Government has used marriage to control religions for hundreds of years. For just one example, for hundreds of years in England all that was required (still government control of marriage over one's religious views) was that it be performed by an Anglican priest. Then the Marriage Act of 1753 preventing "secret marriages" requiring licenses (government permission) to marry.
Government Take Over In The United States Started Early in Utah
Even tough government control of religion through marriage is centuries if not thousands of years old, Utah is the model example here in the United States.
16 Jan 1879, the Salt Lake Tribune editorialized,
"The Supreme Court... Has now reaffirmed what the... congress assembled in 1862 declared to be their highest view of the marital relations, namely, that marriage is the union of one man with one woman, and that every departure from this straight path of private rectitude and public good is criminal and should be treated as criminal."
Compare that with their editorial of March 28 2014,
"Equality made marriage stronger… The institution (marriage) is strengthened by extending marriage rights."
Though the Tribunes views seem contradictory, they are actually consistent. They have always wanted Government to control the collective "church". In the 1800's for government to control religion, they needed to keep it between one man and one woman. Today for government to control religion, it must change what they define as marriage.
Utah Fought to Keep Government Out of Marriage
Orvando Hollister of the New York Tribune asked President John Taylor,
"Is it not true that marriage is the basis of society, that out of it spring the social relations, obligations and duties with which governments must necessarily concern themselves? And is it not therefore within the legitimate scope of the power of every government to determine whether marriage shall be... Under its dominion?"
John Taylor responded,
"I do not look upon it that way. Now if our marital relations are not religion, what is? …I do not believe that the Supreme Court of the United States nor the Congress of the United States has any right to interfere." -History of Utah, John Taylor Papers, 2:32-33
Marriage is strictly a religious institution, government having no just claim to authority over it.
Submission to the State
"Marriage equality" has shown only to be good for the would be tyrants when it comes by the force of government. In the 1800's the cry was "either the Church will have to surrender or the government will." The federally imposed "Governor" even going so far as suggesting that the Church's role in these matters "should be abolished"
Today in the Orwellian name of "equality," government seeks to shut religious freedom down, using marriage as the issue, yet again.
In December of 2013 a federal court, under its pretended authority over marriage, once again used its dictatorial authority to force someone (against their religious liberty) to submit to the states jurisdiction over THE religious institution of marriage, forcing a merchant "to surrender" against their religious conviction. Tyrants rarely cede power, and in the case of its control over religion, the god of this world, holds particularly tight to its' property.
Under the Edmunds-Tucker act, all marriages were now to be registered with the government, something previously left to religious organizations, and today in the effort to free marriage from religion completely, people are being forced to not only refrain from acting according to their religious belief, but to actually act contrary to it.
Government officials seeking legislation controlling the religious institution of marriage admit that their goal is to take over religion,
“The purpose of the bill was to wrest from the hands of the priesthood the political power which it had so long wrongfully usurped and shamefully abused.” (Utah state representative Robert Newton Baskin, Reminiscences of early Utah, 1914, page 184)
State Attack on Religion, NOT a Religious Attack on Others
A leader in a prominent Utah denomination, Lance Wickman, explained,
"Let me just add to that, if I may. It’s not the Church that has made the issue of marriage a matter of federal law. Those who are vigorously advocating for something called same-gender marriage have essentially put that potato on the fork. They’re the ones who have created a situation whereby the law of the land, one way or the other, is going to address this issue of marriage. This is not a situation where the Church has elected to take the matter into the legal arena or into the political arena. It’s already there."
Now, on the 26th of June 2015, the US Supreme Court has mandated that every state in the nation MUST issue licences to a new group of people (homosexuals) while still forcing the states not to issue government permission to other groups.
The tax status of church organizations throughout the country puts them at risk of revocation of their tax exempt status. This effects religious institutions in two ways,
- A new financial burden in paying the government taxes on revenue generated by tithing and other free will offerings.
- Tithing and other offerings would cease to be tax deductible, which might cause major donors to rethink where donations will go that will be provide more advantage to them financially.
Some are concerned it would hamper the ability of the Church to care for the poor and needy, shifting the burden again to tax payers, again giving the government more power the lives of the people.
This same concern has spilled over to what many feel is the more likely outcome, that religious institutions will feel forced to capitulate and comply with government regulation.
Religious schools would be affected as well. They are forced to comply with IRS code, which states (and could be extended to sexual orientation),
"Private schools must keep records that show that they have complied with requirements relating to... non-discrimination"
Justice Kennedy's assurance in Friday's ruling that,
"the First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.”
Falls flat with a similar assurance given to the people of Utah in 1882,
“What [do I] care as to the belief of those who regard Joe Smith as a prophet? Those who believe so are entitled to their belief. Their right to that belief, [I] would defend, if necessary, but obedience to law is required, and the exercise of temporal power by ecclesiastical authority, in the least degree, will no longer be tolerated.” (Governor Eli H. Murray, “The Crisis in Utah”, North American review, April 1882 pg. 346)