The Anti-Constitutional, Christo-cratic Case Against Marriage Equality

With the Supreme Court’s deliberations on a pair of marriage equality cases last week, more and more right-wing “Christo-crats” are affirming their faith-based opposition to the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. And increasingly, those affirmations are taking the form of inadvertent admissions that marriage is not within the purview of the state to decide. It is constitutionally impermissible for courts to rule for or against specific religious dogma.

God's Law

Nevertheless, That is exactly what the martinets of virtue on the right are advocating. For example, former CNN contributor Dana Loesch wrote an editorial that appeared on both RedState and the lie-riddled Fox Nation that sought to refute the notion that marriage equality is a conservative position. She insists that it is not, and that…

“Marriage is a covenant between a man, woman, and God before God on His terms. It is a religious civil liberty, not a right granted by government. […] In suing over “marriage” itself one is demanding that God change His definition of the union between a man and a woman.”

Loesch does not bother to reveal where in God’s Dictionary the definition of marriage occurs, nor does she reveal where one can pick up a copy of God’s Dictionary. If she is referencing passages in the Bible, then she is conveniently excluding from God’s definition those pious Biblical figures who maintained multiple (sometimes hundreds of) wives. Likewise she leaves out God’s mandate that rapists be forced to marry their victims. But more to the point, she is admitting that marriage is a construct of religion and, therefore, it is unconstitutional for the state to have a hand in it – except, in her view, so far as Christian-approved nuptials are concerned.

That same doctrine was addressed by Breitbart’s John Nolte in a column accusing the media of trying to destroy religion. That’s the same media that just completed endless hours of blanket coverage of the selection of a new Pope; the same media whose Christmas specials preempt everything else on the air. Nolte argues that recognition of the right for same-sex couples to marry would improperly impose on the right to religious freedom for Christians who regard such behavior as sinful. But if the religious freedom of Christians is violated every time something they regard as a sin is allowed under the law, that would make premarital sex unconstitutional [not to mention lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. By that measure, the Constitution would require the dissolution of Congress] Nolte says that he is in favor of civil unions, but…

“I oppose same-sex marriage because marriage is a sacrament, and there is a big difference between asking one to be tolerant, and demanding one condone.”

Once again we have an evangelical conservative admitting that his opposition is based on spiritual grounds. And once again, that would make it an invalid argument so far as the Constitution is concerned. They simply cannot assert that something is subject to legal prohibition because it conflicts with their religious beliefs. Were that the case, Jews could seek a Supreme Court judgment mandating that all food in America be produced in accordance with the laws of Kosher. What’s more, no one is demanding that any particular behavior be condoned, merely that it not be discriminated against. That’s a distinction that conservatives have trouble comprehending, or perhaps they just enjoy being bigots.

RedState’s Erick Erickson chimed in with an article asserting that “‘Gay Marriage’ and Religious Freedom Are Not Compatible.” He hinges his argument on the Bible passage, Matthew 19:4-6, wherein Christ says…

“…He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Erickson acknowledges that in this passage Christ is answering a question about whether it is permissible to divorce one’s wife. It was not a question about who is allowed to marry. But he dismisses that fact and focuses only on what he interprets as a definition of marriage, rather than as a direct response to a specific question. Likewise, he dismisses the part about divorce being against God’s law. This is an example of the convenient piety of so many sanctimonious religious zealots that permits them to pick and chose which principles they will honor. If Erickson wants to make a federal case of the definition of marriage as expressed by Matthew 19:4-6, then he should be consistent and call for a constitutional prohibition of divorce. Instead he impugns the sincerity of his ideological foes by calling them “a bunch of progressive Christians who have no use for the Bible,” even though he’s the one twisting it to fit his political prejudices.

Like Loesch and Nolte, Erickson is admitting that he sees gay marriage as “a legal encroachment of God’s intent.” Therefore, without realizing it, he is admitting that it is not a valid argument in a nation whose Constitution says that it “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Even Bill O’Reilly has noticed that the anti-marriage equality crowd is obsessed with religious justifications, rather than sound legal arguments. He praises gay advocates for saying that…

“‘We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”

Indeed, Bible thumping is not generally viewed in legal circles as a basis for constitutional findings. Yet, as the issue winds through the maze of judicial debate, the Tea-vangelical’s arguments continue to devolve into nothing but sanctimonious sermonizing. It is evermore apparent that their bigotry has no justification under America’s law, so they fall back on God’s law and attempt to ram their beliefs down the nation’s throat. They clearly have no respect for the Constitution or the freedom it guarantees for religious liberty nor, of course, for the equal protection of the law that forbids the state from discriminating against same-sex couples who seek to marry.


4 thoughts on “The Anti-Constitutional, Christo-cratic Case Against Marriage Equality

  1. Great article Mark.

    I watched the debate about Prop. 8 on CSPAN. To avoid making a religious case, the Prop. 8 side is arguing that marriage is about promoting procreation. It is still a laughable argument. Humans have been around 2 million years before marriage. We seem to be doing just find in reproduction without the religious wink and nod.

    Since it has been conceived, marriage has always been about contracts. It was a tool to perform corporate mergers with different families and family businesses. Women were property. The dowry was the down payment; the wife was proof of contract, even the biblical definition of marriage supports this. What is egregious is this sort of marriage still exists in the world.

    What some conservatives and religious people are arguing for is a definition of marriage which has only been around for less than a hundred years during the industrial revolution.

    • Not only that, the argument that marriage should be based on procreation should also mean DENYING the right to marriage for anyone who is impotent, or taking away that right for any who become infertile.

      We don’t seem to be hearing those examples in court though.

      • Actually, they did mention that. A number of the justices pointed out that anyone who is infertile or past their prime could not get married under such a ruling.

  2. I would guess that she would probably reference Matthew 19:4-6 on God’s “definition” of marriage.

    But, the context of Matthew 19 is about something altogether different than defining and encouraging heterosexuals to marry. (Heterosexuals didn’t exist back then, it’s a modern era social construct.)

    After Jesus radically redefines divorce, the apostles point out that if “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” (NIV)

    Jesus then exalts the “lifestyle” of a group of men, some of whom were born that way, who were commonly stereotyped as being effeminate, “passive” same-sex sex partners, not the marrying kind at all, let alone into procreating. Eunuchs.

    Jesus seems to be encouraging men to live like eunuchs because of the reign of the heavens. I wouldn’t advise going as far as Origen did, however. Ouch.

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