There seems to be a lot of talk surrounding the “Respect for Marriage Act” these days. There’s talk that it will, for example, force private institutions into accepting gay “marriage” or otherwise pay the price.
As the bill is at the moment though, such a claim cannot really be made with utmost certainty. This is because what the bill deals with is government actors or officials rather than even government-funded bodies.
According to the AP:
“[the Act] would not affect private businesses or entities including churches, it would only apply to the government and government officials, according to Volokh and Dale Carpenter, a constitutional law professor at Southern Methodist University.
Carpenter pointed to amendments to the bill added in the Senate to make this clear, including one that specifies nothing in the act can be interpreted to affect, alter or deny tax-exempt status from ‘an otherwise eligible entity or person’…
Another section in the recent amendment specifies that nonprofit religious organizations are not required to provide ‘services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.’
The bill also specifies that it only applies to “those acting under color of State law,” a phrase meaning that only actual government officials are subject to its non-discrimination requirement, according to Carpenter. That means that even an adoption agency that receives government funding, but is not acting on behalf of the state, would not be subject to the bill.”
According to The Daily Wire though, the bill falls short in terms of truly protecting religious freedom.
While it’s extremely difficult to surmise as to the exact type of problems this is going to cause for religious individuals in the future (it certainly seems sure to), the basic question that many of us are asking is this:
If “homosexual marriage” is already legal, why exactly do we need this act anyways?
Enter the redefinition of “marriage.” This is something that many religious people on the right (e.g., the folks at The Daily Wire) are honing in on. They argue that by definition, marriage is between a man and woman, as was outlined in the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act.
Changing this definition marriage to mean…well anything (soon enough!)…will most definitely have repercussions in the future, be it near or far.
I tend to agree with them on this point. However, the backflips and somersaults they are making in order to try and make this clear demonstrates the limits of a secular society in respecting religion.
Check this out:
Ben Shapiro: “It is now apparently the law of the land and societal rule that the only rationale that you could possibly have for saying that marriage is between a man and a woman is because you’re a Christian, or Jew, or a Muslim…[he says mockingly:] ‘We’ll allow you to have these crazy beliefs so long as you acknowledge they’re crazy beliefs’…I’m highly annoyed by the constant derogation of nonreligious arguments into religious arguments…The argument for marriage has literally nothing to do with religion. You could be a visitor from mars and you could see that all of human procreation relies on man-woman-child…”
Matt Walsh: “Yeah…listen to the argument between a conservative and a liberal, and what you’re gonna find is that religion almost always comes into play—someone’s gonna mention the Bible—but, but almost always, it’s the person on the left who’s bringing that into the conversation, because as you point out, that’s the framework they want us to adopt for the argument…They want to pretend that the only reason that we would believe the things that we believe, and say what we’re saying is because we’ve been told by our religion, and we have no reasons outside of that. That of course, that’s totally illogical and it doesn’t make any sense…”
Either your politics aren’t informed by your religion, which you believe in, or you’re performing some kind of mental gymnastics right now.
Pretty much everyone reading this could easily respond to Matt Walsh and Ben Shapiro, saying:
If you have chosen to believe in your faith, then it should be because you have found it to be correct and because it makes sense to you. It should be correct and it should make sense beyond the confines of your religious communities. You should be able to make political arguments that are grounded within the dogma of your faith, even if you don’t quote the Torah or New Testament when making those arguments.
Perhaps they know this but cannot say it because they want to prove the left wrong. Well then, just make better arguments! Explain the benefits of a child having a mother and a father over having two mothers or two fathers; explain the harms of indulging in every sexual desire, etc.
The US system allows for change, for re-definitions. While I am against the current trend of rendering all words somehow both meaningful and meaningless at the same time (e.g., as Walsh has pointed out, the “gender category,” “non-binary,” is a great example of that, as is, being a man, saying you’re a woman, and then having no definition for the term), unlike “woman” and “man,” the term “marriage” is not a biological one. It is sociological.
If you live in a society that allows for societal change based on the will of the majority, then you may have to accept a change in the definition and usage of the term, and a lot of Republicans are doing just that.
This is yet another example of the bounds of the US system. The only reason it took this long to manifest is because people are becoming increasingly less religious.