Friday, January 31, 2014

Jack Hunter on Gay Marriage and Conservatism: My Thoughts

For those who don't know, Jack Hunter is a conservative libertarian commentator, editor of The Southern Avenger (which is offline as of now), and a supporter of Ron Paul and Rand Paul (to whom he was an aide). He has written much on neoconservatism, conservatism, Ron Paul and libertarianism, as well as other stuff. While I may share my disagreements with him (like his support for Rand Paul's endorsing of Mitt Romney), he is still an interesting commenter that I find worthwile. You can see his more recent columns at the archive I link here.

Now, let's get to the real meat of the issue.

Jack Hunter has just written an article entitled "How obsessing over gay marriage has grown government."  He argues that the conservative view toward government should include a support for government separation from the marriage issue, citing many conservatives who support the right of same-sex marriage (some by supporting government getting out of marriage and others advocating that gays share in the government benefits given to married couples).

I think that his article is overall worth reading and is excellent.

However, I would like to share some comments on his article which I think will make things clearer.

First things first, let's start.

First, he notes to many different conservatives that are now deviating from the standard right-wing opposition to same-sex marriage. And as to whether it is encouraging or discouraging, I am mixed on this; while I am in support of the freedom of two individuals to get together and "marry" (even if that includes gays and whoever), I am also not in favor of giving them tax benefits (though some libertarians make pretty strong arguments for allowing gays to recognized the same way the state recognizes heterosexual marriages until the State is abolished and the libertarian society is ushered). For example, I take the view that the State should not take any position on this, and that it should stay out of it.

Second, he notes that the Right's focus on the same-sex marriage issue is a hindrance to the alleged conservative goal of "small government." Then he shows how Bush and Karl Rove manipulated conservatives who would have stayed home otherwise into voting for Bush with the promise of a federal ban on gay marriage.

My perspective is that when a government leader gets unpopular with a certain voting bloc, then that leader will use a hot-button issue to manipulate the voting bloc into supporting the leader, and that issue may either be terrorism, drugs, same-sex marriage, low wages, foreign issues or almost any other matter. In this case, George W. Bush, who doubled the Department of Education and increased the size of government and the national debt, managed to get conservatives into supporting him because of the promise of government's fighting of same-sex marriage. But alas, Bush was still the same big-government person that was elected into office before; despite some tax "cuts" here and there, the spending and budget increased even more.

Then we go on with an analysis of the arch-conservative Senator Rick Santorum, who was famous for a while in conservative Christian and Catholic circles. He was known for his belief in the use of government to promote morality, especially with regard to abortion and sexual morality. But many libertarians and libertarian Christians called him out for his defense of the use of violence (that is what government action ultimately is) to stop vice, and Judge Andrew Napolitano and Tom Mullen, two famous libertarian writers and commentators, were among the forefront of libertarians who looked at Rick Santorum from the proper perspective (in my opinion).

For what Rick Santorum and conservatives seem to fail to recognize is that when a moral action cannot be chosen freely but rather compelled through the preventative intervention between an immoral but voluntary exchange, then a moral action cannot be truly free.

And we finally get to the issue of how same-sex marriage is used to distract from the real issues with our government. While it is true that sin is an issue and should be dealt with, I will note that sin should not be accepted and celebrated; but that does not mean that the force of government should be used to crack down on sin, for mere sins like illegitimate "marriages", sexual immorality, drug usage, alcoholism and other things should not be banned in the same way that murder, theft or fraud is banned; for they are not in the same league as aggression against the rights of others.

So then, how do we deal with such sins when the use of government force is forbidden from cracking down on them? We can do these things: spread the Gospel (Matthew 28:19), apply it to all walks of life (2 Timothy 3:16), use the power of persuasion instead of government to lead many to Christ, and reject the use of force to prevent such sins from occuring.

And we ought not to let the issue of same-sex marriage distract us from opposing the big-government welfare-warfare state that has been wrought upon us.

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