Today I write of rites and rights. This phonetic pun is meant to catch your attention with a little pithy fun but there is an underlying truth that we must explore. It would seem that in this age we have sacrificed the right to rites in obeisance to the rite of rights. I’ll explain why I’m right.
In last week’s column, we examined the anti-miscegenation laws and eugenics which are the tap root to flower of the Marriage License. While the marriage license is manifestation of deep seeded racism within certain political circles, it also shows that government has no business in the business of personal choice. Specifically, should government decide who should and shouldn’t get married and should it have the power to punish those who disagree with its decisions?
Anti-miscegenation laws were abolished to stop those who were using the power of government to implement their eugenic beliefs that blacks were an inferior race and should not enter into marriage with whites, which eugenic experts held as the purest highest race. Still, every culture has traditions and rites passed down to this day that encourage children to marry within their race. Should government make it their business to encourage “sensible” modifications to these cultural rites?
A person’s choice to adhere to a ritual or belief, beyond the pall of physical coercion or violence, is their choice and according to the constitution cannot be infringed upon. Until this new age, we as a people refused to violate the rituals of other cultures present here in our melting pot, no matter how disagreeable, distasteful, or confusing they seemed, unless it could be proven coercion by force was in play. This steadfast adherence to freedom passed down from our Founders was the beacon to all who came to hope that they could live and practice their faith and culture without reprisal in their daily lives.
Our Founders were not so far removed from the exodus of many fleeing religious persecutions from the different countries of Europe and England. It should be noted that these religions had been told by their governments that their faiths could not be practiced in public or in their workplace. Some were punished for preaching sermons which government found intolerable and inappropriate to be voiced from a public pulpit. There was a state religion which government demanded be the template for all others.
So many of these groups through various means secured charters to flee to a world where they could worship and live their lives in freedom the they way they chose. These early settlers could not flourish under the “keep your beliefs in your own four walls” of the old world which is so prevalent now in the aging Democrat Party and the New Republican Party. This penal form of “freedom” is a study in contradiction. It amounts to nothing more than sentence of confinement by an over bearing government. Freedom is not freedom unless you are free wherever you may be.
But times bring changes. Recent polls and trends among the Nation’s youth, especially college students, have revealed a disturbing trend of beliefs that freedoms apply only to certain people or groups. That government is best suited to decide which belief systems are deserving of constitutional liberties is an argument that in years past would have been disregarded as barbaric and dangerous in light of world history, but in the surreal light of the imploding Republic, the generations of our tomorrow have embraced these seeds left from the shadows of fascism in dream of a new tomorrow. Sadly, as a wise man once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Many are now content to let government be the purveyor of morality. It is in style now to persecute Christians and their “intolerant beliefs”. The calls for the elimination of the First Amendment for those with unsanctioned beliefs comes from the shortsightedness of those who believe what is “en vogue” now will remain so without change or a shift of the pendulum.
The hammer of government has returned and all sides are intent on gaining control of it to advance their belief system with no care for the danger signs history has left for us. It is evident that some feel that shouting loud enough so that opposing views are silenced is preferable to debate and that a tantrum is sufficient argument for getting what they want. Short term satisfaction is of paramount importance and long term repercussions be damned.
We have burned the platform of civil debate to the ground while the structure in the marriage debate that needs to be burned is the bridge of the marriage license. It is through this structure that government has attacked and trampled the freedoms of those whose marital and religious rites it finds unpalatable. Some are thrilled to destroy those who hold unsanctioned beliefs while others are incredulous to find that there are some whose god is not mammon and really is…well…God.
The new modern rite of our society is to pursue rights as a validation for all behavior and lifestyle choices. It is the new religion and government is its god. All these beliefs have savaged each other in a quest for a marriage license, a government overreach steeped in racism and government eugenics. If these truly seek the attainment of right and not the destruction of their fellow Americans rights, there needs to be cessation of the trampling of the right to rites.
These questions remain: Can these competing views on marriage return to the platform of civil debate without trampling certain unalienable rights? How can we allow all lives to live in freedom in our every day exercise with a pattern of decency and deference to our fellow man? It is time to right a wrong and abolish the marriage license. This is the answer.