Was proud of myself this week from walking away from an Idiot Begin Wrong on the Internet, who was defending the bigoted clerk by saying that all marriage licenses were the government practicing religion.
There’s a reason why the phrase “Christian religion” is not redundant and is common.There’s a reason why the anti-tax movement is associated with fringe Christian sects. (SPLC link that touches on the connection).
Government and religion (to differing extents and possibly different ends) proscribe human behavior. People (to differing degrees and different results) chafe at having their behavior dictated by rules they did not create (Note how angry people get when you suggest that there is a convention of etiquette contrary to how they want to behave). But there are millions of us people and there is necessity both to common rules and to strong commendation of behavior that harms the whole.
That explains why and how people get confused over the intersection between a local government-issued marriage license that confers local and federal legal benefits (inheritance rights, tax effects, property rights) and social benefits with a religious covenant of the same name but which carries only social and religious benefits.
It does not, however, explain why we should countenance the confusion.