Marriage, Religion and Society… (And in a roundabout way, another reason why Santorum’s a jackass)

Ugh…I hate social issues.  I would love it if everyone could just keep their personal lives personal and not worry about what other people are doing so long as they’re not hurting anyone.  And while I am quite the civil libertarian in caring about other people’s lives it might have something to do that my personal life could not be more bland and conservative…which may be why I couldn’t care about other people’s lives.

But because of Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber (otherwise known as Obama and Santorum, I’m not sure which is which) and their ilk there will be no end to the discussion of these otherwise stupid topics for weeks if not months….no, no let’s not talk about saving the economy or dealing with absolute evil abroad, birth control and gay marriage is far more important than whether or not there will actually be a first world society in a generation. Far more important.

I’ve dealt with Obama’s overstep of executive authority in the guise of an attack on religious freedom so I guess it is now time to once again take on Santorum.  Of course that’s a whole mess of issues right there.  Well…let’s go to a few quotes:

“Marriage is not about affirming somebody’s love for somebody else. It’s about uniting together to be open to children, to further civilization in our society.”

“Two people who may like each other or may love each other who are same-sex, is that a special relationship? Yes it is, but it is not the same relationship that benefits society like a marriage between a man and a woman[.]“

“The basic building block of a society is not an individual. It’s the family. That’s the basic unit of society.”

“Do they have a right? Should society do their best to make sure that that child has the best opportunity to be raised by that mother and father? The answer is yes.”

…and if you think those quotes have a distinct communist/collectivist call for 1984, Brave New World, or Anthem I wouldn’t blame you.  Really I’m fascinated to hear that marriage has nothing to do with love (makes you wonder what his home life is like…I’ve got an idea let’s see if his wife or daughters ever smile while on camera in a way that isn’t obviously forced to see how happy that home life is.)  So in Rick Santorum’s mind you are here only to have children to propagate society and we give special privileges to these breeders… (It makes you really frightened of his call to TRIPLE the tax credit for children…because in a time when any right thinking conservative wants to lower taxes and CLOSE all loopholes, he wants to open loopholes with a crowbar so as to encourage massive overpopulation because it’s working so well for the third world).   Okay we can agree that Rick Santorum doesn’t have a single neuron firing in that head of his.  But that still doesn’t put the general issue of marriage off the table even if I’m Santorum is lord high king of the idiots.  So let’s talk marriage…

Yes marriage is an important function of society.  Rick is wrong about it being the basis of society, that has always been and always will be the individual…but individuals need human companionship (usually in the form of friendship and marriage, and if they’re one in the same, then you’re blessed).  Now is marriage only for the “uniting together to be open to children, to further civilization in our society”?  Not really.  People were having children and caring for them long before marriage, although marriage does help raising them, certainly, no one would argue that.  But it is not having a mother and father that helps, it’s having two parents that helps (increased income, increased ability for child care, increased experience) and anyone who thinks that gay people make bad parents isn’t just crazy, they’re flying in the face of a boat load of research (Just one example here).  But raising children isn’t the only thing marriage is for.  If Santorum wanted to ever crack a history book (which I don’t think he has ever done given his perverted views on the Founding Fathers view of liberty ) he might learn that property rights have traditionally had far more to do with marriage than children do…but that would require Santorum to care about property rights, which are an individual right and as he has much respect for individual rights as any communist or Asharite.  And while history is filled with moments where society progressed just fine without any strict government rules on marriage I would be foolish to say that marriage isn’t a great support for society.  However if Santorum and his followers think that gay marriage is a danger to marriage, or even if it’s that  relevant in the face of other government hits at marriage, then they’re idiots.

Granted, as I’ve said before, I would like the federal government and all the states to say that marriage is a religious institution and thus strike the term marriage from every law on the books…civil unions for everyone!  It’s up to your church whether to call what you have a marriage or not, not the government.  This has the advantage of A.) not letting government dictate what a religion can do (we’ll come back to this) (social conservatives get what they want) B.) Everyone will be equal (social liberals get what they want) C.)Nobody gets to win (because I hate people who think social issues are a function of government) and D.) Jackasses like Santorum will have to shut up (everybody on the planet wins).  All the legal privileges of the marriage could be easily transferred to these civil unions, but as it lacks the name it lacks the attack on a religious institution that expanding it encompasses.

