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The federal government has certain obligations defined by the Constitution. Along with others I endorse what Ezra Taft Benson said: “I believe that God has endowed men with certain unalienable rights as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and that no legislature and no majority, however great, may morally limit or destroy these; that the sole function of government is to protect life, liberty, and property and anything more than this is usurpation and oppression.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> It is not the federal government’s job to regulate marriage!
Those responsibilities not under the jurisdiction of the federal government remain the responsibilities of the several states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Tenth Amendment
Again Ezra Taft Benson said the following: “I believe that each State is sovereign in performing those functions reserved to it by the Constitution and it is destructive of our federal system and the right of self-government guaranteed under the Constitution for the Federal Government to regulate or control the States in performing their functions or to engage in performing such functions itself.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]>
Jurisdiction over marriage is and should remain with the state. Before it was under the power of the several states it was under the edifying influence of the churches. The encroachment of the state into church issues is highly questionable and extremely dangerous. It is HOLY matrimony, a union of one man and one woman – God ordained the institution of marriage – the state didn’t. It is fact that the institution of marriage is much older than the establishment of government. Three-fourths of the states already have enacted adequate laws based on the Defense of Marriage Act. <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> (DOMA)
Ezra Taft Benson said: “I am especially mindful that the Constitution provides that the great bulk of the legitimate activities of government are to be carried out at the state or local level. This is the only way in which the principle of ‘self-government’ can be made effective.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Self-government is more compatible with equality, accountability and free agency.
However, seeing an opportunity to intrude further into the private lives of the citizens, each state began issuing marriage licenses, equivalent to permission. Prior to approval from the state, an individual, if under age, required the consent of his or her parents. The state arbitrarily created certain marital parameters which essentially gave them control and makes it a party to every marriage. The erosion of marriage began when the state seized control replacing God in the process.
With the application of “separation of church and state,” not found in the Constitution, but implied in the First Amendment, the government will soon completely separate all marriages from God, for they will be state sanctioned procedures rather than sacred religious ceremonies.
The best assurance of peace and longevity in any marriage is in direct proportion to HIS influence in that marriage. And if you think marriage, as an institution, is in trouble now, wait until the federal bureaucracy interferes. A marriage amendment will not protect marriage! On June 5, 2006, President Bush, with family friendly rhetoric, said: “The constitutional amendment that the Senate will consider this week would fully protect marriage from being redefined. It will leave state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> This unnecessary amendment failed to pass in the Senate in June. Now the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment to the Constitution during the third week in July.
Excuse my skepticism but frankly, I do not trust the federal government to protect marriage. If they did a reasonable job of handling their actual constitutional requirements I wouldn’t be so dubious. In as much as it is their constitutional obligation to protect life, liberty and property they should concentrate on that and leave marriage alone. I recognize that it is too late to protect the lives of over 45 million individuals who have been slaughtered through mass abortion. Lives were lost when they failed to respond on 9-11. What about protecting lives and property from the mass invasion by invitation along our unprotected southern border?
How can we trust the government after they shattered the economic lives of America’s middle class with those phony trade agreements (NAFTA and CAFTA)? What about their furtive, treasonous plans to merge Canada, the United States and Mexico into the North American community, similar to the European Union. If they refuse to protect life, liberty and property how can we even think they are going to protect marriage? It isn’t about protection – it is about control! Whatever the federal government regulates, whatever the government funds – the federal government CONTROLS.
Ezra Taft Benson stated: “It is a firm principle that the smallest or lowest level that can possibly undertake the task is the one that should do so. First, the community or city. If the city cannot handle it, then the county. Next, the state; and only if no smaller unit can possibly do the job, should the federal government be considered. This is merely the application to the field of politics of that wise and time-tested principle of never asking a larger group to do that which can be done by a smaller group. And so far as government is concerned the smaller the unit and the closer it is to the people, the easier it is to guide it, to keep it solvent and to keep our freedom.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]>
“The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to. Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, law, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best. What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]>
“It is well to remember that the states of this republic created the Federal Government. The Federal Government did not create the states.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> The federal government should not manipulatively dictate marital policies to the states which would negate or repudiate accepted local marriage customs. This could effectively deny the free exercise of religion.
The First Amendment to the Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” In as much as marriage is actually a function of the church we need to consider the following possibilities should the federal government be successful in snatching control away from the churches as well as the states.
· Creation of Federal Marriage Licenses;
· Place restrictions on church marriages;
· Require civil marriage before church marriage;
· Allow federal requirements in the wording of all marriage ceremonies including those given in any church, mosque, temple or synagogue;
· Allow for federal licensing of all marriage performers: ministers, priests, bishops, etc.;
· Allow for court proceedings to require the church to perform a church marriage even when a member may not qualify due to church worthiness policies;
· Allow federal inspectors to be present at all church marriage ceremonies;
· Allow federal divorce laws;
· Allow for federal child custody laws;
· Allow federal DNA testing for marriage licenses along with data bases to enforce this amendment and accompanying laws that will come with it;
· Allow for federal co-habitation laws;
· Allow the federal courts to determine the meaning of the word marriage and all that goes with it; (Remember abortion was justified by the 14th amendment)
· Allow for federal adoption laws;
· Prohibition against the marriage of disabled individuals or others for arbitrary purposes;
· This amendment could outlaw all church marriages if marriage becomes a federal government sanctioned activity. Therefore, no marriage could be performed in a church as a religious ceremony.
