Following Up on Marriage and Life

 

Great discussion on marriage and life over the weekend. Thank you for such a thoughtful exchange of ideas. Here are some responses to some of your questions and comments.

Peter Robinson wrote,

“Marriage…creates and sustains not only children but civilization itself.”

Beautifully put, Senator.

Welcome to Ricochet–and although this site hasn’t endorsed a candidate, I think we all agree that this is a better race for your presence in it.

Peter, thanks!  This means a lot to me.  So many people hungry for principled leadership.  I’m really humbled and honored by your kind words.

Chris Deleon wrote,

The problematic assumption underlying the shift in attitudes about marriage in our society is that marriage is for the happiness of the couple.  This is where our very self-centered culture has arrived.

While that is one of the purposes, ultimately the real purpose is deeper.  Marriage is about creating and nurturing children, and about fostering the self-sacrificial, long-term commitment and relationships needed to do so.

Societally, there is no other compelling reason to acknowledge and encourage marriages.  If it were all about happiness, people should be encouraged to do whatever they please and whatever makes them happy.

But because sex has these pesky (from the self-centered point of view) little side effects called children that must be cared for by someone, society has an interest in making sure those who create children are ready and committed enough to care for them.

As I’ve said before, all other issues hinge on these social issues.  You want to see dysfunction and national debt go through the roof (as they already are)?  Teach people to do whatever feels good, and throw the consequences upon the public.

Chris, we humans find it easy to act in ways that fail our high ideals of love, that’s for sure (1 Corinthians 13) but thankfully “with God all things are possible.”  No marriage can survive without a willingness to sacrifice for one another, for our children, and it sure helps to have God in the mix. Appreciate your support for marriage.

Tommy De Seno wrote,

If same sex marriage becomes licensed by the state, will there be more same sex marriages than there are currently same sex relationships?

Tommy, Gee, I’m not sure.  I don’t think that’s the main question.  Other questions loom larger for me such as: Will children be educated in public schools that traditional views of marriage are just bigotry to be discarded, if same-sex marriage becomes the law? Yes, for sure.  The point is that the meaning of marriage will change for everyone–to the extent government can influence our views, and supporters of traditional Christian and Judeo-Christian views on marriage will be treated by government the way we treat racists now. 

Don’t believe me?  Check out this warning from a large group of interfaith religious leaders.

Many religious liberty scholars are expressing increasing concerns.  Appreciate your taking the time to think about this and ask the question, though!

Samwise Gamgee wrote,

Thank you, Senator, for your well reasoned post. 

Some people are afraid to talk about social issues because they fear conservative positions are irrational, purely based on religious sentiment, or knee jerk reactions.  What you have shown in your campaign is that social conservatives are reasonable and that our positions are well thought out and important in comparison to fiscal issues.

Personally, I don’t care if our debt and unemployment are reduced to zero if we’re still murduring millions of babies. Even if a ship is sound, sturdy and decorated with gold filigree, if it’s pointed in the wrong direction, it’s not one I want to be on.

I’m glad to see a major candidate voice these issues, on national TV, in print, but especially on Ricochet :).  I don’t know if we’ve ever had a presidential candidate post here, it’s pretty exciting.

Thanks again

Wow. Thank you.  Showing people that conservative positions on key moral issues are reasonable–that’s such an important thing for leaders to do and I’m grateful and honored you think I’m doing it.

CJRun wrote,

Senator, with sincere respect, do you really?  Do you hold those truths to be self evident?  Are we all created equally?  If you believe that, in what sense do you believe that the federal government also has a role in these areas?

I anticipate that you might reference the previous roles the federal government has asserted and, thus, a need for some remedy.

Why not focus on the issue of getting the federal government out of our lives?

The “values” focus that is attractive in retail politics is divisive and inappropriate.  It makes explicit that we are not, at all, equal, and that we need our paternalistic federal government to sort these issues out for us, instead of extricating us from the mess that the federal government created in the first place.

