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  • No, Fellow Patriot, You Can’t Get the State Out of Marriage

    There are three kinds of people nowadays advocating that states get out of the marriage business altogether.

    One group is just using this terminology to camouflage the fact they’re really pro-homosexuality, and they just don’t want the conservatarian crowd they’ve aligned themselves with to know it while they infiltrate their ranks.

    The next group is made up of politicians more concerned about earning the approval of the secular/liberal media than they are honoring their sworn oaths of office, or their own voters, so this is their attempt to punt rather than fight. They clumsily adopt this position with tortured statements that make them look like they’ve never seriously thought about the purpose behind the oldest institution of God’s created order. While attempting to be wise they come across as fools on this issue.
    The third and final group is people who genuinely want to see the power of the state over our lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness put back within its original Constitutional limits. It is to this third group I am writing this column. Since the first group is frauds, and the second group is gutless, I prefer to spend my time speaking to those who are honest and critical thinkers.

    If you’re going to advocate the state get completely out of the marriage business, you need to understand what it is you’re really asking.

    If you’re going to advocate the state get completely out of the marriage business, you need to understand what it is you’re really asking. People repeat the “get the state out of marriage” mantra as if this is as simple as waving a magic wand.
    But it’s not that simple at all.

    Consider you cannot remove the marriage question from the state completely, unless you are willing to also remove probate courts and divorce courts as well and put them back in the hands of the church and not the state. Then you’d also have to completely reform the tax code and tax law, since much of that is also based on marital status. Then you still have the question regarding things like spousal privilege (i.e. you can’t be compelled to testify against your spouse in open court). If folks are going to retain that right, don’t we have to first know what a “spouse” is?

    I think many people that are sincerely advocating the state get out of the marriage business don’t really understand the depth of what it is they are asking. You are essentially asking us to return to a pre-Civil War civilization (the first government-issued marriage licenses occurred in the mid-1800s). Therefore, it would take a greater uprooting of our current understanding of Americanism than elimination of sacrosanct entitlement programs would. The state’s regulation of marriage is older and far more embedded than even the welfare state itself. It would be easier to privatize social security than it would be to de-regulate marriage.

    Thus, if you really would prefer the state get out of the marriage business altogether, it’s not the simple route to diffusing the hot-button political battle over marriage that threatens to rip apart the Republican Party at the seams. Quite the contrary, it is the most radical and difficult to implement solution of them all. Ironically enough, because the church would have to step in to fill the void left by the state in most of these situations (including divorce and child custody cases), this solution would actually empower religious institutions’ influence over the culture all the more.

    Read more at – See more at www.conservativereview.com


    Steve Deace

    Talkers Magazine Heavy 100 National Talk Show Host. Author of Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again. Washington Times contributor. Steve's new book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again is out now.

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