By Steve Pauwels
I confess to barking, infuriated, at my car radio the other morning — and my wife’s, properly, chiding me gently over it. This all happened just before we stepped into a local eatery for breakfast — probably not the best prescription for avoiding indigestion, I know, but what can I say? Sometimes Glenn Beck really bugs me.
For, sure enough, the hugely influential talk-radio/media presence had just embarked on what have become his intermittent, but feckless and occasionally insufferably sanctimonious, tutorials on why “the government should have nothing to do with marriage” — no licensing, no acknowledging or defining; leave those bits to private individuals and churches.
I understand this bit of blatherous Libertarian orthodoxy, often delivered in patronizing, why-can’t-everybody-be-as-sophisticated-as-I-am tones, is designed to make limited — or even anti — government types go all weak at the knees. But it actually ought to aggravate Constitutional conservatives who have an appreciation for America’s founding principles and the foresightful giants who formulated them.
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The proposition that Washington, Jefferson, Madison and their peers would have caviled at some branches of the State — whether federal or more local — tipping their hats respectfully at what has been a crucial bedrock of robust, civilized societies since, well, forever? Flatly preposterous.
A little familiarity with the historic record makes evident our Republic’s revolutionary eminences weren’t fans of sodomy. They were, alternatively, vocal hearth-and-home enthusiasts, prizing the institution of marriage and family. Those who fought for and built these early United States, in other words, were men of what has become a rarefied but unabashed common sense.
Leveraging the non-coercive influence of official policy to endorse child-bearing, child-rearing, family-building, nation-fortifying husband/wife matrimony? It’s ludicrous to imply our founding luminaries would have objected in any way to such a prospect.
I recognize there’s a “Federalism” matter involved in this debate: traditionally, the individual states, not Washington, codify marital law. Fair enough — let ‘em at it. (Although I’d heartily support a Constitutional amendment clarifying where the national government can rule on marriage concerns). Where regional voters have weighed in on the question, overwhelmingly they’ve validated real marriage — y’know, the one- man/one-woman type . It’s impudent courts, lately, which have overthrown those results and imposed phony (“same-sex”) nuptials across the land.
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