, our memorials, our military and our foreign policy.  But why then, are we allowing the government to make a decision about what most believe is a religious ceremony?

How can a government who claims to support the “freedom of religion,” threaten to take away tax exempt status and any and all government benefits due under the law, because religious beliefs don’t align with the government’s new regulations or interpretations of the law? Are we now going to allow our government to define and regulate our religious doctrines? Hillary Clinton and President Obama have both suggested that religious organizations and believers need to change their views regarding marriage and abortion. However, they don’t seem to understand that our religious beliefs come from God not the government and therefore cannot be regulated or mandated.

How did the government get involved in marriage in the first place?  In an article by Stephanie Coontz, titled “Taking Marriage Private,” she says,

The American colonies officially required marriages to be registered, but until the mid-19th century, state supreme courts routinely ruled that public cohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage. By the later part of that century, however, the United States began to nullify common-law marriages and exert more control over who was allowed to marry.

By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos. Twelve states would not issue a marriage license if one partner was a drunk, an addict or a “mental defect.” Eighteen states set barriers to remarriage after divorce.

In the mid-20th century, governments began to get out of the business of deciding which couples were “fit” to marry. Courts invalidated laws against interracial marriage, struck down other barriers and even extended marriage rights to prisoners. But governments began relying on marriage licenses for a new purpose: as a way of distributing resources to dependents. The Social Security Act provided survivors’ benefits with proof of marriage. Employers used marital status to determine whether they would provide health insurance or pension benefits to employees’ dependents. Courts and hospitals required a marriage license before granting couples the privilege of inheriting from each other or receiving medical information.

So in history, marriage was not a complicated thing, until Uncle Sam decided to regulate it.

The word marriage should be replaced with “unions,” in the eyes of the government. Unions between two people who want to spend their lives together. Ceremonies then are chosen based on personal or religious beliefs and/or preferences. No ones belief system trampled or punished.

Today, some “relationships,” may have nothing to do with a life long commitment, love, or even children, but a necessity of life. In order for the government to keep track of unions for beneficiary information, why not apply for a “benefit distribution license.” All Americans would then have the right to determine who can and will receive the benefits they have worked for and earned, without complicated regulation by the government. Whether it be a husband, wife, sister, brother, cousin or friend. As we have all seen, the more government becomes involved the more complicated it becomes and the more regulations it requires.  Therein lies the problem…government interference.

Government cannot continue to step on the rights and beliefs of others while enforcing laws that they conveniently  label as “tolerance,” when it is anything but tolerant. Those who believe in gay “marriage” cannot force those who believe in traditional marriage to perform gay marriage ceremonies, and a right to a union of your choice should not morph into a mechanism to destroy those who believe differently.  How can anyone who has fought for their rights be content to strip others of their rights in order to realize their own?  Ben Carson asked a very relevant question,

“What position can a person take who has absolutely no animosity toward gay people but believes in traditional marriage that would be satisfactory to them?”

My answer would be to take government out of the equation and offer up “Civil Unions,” “Free Choice” and “Benefit Distribution Licenses.”

 

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