Many states have taken the initiative to pass state laws requiring marriage to be between one man and one woman. Petitions have been circulating for the last several months in my own state in order to put the amendment proposal on the November ballot. Like other concerned citizens, I helped circulate those petitions. Marriage has been and should continue to be limited to local jurisdiction. Each state should continue to regulate only the legal ramifications of matrimony. Current laws including the federal Marriage Protection Act should suffice in establishing the other legalities and issues amongst the states.
The political plotters are at it again – they are manipulating Christians and other good people who demand a solution to something the government and their big money cohorts initially created. And that government solution will deprive us of control over the most basic freedom that we have. Individuals are essentially in charge of only their own behavior – we cannot induce or compel others to pattern their personal, consensual activities after our own. We can only lovingly invite, not enforce by law. Legally preventing same-sex marriage will not change or terminate homosexuality. This Trojan horse law will only alter our own marriage options.
In true Hegelian Dialectical crisis creating, managerial style, the government and their currency-rich cohorts in the media actually promote homosexuality as a lifestyle. If they are really so concerned about marriage between one man and one woman they should stop advocating alternative life styles in government sponsored textbooks and schools. Now they pretend to selectively stand against homosexuality for the protection and preservation of the family. Remember, abortion used to be under state jurisdiction, and then escalated dramatically under federal jurisdiction. I personally do not trust the federal government to make moral choices on my behalf. It is our tax dollars that fund their decisions – thus making us complicit, blood on our hands partners in the consequences.
Ezra Taft Benson said: “A category of government activity which, today, not only requires the closest scrutiny, but which also poses a grave danger to our continued freedom, is the activity NOT within the proper sphere of government. No one has the authority to grant such powers, as welfare programs, schemes for re-distributing the wealth, and activities which coerce people into acting in accordance with a prescribed code of social planning. There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do have such a right, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise on my behalf. If I do not have that right as an individual, then I cannot delegate it to government, and I cannot ask my government to perform the act for me.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]>
Accordingly, the government lacks the constitutional authority to legislate morality just as I do not have the right to dictate the private moral behavior of my neighbors. Ultimately, each individual, endowed with free agency, is only accountable for his/her own behavior in relation to the laws of God and society. This amendment, despite the inferences, will not curtail homosexual unions. Calling it marriage or a civil union does not alter the circumstances. Will federal authorities, who apparently cannot police themselves, assume the audacious authority over the personal behavior and choices of others?
Nor should the government presumptuously participate in charitable giving by confiscating our hard earned tax dollars to redistribute to whomever they choose. It is not their money to give. <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Economic issues are of much greater daily concern to the average American family than the devised crisis of same sex marriage. Forget about a Federal Marriage Amendment and relieve family stress by demolishing the Sixteenth Amendment which was never legally ratified to begin with. <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> See Aaron Russo’s movie America: From Freedom to Fascism opening July 28
“The proper function of government is limited only to those spheres of activity within which the individual citizen has the right to act. By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]>
Why should we trust the government with complete jurisdiction over the most important union in society? Activities that sound favorable are often as detrimental to a society as the proverbial Trojan horse. Consider other laws or government departments that concerned citizens supported that sounded beneficial: the Equal Rights Amendment, Pro Choice, the Patriot Act, and No Child Left Behind. Evaluate the quality of education since the federal government seized jurisdiction of our schools. There are hundreds of laws purported to be a benefit to the populace that have further enslaved us. By necessity, questionable plans must always sound practicable in order to gain acceptance.
Ezra Taft Benson said: “Men in the public spotlight constantly are asked to express an opinion on a myriad of government proposals and projects. ‘What do you think of TVA?’ ‘What is your opinion of Medicare? How do you feel about Urban Renewal?’ The list is endless. All too often, answers to these questions seem to be based, not upon any solid principle, but upon the popularity of the specific government program in question. Seldom are men willing to oppose a popular program if they, themselves, wish to be popular - especially if they seek public office.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> This whole diversionary ploy may be more about the November elections and energizing their base than actual concern about who marries who. The public has certainly been diverted and seduced about this and flag burning while weightier matters are completely ignored.
Ron Paul said the following: “Ironically, liberal social engineers who wish to use federal government power to redefine marriage will be able to point to the constitutional marriage amendment as proof that the definition of marriage is indeed a federal matter! I am unwilling either to cede to federal courts the authority to redefine marriage, or to deny a state’s ability to preserve the traditional definition of marriage. Instead, I believe it is time for Congress and state legislatures to reassert their authority by refusing to enforce judicial usurpations of power.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]>
Amendments, particularly the first ten, were designed to protect our rights. The Federal Marriage Protection Amendment, while appearing constructive, would place unwarranted and undesired restrictions on the majority while allegedly attempting to confine a relatively small minority. “The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.” John Locke
Conscientious Christians and others must exercise caution in what we endorse no matter how positive it sounds. What else is occurring that actually deserves our vigilance? The scriptural parameters of marriage are clear – we have God’s law and we should now be accountable to govern ourselves, without federal interference. Saving the institution of marriage, the purported purpose of this proposed amendment, begins in our own homes, with Heaven’s inspiration and blessings, not in the halls of Congress! Churches, in concert with couples should define marriage.
The Proper Role of Government by The
Honorable Ezra Taft Benson
© Deanna Spingola 2006 - All rights reserved
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