Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marriage Equality

I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. I also believe that gays and lesbians should have the same rights as heterosexuals. You might wonder then, how can these two statements be reconciled?

First, you can't change the definition of marriage any more than you can change the definition of other family relationships. For example, if I have a new nephew, can I refuse to be called his uncle and demand that society identify me as his aunt instead? Some may refute this by saying that there are no rights associated with being an uncle as there are with being a husband or wife.

My answer: my point exactly.

Why shouldn't other relationships have the same rights? If marriage is just a relationship of love and is about receiving benefits, why can't a father and daughter get married? Can two first cousins get married so they can visit each other in the hospital or receive other benefits as a husband and wife do? What about two siblings? Or can three women get married to each other?

If same-sex marriage is legalized, then polygamy must be legalized; incest must be legalized. If marriage is a relationship of love - and I can love whomever I want - why can't I marry my sister or brother or marry more than one person?

Do I have the power to re-define "uncle"? No. And if I disagree with that definition, perhaps I should take up my cause with the dictionary, not the government.

The federal government should not be defining marriage one way or the other. It has no right to determine what the dictionary says. I am 100% supportive of guaranteeing gays and lesbians full rights and benefits enjoyed by heterosexuals under the law. But, whatever relationship two individuals of the same sex make with each other - whatever it may be - it should not be called marriage! We need to get government out of marriage in order to protect and preserve it.

Government should instead institute a program in which any two citizens can designate each other as their beneficiary. Such a designation would have no sexual connotations whatsoever - thus avoiding the issue of incest. Any TWO people would be able to designate each other (regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or age) as the recipient of their benefits - thus avoiding the issue of legalizing polygamy. It would purely be about who gets what benefits. Under this system, a traditionally married couple would still enjoy their benefits and the sanctity of their religious marriage. A same-sex couple would enjoy all the rights and benefits they demand that are currently enjoyed by married couples.

We do need to preserve marriage. Countless studies have been done in recent years that support the idea of traditional marriage as a societal good - economically, psychologically, and socially. We as a society are attempting an experiment with same-sex marriage and like any experiment, the results may not be what we expect; there will be disastrous consequences for a failed experiment such as this.

Right at the core of it all, the issue is not about same-sex marriage. Society has already re-defined marriage for us. We're just waiting for our government to catch up with "modern" society. Same-sex marriage is only the logical conclusion of society's view of marriage as a mere contract for adults and is a result of the overall decline and transformation of marriage over the past 50 years.

Parenthood - built on the foundation of traditional marriage - is the ultimate role of selflessness. Those "who have a value system that causes them to subordinate their own needs to those of others, especially to the welfare of children" should support traditional marriage...."We need politicians, policy makers, and officials to increase their attention to what is best for children in contrast to the selfish interests of voters and vocal advocates of adult interests" - Dallin H Oaks.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Tipping Point

In 2013, the balance of power in our Federal government will stay the same. The House is controlled by the Republicans; the Senate controlled by the Democrats. The White House will be occupied by the same person for the next four years. Yet, the election of 2012 will go down in history as a tipping point. 

Does much change? No, not in the short term. President Obama will continue to support bailouts, unrestricted drone attacks, taxing the wealthy, and unlimited deficit spending - many things that have been happening the past four years, and even the eight years before that.

It's not necessarily what the American people have chosen - it's what they have not chosen - that makes the difference.

In order to know the long-term effects of this election, we must look at the changing demographics - specifically the rising generation. This new generation has soundly and silently rejected traditional marriage (and by extension children). They have done it in large measure by refusing to participate in this age-old institution we call the family, or by simply changing the definition of "family" to suit their personal preferences. But, this is not an opinion piece against gay marriage. The great travesty of our day is not necessarily the rise of gay marriage, but the decline of heterosexual marriage. This rejection of traditional marriage as a priority in society and in politics is reflected in the outcome of the 2012 election.

According to The Weekly Standard, the election of 2012 is quite possibly the most anti-family vote in US history. Single people went to the polls like never before and elected our current president and congress. The health care reform law discretely favors singles. Several states have legalized gay marriage and the use of addictive family-destroying drugs. The Democrats' fiscal cliff "compromise" contains a tax penalty for those filing jointly. In short, tell me your marital status and I'll tell you how you voted in 2012. 

The Democrats would be wise to stop their subsidization of singleness. Our public policies on the state and federal level are increasingly anti-family. (Ironically, it is the segments of our population with families and the highest birthrates - Hispanics, Mormons, and immigrants - that will reproduce new voters. In two generations, these groups could be in the majority.) But now, the Democrats have a vested interest in keeping people single. Singles overwhelmingly vote for them for various reasons. But, Democrats are not dumb - they know that singles and gays don't reproduce. The only way to get more followers is to convert them by promising them benefits. They will not easily abandon such a large and loyal constituency. 
A pure democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority will always vote for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that the country collapses over loose fiscal policy. Singles are rapidly becoming that majority. 
Our public policies must be biased towards traditional families. It is the fundamental unit of our economy and the backbone of our education system. Marriage and family is the only way to preserve and improve our society.