Get government completely out of marriages! Many think that is very revolutionary; however, historically, marriage was always a family affair–not church, not state. Furthermore, getting the state out of marriages would not change the daily living of most people. Those living right would continue to do so and those living like barnyard animals would continue.
All state officials want a stable society where citizens can live contented lives, pay taxes, and continue to reelect them to public office. Most officials know that families influence a city or state more favorably than gangs, nightclubs, honkytonks, or even schools, art museums, and most churches. A return to the historical and Biblical approach to marriage would not mean an increase in degrading, deviant, and deadly activities since they would continue as they are now.
Moreover, if a state wanted to encourage normal, one-man one-woman marriage relationships, they could do so by the tax code, the bully pulpit, etc., or a state could refuse to make any judgment on any family arrangements. Government would still prohibit marriage between close relatives, mentally handicapped, or minors since that would disrupt society.
As to requiring a blood test before marriage, the state could nullify those laws (as some have done) and permit each church to make its own rules. Many would decide that if a person falsified a blood test and proceeded with a wedding with one partner infected with an STD, that marriage would become null and void with announcements made to the congregation to that effect. The state would be notified to deal with the divorce and prosecute the offender.
Laws must require the protection of children of any marriage arrangement since children are the future and their training and character will determine the stability of the state. Any state can give benefits to normal marriages because it is in the interests of the state to do so. It seems society gives benefits to married people because a stable family provides benefits to society. The state is interested in a stable society, so it is in the interests of the state to have productive, educated adults therefore a state can reward parents who commit to preparing children for the future. Therefore, a state may give generous benefits to every marriage that produces children. If homosexual “couples” complain, the state can simply say, “When you have babies, you will receive the same benefits.” Of course, homosexuals can do as today and adopt children although it is very unwise to permit that.
Everyone, except the willfully blind, agrees that strong families benefit society so the state can justify giving benefits to natural marriages. It is only wise to do so. Proponents of other kinds of “marriages” will scream about the “unfairness” but so be it. Let them scream, after all, it was their decision to not have a natural marriage.
Adoptions, child welfare, divorce, alimony, child support would still be responsibility of the state. Repeal of no fault divorce should be accomplished in every state but that won’t happen.
A newspaper columnist responded to this issue of state involvement in marriages: “Since I printed the letter from ‘Deceived in Arizona’ (Nov. 30), I have learned that not only individuals, but also some churches feel so strongly about separating the legal aspect of marriage from the religious that they have voted …[that] their clergy no longer sign marriage licenses. Among them are member churches of the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian-Universalists and the Quakers. Instead, the model they follow is the one used in Europe, in which couples go to a courthouse to register their marriage, and then to a church or synagogue for a religious ceremony.” Also, some independent Presbyterians and independent Baptists do likewise.
Perversion disrupts society and does not contribute to stability. If historic anti-sodomy laws were passed then same-sex “marriage” would be a moot issue. Homosexual activity would be illegal anytime anywhere. That would be a return to sanity. It would also give clout to local authorities to prohibit cruising, public sex, solicitation, etc. However, anti-sodomy laws will not pass because of anti-Bible, anti-God, anti-common sense attitudes. Frankly, many twisted young people think two homosexual men married with a license is preferable to a man and woman married without a license! Their warped thinking considers mischief in a couple without a license but nothing outrageous for a same-sex “couple” to climb into bed together!
Homosexuals admit they want the blessings of the state on their union; however, the state is not in the blessing business. They can get that from the Pope if they have the cash, clout, and contacts.
In the absence of anti-sodomy laws, if a church had no Bible convictions about sodomy then they could “marry” the “couple.” Let me remind my critics that that is what is happening right now under present laws. People are doing what they want to do and church leaders without convictions, smile upon all kinds of evil. No government agency would be approving any kind of marriage arrangements. If some Fundamentalists and Evangelicals disliked the various weddings, they could say so. Such church leaders could show their disagreement, disapproval, and disdain by not accepting such unrepentant people into their membership.
Some pastors refuse to use a state-issued marriage license and use a marriage covenant instead. Such a thought horrifies some religious leaders and I wonder why. After all, the evidence is all on the side of the covenant makers not those who think state licensure is best and necessary. A covenantal relationship is much deeper than a merely contractual, state approved one.
Do we really believe that the state should regulate marriages? If so, why? They sure didn’t in the past. The onus is on my critics to provide reasons why the state should continue to license (regulate) marriages. It is one thing for the state to recognize the existence of a marriage and another thing for them to give permission for a marriage. No state has that right.
Moreover, without a marriage license from the state, the state would lose its professed authority to have control of any issue of that marriage. The marriage license is used by some states as an excuse to interfere in training of children. Some states even boldly declare that children belong to the state! Does any sane person out there believe that the state is a partner in their marriage? Many people are shocked to hear that and even refuse to believe it is a fact but Ohio law is very clear stating in an official brochure on marriage: “When you repeat your marriage vows, you enter into a legal contract. There are three parties to that legal contract: 1) you; 2) your spouse; and 3) the state of Ohio. The state is a party to the contract because under its laws, you have certain obligations and responsibilities to each other, to any children you may have, and to Ohio.”
Most people do not know that state marriage statutes are directory not mandatory! West’s Indiana Law Encyclopedia states: “Statutes on the subject of marriage, even though penal, are merely directory, and a marriage celebrated though not in accordance with the forms of the statute, is nevertheless valid.”
Maybe we should tell the states that they have overreached their authority. They have enough to do dealing with crime, law and order, welfare (which they should also leave to others), education (see previous parenthesis), repairing streets, etc., without getting involved in any religious activity.
How to handle divorce will be considered a major objection to my recommendation; however, could anything be worse than it is now? Church groups handled divorce in the past. Do you remember King Henry VIII who asked the Pope for a divorce so he could dump his wife to free him to marry a woman who might provide him a male heir? No fault divorce should be repealed forcing married people to justify a divorce usually for abuse, abandonment, or adultery. While marriage would be outside the bailiwick of the state, divorce would not be.
It’s time to insist on total separation of church (but not God) and state. Let’s start with the wedding business. In fact, it has already started with the pastors who refuse to use a marriage license and opt for a marriage covenant instead.
However, look for a fight because the state does not like losing any of its power to control people. Instead of looking to the state for approval, let’s disapprove of the state’s intrusion into marriage! Let’s take away state power to certify, approve, or license any marriage. While it will remove the messy problem of approving same-sex marriage, it will not end same-sex “families.”
Safe, secure, and stable homes produce a steady state but one that has no authority over who marries whom.
(Third of nine columns dealing with no state involvement in marriage. Next column: “Marriage: Consent, Commitment, Consummation, and Communication!”)
http://bit.ly/1iMLVfY Watch these 8 minute videos of my lecture at the University of North Dakota: “A Christian Challenges New Atheists to Put Up or Shut Up!”
Fact, Fraud or Faith?
by Don Boys, Ph.D.
Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.