June 26th, 2015

Lazy Conservatives and a Losing Cause: Marriage, Morality, and a Missed Opportunity

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a legal opinion on a 5-4 vote, holding that every state in the country must recognize, and perform, marriages for same-sex couples. Predictably, conservatives are outraged.

Contrary to what they believe, they bear some of the blame for today’s ruling.

I’ve grown quite fond of the adage, “Never give your friend a power that you wouldn’t want your enemy to have.” In political parlance, this means you shouldn’t empower the state to do something you like when your party or perspective is dominant, because that power can be wrested from and used against you. And that’s what has happened here.

Marriage licensure has long been used as a tool against undesirable people—a way to forcibly, financially, and politically undermine unions that the majority deems offensive or worthless. This government power has long been approved and encouraged by social conservatives looking to impose their religious and social views on society through the coercive arm of government.

Today, that coercive arm has punched them in the gut.

Here’s the thing: because these people relied on government to enforce their vision of society, they fell asleep at the wheel—they haven’t been persuading others as to the importance of man-woman marriage, or proselytizing the gospel and (their understanding of) God’s definition of marriage. They abandoned the marketplace of ideas in favor of the machinery of the state. They’ve been spending their time focused on ballot initiatives and legislative strategies, instead of marketing campaigns, evangelism, and individual interactions.

It’s little surprise, then, to watch the tides of public opinion shift so sharply. People generally get what they want–and now many people want what social conservatives have long been opposing.

This is why I say that such conservatives have been lazy, abdicating their responsibility to engage with others to government force. This was, from its inception, a losing cause. Those who are wailing and gnashing teeth in response to today’s court opinions and others preceding it should undergo some serious self-introspection and ask themselves what they have done—apart from showing up at the ballot box every so often—to advance the ideals and definitions they espouse.

Marriage is important, and morality is essential—but for too long, social conservatives have relied upon Caesar to impose such institutions and ideals on the masses. Today they begin to reap what they have sown—and they have nobody to blame but themselves.

25 Responses to “Lazy Conservatives and a Losing Cause: Marriage, Morality, and a Missed Opportunity”

  1. June 26, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    Once again, you have put into words my exact feelings on a topic better than I ever possibly could have. Well said!

  2. Kyle
    June 26, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    Well said! Force is a double edged sword, and nearly always reaps more force… This is why we need to be willing to fight for the freedoms of all, not just what we consider to be OUR freedoms. Freedom is so beautiful, it’s force that knarls it all up. Thanks again Connor for some great thoughts.

  3. June 26, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    My take from this commentary is that it is the religious conservative individuals who should have been “enforcing their vision of the world” upon those who look, act, and think differently instead of letting their elected officials in the government do it for them.

    My response is that “enforcing” one’s beliefs upon others is wrong whether it is done by governments or individuals. “Live and let live” is a code whereby we accept one another for who we are and respect and tolerate those who are different from us. If you don’t believe in or accept gay marriage, then don’t marry a person of the same sex as yourself. It’s that simple.

  4. June 26, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    Nope saxoclese, you’re missing the main point. The difference is rather than petitioning the government to “enforce” beliefs, morals, lifestyle on others, the social conservatives should have worked to “persuade” through free speech, missionary work, and discussion. Which is vastly different. Persuasion is acting on free will and choice, enforcing is tyrannical control. Connor, I believe, is calling out those who have so ardently supported government force to support their beliefs and has explained rather eloquently that such belief in force was the seed of their own demise. It’s no surprise that force has now shifted hands.

  5. June 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    Lazy Conservatives??? You are really showing your ignorance and arrogance. Conservatives are not the ones that took this debate or this “fight” to the Supreme Court or to the ballot box! The same sex marriage advocates are those that sought Government to force their version of marriage on everyone else. Conservatives fought valiantly to keep them from using the Government from re defining marriage because they had the wisdom and the foresight to recognize that once Government had the power to redefine marriage it would be impossible to get them out of the marriage business. What have you done to get government out of the marriage business? All you can do is sit behind your computer and attack conservatives as they sacrificed their time, money, and reputations to teach the truth about marriage! You will never get government out of the marriage business now. You ignorant little weasel!

  6. June 26, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

    Connor, I really appreciate your message… but I have to ask a question, probably for the majority of the US citizens, and that is, “What else can I do that will help to make a difference, besides showing up at the ballot box?” I would really like to know so I can make more of a difference…

  7. June 26, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    You just proved Connor’s point 100%. Conservatives can’t think through the proper role of government so they use that power improperly then it backfires on them. In fact, it blows up in their face. And then they’re surprised, angry and indignant and want to blame liberals. Study some governmental principles in the scriptures and apply them to politics. You’ll be better off and less angry.

