Saturday, July 28, 2012

Marriage, the Chick-fil-A debates

What a delight to see the outrage erupt from both sides over the relatively benign comments of Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy.  Cathy said in his now famous interview in the Washington Times article, "Chick-fil-A chief’s views on marriage alienate gays, Muppets":
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,”

Nothing wrong or particularly inflammatory with that, simply a man expressing his views.  However, this simple statement caused such an uproar in the gay community that several prominent Democrat office holders stepped up the dialogue proclaiming disdain towards Cathy for daring to speak publicly what was on his mind and threatening that they would use their "power" of office to make it difficult for the company to conduct business in their cities.  "How dare Cathy speak his mind?!?" is their message to us all.  Indeed the Mayor of Boston and Chicago both came out with scathing words against not only Cathy but the entire Chick-fil-A enterprise, which as far as we know, has broken no anti-discrimination laws.

Looking at the bright side of this tempest, what was simply an ordinary interview which would have gone mostly unnoticed to the masses that was made into an issue by the way it was reported.  It was then further propelled by the progressives and gay rights people into a national dialogue with these Democrat office-holders pandering to their base by suggesting Cathy and the business be penalized with Consitutionally illegimate solutions to inhibit their ability to conduct business before applying any critical thought.  Conservatives have effectively gotten a gift as big if not bigger than Obama's "You didn't build that" speech to illustrate not only their hipocrisy, but also perhaps the dangers of electing them to power.

Time for the obligatory quote:
"Adversity, if for no other reason, is of benefit, since it is sure to bring a season of sober reflection. Men see clearer at such time. Storms purify the atmosphere."
So rage on, but do it quietly for a time before unleashing the full fury of the storm.  It's good that this came out and it's best not to squander it, so before opening mouth and inserting foot more critical thought needs to be applied here.  Consider exactly what is being debated.  Is it the resultant progressive affront to free speech by politicians pandering to buy or keep votes from their core constituency by promising forceful coercive government intervention to penalize a Christian Conservative CEO for daring to speak his mind in public or is it the underlying issue of the role of government in marriage "rights"?

Before answering that question, it's important is to get to the root of the matter by critically reviewing several engagements in the government's longstanding war against marriage, ALL marriage.  It doesn't matter if they're intentional or simply unintended consequences, the facts are that the government imposes coercive force to negatively influence peoples' behavior towards marriage.

  1. The welfare state induces breakdown of marriages of those living in poverty, encouraging out of wedlock child and penalizing marriages to men of less than adequate means of support. 
  2. The tax codes penalize primarily middle-class individuals who marry with the infamous "marriage penalty". 
  3. The courts make marriage a highly risky proposition for men if the union fails by imposing punitive divorce arrangements under the guise of being supportive towards women which was most likely intended to target upper-class citizens so women can maintain a standard of living but is nearly equally applied to all classes and even dissolutions where the female makes more money than the man. 

Any wonder why the girls despair that there are no suitable spouses out there and the ones they do find suitable are so reluctant to enter into the contract?  The government subtly discourages it.  When you're divided and fighting your spouse, they win, for you're far to preoccupied to fight them.

Now back to Cathy's remarks.  He simply talked about "family values".  His comments are almost certainly related to his opposition to gay marriage given his past views and his standing as a Southern Baptist, but does it really matter?  He could also have just as easily been lamenting government's attack on his own personal values regarding family irrespective of homosexual rights.  Indeed, it is often said by many to be the desire of those who govern us to separate and divide the family for only the family can stand against the usurpations of "the village" through government elite rule.  So they put us into neat little boxes and encourage these distractions.  We allow them to do it with near impunity demanding they support us vs them as we focus on these emotional issues while they're stealing us blind behind a veil of (opaque) transparency. 

The Country Thinker posted an interesting question over on Political Realities where he states that he finds Christian Conservatives opposition to gay marriage laws to be inconsistent.  In that he advocated getting government out of the marriage business and leave it to "legitimate" religious institutions. I have no idea what he means by legitimate. For if we leave it to Muslims or Mormons, they would most likely have no problem with polygany.  But would that be a bad thing? 

Yes, of course it most certainly would under the current system of laws the US has on the books adding penalties, incentives, and other widgets to impose their jurisdictions over the contracts between individuals to influence human behaviors.  Those governmental actions not only affect the principal participants in the contract of marriage, but they also affect us all who are forced to pay for the fallout through governmental exactions.  So yes, people have a say to have government exert such control, because it may directly affect them.  And the government has succeeded in doing what it does best, using us and our opinions not only against others, but against ourselves.  They have effectively turned it into a food fight between children over who has gotten the biggest piece of the pie.  That's what politics is, and why it is so distasteful. 

Without government, who would really care if someone else has three wives?  Do you think that would instill the vice of envy in your children or your community where you are free to preach the moral values of celibacy outside of marriage; faithfulness, fidelity, and perserverence in marriage; and, most of all, love.  As Ron Paul said in the Republican debates in South Carolina as to the legalization of drugs, "How many people here would use heroin if it were legal? I bet nobody! "Oh yeah, I need the government to take care of me. I don't want to use heroin, so I need these laws!""

As you can see, the one most important fact we need to consider in all this is that whenever you ask government to make a law in your favor to impose your opinion to restrict freedom of another, then you are selling your soul to them and allowing them to similarly impose someone else's views on you to restrict or influence your behavior.

Perhaps it's time Christian Conservatives (as well as all conservatives in general) seriously consider the effects of just letting it go. Let gays, Muslims, Mormons or whomever marry as they choose and petition the government to butt out.

By denying government the power to influence how others live their lives in other places, we would be free to allow our children to pray in our schools.  We would be free to allow open displays of our moral and religious values in our town square.  But you gave them the power to take that away from you.

As Milton Freedman once said to a young woman in his audience asking a question to argue his position on equal pay for equal work laws, "I'm on your side, but you're not."  The institution of marriage will or at least may be preserved in your own family, local community, and church as long as you strive to keep it that way.   But forget using the government.  Remember, God will be the ultimate judge of how individuals fared in the test of life, not us. Let these enclaves of progressivism turn into the modern day examples of Sodom and Gomorrah and concentrate your energies on preserving your values in your own families and local communities to be the proverbial "light on the hill".
In another interesting development in attempt at damage control, Mother Jones calls for Emanuel to back off.

Too bad they (at Mother Jones) don’t see it or feel this way to discuss how those very same governments deny licenses to private business owners who wish to provide accomodations for their smoking clientel and enact specific laws to make it illegal for them to do so.

So many of these laws themselves that either force integration or outlaw individual choice are in violation of the peoples’ Constitutional rights.

You see?  It cuts both ways, the outcry against Emanuel and Menino’s political grandstanding against Cathy and his views similarly denies them the right to turn their precious city into a liberal sanctuary which would preach diversity while simultaneously outlawing it.  Wouldn't that be denying them their right to the real American dream, “The freedom to associate with whom we wish – and to not associate with whomever we wish, for whatever reason we wish”.

We cannot keep asking government to act on our views to deny others freedom to pursue theirs.  As long as we keep using them to impose our will on others it legitimizes their authority to do just that and others will use them to impose their will against us.  Just say NO.  Only you can decide if you wish to let this country continue the slide into an all-oppressive state or to let freedom ring.

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