heaven, hell, and a horsepond

Marlin Stutzman is a Republican Congressman from Indiana. He’s often described in the press as a ‘Tea Party favorite.’ Like so many members of the Tea Party, Stutzman calls himself a States’ Rights advocate. He believes passionately in the right of individual States to determine what should be should and shouldn’t be legal within their borders.

States' Rights Advocate Martin Stutzman

States’ Rights Advocate Marlin Stutzman

For example, Stutzman opposes same-sex marriage reciprocity. In general, people who are legally married in, say, Iowa are recognized as being legally married in Indiana. However, since same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa but not in Indiana, Stutzman believes his state should not be required to recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple who married in Iowa.

“This is the one issue that as we talk about states’ rights, states’ responsibilities, which according to the Constitution what responsibilities are for the states and which are for the federal government, I think this is the one issue that you’ll even find that if states deal with it themselves that with a very mobile society as people move around the country if you have states that do recognize same-sex marriage and other states that don’t there’s going to be a series of consequences that are going to result because you may have one state in the east coast that recognizes same-sex marriages, if they move to the Midwest, a state like Indiana or Mississippi or other states that don’t, you’re going to have a patchwork quilt of laws.”

Stutzman, obviously, supports the Defense of Marriage Act, which restricts federal marriage benefits and requires inter-state marriage recognition only for opposite-sex marriages.

Marlin Stutzman, however, isn’t quite so staunch in his support for States’ Rights when it comes to firearms. In general, a Concealed Weapons Permit issued in, say, Indiana (which has very permissive CWP laws) is not recognized in, say, Illinois (which has more stringent CWP laws). Stutzman supports national CWP reciprocity; he believes other states should be required to recognize the CWP issued by his state, even if its in violation of the laws of the other state.

States' Rights Opponent, Martin Stutzman

States’ Rights Opponent Marlin Stutzman

According to Stutzman,

“The right to self-defense is the cornerstone of the Second Amendment and my responsibility as a father to keep my family safe doesn’t change when I cross state lines.”

Just to be clear, Stutzman and many other Republicans believe individual states should not be required to respect the marriage laws of other states, but should be required to respect the gun laws of other states. He believes gay couples marrying is harmful to society, but carrying concealed weapons isn’t.

A 19th century minister, Charles Spurgeon, said this about hypocrisy:

Men turn their faces to hell, and hope to get to heaven; why don’t they walk into the horsepond, and hope to be dry?

I’m inclined to agree with Rev. Spurgeon. I think Marlin Stutzman should walk into a horsepond.

1 thought on “heaven, hell, and a horsepond

  1. As usual the teaparty set has it bassackwards. There is a national interest in having contract recognized regardless of state of origin. Marriage is a contract, a concealed carry permit is not.


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