  8. June 26, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

    I get the point very clearly Kyle. Those are not my words, they are Connors. I’m reminded how the LDS folks from Utah used “free speech”, “missionary work”, and “discussion” along with loads of money to impose their will on the people of California concerning Proposition 8. Whether those folks use their positions in government or their efforts as individuals it is WRONG to attempt to impose their moral and religious values upon everyone else whether it concerns gay rights, liquor, Sunday closing, or anything else for that matter.

  9. June 26, 2015 at 10:47 pm #

    To the comments above. Not long ago people were suing others to _make_ them provide services to marriages they didn’t believe in. Certainly not a live and let live approach. That makes no sense to me and neither does government deciding on marriage.

  10. June 26, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    saxoclese – I hope you are willing to use the same argument when the government is forcing churches to perform gay weddings against their beliefs, thus forcing THEIR belief system on the churches, which, by the way, is against the laws this country was founded on. Since when is forcing a church to do ANYTHING constitutional? Who gave the SCOTUS the right to tell us what to do in our churches. This is the point that is being made. The conservatives never should have made it a SCOTUS decision in the first place.

  11. Kyle Gadd
    June 27, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    Excellent analysis. I absolutely agree. I think that it is immoral for a man and a woman (or anyone else at this point) to be legally and lawfully wedded. The only role that the government should have is in protecting the best interests of the children born out of that (or any) union. As far as the state is concerned, marriage should be between one man, one woman, and one child. Until and unless a child is produced there should be absolutely no legal ties between the two. There is nothing romantic or fun about it, only a legal obligation for the father to provide for mother and child, and for the mother to care for the child. The mother should be able to put the child up for adoption if desired, but the father should never be let off the hook to provide for a child that he consciously conceived. We would never think of getting a state baptism license to show our devotion to God. Why do we get a marriage license from the state to show our devotion to each other? I’m absolutely for marriage, but it should be a strictly religious ceremony. Gays, dogs, straights, minors, single, multiple … If there is a religion that wants to perform it then they can answer to God. We all do anyways, regardless of man’s laws. This all started with King Henry VIII. He didn’t like being accused of adultery, so he took marriage into his own hands (that being the state’s), and away from religion. It obviously is time to put marriage back into it’s proper place.

  12. June 27, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    Kim. Let me enlighten you. No church or its clergy is ever going to be forced to perform a gay marriage if that is outside of their religious beliefs. That is made abundantly clear in the Supreme Court’s decision. What the Supreme Court decision does do however is to prevent YOUR church and its members from taking away the rights of other churches and their members to recognize and celebrate same sex unions of individuals who love and care for one another. The 14th Amendment guarantees equal treatment under the law which is now rightfully extended to everyone—regardless of their sexual orientation.

  13. June 28, 2015 at 5:40 am #

    Not a lot of listening going on in this message board. That seems to be the problem with most people on both sides of this issue.
    I think there is a really good point made in this article though.

  14. June 28, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    God defined marriage and evil and gives the law. Sodomy should not be a crime? Chaos is Satan’s domain. Ye who cheer chaos on, whose side are you on? Moses asked who is on the Lord’s side. Because evil reigns, will you abandon good?
    You want to blame the conservative Christians? How will it be for you under the Caliphate, or the dictatorship?
    I find it strange that CONSERVATIVES of today are chastised for the actions of RACISTS from generations past, and that fair fighting for the TITLE OF LIBERTY (RIGHTEOUSNESS) should be denigrated. If it weren’t for crooked judges in the land, there would be no gay marriage invasion from Satan’s minions, and the wickedness of the people is no reason to chastise the righteous. No court can overturn natural law. Anarchy is not the state of Heaven nor a good country. This is a perverse generation as far as those in power. Who would justify them? That’s the conundrum.

  15. June 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    Free Speech, missionary work and discussions, will do nothing to advance conservative values until ‘conservatives’ practice what they preach. Actions teach better then words.

    It was ‘conservative’s’ support for divorce and thus disrespect for God’s command of ‘lifelong marriage’ that led to where we are today. If conservatives had respected and kept their vows and upheld marriage as God intended, then marriage would still be respected for what it is .

    Conservatives redefined marriage 1st, contrary to God’s laws. They can’t blame others for doing the same as they have.

