Marriage is a Religious Issue and Civil Issue

Marriage is both a religous and civil issue. 

An article in Catholic News Agency recently reported that:

Doug Kmiec, a prominent Catholic who backed Barack Obama’s presidential bid, has endorsed replacing marriage with a neutral “civil license,” a proposal law professor Robert P. George called a “terrible idea” that would make the government neglect a vital social institution.

Speaking to, Pepperdine University law professor Doug Kmiec said that although his solution to disputes over the definition of marriage might be “awkward,” it would “untie the state from this problem” by creating a new terminology that would apply to everyone, homosexual or not. “Call it a ‘civil license’,” he said.

“The net effect of that, would be to turn over—quite appropriately, it seems to me, the concept of marriage to churches and a church understanding,” he said.

Sadly, even some republicans are agreeing with Mr. Kmiec, which will ensure the Republican Party will continue to lose elections. What Mr. Kmiec and many republicans do not understand is that marriage is both a religious and civil law issue. 

God created family government, civil government, and church government and he intended for them to have different areas of responsibility while also working in harmony with one another. Jesus, in Matthew 22 says that we are to render unto Caesars what is Caesars and unto God that which is God’s. Many believe that Jesus is only referring to taxes but in fact, Jesus is also stating that there are responsibilities that belong to government and to the church and His ideal plan is that they are not to work in opposition with one another.   

Oliver Ellsworth who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court clearly reveals that one main reason for the institution of government is the promotion of morality. “The primary objects of government are peace, order, and prosperity of society. ..To the promotion of these objects, particularly in a republican government, good morals are essential. Institutions for the promotion of  good morals are therefore objects of legislative provision and support: among these…religious institutions are eminently useful and important…The legislature, charged with the great interests of the community, may, and ought to countenance, aid and protect religious institutions-institutions wisely calculated to direct men to the performance of all the duties arising from their connection with each other, and to prevent or repress those evils which flow from unrestrained passion.” 

In thinking and researching this issue, I have come up with ten reasons why marriage must remain as one man and one woman and must remain as a civil law and religious institution. 

1.    God sees marriage as a life-long commitment or contract. God clearly states that He hates divorce. A certificate of divorce was granted to couples by Moses under certain circumstances. Notice that the one granting this was Moses who was the civil leader, not Aaron who was the High Priest. Thus further revealing that marriage is a civil and religious institution. (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) 

2.    America was founded as a constitutional republic and thus is not to go against the laws of God. 

3.    The founders loved freedom and wanted as little government as possible and thus people had to be self-governed. The founders saw marriage as an institution where people were self-governed in choosing who they married instead of arranged marriages as in the Old Country. The founder’s saw the family as the institution that was to raise up self-governed children who would be self-governed adults and leaders of the republic. James Wilson, a member of the Constitutional Congress and later Supreme Court justice wrote in 1790 that “to the institution of marriage the true origin of society must be traced.” The founders saw the family as the building block and strength of the nation and the preservation of its freedoms under limited government and expansive self-governing. John Adams wrote, “The foundations of national morality must be laid in private families.” 

4.    Marriage is a vow before God but it is also a covenant or contract to which is tied, children, property rights and inheritance and thus marriage is both a religious and civil law institution. 

5.    In the late 1960s divorce laws become very liberal and divorce was very easily obtained. The drastic increase in divorce began to break-down the strength, respect and permanency of the covenant or contract of marriage in the civil arena.  No fault-divorce made divorce fast, and allowed people to divorce without admitting fault or accepting responsibility.  

6.    In 1972 in the Stanley v. Illinois case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that custody laws that distinguished between married and unmarried fathers was “constitutionally repugnant.” Fathers would be given the same rights and face no consequences for fathering a child outside of the covenant and contract of marriage. Thus, one of the main reasons for entering into the religious and civil covenant and contract of marriage was removed. Those who were married and those who were not married where given the same respect and legal standing. 

7.    Divorce and illegitimacy greatly destroyed the institution of the family that was to be the incubator for creating and nurturing self-governed offspring that would maintain and safeguard the republic. 

8.    The post-modern belief of “freedom” being the right to do whatever works for you and makes you happen has actually destroyed our country. The founders saw freedom as the right to life, liberty and property as a by-product of fulfilling one’s responsibility to the laws of the Divine. In other words, they did not believe in all the rights without any of the responsibilities. 

9.    With the rise of divorce and illegitimacy among heterosexuals and particularly the church, we have weakened the commitment that marriage is about producing offspring. Thus, we have played right into the hands of the homosexual community that use the high divorce and illegitimacy rate to say that marriage has nothing to do with children. 

10.    The cultural Marxists have used the civil law and courts to encourage the destruction of the family, fathers, and rise of the welfare-nanny state. The high rates of divorce and illegitimacy has been the leading cause of generational poverty, the underclass, discrimination, and the rise of the welfare state. 


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