DeMint: Gov’t Can’t Redefine Marriage Because it’s a Religious Institution

Sen. Jim DeMint appeared on Janet Porter’s radio program yesterday where, in response to a caller’s request for a comment from him on the issue of marriage equality in Wisconsin, he stated that the government has no power to change the definition of marriage because it is strictly a religious institution:

Anytime the people get a chance to vote on it, even if it is in California or Maine, they want to maintain traditional marriage because people realize how foundational it is to our country, our freedoms, our prosperity and the government has no business redefining marriage.  It’s a religious institution.  I think we need to make a constitutional case of it. The federal government and our courts have no business redefining marriage and even at the state level, the courts have no business  telling us what marriage means. So we need to fight this, because this is not about equal rights. This is about the government legitimizing and promoting behavior that culturally we have always considered wrong.  And this is not something that we should give up on.

If marriage is strictly a “religious institution,” then what business do governments have in creating policies designed to encourage marriage or in passing constitutional amendments denying marriage equality or in refusing to recognize those marriages conducted by religious groups that do recognize marriage equality?

In fact, what business does the government have at all in protecting “traditional marriage” if that concept is purely a “religious institution”?  Should the government get involved in protecting “traditional baptism” or “traditional communion” as well? 

And where exactly does DeMint plan on fighting this by making a “constitutional case of it”?  In the courts?  Via a constitutional amendment? Wouldn’t that require involving the “government,” which DeMint says has no business interfering with this religious institution in the first place?