Time to Privatize Marriage

Time to Privatize Marriage

John Seiler:

Aren’t you sick of the Marriage Wars?

In the latest development a court — who cares which one — upheld the decision of a lower court — who cares which one — that same-sex couples have a “right” to marriage.

But consider this. Governments arrogated to themselves control over marriage only about 175 years ago. Before that, marriage was under the purview of a couple, families and religions or ethical groups.

Since government took over marriage, the divorce rate has shot up to 50 percent. Would you buy a car from a company whose cars crashed half the time?

Here’s a better idea: Privatize marriage. Get government out the marriage business entirely.

If you want to get married, then do so as people used to. Talk to family. Get a preacher. Get hitched.

If you’re an agnostic or an atheist, then get someone from an ethics group to perform the ceremony. Or do it yourselves.

Which reminds me of an old Woody Allen joke, “I did not marry the first girl that I fell in love with, because there was a tremendous religious conflict, at the time. She was an atheist, and I was an agnostic.”

Religions should take the lead. The more conservative religions have led the movement against government imposing same-sex “marriage.” But religions always lose these battles.

What these religions should do is ask their members not register marriages with the government, but only to marry under religious auspices.

Imagine if nobody showed up any more with county clerks to register marriages.

I realize that this could involve some legal complications involving children, estates, etc. Well, work them out within your religion.

And here’s an even more radical idea: Don’t register your kids with the government either. Hatch them in secret. Raise them on your own. Don’t tell the tyrants.

The Jefferson Starship even wrote a song about it, “Child is Coming,” with these lyrics:

A child is coming
A child is coming
A child is coming to you

What are we gonna do when Uncle Samuel comes around
Askin’ for the young one’s name
And lookin’ for the print of his hand for the files in their numbers game
I don’t want his chances for freedom to ever be that slim
Let’s not tell ’em about him.

Instead of trying to control government for our purposes, let’s ignore it — and get rid of it.

Feb. 7, 2012

Here’s a YouTube of “Child is Coming,” from the Starship’s great “Blows Against the Empire” album:

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