Govt Sending Inconsistent Message on Counterfeiting

Monopoly money (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Monopoly money (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Rapid City Journal reports two people from Rapid City, Bar Braver and Ravaye Meltzer, have pleaded guilt to counterfeiting products and face penalties of up to 10 years in prison and $2 million in fines.

It seems the counterfeiters have attempted to pass off goods as authentic products of Monster Energy, Angry Birds, Hollister, The North Face and Ed Hardy…when the products weren’t actually products of these companies.

It would seem our government takes the authenticity of certain things very seriously.

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So why do some people–including some in government–believe government should endorse and reward counterfeiting?  Oh, they don’t necessarily support the counterfeiting of currency or goods like those produced by Monster, Hollister and others.  But they do support the counterfeiting of a product far more valuable and important to society than any of these products–including our currency: marriage.

You see, words have meaning.  When the clear meaning of language is undermined or perverted, the opportunity for fraud and harm is immense. This much is obvious from the story mentioned above (as if it were not already).  Monster isn’t happy about having a product that isn’t a Monster product being marketed as a Monster product. The North Face isn’t okay with a product not meeting the criteria of a North Face product being marketed as a North Face product.

Why not?  What’s the big deal?  Perhaps Braver and Meltzer sincerely felt their products were just as good as those manufactured by Monster, Angry Birds, et al.  Who are we to say they are not?  And even if Braver’s and Meltzer’s products don’t meet the criteria of products created by these organizations, why do we need to be so mean and deny Braver and Meltzer the same benefits that Monster, North Face, et al. are receiving?  Isn’t it unfair and cruel of us to insist that Monster Energy drinks must be created by Monster Energy in order to be presented to the public as a Monster Energy drink?

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If it isn’t unfair and cruel for us to insist that these products live up to their criteria of authenticity, then why is it unfair and cruel for us to insist that marriage–the most important relationship and institution in any society–live up to its criteria?

After all, far more depends on maintaining the integrity of the meaning of marriage than has ever depended on a drink or piece of clothing:

  • The sexual union of a man and a woman is the only relationship capable of producing a member of the next generation of any society…and the next, and the next…
  • While not every marriage produces a child, marriage is the only relationship which provides both (a) the physical elements necessary for the creation of new human life, and (b) the stable and balanced environment to maximize the welfare and potential of that new human life; two men or two women can never, even under ideal circumstances, create new human life
  • Marriage is almost universally (was universally, until politically correct narcissism became the order of the day) recognized as the best environment to raise healthy and successful children
  • Marriage brings together the unique giftings, dispositions and talents of both men and women (men and women are not the same, and are not interchangeable) to apply to a balanced rearing of the next generation of society
  • Marriage between a man and woman provides the best possible stability to create a healthy environment in which children can grow up
  • Any relationship short of this ideal (cohabitation, single parenthood, widowhood, or sexually deviant relationships) deprives the child of benefits to which they should rightfully have access
    • Placing a child with two men or two women deliberately deprives the child of either a mother or a father, and sends the message to the child that either men or women are unnecessary, and perhaps are even undesirable
Counterfeit marriage illustration

Counterfeit marriage illustration

If you hired a construction and plumbing contractor to build a bathroom for you, and he built it using all male or all female plumbing parts, the end product might bear some superficial resemblance to a real, functional bathroom, but I guarantee you would not hand over a check for the job with satisfaction and joy. Why not?  It would be missing a fundamental and critically important element necessary to put together a real bathroom: the missing male or female plumbing parts. Without them, you don’t have anything useful–which is what you have when you try to put two men or two women together and pass it off as “marriage.”

Counterfeited objects, while bearing some resemblance to the genuine article, lack certain qualities inherent in the genuine article. To attempt to pass off something as something it is not is fraud, robs the receiver of the value they are due, and provides unearned gain to those who have perpetuated the fraud. Further, counterfeit goods-especially currency–devalues the genuine article when it proliferates the market.

Seeing how monumentally important and valuable the institution of marriage is to society, why on earth do some tolerate or even encourage the counterfeiting of it?

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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