I’ve been hearing lately about Ron Paul’s idea that government should get out of marriage entirely. I support gay marriage and all that, but getting government totally out of marriage is a little insane. That legal document means something to many people. The government stamp makes the relationship official. Without that, what reason would people have to stay married? Divorce would skyrocket, but we would have no way of knowing because nothing would be recorded. Couples could just wander away from each other with no legal consequences.
And what would the lawyers do? Divorce is a big industry. Without all the laws and the necessity of hiring lawyers, people might have to sit down with their spouse and talk about their relationship. We all know that’s not realistic. It’s much better to have a representative of the law standing in the middle of your relationships.
The problem is that marriage is the only type of personal relationship that’s legally regulated. Marriage is suffering, not because of too much government involvement, but because the dating world by comparison is completely unregulated. What we need to do is start licensing other personal relationships. We could simplify relationships dramatically if we had to get a license to, for example, start a monogamous relationship. So often in dating we get confused. One person believes they’re just dating casually, the other is planning their future together. Currently there are no legal consequences for leading someone on or breaking someone’s heart, even if it causes far more pain than other crimes. If we legislated this and provided strict relationship rules, forcing both parties to fill out declarations of intent, then we could eliminate a great deal of confusion. People who are only looking for sex, for example, could be quickly identified and matched up with more appropriate partners, and when it’s time to begin a monogamous relationship, you can get an official license from the government. I think anyone would agree that would make it more special and reduce all sorts of ambiguity.
We definitely need best-friend licenses, at least to start. Eventually we should phase in the licensing of all friendships. Imagine never hearing the phrase “I thought you were my friend,” ever again. No more ambiguity. You will always know who your friends are and who you can trust, because you will have federal laws enforcing and guaranteeing those friendships.
We’d have similar benefits from licensing religions. No more arguments about who’s a “true Christian” because we’d finally have a federal document proving it one way or the other. Then we’d have a comprehensive list of all the valid religions in America and have clear statistics about whose a member of which.
These federally standardized social constructs would provide at least two huge benefits. One, they would give the government more information about its citizens. This would aid law enforcement in catching criminals and tracking dissenters or rebels, or could be sold to advertisers for extra revenue. The paperwork and legalities would create jobs and create new fields of law like friendship and religion law. The fees for all these licenses and the fines for breaking the social contracts would result in even more revenue for the government. This money could be used for all sorts of important projects, such as putting nuclear weapons on the moon, because everyone knows that thing is a serious threat to our national security.