In an effort to tighten the leash on Republicans running for office in 2012, an Iowa-based family values organization, despotically named the Family Leader, has drafted and disseminated a manifesto for candidates to sign and swear to. Redundantly titled "The Marriage Vow" it seeks to double down on commitments candidates have already made, will make or, worse yet, compel a pledge to its wildly warped logic of imposing an American-style sharia law while opposing Islam’s.
Its preamble can barely smother the author’s prejudice and pie-eyed nostalgia for 19th-century human rights. An original version of this document even had the temerity to suggest that a child born under slavery was more likely to benefit from a two-parent family than "an African American child born after the election of" President Barack Obama (never mind that the research referenced was conducted during George W. Bush's presidency).
Declared presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann was first out of the gate to sign and swear by the document’s excoriation of adultery, quickie divorce, infidelity, pornography, cohabitation and Islamic sharia law. Then another Republican presidential hopeful, anti-gay scourge Rick Santorum, signed. Understandably, the remainder of the Republican field of candidates are studying the matter before answering this altar call. Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson has been the only outspoken critic among the Republican presidential hopefuls.
How this pledge will help reel this nation’s economy back from the brink and provide 14 million job seekers with steady employment, remains to be seen. And what about the fidelity between each lesser-of-two-evils elected official and the voters who take him back, term after unfaithful term?
True to the buffet-style theology favored by the likes of Bachmann and Santorum, they overlook the Bible's command to magistrates and other civic leaders in the discharge of their duties: "[T]hou shalt not respect persons; neither shalt thou take a gift; for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. Justice, justice shalt thou follow..." (Deut. 16:18).