But I will still admit that marriage, and a two parent family is important to a functioning society. You’d be a damn fool to deny that…but then again both social conservatives and social liberals are damn fools given how they act. Social liberals are idiots for what they’ve already done to weaken those social structures (and I’ll get to that in just a minute) and social conservatives are idiots for fighting a defensive war against gay marriage (which has nothing to do with the strength of the social institution, but it is very visible which suggest that their cause is more cynical demagoguery than heartfelt concern) rather than an offensive war against the liberal policies that actually have done harm to marriage and society.

But back to my statement about liberals actually having done some stuff have actually done to undermine the social institution of marriage (hint gay marriage isn’t going to be anywhere on this list).

Welfare and the Great Society.  Let’s pay unwed mothers money for having children.  That makes sense.  Because every economist from any school, be it Keynesian, Chicago or Austrian, will tell you that when you subsidize a behavior or product you get more of it.  Subsidize unwed children, guess what, you de-incentivize actually getting married or waiting until marriage to have children.  (This would also be tied to my opinion that Rick Santorum’s idea to triple the child tax credit when we have an over population problem is, well, brainless).  Really brain dead is that we pay for anything more than the first pregnancy.  I can see an argument for a safety net to help women who have had an accident, been dumped by the loser who got them pregnant, and need some help…one time is an accident (although I would prefer these to be run by counties and cities…not a distant bureaucracy in states and at the federal level).  But not two times.  And definitely not more than two.

Now if social conservatives really wanted to care about the well being of children and the defense of marriage as a social institution they would once again push for welfare reforms.  One that cut people off after the first pregnancy, ones that vigorously track down deadbeat dads (I wouldn’t mind upping what the minimum monthly payment is and bringing back debtors prison for those who won’t pay).  Or requiring the welfare recipients attend GED or job training to help ensure they get off welfare if they want to continue getting their check.  Or how about this one—we’ll keep track of every dollar you get in welfare payments you get from the government and the minute you start making over let’s say $25,000 a year the government will deduct 1% of your check until you’ve paid back what you took out, interest free because we’re not monsters (and the percentage of your check would go up slightly say 3% at $30,000 so forth and so on) this way no would ever view welfare as a free ride, thus removing many of the incentives for taking it.  But right now I’m hearing more about those evil, evil gays (who seem to be decent parents and no worse as couples than their straight counterparts) as what is ruining marriage.  Yeah couldn’t be the financial incentives against being married when having children.

Oh and speaking of financial incentives, why is that the call to end the marriage penalty at all levels has kind of disappeared?  As I recall the law passed under Bush to end the marriage penalty had a sunset date…isn’t that coming up?  How about this, offer a tax discount for those who get married.  Watch people get married and stay married when there are real financial incentives to do so.  Will some people get married for reasons other than love?  Probably, but how is that different from right now?  If you want to promote something don’t punish it.  But you haven’t heard that from social conservatives, now have you.  Hell, given the fact that children of single parent households have a higher likelihood of committing a crime, then financially incentivizing marriage would probably pay for the reduction in revenue via a drop in paying for imprisonment (among a whole mountain of secondary benefits, that was just the first one that came to me, trust me it would pay for itself ten times over).

I could go on, how Social Security and Medicare encourage people to dump bonds with their parents when they got old rather than bringing them into the household in a more stable extended family, how the government support for the liberal Teacher’s unions worked to destroy parental responsibility in raising their children, and a few other programs…but I think you get the point.  If social conservatives really cared about the state of marriage and the social benefits that the family brings there are things they could be doing that would be incredibly effective in strengthening the social institution.  But they would rather focus on something that has NOTHING to do with the strength of marriage.  (And liberals don’t go feeling self-satisfied about that last sentence, you actually have done some damage to the social institution of marriage, just because the conservatives are idiots and not calling you on it doesn’t make you less guilty.

Now social conservatives will probably come back with some stupid “gay marriage is the straw that will break the camel’s back” kind of argument.  But as we know in this case I think social conservatives are idiots.  If they really cared about the state of marriage and the need of married couple to properly raise children they would be attacking the liberal entitlement culture andnot worrying about what gay people do.

Up next, why the Court decisions on Prop. 8 is actually the last thing the gay community should want because it’s going to hurt them…because the social liberal also need to be hit (with a peppering of insults against the right)

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Economics, Election 2012, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Fear, Free Will, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, God, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Happiness, Laws the GOP should pass, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Problems with the GOP, Rick Santorum, Taxes, Welfare

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