When your campaign heads south in two weeks, to Florida, the hill you are defending will be a valley.  Amongst my family and friends, we may disagree on the particulars, but could unite on one aspect:  It’s none of Washington’s business.

If you chose to defend married couples and their children from slavery to debt, that might be more pertinent. 

Thanks so much for your expression of sincere respect, I appreciate it.  That’s the way we should treat each other even when we passionately disagree on important moral issues.  To answer your question.  Yes.  Yes and Yes.  I really do hold these truths to be self-evident that all human beings are created equal and endowed by our Creator–not by our government–with certain inalienable rights.  Among these are the right to life.  But not the right to redefine marriage.

None of us has that right.  Marriage is unique for a reason–only marital unions can make new life and connect those children in love to a mom and a dad.  Sorry we disagree, hope you think hard about where the right to marry comes from and what it really means.

Nobody’s Perfect wrote,

There was a time when I despised the gay rights movement.  I hated their attitudes, their rhetoric, their theater, their politics.  When they started demanding the right to marry, I was reflexively opposed, just like most people here. 

But there was one little problem; I simply could not get past the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.  

There was a time, during World War I, when a German immigrant couldn’t get a marriage license.  There was a time when a black man couldn’t get a license to marry a white woman.  There was a time when a Christian who married a Jew was shunned by his community.  There was even a time when a Catholic who married a Protestant was cast out by his family.

Those days, fortunately, are gone.  Now we have only one tiny portion of our population that some people still want to hold as lesser than themselves.  Let this, too, pass, so that we finally, after all, honor the phrase, “…all men are created equal..”

Do you really think millions of Americans are standing up for marriage as the union of husband and wife out of hatred?  It saddens me that you think so.  If that was the root of your previous opinion well, it makes sense to me you wouldn’t want to hold it any more.

By contrast I know that millions of Americans go to the polls, stand up to the charges of hatred and bigotry, because they love this country and believe defending marriage is important for the common good. Even if we disagree on same-sex marriage, can we agree on that? Good people, acting out of love for their country, want to stand up for the idea that marriage matters because children need a mom and dad?

Here’s my view: we all have equal rights: none of us have the right to redefine the meaning of our most basic, foundational civilizational idea: marriage. Take care, and God bless you!

Bernai wrote,

Thank you Senator for posting here and with such eloquence.- I for one stand with you on these issues of Life and Marriage.  Hopefully you will post some other thoughts and ideas concerning some of the other important issues we face in the primary and upcoming election.

Thanks so much for asking! We need to cut taxes and regulations that are putting stumbling blocks to growing jobs, starting with a zero percent rate on manufacturing corporations so jobs don’t migrate to China or even Canada–which has managed to make itself a cheaper place to do business in than the U.S.  We have to repeal Obamacare which is strangling job growth by the large and uncertain costs it’s imposing.  We need a President who understands the dignity of work and seeks to make more Americans self-supporting, not dependent on government.  Pres. Obama’s administration actually boasted they’ve put more people on food stamps than any other in history.  That’s the attitude that has to change to get America back to work.   I will deal with the other critical issues of our future by cutting federal spending by $5 trillion over 5 years, supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment to stop the spending spree, repealing job-killing regulations, unleashing America’s domestic energy potential, and reforming our entitlements on a sustainable path so that the future will once again be better in America.

And we also need a strong military resolute and aware of the threat radical Islam poses and to once again stand with our allies and for our interests and values around the world.

You can find out more here: ricksantorum.com 

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  1. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DianeEllis

    Editor’s Note: While Sen. Santorum was unable to participate in the comments section of the conversation on marriage and life over the weekend —as you can imagine, the campaign is quite busy!— we very much appreciate that he took the time to read the conversation and to respond to individual comments and questions.

    While this post differs somewhat from the Ricochet norm, the Editors encouraged the Senator to craft his responses as a new post rather than as a series of comments because a) the original conversation is already well over 400 comments and no longer on the front page, and b) we felt it was significant for a major presidential contender to take the time to engage with individual Members.

