Minnesota Congresswoman and newly announced presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has signed a pledge titled "The Family Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMiLY" [strange caps theirs].
Authored by THE FAMiLY LEADER [again, strange caps theirs] the pledge's more mundane requirements are "personal fidelity to my spouse," "respect for the marital bonds of others," "official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution," "commitment to downsizing government," and "recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence" that married people have better sex, and that kids raised by "a mother and father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy."
Not so ugly, as far as theocratic pledges go.
Yet the pledge would also require signatories to provide "humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy" from "seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence." This depite the fact that promiscuity, pornography, and prostitution, when done right, are engaged in by consenting adult women; that laws already exist to protect children from sex slavery; and that banning adults from engaging in mutually beneficial behavior, or from viewing other adults engaging in mutually beneficial behavior, would be impossible and impossibly expensive, and also harmful to the American adult entertainment industry, which generates tens of billions of dollars per year in taxable revenue.
The pledge also asks candidates to waste time and money on "bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act at the federal and state levels," and for candidates to extend "second chance" and "cool-down" periods for "those seeking a 'quickie divorce.'"
In addition to being damn expensive, many of those proposals are not "humane" and would ultimately harm women. We know, for instance, that the government cannot stop prostitution or abortion, only push those activities onto the black market where they are more dangerous and dehumanizing. And as the Quarterly Journal of Economics noted in 2006, no-fault divorce has actually made women's lives better [pdf]:
Easy access to divorce redistributes marital power from the party interested in preserving the marriage to the partner who wants out. In most instances, this resulted in an increase in marital power for women, and a decrease in power for men.
Our analysis of US data revealed the legislative change [to no-fault divorce] had caused female suicide to decline by about a fifth, domestic violence to decline by about a third, and intimate femicide – the husband's murder of his wife – to decline by about a tenth.
Shutting down the entire adult service industry and denying women access to no-fault divorces and abortions, in addition to being inherently antithetical to the idea of personal liberty, could also only happen with a much, much bigger government.
Read the entire pledge–which is also blatantly homophobic and anti-Muslim–here.