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Op-Ed

Failed Marriage Amendment Sabotaged the Churches

Date: Oct 07, 2004
Word Count: 750 words
Cross-Reference: Federal Marriage Amendment, New Liberals, Sabotaged Churches


The two premises which supporters used in justifying the failed amendment can now be used against them and the churches.

The Federal Marriage Amendment is "big government."   Pro-polygamists repeatedly warned fellow conservatives of that dangerous mistake -- calling it, "New Liberalism."   The warnings went unheeded. 

Supposed-to-be conservatives justified such liberal use of big government by asserting two primary premises. They purported that government does have authority to define marriage.   And they asserted that anti-polygamy laws legitimize government authority to "disqualify" any minority opposition. 

On July 14, 2004, however, the Federal Marriage Amendment failed in the U.S. Senate.   After it had been re-named as the "Marriage Protection Amendment," it likewise failed to achieve the required two-thirds super-majority in the U.S. House of Representatives on September 30, 2004. 

Following the amendment's failure to be passed, those same two premises can be turned around and used against conservatives. 

Abandoning true conservatism, they sabotaged the churches. 

 

TRUE CONSERVATISM 

The true conservative position is that of strictly limited government. Constitutionally, government's only legitimate role is to protect each individual's rights from being infringed by anyone else -- including government.   Government's purpose is not for social engineering. 

The Tenth Amendment constrains federal government power to only specifically enumerated authority.   The Ninth Amendment codifies that the rights of individuals do not have to be enumerated whatsoever. 

Without such constraint upon government power and such protections of un-enumerated individuals' rights, any minority is vulnerable to the tyranny of any then-current majority. 

The principles of limited government, therefore, do not even allow such social engineering to occur in the first place.   Simply put, social engineering is big government liberalism. 

Enter the social engineering concept of government involvement in marriage. 

 

GOVERNMENT IN MARRIAGE 

When the U.S. government first interjected itself into the religious doctrinal issue of marriage, it likely appeared as a "reasonable" notion to earlier political majorities.  

Government ultimately took social engineering to an extreme level, liberally re-defining marriage to deny the millennia-old traditional marriage form known as polygamy.   The anti-polygamy laws were passed.    

In Reynolds v. United States (1878), the U.S. Supreme Court's liberal activist judges affirmed such re-definition of marriage, the authority of big government involvement therein, and the tyrannical violation of First Amendment rights. 

Consequently, they authorized government to "decide" which religious beliefs and practices may be "disqualified" from having First Amendment protections -- even when no other individual's rights are in any peril.  

 

"SAME SEX MARRIAGE" 

Over time, polygamists would not be the only ones to feel oppressed by such liberal social engineering. 

In recent decades, an entirely different minority -- homosexuals -- have been asserting that they, too, felt oppressed by the side effects of the big government marriage laws. 

As the homosexuals amassed increasing political support from liberals, to have big government also recognize "same sex marriages," many conservatives hastily made a horrendous tactical error. 

They walked right into the "liberal versus liberal" trap.   By fighting for a big government amendment and then losing that battle, they -- themselves -- directly established the premises for a horrific threat against the churches. 

 

SABOTAGED THE CHURCHES 

That is, "same sex marriage" may be forced upon the churches -- or government will "disqualify" them from being a "valid" religious institution. 

"Government has no authority to define marriage against our beliefs," the churches will cry.   But the first primary premise of the pro-amendment justifications had exactly rejected that defense.   Like it or not, government with the liberal authority to re-define marriage as "one man, one woman" has the same liberal authority to re-define it as also including "same sex marriage." 

Moreover, a government authorized to define marriage is a government authorized to decide who may perform such marriages.   Any church that does not perform only that which the government defines as "marriage" may be denied a government-license to marry anyone and may be "disqualified" as a religious institution. 

"Government has no authority to violate our 'freedom of religion' rights," the churches will plead.   But the second primary premise of the pro-amendment justifications had exactly obliterated that defense too.   Like it or not, government with the liberal authority to "disqualify" the First Amendment protections of polygamists who oppose government's re-definition of marriage has the same liberal authority to "disqualify" churches who refuse to perform "same sex marriages." 

Indubitably, promoting the failed marriage amendment sabotaged the churches. 

 

WHAT WILL "NEW LIBERALS" DO? 

Politically, only true conservatism can rescue the churches from that oppression.   Pro-polygamists have always had the solution: abolish big government involvement in marriage altogether.    

But as the churches watch in panic, what will the "New Liberals" do? 

Heartbreakingly, the reasoning for re-naming the amendment exposes their facade and priorities. 

As the Baptist Press reported (9/29/2004), leaders purposely re-named the amendment because the "Federal Marriage Amendment sounded too synonymous with big government." 


###


Bibliographic URLs:

http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=19221 




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