Thursday, August 25, 2016

And to the Republic

Affirming that America, that is, these United States, are a Christian nation, an opinion I can only hold because of the overwhelming evidence (for better or for worse) in support of it, and noting nonetheless that none of the multitude of Christian sects, nor the Church, have been established as a state church, and since in these modern times a significant proportion of the citizens espouses no institutionalized religion, it seems reasonable to me that Government should get out of the marriage business.

Without denying that the basic unit of human society is the family, and of the Church the Christian family, as an Orthodox Christian I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that nothing the Government can do has anything to add to or take away from it, when it confines itself to its proper sphere, the maintenance of law and order among free, equal, and fraternal citizens, which can, and in this day should, include the regulation of households, of which families are a significant subset.

By ‘families’ I mean to say, biologically related households, not to the prejudice of households which are also families consisting of biologically unrelated people. By ‘marriage’ I mean the traditional marriage between man and woman, not to the prejudice of the unions of same sex couples who may also call their partnership ‘marriage’, nor to distinguish as different the households that are maintained by each. It is in society’s best interests that its basic unit, the household (or family), be safeguarded and maintained.

To that end, Government, as instituted the servant of the people and their guardian, should deploy its authority to make firm the bases of society, the households, regulating by license all householders to assure the safety and liberty of the citizen, from conception till death, yes, from cradle to grave making sure that no one is being denied what belongs to all, yet within the bounds of reason with respect to the maturity of each. Parents and guardians have authority by nature over offspring. This to be respected.

That the Government, again I speak only of these United States (which have their own traditions and constitutions), should foster, maintain, and regulate the basic unit of society by universal licensing, establishing households (or families) as legal entities, removes all social controversy, confines the deliberations of the various religious bodies regarding marriage and the family to those under their jurisdiction, and restores the right of essential privacy in relationships between adult citizens.

The movement for ‘marriage equality’ has brought it about that ‘gay’ and lesbian couples can now legally marry and raise families if they so choose. Some of these couples are Christians belonging to sects whose theology of marriage includes same-sex unions. That the Government has extended ‘marriage’ to all was and is not within its authority. Rather it should retreat from this usurpation and confine itself to establishing and maintaining what is for the good of society without prejudice to any.

The Government should ‘marry’ no one. That is an office belonging to the Church, and to religious bodies, whether Christian or not. Instead, for legal purposes and for equitable taxation, it should register and hold to standards domestic partnerships consisting of two householders, as well as recognizing as households any that may consist of only one adult member. Two unmarried siblings could live together and maintain a household, or two unwed parents of children, however they have become single.

We have a responsibility to rebuild society out of the rubbish heap that it has become through the depredations of consumer addiction and fantasy mongering. Leaving well enough alone will work only in those places in America where society still exists, primarily in rural and small town settings, but even there the creeping disease of anti-social attitudes can be found. We have to include as many people of good will as possible and, in the end, all in the restoration of society in America, one nation, under God.

Indivisible, yes, and especially this: with liberty and justice for all.

No comments: