Time for a Divorce

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Time for a Divorce

    Why government should get out of the marriage business

    David Harsanyi | August 6, 2010

    In the 1500s, a pestering theologian instituted something called the Marriage Ordinance in Geneva, which made "state registration and church consecration" a dual requirement of matrimony.

    We have yet to get over this mistake. But isn't it about time we freed marriage from the state?

    ...

    As best as I can tell, support for gay marriage is tepid. A recent CBS poll shows that 42 percent of Americans support marriage rights for gays and lesbians, though no state has been able to pass a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage.

    Does that mean that approximately half of voters—and all 7 million Californians who voted for Prop 8—have no logical or legal reason for believing that marriage should be between a man and a woman other than bigotry?

    Is President Barack Obama, who David Axelrod says opposes same-sex marriage (also subject to change with the vagaries of public opinion, no doubt), a homophobe?

    In my world, the answer is: Who cares? Is there any other personal relationship that is defined by government? Other than in legal terms, of course, this one isn't, either.

    Yet we have decided that a majority on the Supreme Court or, perhaps, a majority of the voters in your state or, even worse, a majority of the legislators in your state have the power to define what is often the most intimate bond of your life.

    - rest at http://reason.com/archives/2010/08/06/time-for-a-divorce
     
  2. Ruiz

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    Geneva in the 1500's was not the first government involvement in marriage. In fact, in early Christianity, Christians lobbied the Roman Government in defining and clarifying marriage--without which the Senate would not have acted. There were instances throughout time where Government was involved in marriage. In ancient times, marriage was defined and supported in the civil law code by several empires including the Greek culture.

    Catholics viewed the church and state as one, thus a marriage within the church was a marriage within the state.

    Puritans often viewed marriage as distinctly a civil matter. Their view of the regulative principle demonstrated that God never specifically assigned marriage to the church thus it must not be limited or a vital a part of the church. Since not assigned to the church it was not a church function. They rejected it being merely a family ordinance as they did not believe specific family ordinances existed.

    The final view saw marriage as an interaction between the church and the state in conjuction with the family. Most modern theologians seems to hold to this formula.

    My personal belief is that marriage is religious with a religious definition. However, it is civil as it is not limited to only Christians, and does impact how society interacts with the new couple. It is also familial, there is a change in the couple's status. You remove one, you remove a portion of the definition of marriage.

    I love Reason for some issues, but I do not like their base rationale that excludes God. I find such rationale as foolish. We should never approach any policy with the view of neutrality in thinking, especially when neutrality excludes God. Rather, we should unapologetically believe and stand upon a Biblical worldview.
     
    #2 Ruiz, Aug 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2010
  3. Nonsequitur

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    Marriage is of God----
    Genesis 2:24 (New American Standard Bible)

    24For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

    Civil unions are of man, giving those that don't believe in God the same rights of property as those joined in Holy Matrimony.

    God has already spoken about marriage.
    God has already spoken about homosexuality.

    The controversy now-a-days is that the Godless want to force the God-fearing into saying that Holy Matrimony is the same.
     
  4. AresMan

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    Exactly. Why, then, should we expect marriage to be defined by a central human authority. If government were to get out of the "marriage question," we as Christians would still be free to practice marriage according to the Bible. We also would not be obligated to call things "marriage" that we believe are abominations.

    If the right to property comes from God and is granted to the individual, why do we need some special secular law calling this "marriage" and providing certain tax benefits?

    Of course.

    Then, why should we as Christians expect those who don't believe in the Biblical definition of marriage to have to follow some secular knock-off if they really could care less what they are doing. All they are seeking are tax benefits and other government-sanctioned property issues. Too many people "shack up" for years and then decide to "get married" for contractual reasons. Why do we want to force people to bastardize what we call sacred?

    I say let the secular cesspool have their civil unions. Let Christians practice "marriage" as a completely voluntary, religious rite. The covenant should be between the couple and God. There should be NO government incentives that drive Christians to marry. The only reason to get married should be true love and the Word of God. Only then will marriage be pure.
     