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    @flownover

    It is appreciated that Sen Santorum takes the time as well as recognizing the growing power of the internet. I imagine he feels a little abused by the MSM. As we all do.

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    @JamesOfEngland

    Senator, thank you for writing here, and congratulations on your Iowa win! I wish you well in the race, and hope to see you here regularly when the campaigning and governing eases off, be that in the Summer, or, with a bit of luck, in 2021. Until then, your occasional missives, and impressively genuine interaction with commenters will remain a treat. Perry should have endorsed you.

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    @DocJay

    You’re a stud for coming back here.

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    @Bluenoser

    I just want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Senator for his win in Iowa and wish him best of luck for a better thank expected result in South Carolina.

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    @TheKingPrawn

    I’m perfectly fine with our candidates not participating as actively in the debate here as we all do. Heck, I’m overjoyed that at least one is even reading Ricochet. I wish they would all eavesdrop on the coffee house/pub conversations that take place here. They would learn a lot.

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    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Thank you Senator Santorum. May the Lord bless you and your campaign. Even though I hope you aren’t our nominee, I admire and respect your desire to be a strong advocate for a culture of life. Peace!

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    @MBF

    First, I have to thank the Senator for his thoughtful responses to the marriage and life questions.

    I realize the closing of the post was only meant as an overview, but the following immediately caught my attention:

    Rick Santorum: I will deal with the other critical issues of our future by cutting federal spending by $5 trillion over 5 years,

    I am guessing this means you’d merely spend $5 trillion less than is currently being projected?

    I get that it is very idealistic for conservative voters to expect actual cuts from the baseline, but is it too much to ask that politicians on our own side at least stop referring to “slowing the growth” as “cuts”?

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    @Charlotte
    Mark Belling Fan: I get that it is very idealistic for conservative voters to expect actual cuts from the baseline, but is it too much to ask that politicians on our own side at least stop referring to “slowing the growth” as “cuts”?

    Bless you.

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    @Charlotte
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  11. Profile Photo Moderator
    @JamesOfEngland
    Mark Belling Fan: First, I have to thank the Senator for his thoughtful responses to the marriage and life questions.

    I realize the closing of the post was only meant as an overview, but the following immediately caught my attention:

    Rick Santorum: I will deal with the other critical issues of our future by cutting federal spending by $5 trillion over 5 years,

    I am guessing this means you’d merely spend $5 trillion less than is currently being projected?

    I get that it is very idealistic for conservative voters to expect actual cuts from the baseline, but is it too much to ask that politicians on our own side at least stop referring to “slowing the growth” as “cuts”?

    Senator Santorum came into office in 1994. The “cuts” that followed were, although this is not particularly Santorum’s fault, of the “slowing the growth” variety, just as the “balanced budget” was of the “still growing the debt” variety. Since those “cuts” and that balance will be a central platform in the primary and general, I don’t blame him for not attacking them.

    Plus, cutting by $5t would be a cut by any definition. Near miraculous.

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    @TommyDeSeno

    What an honor to have you come back for an exchange, Senator! Most candidates run from hot issues.

    Putting aside the genuine show of courage, more importantly it shows a sense of obligation to the American public to open up, engage and be inspected.

    That sound you hear? Rick Santorum’s stock rising with me.

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    @TheMugwump

    Thank you, Senator, for your response. I’m more concerned with the character of my candidate than his stand on the issues. It’s not that the issues don’t matter, but I think the only solution to our many problems is strong, moral leadership at the top. You have my vote, sir. A monetary contribution to your campaign will be arriving soon.

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    @MBF
    James Of England

    Plus, cutting by $5t would be a cut by any definition. Near miraculous. · Jan 19 at 9:19am

    It would certainly be impressive relative to current expectations, but it wouldn’t be a $5t cut in the language of average Americans that I know.

    If your boss tells you he is cutting your salary by $5,000 next year, he doesn’t mean compared to the $10,000 raise he initially considered giving you.

    This isn’t limited to Rick Santorum. Even Paul Ryan refers to slowing the growth as cuts.

