In response to the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, mainstream conservatives are left wondering what to do, now that their definition of marriage isn’t in vogue with our wise overlords.
Ryan Anderson at the Heritage Foundation provides some solutions in his article “After Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling, How We Can Protect Freedom for Everyone,” including another piece of federal legislation.
Sadly, not one of those he mentioned in the article involved abolishing state marriage licenses as well as discriminatory practices by governments in regards to people’s marital status. Nor does it center around the concept of private property rights and how people have the right to discriminate in regards to how they use it (he has written a book I have yet to read that might advocate these solutions, but it is unlikely; if it had, wouldn’t he have mentioned them in the column?). He operates within the very narrow range of political opinion that does not address the main causes, chief of which is state intervention into social institutions.
Conservatives need to realize that they are fighting a losing battle in the political arena; they are trying to protect their rights at the expense of other people’s freedom. Their zero-sum game approach is how they got to this point (among other things), because it is unjustifiable. Their only hope to protect their rights is to reduce the power of the state for all parties involved, rather than try to harness it for their own ends.
It is without irony that Anderson advocates the passage of a proposed First Amendment Defense Act. If the courts and the feds won’t respect or adhere to the First Amendment right now, how is a law going to change that? They’ll ignore it, too, or the Supreme Court will interpret it to mean whatever allows them to do what they want.
The problem isn’t that the feds don’t have the proper tools to protect people’s rights. It’s that they have the power to violate it when they please. Giving them more presumed power, which they can use at their discretion, is only going to exacerbate the underlying issues.
One quote in particular caught my attention (bold emphasis added).
America is in a time of transition. The court has redefined marriage, and beliefs about human sexuality are changing. Will the right to dissent be protected? Will our right to speak and act in accord with what Americans had always believed about marriage—that it’s a union of husband and wife—be tolerated?
The courts are able to redefine marriage because Americans continue to believe the state has the authority to decide what it is. They do not want the state to lose this authority because it deprives them of the opportunity to dictate social policies, whether it be enforcing a liberal, progressive agenda or a social/traditional conservative one. The inevitable result of this paradigm of thinking will be continued conflict and political strife.
Proposals that have us tinkering with the requirements of government marriage licenses or fine-tuning the authority of the federal government is akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.