By Steve Bierfeldt
At some point in your life you asked the government’s permission for something you should never need approval for in the first place. Though you have a God given right protected by the Constitution, you swallowed your pride, took your marching orders and got in lock step with the government. Don’t be embarrassed, you’re not alone.
Today the government has its hand in every taxpayer’s pocket. From starting a business to building a house, to going fishing with a family member, people obtain licenses for almost everything. The idea of government “licensing” us has become so commonplace most fail to give it a second thought. It is not pertaining to fishing or starting a business that the most curious aspect of licensing arises however. Instead it is the practice which the vast majority of Americans take part in at some point in their lives, the institution of marriage.
The idea of submitting yourself to your spouse, pledging your faithfulness and planning for a future together is about as old a custom as exists today. And yet curiously so many individuals have never considered the implications behind granting the state jurisdiction over their marriage. Without a hunting license you are not permitted to legally hunt. Without a fishing license you may not go fishing. And without a driver’s license you cannot legally drive a car. Should it then seem that foreign the same logic applies to a license declaring marriage? What if you applied for a marriage license, and the government said, “No”?