Last week, Glenn Beck made a statement which seems to contradict his social conservatism.
“The question is not whether gay people should be married or not, the question is why is the government involved in our marriage, Glenn said.
“That’s the huge insult to churches, it’s a huge insult to gays, it’s a huge insult to love,” Penn said. He explained that he was against all marriage because he did not want the state involved in his relationship and his family. He was married at a drive-through in Vegas for $300 only to make sure that he could maintain custody of his children if something tragic were to happen to his wife.
Glenn agreed with Penn, noting that gay marriage does not “pick my pocket nor break my leg” and he doesn’t feel like the government needed to be involved. He said that as long as the government doesn’t come into his church and say he or his church (or any church) need to change their belief system and their practices, he doesn’t care. But right now, people of faith who may not want gay marriage in their church are being shut out of the conversation by activists and progressives.
George Will seems to have a similar white flag attitude as well:
“On the other hand,” he continued, “they could say ‘it’s now safe to look at this because there is something like an emerging consensus.’ Quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying. It’s all old people.”
So let me take some time here to play out the logic of Beck’s argument. His has a very libertarian viewpoint; one in which the government should have no say one way or the other on what two consenting people decide to do as an institution of personal union. Well, OK, but then if the government should not be involved in marriage then it should not have any law preventing polygamy, incest, bestiality, and so on and so forth. They are all personal choices for expression of love and union. If the government should not be involved in marriage then no government official or representative (like a judge) should be allowed to conduct a marriage. There also should be no marriage licenses and no extra or special benefits under law regarding taxation, health benefits and the like. In other words, we would be left with no regarded institution that has been the very cornerstone of civilization.
Beck misses the point that civilization cannot survive without family and family is meaningless without traditional marriage. Sociological studies show that children in households with a married mother (female) and father (male) do better in every way compared to those without. Studies have not shown that same sex unions with children do as well. Why is it so hard for people to defend normal?
As an aside let me mention that only about 2-3% of the entire population is not straight. And out of that small percentage is another small percentage who actually considers a union. Is it now acceptable that a fraction of a percent of the population can now transform the meaning of words (in this case “marriage”) in the English language?
A society has a vested interest in an institution that is best for the growth and continuance of the society. The governments of man have been involved in marriage from the beginning of human civilization. There is nothing wrong with a government (which in our case Beck seems to have forgotten is by the people) recognizing that a marriage between only two people of the opposite sex who are removed from each other genetically and of the same species are the best combination for the society to grow and thrive.
I am a reasonable person and respect individual liberty. I don’t (and shouldn’t have to) rearrange the definition of words to continue that tenet. I think conservatives could easily agree to an expansion of civil union laws to help bring the benefits regarding tax law and such to parity with marriage but to keep them separate when it comes to what is desirable for a strong family.
To continue the healthy debate I am adding a bit about Justice Scalia’s view on government and marriage laws and even the idea of changing definitions:
Speaking at Princeton University, Scalia was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.
“I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral.
…“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd,’” Scalia told Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
As Scalia often does in public speaking, he cracked wise, taking aim mostly at those who view the Constitution as a “living document” that changes with the times.
“It isn’t a living document,” Scalia said. “It’s dead, dead, dead, dead.”
He said that people who see the Constitution as changing often argue they are taking the more flexible approach. But their true goal is to set policy permanently, he said.
“My Constitution is a very flexible one,” he said. “There’s nothing in there about abortion. It’s up to the citizens. … The same with the death penalty.”
Scalia said that interpreting laws requires adherence to the words used and to their meanings at the time they were written.