Would you sign a pledge to defend marriage, morals, and constitutional law? The FAMILY LEADER, a Christian conservative organization, unveiled on Thursday, July 7, 2011, the group's pledge document for presidential candidates. The pledge is titled "The Marriage Vow - A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and FAMily". The purpose of this pledge is to "have on record the personal convictions of each presidential candidate as it relates to the issue of marriage." In order to receive future endorsement by The FAMILY LEADER, candidates will be required to sign the pledge.
Candidates "solemnly vow [or solemnly attest] to honor and to cherish, to defend and to uphold, the Institution of Marriage as only between one man and one woman. I vow [or attest] to do so through my:
1) "Personal fidelity to my spouse";
2) "Respect for the marital bonds of others";
3) "Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices";
4) "Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage - faithful monogamy between one man and one woman - through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc";
5) "Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy";
6) "Support for prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended `second chance' or `cooling-off' periods for those seeking a `quickie divorce.'";
7) "Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal and state levels";
8) "Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States";
9) "Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy - our next generation of American children - from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence";
10) "Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles";
11) "Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control";
12) "Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security";
13) "Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA's $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget";
14) "Fierce defense of the First Amendment's rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy."
As I read those fourteen statements, I realized that I could commit to the support and defense of every one of them. I believe and endorse the statement: "Marriage is a social, cultural, economic, and moral good" located in the eight-page packet of information. In the 31 states that voted on marriage, Americans in all 31 states had an average vote of almost 68% that affirmed marriage. When Americans had the opportunity to vote on state marriage amendments, 63 million people voted with 40 million of them - or 63% - voting to protect marriage in their state constitutions.
Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The FAMILY LEADER, said, "We are intentional about the opportunity to take another step in fulfilling our mission to `Strengthen Families' by providing The Marriage Vow to presidential candidates. The FAMILY LEADER views this pledge as an important component needed to inform constituents about the personal stand that each presidential candidate takes regarding marriage. We believe that the candidates' positions on core values, such as marriage, correlate directly to his/her moral stances on energy issues, sound budgeting policies, national defense, and economic policies."
Other statements in the packet include: "Faithful monogamy is at the heart of a designed and purposeful order - … - upon which our concepts of Creator-endowed human rights, racial justice and gender equality all depend.
"Enduring marital fidelity between one man and one woman protects innocent children, vulnerable women, the rights of fathers, the stability of families, and the liberties of all American citizens under our republican form of government. Our exceptional and free society simply cannot endure without the transmission of personal virtue, from one generation to the next, by means of nurturing, nuclear families comprised of sexually-faithful husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. We acknowledge and regret the widespread hypocrisy of many who defend marriage yet turn a blind eye toward the epidemic of infidelity and the anemic conditions of marriages in their own communities. Un mistakably, the Institution of Marriage in America is in great crisis."
I was particularly touched by a statement in the packet stating that the organization was not judging by past behavior but was only concerned about future marital fidelity. When we raise a "higher standard" we must allow for a lower performance in the past while at the same time encouraging and insisting on support for the higher level. I am a firm believer in the principle of repentance and the ability for people to change habits and desires and become better people. I am also a firm believer in the need to set a high standard; I know that most people will aim for the highest standard set.
I too believe that the institution of marriage is in great crisis and is under attack throughout the world. I believe that support for marriage will bring greater social, economical, and political strength and security to our nation.