Should Those Who Support Limited Government Also Support Traditional Marriage?

The answer is yes, according to the latest argument posted at Discussing Marriage. Check out the full article here:

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Revising the Libertarian Understanding of Marriage

I think that many Latter-day Saint libertarians have fundamentally misunderstood marriage. As a libertarian this refers to me — I once thought of marriage as a civil contract, and I once supported the position that the government should remove itself completely from marriage. This is the way libertarians have often thought about the issue:

We should take all of the legal benefits and obligations of marriage (survivorship, duty to fidelity, duty of care and support, autonomy in family affairs, etc.) and unbundle them from the idea of “marriage.” Marriage would then be a solely religious commitment that has no legal consequences or implications whatsoever (any more than baptism does). Couples who marry could privately contract with each other (via a civil union) for the legal entitlements that marriage usually entails. Judges could not enforce any such obligations unless the partners explicitly consented to them by contract. Such civil unions or private contracts would be available to anyone who so wanted to commit themselves, be they man and woman, man and man, sisters, roommates, best friends, etc.

At least, that was the general idea. I bought into it for a long while. Not anymore. Continue reading

The Law of Chastity Is Not Changing

Note: In this article, I’m not talking about any specific political measure, on which there is always room for some disagreement. I’m talking about the law of chastity, which holds that sexual activity is only appropriate between a man and a woman, lawfully married as husband and wife.

In the aftermath of this past General Conference, I’m surprised that I’m still hearing members argue that Church’s doctrine regarding chastity is wrong, and that it will eventually change to accommodate same-sex relationships. Here, for example, are two  actual quotes from various places on the internet: “I don’t feel the spirit about what Elder Oaks says,” and “I feel peaceful when I say Oaks is wrong.” Someone else posted on their Facebook page, “Oaks fail.” Another has written an entire response to Elder Oaks’ talk, suggesting that his talk — and the Church’s doctrine on sexuality — is hurtful and probably wrong. Another self-proclaimed active Latter-day Saint has posted this online. Still others have pulled out the Church’s statement: “Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church.” They have used this statement as evidence that we can just dismiss Elder Oaks’ teachings about the law of chastity as a personal, well-considered opinion, but not officially binding on members of the Church. Continue reading

Responding to Heresy and Apostasy

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about diversity. We believe that we can celebrate diversity, and that there is room in this Church for everyone. And we mean that when we say it. President Uchtdorf, for two conferences in a row, has talked about the importance of diversity in the Church. He highlighted the fact that we need everyone, no matter their differences. I love his remarks and think that he is absolutely, one-hundred percent right.

As wonderful as diversity is, I think that we sometimes misuse President Uchtdorf’s remarks in ways that he did not intend. President Uchtdorf, for example, was certainly not saying that the Church should celebrate all diversities in opinion and belief amongst its members. This past General Conference, for example, made it quite clear that Latter-day Saints should not and indeed cannot condone same-sex relationships as moral. Yet I’ve seen bloggers use President Uchtdorf’s remarks as if they somehow vindicated those who clearly contradict established Church teachings in just these sorts of ways. That is, I’ve seen people act as if President Uchtdorf just signed off on their errant views on sexuality. This is just one example. Continue reading