  16. June 28, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

    Lilly, by what perspective do you say conservatives supported divorce? I think it was rather the liberals of low morality and their judges who wanted no-fault, easy divorce. Conservatives, generally considered more Christian moralists would likely agree with the life-long marriage, whereas liberal swingers, with “what ever makes you feel good” morality wanted the “freedom to move on”.

  17. June 28, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

    Saxoclese and all who think homosexual marriage is equal treatment under the law, looking forward to pedophile marriage, polyandry, polygamy, multiple marriage, animal marriage? Before this step-to-insanity ruling, everyone was equally able to marry an opposite-sexed person. All it takes now is a sense of desire and “love”, no matter who or what it is? Morality in America under God is so passe now. Judicial wickedness in high places!

  18. June 28, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

    John,

    I never thought of Ronald Reagan as a liberal, and he started the ball rolling in California with ‘no fault divorce’, from there it spread like wild fire.

    And yes, liberals may support divorce too, but I don’t think I know 1 conservative (or even 1 LDS) who stands up for and believes in Christ’s teachings on divorce & remarriage and doesn’t support such things, either their own or the divorces & remarriages of people they personally know. It seems everyone has accepted divorce & remarriage today, just like everyone will soon all accept SSM, including the LDS Church I believe.

    For if the Church will so often completely change it’s tune on so many vital moral issues as it has thru the years, & go along with divorce & remarriage or believe in things like polygamy, etc, which are far worse then SSM, then it will almost surely accept a lesser issue like SSM soon, as soon as most members support it, as it seems at least 1/2 or more do already.

    It seems like most all Christian churches and Christians today go along with & support divorce, the LDS Church even more so then others. Those who stand for Christ’s teachings are very rare it seems. I hope I am wrong though and there are more who believe in Christ.

  19. June 29, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Making the claim that allowing couples of the same sex the same civil benefits and rights as heterosexual couples in society will lead to “pedophile marriage, polyandry, polygamy, multiple marriage, animal marriage” is nonsense. Such arguments do nothing more than discredit the opponents of same sex marriage making these claims since they are evidence that those people have no substantive argument to make in support of their case.

  20. June 29, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Saxoclese,

    Here’s an interesting article you might like. I actually remember this from the 70’s.

    http://www.sltrib.com/56073795

  21. June 29, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    So what’s your point Gary? That whole story about marrying a duck was in jest. The folks I’m arguing with are serious. I note with interest that the story did not include any pictures, so the marriage apparently was never consummated.

  22. June 29, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    Saxoclese,

    It seems that for thousands of years far more people have accepted and lived polygamy then SSM. So with today’s loosening of the definition of marriage, it’s almost a sure thing that polygamy will be legalized next and thus will spread like wild fire, like anything does that is pleasing to the carnal man. The TV shows promoting it are a big hit if that’s any indication of how people are becoming far more open to it.

    And if people will accept SSM, I believe they will accept polygamy far easier.

    In fact, almost everyone, including churches already accept, support & promote ‘serial polygamy’, by divorce & remarriage today, so full polygamy wouldn’t be that much of a leap.

    The LDS Church still likes it & believes in it and still seals many living women to 1 man and promises it’s return, so I believe the Church would be quick to bring it back once legal. Plus it would help take care all the struggling single mothers the church is creating.

  23. June 30, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    Saxoclese,

    My only point is humor. I remember seeing it on the news when I was a teenager in high school. I don’t remember if it was a male or female duck though.

  24. July 8, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    states cannot perform any sort of marriage. Maxim of Law: The law does not require impossibilities. It is absolutely impossible for a legal fiction, such as “state/STATE” to have dominion over a living soul. A legal fiction cannot think, smell, taste, see, etc., let alone “recognize” anything of substance.

    Only living souls can perform marriages. No where in the Supreme Court majority “opinions” do they “hold” that every state in the country must………….

    Which “country” are you referring to? If you think it’s the UNITED STATES…….that’s a oxymoron statement, because the UNITED STATES is not a country…….it’s a corporation located in Washington, D.C., described in the Uniform Commercial Code Sec. 9.

    Your opinion about “their” opinion is very misleading.

    Please give the exact quotations from the five black-robed, unelected, “Justices” and you will find that their “holding” has no effect, whatsoever, over a non U.S. citizens, non residents of Washington, D.C..

    Otherwise, I enjoyed the article and comments from other people.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The gay marriage decision is complicated but much fairer than what we had before | Rare - June 29, 2015

    […] in marriage. And marriage licenses didn’t show up in America until after the Civil War. They were introduced as a bigoted measure against interracial unions, and the government soon found them handy in […]

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