Kick Government Out of Marriage, Not Churches
By: Mark Henkel
Date: Mar 13, 2008
Word Count: 1000 words
Cross-Reference: Ending marriage debate, polygamy rights solution, Christian polygamy
. . AN EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL OP-ED
. . . . . . . by Mark Henkel
Mark Henkel is the National Polygamy Advocate and the Founder of the TruthBearer.org organization, the non-Mormon, cross-denominational, evangelical Christian Polygamy organization. He has been reported by the 700 Club, The Associated Press, The Washington Times, Newsweek, CourtTV, NBC's TODAY Show, and many more, as noted at http://www.TruthBearer.org/media/ .
With this polygamy rights WIN-WIN solution, everyone wins. Both conservatives and liberals can easily save face. Marriage will never be legally re-defined by anyone. And the churches will never be forced to perform "same sex weddings."
As long as Christian churches continue to allow the false god of big socialist government to define, license, and control God's doctrine of marriage, that same big government may eventually force all churches to perform "same sex weddings." As the national voice of polygamy rights, however, I continue to propose our mutually face-saving WIN-WIN solution. As both conservatives and liberals can easily embrace it while still politically saving face, this solution could very quickly end the marriage debate. More importantly, it will completely protect the churches.
Over the years, there have been other proposals. But the fatal flaw in every would-be proposal is that big government would still remain unconstitutionally over-empowered.
For example, one year ago today, back on March 13, 2007, in my own State of Maine, a State legislative committee quickly killed a proposed bill, L.D. 779, which sought to remove clergy from certifying marriage licenses.* While it had had the potential to protect churches from being forced into big government "compliance" to licensing mandates, it would have done so in an unacceptable, opposite direction. That is, instead of kicking government out of marriage, L.D. 779 would have kicked the churches out.
So, obviously, L.D. 779 failed.
Such failures persuade me further that our own polygamy rights solution is the only WIN-WIN alternative that could succeed with all sides of the marriage debate – and which will protect the churches. What surprises most people when they hear this solution from me, though, is that I do not come from any Mormon, Muslim, or liberal paradigm. Indeed, I was transported onto the national stage because I do come to the debate with the total credibility as a conservative evangelical.
That's right: Christian Polygamy. Where other conservative Christians typically dismiss Mormons, Muslims, or liberals promoting polygamy, the fact that I use undeniably conservative Christian argumentations - instead - actually compels other conservative Christians to take notice. By bringing something completely new to the political table about polygamy (our evangelical Christianity and our standard of consenting-adult, love-not-force polygamy), the modern polygamy rights movement began in 1994 and has grown since. Previously-marginalized Mormon, Muslim, secular and even liberal polygamists have all benefited - as never before - from the growth of this new pro-polygamy constituency.
Christian Polygamists individually come from the whole spectrum of Bible-based denominations. We believe in the whole Bible, family values, and Constitutionalism. And our individual Bible studies reveal what the Scriptures really say about marriage.
For example, others assert that the Genesis story of Adam and Eve somehow justifies socialistically and idolatrously using big government to unbiblically re-define marriage as "one man, one woman." But the Bible itself says that the Genesis author, Moses, was married to - not one, but - two wives. And neither Adam and Eve, nor anyone else in the Bible, were ever married "by government." The modern invention of "government marriage" never happened in the Bible.
So, actually, the Adam and Eve story reveals that consenting-adult polygamy should not be illegalized - as its holy author, Moses, was clearly a polygamist. And it reveals that government should not be involved in marriage - as Adam and Eve were never married "by government."
My other fellow Christians are correct, though, that the Bible does overtly call homosexual behavior as sin. But the debate over the invented biological impossibility of "same sex marriage" is actually their fault. That invented construct was only made possible by allowing big government to re-define marriage in the first place - when excluding polygamy. If government was never involved in marriage, homosexuals would have no incentive to pursue such a legal invention. Indeed, anti-polygamy is the real slippery slope that led to "same sex marriage."
To resolve that debate, polygamy rights offer a WIN-WIN solution. My now well-known sound-bite, "'Polygamy rights' is the next civil rights battle," is actually a call for limited government.
Here's how. We only promote a benevolent, pro-woman, pro-marriage, consenting-adult solution. We call for the laissez faire principle whereby men improve their husband-qualities to attract intelligent women. "All the good men are taken" should no longer apply. Get government out of the way. Let the free market motivate men to start growing up, and then we can stop the societal sickness of marriage-phobic males and abandoned single moms.
Our solution is limited government. No special rights for anyone. Freedom for all - just as our great country's forefathers envisioned.
That solution would unquestionably protect the churches.
As long as big government is involved in marriage, anti-discrimination laws will inevitably be used to force churches into performing so-called "same sex weddings." Letting government control marriage means letting it control the churches with forced "compliance."
Government has no Constitutional authority to be defining Christian doctrines. Letting big government control marriage is as idolatrously unconstitutional as letting it license the Gospel, Baptism, or the Lord’s Table. God forbid.
But kicking government out of marriage will protect the churches from the tyranny of forced "compliance" - as the polygamy rights solution would achieve.
Similarly, Maine's L.D. 779 might also have protected the churches. When churches are not involved in licensing government marriage, then government cannot force their "compliance."
However, L.D. 779 would have kicked the churches out of marriage, still embraced big government usurping Christian doctrine, and moved further away from limited government.
Instead, I propose a nationwide reverse-alternative to Maine's L.D. 779. This polygamy rights solution is premised on these two key points. Marriage is a God-given Individual Right. And the only valid role for government in marriage is at the municipal level, as a repository of the public records of the contractual arrangements that consenting adults make.
Everyone wins and saves face with our polygamy rights WIN-WIN solution. Finally, marriage will never be legally re-defined by anyone. Conservatives can get back to true conservative values of limited government. Liberals can get their "equality for all." And the churches will never be forced to perform "same sex weddings."
So, instead of kicking the churches out, it's time to kick government out of marriage.
* - On March 13, 2007, a so-called "public hearing" was held in Augusta, Maine, regarding the proposed bill, L.D. 779, "An Act To Remove Clergy as Signatories on Marriage Licenses." Maine's conservative elite opposed L.D. 779 as a possible anti-religion attack. Maine's liberal elite opposed it because they wanted their own liberal churches to still certify weddings. As the National Polygamy Advocate, and as a Maine citizen, Mark Henkel had also attended the hearing in order to present the reverse-alternative WIN-WIN polygamy rights solution. But the bill was prematurely killed before any of the real public could speak. The committee first permitted only two specific spokespeople to speak from both sides of the media-approved elites. Then the committee's Republican minority leader called for killing the bill immediately. The Democrat majority agreed. And so, the legislators effectively killed the bill before anyone else could say anything more. So much for a "public hearing." Hence, the reverse-alternative WIN-WIN polygamy rights solution was not even allowed to be presented, thereby leaving churches vulnerable to big government mandates of "compliance," including being forced to perform "same sex weddings." Shockingly, less than a month later, that same Republican minority leader who liberally killed the bill was, herself, killed in a skiing accident.
L.D. 779 in Maine (et al)
Mark Henkel becomes National Polygamy Advocate
700 Club reports on Christian Polygamy & Mark Henkel
History of the Movement
Biological Impossibility of "Same Sex Marriage"
Anti-Polygamy is the Real "Slippery Slope"
"Polygamy Rights" sound-bite
No Special Rights for Anyone
Government Marriage and Idolatry
[Reviewed for publication - Pro-Polygamy.com Review Board.]