Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Same-Sex “Marriage” & the Totalitarian Notion of Civil Authority

When Lynne Featherstone, the Junior Home Office Minister, announced in March 2012 the intention of the British government to introduce into Parliament a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, she laid out how the anticipated debate might be conducted. She said that, by way of a consultation process, everyone was welcome to air his own opinion on the issue. It did not matter whether a person was in favor of the reform or opposed to it, as long as all agree that the state has the power to pass such a law.

Now, it seems to me that this is precisely where the misconception over the whole matter begins. The fact is that the state simply does not have that power. In essence, the debate about same-sex marriage is characterized not only by widespread confusion over the nature of marriage; it is also marked by confusion over the nature of the state and civil power.

The family built upon marriage, and not upon the individual, is the basic unit of society. In fact, each family is a miniature society — analogous to a miniature state — out of which the larger political community is constructed. This is more than a theory; it is an historical fact: A country like Scotland is built upon the MacDonalds, the MacIntyres, the Robertsons, and so on.

As G.K. Chesterton pointed out in The Superstition of Divorce, it is no coincidence that totalitarian regimes typically seek to weaken both the Church and marriage. The reason is precisely because both of these institutions claim to be independent societies with their own constitutions. Since they exist within the same territory as the state, from the perspective of a tyrant, they obstruct the extension of his own absolute authority.  (more...)

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