High priorities in Washington

In further evidence that people who supposedly represent me in Congress don’t have the slightest clue what the Constitution has to say about much of anything, they have introduced H.J. Resolution 93 , meekly entitled Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage, which seeks to try and define marriage as:

SECTION 1. Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

I’m not sure what bothers me most about this, but it must be one of the following things:

  • People in Congress have enough time with all the issues that need to be addressed to come up with hair-brained proposals like this
  • That separation of Church and State is so poorly understood
  • I live in the state that one of these idiots comes from

On the top of the separation of Church and State, people might wonder what I mean by this. The key is held within the question “What is marriage?” If marriage is defined as a legal contract between two people for recognition by the State as single entity for the purposes of taxes, adoption, etc., then there is no place for the Church’s input in the definition of marriage. People continually cite the Bible as a reason to define marriage this way, but yet I clearly remember a little piece of the Constitution that goes something like this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is a bit of elegance that cuts both directions. Congress shall not work either for nor against the establishment of religions, some of which do not always hold to the dominant, in this country, Judeo-Christian theology. It is therefore the key to the Constitution not to impact the establishment of a religion in a positive, or negative way, but to maintain a neutral stance so that those who wish to worship in one way are not prohibited from doing so, while those who choose not to worship may also pursue their beliefs.

Now, some may argue that since this is an attempt to amend the Constitution, that it’s not relevant what is already written, however I believe it is indeed important to take into account what is written, and the history of the document, as well as the founding of the country. To begin with, the immigrants were leaving England in many cases to escape religious persecution that existing in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

This led into a situation where the Founding Fathers were not necessarily Christian but many were in fact Deists who most certainly did not want any specific Church teaching to be shoved down the collective throats of the Citizens. It is in the writings of these, and others, that one can find that one of the things that sets the US apart from other countries is that there is no “state religion.” In fact, our “Leaders” have often made derisive comments about countries that have institutionalized religions, at least when those are not the same religion as their own. This illuminates the importance of this separation.

Do we really believe that the people who are “elected” truly are more wise than 250 years of understanding? It is our diversity that makes us strong, and this is but one example of the attempt to legislate out diversity and to legislate morality into the populace. That is simply not something that can ever be successful.

If you get a chance, contact the Congressional type person of your choice and politely ask them to vote no on this one. The Feminist Majority Foundation has a more detailed article available, which also includes a pre-fab e-mail you can shoot off to your representative.