Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Marriage Vow and the Tea Party

I am often asked what I think of the “Tea Party” movement, and over the course of a few years, I have not been able to come up with an answer. Today I read The Marriage Vow signed by Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, supposed Tea Party favorites, and I have even less of a sense of this movement. There are so many peculiar things involved in this pledge, and it is so far reaching, that it truly boggles the mind. Sure, there is a token notion of deficit reduction, but the high handed moralizing instantly turns me off. We must never allow women in the military to hold an equal combat role, get people birthing babies at an accelerated rate, “protect” women from all the moral dangers of the world, outlaw pornography everywhere, make sure everyone stays in a monogamous married relationship, make divorce as hard as possible, ensure that religious protests over marriage and morality have their First Amendment rights especially protected (seemingly over others if you look at the porno provision), interfere with the concepts of Federalism by enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act, and of course, stuff all the gays back in the closet. If any or all of this is the Tea Party, I have no use for it. I wish to limit the power of the State, and most all of these provisions would need an incredible expansion of Federal power. How exactly does the Federal government monitor every pregnancy in the country to ensure that they are all properly carried to term? Do we hand out Federal life sentences for anyone performing an abortion (which of course would go underground into some seedy and dangerous practice)? And how exactly does being gay affect anyone else? If you remove the religious morality argument, what else do you have? There are many in this arena who throw out the phrase “Christian Nation”, Bachmann included, and that the concept of separation of church and state has no validity. I do not have the inclination at the moment to properly lambaste this, but I will leave it with this practical observation: If you ration out that as a majority of the moment you can legislate “Christian Morality” upon the people, what happens to this precedent when you are no longer the majority? When the Irish came to this country in the 1840’s, they were ostracized by the “natives.” They were seen as strange, many of them speaking a different language, with peculiar customs and practices, and most dangerous of all “papists.” They were discriminated against and fought to prosper for years. Eventually though, they became a majority in many areas, and through the power of the ballot box became the people in charge. Did they learn from this struggle that there is danger in not accepting new people into the American fold? Not really. When they were the majority, they treated the new Italian immigrants in a similar fashion. The Italians then struggled and increased their numbers until the ballot box provided them the power, and they could treat new immigrant groups shabbily, and so on and so on. What happens then if these “proper” Christians are no longer the majority? You have now set the table for the new group to start imposing their concept of morality on the entirety of the people. Wouldn’t it be better for all to leave the question of religious morality out of the equation? I would like to live in a country where my neighbor to the right can be an evangelical Christian, my neighbor to the left, a Shia Muslim, and me in the middle doing what I do, and despite that all three of us would quickly, and if necessary violently, jump to action if the State attempted to stop the neighbor across the street from praising the old Norse Gods or passing out a pamphlet saying religion was bunk. Enforcing a particular world view can only divide people, and it will do nothing to solve a $14 Trillion debt.
August 26th Update: Now Rick Perry has signed on to this ridiculous notion, so much for the 10th Amendment


  1. That’s right! Suck on that you evil, nation wrecking tea party philistines!