I spent some time over the last few days reading through the Marriage Vow, getting an idea of what the Republican candidates are really being asked to sign on to. I found the contradictions to their own statements confusing, and their constant mention of the protection of women and their rights while stating at the same time those are just the rights they deem necessary to be offensive. Now the points are not numbered but to make it easier to follow, let’s go ahead and add that in.
Many of the points start out in a place where, I believe, most people would agree. And then they keep going to add conditions, or end it so it comes across as sexist, racists or homophobic. The main point is to ensure that politicians stand up for what the FAMiLY LEADER sees as the “institution of marriage” (for a fresher on my thoughts on the institution of marriage). We see and hear that phrase all the time, but after reading through the whole Vow, the term seems a little more eerie.
Point number five claims statistical evidence that married people are healthier, live longer, better off financially, etc. I’ve read some different claims – mostly showing that is actually true…for men. Women tend to have the opposite effect. I even wrote about this awhile back! Married men live longer, are healthier and happier than single men. Married women make less money, are not as health, do not live as long, and are not as happy as single women. Go figure!
THE FAMiLY LEADER wants a earnest defense of DOMA. But that’s not all! They want a promise of a federal Marriage Amendment to the constitution stating marriage is only between one man and one woman (see points seven and eight). Sounds like big government.
Point nine starts out great, if not a little odd. We need to protect women and children from human trafficking, sexual slavery and prostitution. Really? I agree! What did I pull out from that statement? We are also to be protected from seduction into promiscuity, all forms of pornography (I’ll come back to this later), and abortion. The tenth point starts out similarly: safeguard military personnel and their families from “inappropriate same-gender or opposite gender sexual harassment”. I think we can all be on board with that. It also requests the prompt termination of those who expose “American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.” Yeah, we can all agree with that. If only there wasn’t the odd statement in the middle of that point about the “comingling of attracteds”.
Point 11 is another one that I will come back to, but for now let’s just say they are requesting the rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-women, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control. I’m not sure exactly how anti-women and anti-human rights the FAMiLY LEADER is, so I take this with a hefty grain of salt.
Point 12 states childrearing and reproduction is important to the U.S. health, economically, strategically, etc. Are we raising an army? Point 13 also looks at the health of the U.S. and American families – which is their reasoning for smaller government, and lowering the debt and cutting the federal budget. Maybe we do need to raise children to help the country economically – so someone can explain why that won’t work in a recession.
We have now reach point 14 – the final point I wish to look at, as well as the final point of the Vow. It requests a fierce defense of the First Amendment’s rights of religious freedom and freedom of speech, “especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy”. Didn’t those last few words coming did you? So, remember I said I get back to two points? Here is it: freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Two things they are adamant a president defend. Bold, and certainly worthy of asking someone to sign on – however when you state previously that you reject Islam and pornography, you contradict yourself. It tells me you only believe in the Freedom of Speech and Religion when it works for you, when you agree with it.
The great thing about this country is that while we disagree with one another, we all have a right to voice our opinions. Declaring your support for those rights while simultaneously saying you want to reject someone’s way of life, or someone’s right to say and print what they want is dangerous. It has happened over and over again by leaders throughout history. What makes us special is that we have powered through those times when rights are tried and tested and still retain them.
This is a frightening vision of what could be, brought to you by those that signed it! Elections matter. Know not just want candidates are saying about the issues, but what they’re signing onto, endorsing and promising to their base.
For an amazing and wholly different and unique perspective on the Marriage Vow, I recommend reading Vyckie Garrison’s piece in RH Reality Check earlier in the week. She sheds light into a world many of us could not imagine.
Originally appeared on Fem2.0