Alan Keyes on Marriage

In an email this past summer, my dear friend and mentor Alan Keyes gives a constitutional lesson on why the government mandates biblical marriage. In light of the Kim Davis jailing, I thought my readers would find Alan's words enlightening:

It saddens me that so many people who profess to be Christian and conservative display so little understanding of the premises of just government the United States is founded upon.  In particular, they have no understanding of the meaning of “unalienable right”, and the principle that securing that species of right is the reason government exists.

An unalienable right is exactly what the words imply- an action or activity that accords with the decisions God made about the way we are supposed to be (keeping in mind that this refers also to our behavior, the ongoing activity of our existence) when He created humanity.  The Declaration is clear that right is endowed (filled with its substance) by God.  His will, therefore, is the standard for right.

God’s first instruction, programmed into our nature is: Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it..”

Marriage is a God-endowed natural institution, provided for by the differently informed appearance of man and woman. The Bible portrays God’s institution of that difference as the occasion on which Adam became conscious of the being like himself in nature- i.e., he displayed the distinctive feature of our understanding we call “self-consciousness.”  Aside from its consequences for human moral responsibility and association, this is the basis for the conscious recognition of our belongings, which we see when Adam describes the woman as “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh”.

I follow this train of thought in order to point out that a) pro-creation is God’s primordial rule for human nature, first in order of time as portrayed in the Bible. b) As it secures the perpetuation of the species, according to God’s will, procreation exactly fits the paradigm of natural, unalienable right- i.e., behavior in accordance with God’s will for the good of humanity, in particular and as a whole. c) marriage is the institution established by the consensual choice of a man and a woman to act in accordance with God’s rule, i.e., exercise the right action it prescribes. d) the founding principle that government is instituted to secure unalienable rights therefore requires that government recognize and safeguard the institution of marriage and its consequences, including of course the authority and responsibilities associated with child-rearing.

Once we see this, we realize that it’s contrary to the fundamental premise of rights for governments in the U.S., at any level, to endanger the heterosexual, marriage based family.  The right actions family life by nature entails are self-evidently among the rights retained by the people, which the Constitution’s 9th Amendment forbids the U.S. government to deny or disparage in any construction of the enumerated rights the Constitution contains. (i.e., no right arrived at by construction of the enumerated rights can be used as an excuse to deny or disparage such retained rights.)

Two things follow from this reasoning: a) As such, all just governments must respect the unalienable rights involved in the institution of marriage, and the family life derived from it; b) in particular, the constitutional government of the United States is prohibited from denying or disparaging those rights.

Note well- This involves a positive obligation of government.  If it fails to carry out this obligation, it is no longer just and lawful government.

Thus, in principle, government in the United States can’t simply get out of its responsibility toward the heterosexual marriage based family.  Moreover, it doesn’t take much imagination to see the chaos that must result if we adopt the specious notion that family is whatever people say it is, i.e., has no authoritative natural form or basis.  Just as it is now asserted that Bruce Jenner is a woman according to his own will, so it will be asserted that my children belong to whoever has the will to claim them, and the power to back it up.  Think this through, and it becomes clear that the eventual result is the assertion that all children belong first of all to whole community, represented by the state, which must in any case decide who shall resolve disputes over responsibility for their care and upbringing.

Many so-called conservatives fail even to embark upon the thinking required to see these totalitarian consequences because they have blithely accepted the self-evidently false notion that right and freedom are synonymous.  Every unalienable right involves the freedom to act (on account of the permission of the ultimate sovereign, the Creator, God).  But not every exercise of freedom can claim the name of right. In particular no action that impairs/violates right as God endowed it, can claim that title.

Thus, the issue at stake in the marriage debate is the nature of unalienable right, and the security and care government is obliged to show for rights that correspond to it.  So when the GOP quislings surrender to the USSC’s abuse of judicial power, when they acquiesce in the fabrication of homosexual rights that deny and disparage the unalienable rights of God-endowed family, what they do is not just about sexuality, marriage, or “how people love one another”.  It’s about either preserving, in reason and policy, the foundation of right, rights, justice and true liberty- or letting a depraved but powerful clique destroy that foundation so that constitutional government of, by and for the people, is effectively overthrown.

The choice isn’t between Republicans and Democrats.  It’s between preserving the Republic and letting it be destroyed.  If being a loyal Republican requires that we passively accept complicity in its destruction, how can anyone pretend that this is pragmatism?  Some years ago people had some excuse for not seeing that the destruction of our constitutional liberty is already so far advanced it may be irretrievable.  Faced with the bipartisan implementation of polices (Obamacare, the trade package, homosexual marriage) that openly institute the tyranny intended to replace true liberty, “pragmatism” becomes just a paltry excuse for surrendering to fear and helplessness.  With hearts like that, the United States would never have existed.  With hearts like that, it must cease (and is already ceasing) to exist.

Better, as Adams opined, to give all in the seemingly outmatched cause of justice, than to live, and see posterity live, as slaves to a regime of unnatural, God-rejecting lies where justice is subsumed, and conscience suppressed, by the abusive idolatry of material power.

Alan Keyes
June 18, 2015
Loyal To Liberty