Rand Paul: Replace Marriage With Contracts (VIDEO)

During a March 8 interview with Bret Baier, Senator Rand Paul was asked about same-sex marriage.  His reply is a study in self-contradiction:

“I think marriage is between a man and a woman,” Paul said, adding, “ultimately, we would have fixed this a long time ago if we just allowed contracts between adults. We didnt have to call it marriage, which offends myself and a lot of people.”

Need anyone point out that Senator Paul used the word he finds so offensive when answering Baier?  Evidently it was a slip of the tongue.  He quickly corrected himself, however, arguing “contracts” between men and women were preferable to marriage.  Why preferable? The only argument he offers is that “a lot of people,” including the senator himself, find something about government using the word ‘marriage’ “offensive.

Its sad to watch Senator Paul, who has been willing to go it alone on controversial issues, embrace the liberal penchant for citing a negative feeling state as a “reason” for taking one or another side of an argument.

What about the concrete notion of substituting contracts for marriage? There was a long period in Western history when marriages and contracts overlapped, as evinced by the dowry, and this remains today with the pre-nuptial agreement. Regardless of these practices, marriage cannot be reduced to a contract without losing its essential form, that of being a covenant.

A covenant is not a quid pro quo agreement, an I-will-do-this-if-you-will-do-that. A covenant is established by a mutual promise made between a man and a woman, which includes the promise to not break the covenant even if either party, or both, experience disappointment or lack of fulfillment. Marriage is a covenant that participates in the covenant between God and His creation, a promise that will never be broken, a human love infused by divine love.  Marriage is not a contract because it obligates more than the man and woman who commit to it.  It is more than a contract because it exists for certain profound public purposes, especially the commitment to care for one’s children, that cannot be contracted away.  Conceptually reducing marriage to a contract made up by any two—or three?—people for their own private purposes is a very bad idea.

His willingness to brush aside one of the most important institutions in human history, and one that, if not always considered sacred, is revered and respected by the vast majority of American citizens, cannot be viewed otherwise.

Try again, Sen. Paul. This answer is not ready for prime time.

Deal W. Hudson is publisher and editor of The Christian Review, president of the Morley Institute for Church and Culture, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.