“Marriage is an adventure, like going to war” wrote English philosopher G.K. Chesterton.

Unfortunately, Senate Republicans surrendered the war Tuesday after passing the so-called Respect for Marriage Act. Now that it is evident that the bill will inevitably become federal law, let us take a moment to examine where Republicans went wrong.

Republicans first need to learn what marriage actually is. It is no shocker that Democrats support the redefinition of marriage, but it is an embarrassment for Republicans, our nation’s supposed “conservatives,” to do the same. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman for the procreation and education of children. It cannot be anything else. Marriage is marriage because it implies the complementary nature of men and women, only through which a family can be created. Therefore, the implication that there can be a “gay marriage,” much less a way to legally protect it, is an impossibility. All the law does is enshrine an error about what it means to be human.

Marriage is fundamentally a political action. It is a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, making a statement to God and their community. Within marriage comes duties and obligations to one’s family and larger community. Therefore, arguments for the bill in terms of individual autonomy will not suffice. Not every political act is simply a matter of “consent” or personal definition. What happened to truth? If marriage can be defined as whatever one wants it to be, then there is no such thing as marriage. How a society defines marriage, and all other truths for that matter, has ramifications for all areas of our civilization.

It is also impossible to entirely separate marriage from the state. It has become fashionable for right-liberal Republicans to embrace the position that “the government should leave the issue of marriage alone.” Not only is this impossible, as throughout human history, governments have established procedures for marriage, but also, if Republicans actually believed that, why did they pass a bill over the definition of marriage in the first place? The bill does not “dissolve” the concept of marriage, it does not “send the issue to the states,” but it actually legally recognizes “gay marriage” at the highest level of government.

Furthermore, the bill is not a matter of “religious liberty.” If it was, then Republicans would have passed amendments, for example, that protected the consciences of all individuals and the tax-exempt status of churches that believe in marriage (although the bill is still unacceptable regardless of these provisions). While all politics is religious, not all politics is liberty. The question of marriage is about the truth and Republicans have failed to defend it.

Until recently, the family has been the primary political unit. Now, the family in America has been broken. With the advent of liberalism and its emphasis on the individual, the family has been chipped away piece by piece. Whether it was through the concentration of the “nuclear family,” feminism, contraception, or divorce laws of the 20th Century, marriage has come to mean nothing. It is seen as a mere consensual contract that can be broken at will. Reviving the country requires the revival of the family. Republicans would be wise to support policies that reflect the common good of the family, including the ability to raise a family on a single income, and it should go without saying, federally defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

It is time to go to war for marriage.

William Benson is an undergraduate student at The Catholic University of America pursuing a degree in politics. He serves on the executive board of Catholic University College Republicans and is an editor and contributor at Lone Conservative.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About William Benson

William Benson is an undergraduate student at The Catholic University of America pursuing a degree in politics. He serves on the executive board of Catholic University College Republicans and is an editor and contributor at Lone Conservative.


williamgbenson on Instagram @williamgbenson

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