Thursday, January 5, 2012
Today, Santorum gave a speech at a New England college. He was heckled by students who disagreed with his position on gay marriage. He repeated his usual argument that people should be allowed to "do" whatever they want, but that the government should not be required to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. He asked a student if states should grant a marriage license to "three guys". Clearly, legalized polygamy would cause the complete destruction of the United States . . . . . . . .
Santorum's position (on gay marriage) is utterly indefensible. The resistance to gay marriage is rooted in public revulsion over homosexuality, and religious reluctance to accord it official sanction. The problem is once again the confusion over the difference between marriage and marriage. There is the church-dispensed sacrament of holy matrimony, and there is the state-issued marriage license. Are we so stupid that we cannot tell the difference between the two?
Churches have every right to decide whom to wed and whom not to wed. Since America became a corporation (in the 1860's), religion has been accorded no place in the political process. God has been expelled from government. This was not what the Framers had in mind, but it is simply the way it is, folks. If religion has no place in our government, you cannot use religious and doctrinal precepts to manage the state licensing process. States issue licenses to pairs of people who want a government-run marriage contract. Some government benefits and privileges go along with that contract. None of those benefits has anything to do with religion. Telling gay people that they cannot get a state marriage license is as ridiculous as telling a black man that he cannot get a firearms license. You might harbor resentment towards black people for theological or cultural reasons, but that is no basis for denying them access to a secular government benefit.
Sanctorum is charging towards a philosophical buzz-saw. The argument is 'un-winnable'. He is almost saying, "No, gay couples, you cannot get legally married, because these religious evangelical supporters of mine simply don't want to allow it." If we cannot place a religious emblem on public property, we certainly cannot hope to impose ecclesiastical rules on government policies regarding civil marriage contracts. Even dimwit Canada has figured that out.
Sanctorum is hoping to carry his "socially conservative" message now to New Hampshire where nobody will listen. Good luck!
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