Rick Santorum to GOP: Embrace Lincoln, Not Douglas, on Marriage


Rick Santorum proves himself one of our most principled and intellectually interesting political figures today:

From its inception the Republican Party has been the party of the family and great moral causes.

This is only one of many reasons why it is so disturbing that some prominent Republicans have seemingly washed their hands of the value and importance of marriage.

...By taking refuge behind “states’ rights” as it relates to moral wrongs, the definition of marriage then becomes subject to fifty different interpretations and versions. What’s even worse is for one to say you fundamentally disagree with homosexual marriage but then claim you don’t have the right or will to fight it.

... These positions are deeply troubling for the Republican Party and the country. Consigning these moral issues strictly to local decision-making runs contrary to the positioning of our party’s founding and to Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy that there is no moral right to enact a major social and moral wrong.

Once the definition of marriage is discarded, there will be no rational or legitimate legal or moral argument left to prevent the acceptance of any other kind of definition of marriage, including other moral wrongs like polygamous marriages. Would those same candidates say that New York State has the right to allow for polygamous marriage — and then leave it at that?

In Lincoln’s time the political debate was over the foundationally immoral institution of slavery. Lincoln rightly criticized Stephen Douglas’ “don’t care” attitude about that great moral issue this way: “When Judge Douglas says that whoever or whatever community wants slaves, they have a right to have them, he is perfectly logical, if there is nothing wrong in the institution; but if you admit that it is wrong, he cannot logically say that anybody has a right to do wrong.”

Using Douglas’ rationale today, we subject the definition of marriage to 50 different versions and that leads to settling of the conflict by the U.S. Supreme Court. This is precisely the same road that led to the downgrading of human life with abortion laws...

We simply cannot allow this to happen to marriage too.

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