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    @MichaelTee

    We’re $15,000,000,000,000 in debt (not counting unfunded obligations of $61,000,000,000,000) and we’re talking about gay marriage?

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    @SteveS

    Senator Santorum, Being a Keystone Stater from the southeast region, I welcomed your entrance into the fray and have past enjoyed your Friday morning anchoring of Bill Bennett’s show. For me, I believe, a vacuum exists in this primary battle that could be filled by you if your focus would be less on your opponents, less on your past record but focused like a lazer beam on what a leader as say Ronald Reagan, inspired in the American people. I believe his success was simple yet profound. He always defined threats to our liberty, our culture and our present and future economic conditions in general terms, ones of ideology not individuals, because people come and go but the threats we face come from a philosophy that is well entrenched and not easily uprooted.

    Give me, give us please, your vision of what a free and great America looks like, it’s greatest enemies to that freedom and greatness and most of all, what will a Santorum administration do to fight and clear the way for We the People , not the government, to ensure the continuation of the greatest, free nation on God’s green earth.

    God’s speed Senator.

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    @PlatosRetweet

    Now if you can just destroy all existing copies of that high school yearbook picture …

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    @CrowsNest

    We’re $15,000,000,000,000 in debt (not counting unfunded obligations of $61,000,000,000,000) and we’re talking about gay marriage?

    Exactly my fear for the general election.

    I’ve written here before that I was broadly in line with what Mitch Daniels said regarding the way to prioritize our rhetoric in 2012, but that both I (and Gov. Daniels) also recognize that economic issues are social issues–a vision of a free economy in a commercial republican society with a limited government inevitably necessitates a vision of a certain type of citizen who possesses a certain type of moral character. The question of “social issues” cannot be ignored, but in what context is it broached?

    If Senator Santorum could make THAT case more broadly–pivot from the baggage that a narrow issue like “gay marriage” conjures, and instead make a large case that social breakdown has happened in America and that’s part of the reason we’re in so much debt–and if he could do so with a smile and in the tone that Peter suggested on the podcast this past week–that would be a sight to see.

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    @JamesOfEngland
    Mark Belling Fan

    James Of England

    Plus, cutting by $5t would be a cut by any definition. Near miraculous. · Jan 19 at 9:19am

    It would certainly be impressive relative to current expectations, but it wouldn’t be a $5t cut in the language of average Americans that I know.

    If your boss tells you he is cutting your salary by $5,000 next year, he doesn’t mean compared to the $10,000 raise he initially considered giving you.

    This isn’t limited to Rick Santorum. Even Paul Ryan refers to slowing the growth as cuts. ·

    Santorum’s cut would, unlike Ryan’s, be an actual, nominal, cut, a huge cut in real terms. The comparison is to a $12k cut to a $10k raise (assuming you were making ~$40k), with no COLA. Explaining the magnitude of that cut is incredibly difficult. That kind of sustained reduction in spending would be more than any President has managed since the we last had a Massachusetts governor in the White House. Hence even learned people often suggest that Mitt’s cuts while in office (ie, actual cuts) are not too impressive because Clinton/ Newt cut, too (ie. slowed the growth rate).

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    @BasilFawlty
    Michael Tee: We’re $15,000,000,000,000 in debt (not counting unfunded obligations of $61,000,000,000,000) and we’re talking about gay marriage? · Jan 19 at 9:36am

    I agree. Those gay marriage advocates really do need to get their priorities straight.

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    @Casey

    What an amazing country! What an amazing website!

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    @MBF
    James Of England Santorum’s cut would, unlike Ryan’s, be an actual, nominal, cut, a huge cut in real terms.

    Just not a $5t cut.

    My issue in post #8 wasn’t with the policy, but the language.

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    @TheKingPrawn
    Casey: What an amazing country! What an amazing website! · Jan 19 at 10:09am

    Indeed. Just the other day in the conversation about repealing Obamacare Rep. Dennis Ross posted and I thought, “look, a congressman.”

