Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Libertarian Traditionalists?

An Important Question

I'm all for equality and the question I've been asking myself for years is "Why do married people get preferential treatment from our government?"  It's not like I'm losing out on anything,  I'm married, my wife doesn't work, and I pay less in taxes as a result of it.  Why do I get preferential treatment? Should not all be treated equally under the law, and equally in taxes? It certainly isn't necessary at this point to prompt people to go forth and multiply.

It was Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage that said:

The first commandment given to men was to increase and multiply, but now that the earth was full there was no need to continue this process of multiplication.
And he died in the year 258. 

Marriage vs. Civil Union

Getting government out of the marriage business is the easiest solution, make all those married in a religious institute go down to the courthouse to register their civil union afterwards.  It is predominately the way they do it in Europe, inconvenient perhaps, but it severs that tie between the religious and the secular aspects of marriage.

No matter how you cut it, and yes you can find exceptions, marriage has been a religious institute for most of our history.  It was Ignatius of Antioch that wrote in the year 110:

It becomes both men and women who marry, to form their union with the approval of the bishop, that their marriage may be according to God, and not after their own lust.   
 So I can understand the objections of the religious of government intrusion into that which is to them a religious sacrament.  Nine states, ten if you count the District of Columbia, offer same-sex partnerships the same benefits accorded heterosexual couples and another five offer limited benefits to same-sex couples.  What I fail to understand is the rejection by some same-sex marriage advocates of civil union.

You Can't Legislate Social Acceptance    

Even if the Supreme Court tosses DOMA, which according to many pundits may be likely,  it is unlikely to step in and force states to recognize same-sex marriages.  Even if they did, what would the end result beI can assure you of one thing, it won't be social acceptance of same-sex marriageThe devout aren't suddenly going to turn around and stop calling it sin and start calling it marriage. 

So what is the goal?  If it is equality,  civil unions for all seems the obvious answer.  I suspect that for many on both sides of the argument, their intentions are honest and sincere,  as I also suspect that for a minority on both sides that their intentions lie somewhere else.  The question that remains is who we allow to shape our discourse.

It was Augustine of Hippo that said:

Since no one is evil by nature, but anyone who is evil is evil because of a perversion of nature, the man who lives by God's standards has a duty of "perfect hatred" towards those who are evil; that is to say, he should not hate the person because of the fault, nor should he love the fault because of the person. He should hate the fault, but love the man.
What do you allow to shape your argument?  Love or Hate?

Forced Beliefs

I see many, many comments from the pro same-sex marriage side state that the religious have no right to force their beliefs on others.  In fact it is a common thread in their argument, I find myself often asking, "well isn't the contrary true as well?"  Rational discourse often tends to break down at that point and I am left wondering what the end-game actually is. 

An interesting new group seems to be emerging in the polls,  a group called "libertarian traditionalists",  it seems that 1 in 4 Americans are a member of this group
that say that gay marriage conflicts with their religious beliefs, but same-sex couples should have the same rights as others.

Get government out of the marriage business, pro or anti, and let people live in accordance with their own beliefs.

Too simple a solution?  

Stay tuned tomorrow for more discussion on this issue and a slightly different point of view. 



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