|Image courtesy of Tufts University|
I received an email this morning from a good man who forwarded an article from the Family Research Council. It was about two female cadets at West Point who were married in chapel in defiance of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that was passed into law. I felt compelled to address the issue myself although I am certain that it will not be well received by either side in this ongoing debate.
Back in September, 2011, I wrote a blog post (Marriage: Is It Legal or Lawful?) because the DOMA was being hotly contested in the media. I felt it was necessary to separate the issues at hand into their respective parts. Namely, the legal license that binds two individuals in a contract (civil union) and the ceremony of marriage, which is a religious institution, which is protected by law.
I also posted “Media Hype Aside: Ron Paul Stands Out!” where Dr. Paul articulates the need to remove “gay” preceding “rights” as all individuals enjoy equal rights, regardless of sexual preference. To grant rights to any group above the rights of others is not provided for in the Constitution.
The difference in not always obvious since the legal document called a marriage license is merely a contractual agreement for legal purposes, such as power of attorney when one party is unable to make decisions for themselves, and the other party therefore is granted the right to make decisions for the other. Just as a parent has legal power of attorney for a minor child, so does a license of marriage give the same power for their spouse or partner.
But the institution of marriage itself, the ceremony if you will, is particular to the religious faith of the two parties to be joined. After all, does not the ceremony state, “in the holy bonds of matrimony?” There is nothing “holy” in legal or lawful contracts between two parties.
So once again I am drawing attention to the post mentioned (Marriage: Is It Legal or Lawful?) since the question of whether or not West Point was correct in allowing these two women to be joined in marriage. Since the Constitution makes it explicitly clear that no particular religion can be chosen as the religion of the government, in also implies that all faiths must be treated with equal respect and reverence.
In times of war there were many soldiers who were of different faiths, and while the chaplains of the military may have been predominantly Christians, be no means were other religions made less significant by those chaplains.
While we may all have our convictions of what is right and wrong, and what is permissible based on religious doctrine, our nation was created on principles of liberty, and regardless of our personal beliefs, we must therefore accept the fact that there are others who will not always agree with our own religious practices.
It seems obvious that by prejudice against others of different beliefs we have become the Divided States of America, and that is a dangerous precedence to set when We the People must stand united when high crimes and treason are the main issues that are eroding our freedoms and nation.