The Gross National Debt

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Amend THIS!

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Some legislators are renewing a push and redoubling their efforts for a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage.
Some people is more insane than others.


How about you? Would you support such an amendment?

For those arriving late, I'm going to briefly restate my position on same gender unions. It's none of my business. As an ordained minister, I will not officiate a same gender union. My thoughts on that are: If you don't like gay marriage don't have one. Marriage is, to my opinion, a religious institution. Civil unions are a government matter. As for multi-partner unions of either kind, as long as a woman can have more than one husband as a man can have more than one wife, I'm cool with that.

Interestingly, multi-partner marriages are rarely discussed when the idea of a Constitutional Amendment on marriage comes up. But this will be just as affected and effected as same gender unions.

So I ask again, will you support a Constitutional Amendment on marriage?

Don't break what's working fine.
Before you answer consider this: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That is the text of the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" is the important part.

If marriage is not a religious institution but a government one, then the law may certainly set the rule for who can and can't be married. Nuf said.

If marriage is a religious institution aha! A Constitutional Amendment on marriage creates two directly conflicting amendments.
That's marriage.

The First says government can't tell me what to do as a minister. Hands off. The Marriage Amendment tells me what I can and can't do as a minister. Hands on.

That is a Constitutional Crisis.

Some will argue, "We're carving out an exception for marriage."

To which I could easily reply slippery slope and all that leading to further restrictions, regulations and requirements regarding religion for all of us.

Lemme get more basic. Do you want government telling you what you, as a consenting adult, can do in your house with another consenting adult?
Eschew obfuscation.

"This ain't about sex, Baker. It's about marriage," you say.

In the first place, I didn't say it was about sex. You did. In the second place, so you don't have a problem with two women living together without official sanction, be it religious or governmental? Two men? Three women and two men? Four men? Pick any number of adults of any gender and have them live together, intimately in all ways. Got problems yet?


"You're making this complicated, Baker."

No. The situation was already complicated. So in the THIRD place I'm merely pointing out HOW complex this issue really is.

A Constitutional Amendment will also set the terms for all kinds of legal matters when marriage is a state-sanctioned institution. Who can inherit. Who is in charge of pulling the plug. Who gets the kids in event of separation or demise of all adult partners. If people get hauled into court, who else has to be hauled, who must testify and who can't be forced to testify. Joint property rules. Ad infinitum.
Now if we could people people to DO THIS...

When marriage is a religious matter, the above items are also highly relevant but the answer may be different depending on the religious requirements.

This is not just a matter of who is knockin' whose boots and who is making the headboard rattle with whom.

I circle BACK to an issue I already brought up. Referring to the above polygamous marriage, arrests for that these days are rare. Convictions, these days are even more rare. Warren Jeffs, the Texas whackjob, was mostly charged with offenses related to sex with minors. A Constitutional Amendment could affect and effect these people.

Depending on how it's worded and interpreted, the Amendment could also prevent people from having a second marriage after divorce or death of a spouse.

Ooh ah.
... and he has always been the enemy...

That's an issue that Christians can't even agree on. A New Testament Biblical directive, that a man be husband to one woman, is widely argued in churches that a preacher either can or can't be remarried after a marriage ended.

Interestingly enough, the major supporters of this Amendment are also people who are loudly screaming that government is too involved in our lives.

Bonus points for doublethink?

Two more points and I conclude.

Ministers in the military are already grumbling and rumbling about same gender unions in the military. The present policy is they "may" do such ceremonies with a number of restrictions.

(The Nit Pickers amongst us will point to laws protecting minors from marriage. Yes yes yes. Same thing with use of proscribed substances like mushrooms in Native American rituals. Yer point is made, M'kay? Now if you still want to split hairs, go ahead.)


So to wrap this up, I will vehemently oppose a Constitutional Amendment on marriage because I see marriage as none of government's business. If a Civil Union is proposed, I'll have to see what the wording is before I support it.
For us Macheads.

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