Some Conservatives Making Mistake on Marriage
Date: Jul 30, 2003
Word Count: 750 words
Cross-Reference: Federal Marriage Amendment, Lawrence v. Texas, protect marriage, Conservative Christians
Responding to Lawrence v. Texas, some Conservatives are forgetting the Constitution, the Bible, and the Conservative position of limited government.
After the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas, overturning a Texas anti-sodomy law and establishing a consenting-adult "right to privacy," many conservatives immediately decried it, calling for "protecting" marriage.
Many asserted the "states rights" part of the Tenth Amendment, saying a "right to privacy" was not in the Constitution. Sodomy was linked to incest, bestiality, and polygamy. And a "Federal Marriage Amendment" was promoted.
SEEING THE "TREE", MISSING THE "FOREST"
Any conservative Christian truly empathizes. The case's specific aspect involved a specific homosexual behavior, "sodomy" ---a term which comes directly from the Bible's Genesis 19 account of God's judgment upon the inhabitants of Sodom for homosexual practices.
For conservative Christians, the Bible speaks explicitly against such behavior. The passage of Leviticus 18:22 in the Old Testament and Romans 1:26-27,32 in the New Testament are understood as overtly clear prohibitions.
But some conservatives "couldn't see the forest for the tree." They got so focused against the sodomy aspect of the case that they missed seeing the larger set of issues and solutions.
Insodoing, such particular conservative Christians unwittingly forgot the Constitution, the Bible, and even the true conservative position of limited government.
The Tenth Amendment does address "states rights." More importantly, though, its final clause defers to individuals.
Opposite the Tenth Amendment's constraining government to only explicitly enumerated authority, the Ninth Amendment conversely declares that rights of individuals do not have to be explicitly enumerated. That is how a "right to privacy" for individuals may be constitutional.
Ironically, in the same way that the "right to privacy" phrase is truly not enumerated in the Constitution, neither is the word, "marriage."
The same Tenth Amendment, which some mis-perceived as applicable against the "right to privacy" for individuals, specifically does indeed apply to "marriage" involvement by the government.
The Ninth Amendment can allow the "right to privacy" of individuals without it having to be constitutionally enumerated. At the same time, because federal government "marriage" authority is not enumerated anywhere in the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment prohibits it from being involved in "marriage" whatsoever.
That makes any federal "marriage" legislation unconstitutional.
As for the Bible on marriage, not one man in the Bible was ever married by government authority. Not even one.
Defining marriage exclusively by government falsely accuses all the married men of the Bible as allegedly unmarried fornicators.
Likewise, mistakenly linking polygamy to the Biblically-defined sinful homosexual, incest, and bestiality behaviors defames several of the Bible's greatest faithful heroes. Namely, it insults such polygamists as Abraham, Israel, David, and Moses. Even the sinless Jesus Christ described Himself in a polygamist context in a Matthew 25 parable. Christians making such a mistaken link profoundly undermine the very Bible itself.
To have marriage defined exclusively by government authority unwittingly commits the sin of idolatry. The verse, Revelation 21:8, opposes idolatry as being hellfire-bound as much as Romans 1:26-27,32 likewise opposes homosexual practices. Relying exclusively on the false god of socialist government, to "protect" what the one true God alone defined, is indeed a form of idolatry.
For conservative Christians reading the Bible, the Scriptures indicate that idolatry (as in, exclusively relying on the false god of socialist government) is just as much a Bible-defined sin as that of homosexual behavior. (That same hellfire verse also says "all liars" are going to hell. Yet, few would seriously propose a Constitutional Amendment to "protect" society from liars!)
Conservative Christians do believe that God, alone, defined marriage doctrine. So, no false god is "needed" to "protect" or define doctrine.
That makes any idolatrous notion of "marriage" legislation un-biblical.
FORGOT CONSERVATIVE POSITION
The proposed "Federal Marriage Amendment," however, expands the false god of socialist government, advocating state authority above individuals rights.
Valuing marriage is, of course, conservative. But, amending the Constitution by expanding bigger government, rather than constraining it, is not conservative.
That makes any "marriage" Amendment or legislation un-conservative.
TRUE CONSERVATIVE SOLUTION
Other constitutionalist conservative Christians, however, do see beyond the sodomy aspect. Their solution sees the larger issues.
Employ the Tenth Amendment: eliminate government's marriage involvement.
For those trusting that God is God, there's no real threat to Godly marriage. While sinners may imagine their own "marriage" definitions, gospel-preaching Christians are additionally guided by Psalm 1:1 to also not stand in the way of (consenting-adult) sinners.
By eliminating the false god of socialist government's marital involvement, no one would "have to" recognize any ungodly imagined "marriage" definitions.
Employing the Tenth Amendment is truly constitutional. Trusting in God is truly biblical. And limiting government is truly conservative.
But how many fellow conservatives will see the forest too?