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Joseph: An Enduring Truth About Children Is Being Swept Away

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We need a Respect for Children Act.

We do not need a fake Respect for Marriage Act. This disgraceful act schemes to replace our Constitution’s “ordered liberty” with disordered license. It ignores and disrespects the natural law rights of children to know and be raised, as far as possible, by their own mothers and fathers.

We need to return to respecting marriage first and foremost as a time-honored legal institution for protecting children through limiting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. This respect is consistent with our Constitution, for it is “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition” and is an “essential component” of ordered liberty (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 2022).

The Constitution is not a selfish document. It is based on the longstanding recognition of the common law obligation that calls for ordered liberty, which sets limits and defines the boundary between competing interests.

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Way back in 1890, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field explained, “The possession and enjoyment of all rights are subject to such reasonable conditions as may be deemed by the governing authority of the country essential to the safety, health, peace, good order and morals of the community. Even liberty itself, the greatest of all rights, is not unrestricted license to act according to one’s own will.”

The move to destabilize marriage by extending it to same-sex partners threatens to undermine the natural integrity of our families and the natural responsibilities we all owe to our children. The new act is dedicated to legitimizing and legalizing a new kind of marriage that endorses ultimately the de-mothering or de-fathering of many children.

Tragically, too many of our youngest human beings are being deliberately separated from their natural family, from their own mothers and fathers.

The fact that a same-sex couple may love and want children does not erase the inhumanity of depriving a child of either a father or a mother and often, in the case of surrogacy or sperm donor arrangements, deliberately separating them from a natural parent without due cause.

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The Senate must not be taken in by this rogue movement set on changing the very meaning of marriage. The so-called Respect for Marriage Act, so hastily passed by the House of Representatives, trashes one of the original purposes and responsibilities of marriage.

Seven years ago, the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges eroded marriage to expand to the state an improper interest in supporting any intimate relationship between any two persons as the primary purpose of marriage.

Seven years of same-sex “marriage” propaganda has worked a treat in getting so many of our politicians to get used to the new arrangements. Just so throughout history have morally slack politicians caved into new evils as careless acceptance proliferated.

This act has been rushed through the House as a block to the possible overturning of Obergefell by the Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade. Unfortunately, the act’s euphemisms have cunningly fooled a majority in the House. Their embrace of new ideological marriage dogma intent on rearranging the human race is rationalized.

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The act confuses “securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity” (one of the stated purposes of the Constitution) with an all-purpose, wide-ranging, atomistic “liberty” lacking sensible qualifications concerning our duties to protect our children’s natural family heritage.

If passed in the Senate, the act will require every state to promote marriage as an egotism à deux relegating the best interests of children to an optional attachment.

Uncritical embrace of new ideology

Endorsement of such an exclusive, immoderate and selfish liberty, however, is not found anywhere in the Constitution. Such radical novelty is not “consonant with the common sense of mankind and the maxims of eternal justice,” a principle affirmed by Justice Joseph Story (Terrett v. Taylor, 1815).

The impulse to revolutionize the natural institution of marriage is mere ideological nonsense; it fails both the common sense test and the eternal justice maxims at the heart of the Constitution.

The legal endorsement of same-sex “marriage” is an ill-considered aberration that has emerged from the excesses of the recent sexual revolution. It exhibits the hallmarks of all extreme ideologies — a noisy excitability that flouts rationality and an arrogance that overrides the common sense of mankind.

The enduring truth that children need both a mother and a father has been swept away. The spurious dogma that two mothers or two fathers are just as good or even better for children has swept the world with its novelty and has been peddled with an excessive, quasi-religious zeal.

As with previous extreme ideologies, there is no shortage of academics willing to compromise their intellectual integrity for the cause. They produce pseudo-scientific research papers that endorse favored new dogma, relying on anecdotes and rhetoric rather than random sample selection and credible long-term statistical rigor and analysis.

Constitutional protections for our posterity

The state’s proper interest in marriage has always been to ensure a stable, ordered society looking out for the well-being of innately vulnerable children. Sadly, this legitimate interest is being diverted away from children.

The states (and the courts) are increasingly being importuned by irresponsible adults who are primarily focused on themselves and have grown careless of our posterity and the general welfare recognized and protected by the Constitution.

The drastic disrespect concealed in the Respect for Marriage Act consists in revoking the age-old principle of putting the best interests of children first.

Our constitutional commitments to our posterity and the general welfare are being undermined as the adult individual’s liberty is grossly inflated and endorsed by flawed Supreme Court decisions like Obergefell. To our shame, public and private duties towards our posterity have been permitted to shrivel.

We really do need a Respect for Children Act!

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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