Friday, November 05, 2004

Shrink the Government

I liked this piece I saw on DailyKos:

"The Baptist southern presidential candidate should start a campaign to get the goddamn Federal government out of the marriage business. It has to be framed that way. Marriage should be a faith-based institution and we should turn it over to the churches. If someone doesn't want to be married in a church, then the Federal government can offer them a legal civil contract (this is a better name for it than civil union). That's not a marriage and the candidate could solemnly observe that they are taking their salvation in their own hands if they go that route, but that is their business. But marriage is sacred and the churches should be in charge of it."
I heard a Baptist Minister on the Al Franken show say pretty much the same thing. It makes sense to make marriage and civil contracts seperate things. Some European countries have civil contracts separate from church marriages (though we may want to keep that quiet, given how much this country values Europe). First you get the contract, and then if you want, you go to the church to get married. This way, even the language is separate. I think it is an elegant solution, and if it is sold as getting the government out of marriage then it might just work.
It may work better once we actually have Democrats in power though. Right now, those religious conservatives have very little to fear from the spectre of government. It's the rest of us that are scared. -- Democrats, the party of small government??

UPDATE: Just found this relevant article on Salon. The Dems definitely need to get back to civil rights roots, and take back the language of empowering the people.