May 15, 2012 · By Bob Ellis · 3 Comments
As reported by the Rapid City Journal, a man in Sioux Falls has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for passing $180 in counterfeit money last year. He will be supervised for three years after he is released from prison.
Man, that’s a strong sentence for giving someone several fake $10 and $20 bills. After all, nobody got hurt.
Why do we consider counterfeiting the currency of a nation to be immoral, criminal, and a behavior which is not allowed or sanctioned?
We do so because when someone counterfeits money, they are deceiving people. When people pass counterfeit money, they are leading the receiving person to believe that they are receiving something of a certain value, when in fact the object given is actually worth far less–in fact, virtually nothing. The receiver places their faith in the belief that they are receiving something of a certain value, when in fact they are not. They are often giving something of a certain value in exchange for the currency, and when they are given counterfeit currency in exchange for something of value, they are being robbed and defrauded of the proper exchange of value for what they have traded.
This unfair trade can be seen sometimes even when an uneven trade of material goods is not involved. Remember that in recent years, we have heard about people who make fake claims to have served in the military, to have received this or that military award, and so forth? People are rightly upset when they learn that these awards and accolades have been counterfeited, because we render our respect and admiration to them based on these claims of service and award.
Counterfeiting not only defrauds people of the value owed to them, and it not only deceives, but it also undermines the value of the genuine article. When counterfeit currency is in circulation, it dilutes the strength and value of the genuine article. You’ve heard of “watered-down drinks,” right? Why are watered-down drinks in a bar viewed negatively? Because when you pay for a drink of a certain substance, you expect the full measure of that substance; mixing water with whiskey gives you less whiskey than you expected to receive. Mixing counterfeit currency in the market with genuine currency devalues the genuine currency in the same manner.
Counterfeiting also undermines faith in a currency or thing. If people have reason to suspect that a lot of counterfeiting is going on, they will not trust the value of the currency or other thing of value.
In general, counterfeiting is harmful to the economic strength and health of a society, so we discourage it and make it illegal.
What does it actually mean to “counterfeit”?
As the dictionary points out, “counterfeit” means
made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive
This is precisely what we have when we allow homosexuals to call their unions “marriage”: a counterfeit. It bears some resemblance to the genuine article (it involves two people, it involves a level of commitment, it involves sex), but lacks certain characteristics (e.g. a man and a woman, the ability to create new human life, the stable and balanced environment to best raise a child, etc.) that make it valuable and distinguish it from a fake.
As human beings have recognized since the beginning of time, it takes a man and a woman to form a marriage. If you are missing one or the other, you can’t form a marriage. Just as you can’t make tea without tea leaves and water, you can’t have marriage without a man and a woman. Just as you can’t nail down a board without a nail and a hammer, you can’t have a marriage without a man and a woman. Just as you can’t join (or marry) one large part of a mechanism to another part of a mechanism without a bolt and a nut, you can’t have a marriage without a man and a woman.
Without certain elements, you can’t have legal currency. You may have something that bears a resemblance to legal currency, but without certain required elements (e.g. the right ink, the right paper, the full faith and backing of government authority, etc.), it isn’t the real thing and doesn’t have the value of the real thing. If government were to turn a blind eye to currency counterfeiting or even endorse it, pretty soon a $20 bill would be worth nil.
Marriage, like currency, has a unique value. It involves the only relationship which can produce a new human being (a man and a woman, coming together sexually), and it provides the only healthy and balanced environment for raising a new human being. In cases where a mother or father dies or there is a divorce, a loss of the marital environment may be unavoidable, and a single parent can still work very hard and do a good job of raising a child…but it is rationally inarguable that a marital home is the best environment for ensuring a healthy and well-adjusted next generation of citizens.
The state, therefore, has a compelling interest in protecting the unique value and status of marriage. Just as allowing currency to be counterfeited would make legal currency meaningless and valueless, so allowing homosexual activists to counterfeit marriage would render the unique institution of marriage meaningless and valueless. In other words, if something can mean anything, it means nothing.
Words have meaning. Ideas have meaning. Ideas also have consequences. Marriage is the civilizing and stabilizing force in any society; diluting it and allowing it to be counterfeited attacks this “glue” of society. As we’ve already seen from the destruction wrought by no-fault divorce and sexual irresponsibility, our children and the family in general are hurting badly. We cannot afford to go from bad to worse, simply to appease a small segment of the population that suffers from sexual disorientation.
Sadly, the American most responsible for safeguarding society and the welfare of innocent Americans–the President of the United States–has behaved in the most derelict fashion possible. If we recognize the harm done by counterfeiting currency, why are we turning a blind eye to the harm of counterfeiting marriage–our most important relationship and institution?
In endorsing counterfeit marriage as President Obama did last week, he has become the Counterfeiter-in-Chief.
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