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    @ultravires

    Senator Santorum we greatly appreciate your presence on Ricochet to try and convince us of your ideas. You are the first Presidential candidate to do so, unfortunately Daniels did not run, and while I am still unconvinced of your reason for opposing same sex marriage, if you win the primaries I might vote. I was previously certain that I would just stay home if it was between you and Obama, so even your presence may be helping you gain votes!

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    @Douglas
    Michael Tee: We’re $15,000,000,000,000 in debt (not counting unfunded obligations of $61,000,000,000,000) and we’re talking about gay marriage? · 6 hours ago

    Again, explain why a President can’t walk a chew gum at the same time? Explain how one problem makes another problem irrelevant, and why that second problem should be ignored?

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    @TommyDeSeno
    Tommy De Seno: What an honor to have you come back for an exchange, Senator! Most candidates run from hot issues.

    Putting aside the genuine show of courage, more importantly it shows a sense of obligation to the American public to open up, engage and be inspected.

    That sound you hear? Rick Santorum’s stock rising with me. · 7 hours ago

    Edited 7 hours ago

    Despite my happiness that the Senator is here and I like him better for it, make no mistake I still have him marked down with the folks who somehow forget conservatism and opt instead for a government takeover of a religious institution.

    As I said on an earlier thread you can tell the real conservatives from the not so real ones by whether they abandon the ideals, even when the the ideals lead to a place they didn’t exactly wish to be.

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    @BasilFawlty
    Tommy De Seno

    Tommy De Seno: What an honor to have you come back for an exchange, Senator! Most candidates run from hot issues.

    Putting aside the genuine show of courage, more importantly it shows a sense of obligation to the American public to open up, engage and be inspected.

    That sound you hear? Rick Santorum’s stock rising with me. · 7 hours ago

    Edited 7 hours ago

    Despite my happiness that the Senator is here and I like him better for it, make no mistake I still have him marked down with the folks who somehow forget conservatism and opt instead for a government takeover of a religious institution.

    As I said on an earlier thread you can tell the real conservatives from the not so real ones by whether they abandon the ideals, even when the the ideals lead to a place they didn’t exactly wish to be. · 17 minutes ago

    I enjoy these one-person debates.

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    @TommyDeSeno
    Robert Lux

    Tommy De Seno

    I still have him marked down with the folks who somehow forget conservatism and opt instead for a government takeover of a religious institution.

    The main purpose of marriage, in contrast, is to civilize society, a goal which most of us seek. The state may be indifferent to the former, but not to the latter. Marriage is arguably the most important of all social institutions …

    Is marriage more important to the civilization of society than the Ten Commandments?

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    @Claire
    Tommy De Seno

    Robert Lux

    Tommy De Seno

    I still have him marked down with the folks who somehow forget conservatism and opt instead for a government takeover of a religious institution.

    The main purpose of marriage, in contrast, is to civilize society, a goal which most of us seek. The state may be indifferent to the former, but not to the latter. Marriage is arguably the most important of all social institutions …
    Is marriage more important to the civilization of society than the Ten Commandments? · 6 minutes ago

    It’s sort of assumed in them. Coveting thy neighbor’s wife and all.

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    @RobertLux
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Tommy De Seno

    Robert Lux

    The main purpose of marriage, in contrast, is to civilize society, a goal which most of us seek. The state may be indifferent to the former, but not to the latter. Marriage is arguably the most important of all social institutions…

    Is marriage more important to the civilization of society than the Ten Commandments? ·
    It’s sort of assumed in them. Coveting thy neighbor’s wife and all. · 36 minutes ago

    Or we could say the first half of the Decalogue presupposes faith as the basis of understanding the reason in these commandments; they’re theological commandments. The second half doesn’t presuppose (or can easily be shown not to presuppose) faith for understanding their reasonableness. They’re reflective of what can be known through unassisted reason and accord with natural law or natural right (even if the word/concept of nature exists nowhere in ancient Hebrew). Natural right takes its bearings by common sense, elementary questions, and shared knowledge: i.e., it holds that we can discover in the nature of things what is good for us. And this view was prominent throughout American history until somewhat recently.

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