  5. Ruiz

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    They will bastardize what we call sacred with or without secular law. The issue is whether marriage should be a civil issue or merely a religious and/or familial. Theological reasons why this should be a civil issue.

    1. It is not a sacrament or ordinance of the local church. God did not give this to the church.

    2. God wants non-Christians to be married. He designed marriage for more than the religious. He never made a requirement for you to be a Christian to be married... in fact you can hate Christianity and be married.

    3. Marriage does change how society interacts and views the new family/government. So, yes, I do believe secular law should reflect ideas like parental rights, the family as a government, and other intrinsic family relationships. The family is now one, not two. They are now in a special relationship that interacts with society and her laws differently. My kids are a part of that relationship within the governance of my family. The secular wishes to make children a part of the society in the "it takes a village model." We, though, believe the first governance and most important is family and laws should respect and reflect that relationship.

    I believe both of these facts require a civil input into the discussion of marriage. For "Reason" and other programs to bash marriage as distinctly religious goes against God's design for marriage--God never intended for marriage to be distinctly Christian. For "Reason", as well, to wish to reject God's definition of marriage goes against the Bible. God designed marriage to be both civil (allowable to be implemented secularly) and religious. It is not distinctly religious nor distinctly civil. It is both civil and religious.

    Thus, the definition of marriage is important to define both in a religious and civil context.
     
  6. KenH

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    If you are going to give the government the power to define marriage in the civil realm, then you have to live with the results of people wanting the government to change what you and I believe that Biblically marriage is.

    The government is not the church and the church is not the government.
     
  7. Ruiz

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    I agree with government not being the church and the church not being the government. I didn't say they were. I said that there is no place in the Bible where marriage was given to the church and that God has given it to all people. I said marriage is both civil and religious.

    As well, your statement, "...then you have to live with the results of people wanting the government to change what you and I believe that Biblical marriage is."

    There are several problems with this.

    1. Even without civil laws, people tried and will try to change the definition of marriage. I recognize that whether government defines marriage or others, people will always seek to redefine what God has defined.

    2. I do not have to live with it. For instance, I hate Roe V. Wade and I fight against that decision by donating money, time, and resources to help overturn this horrible crime. I may have to accept we have lost for the moment, but I do not have to agree with it or accept final defeat.

    3. Because people and even Government will abuse their power (murder, marriage, etc) doesn't mean government should stop being involved. Rather, because marriage is civil and religious, we should endeavor to keep it both civil and religious.

    In summary, you offered no Biblical support against my view, nor any argument. In both of my posts I stated marriage was both religious and civil and should be respected in both religious and civil society. "Reason" disagrees with it being civil. In that regards they disagree with the Bible and I must disagree with them.
     
  8. billwald

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    FIRST, change the tax code to treat all wage earners equally and eliminate all deductions.

    SECOND, legislate a new form of partnership to permit people to pool their earnings and pay tax on the average wage of the partnership.

    THIRD, Eliminate the word, married, in all forms from all legislation and substitute the proper grammatical form of "family contract." Permit any combination of humans to enter into a family contract.

    FOURTH, revoke all authority of preachers to act for the state.
     
  9. Ruiz

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    #1. I disagree, if you treat all wage earners equally you make having kids a liability. I think this is a digressionary idea. Even the fair tax people try to allow for increased family size.

    #2. So, I should be able to pool my income with 100 other people and only pay the average wage in the partnership? I believe this violates the idea that a husband and wife are one. If the wife chooses to stay home, your idea will punish a one income family even more than currently accomplished. Partnerships are not standing. Biblically, marriage is a new standing before society. You wish to punish or not acknowledge this standing.

    #3. Do you think a parent should have the right to educate their children how they see fit? If you eliminate the idea of marriage from all forms of legislation, you will also eliminate any protection parents wish to provide for their children. Children will become stewards of the state, not stewards of the family.

    #4. I actually agree that the state should not force ministers to register with the state to marry others. Yet, there is nothing wrong with a minister being a steward of the state. We, afterall, have a rich history of chaplains.

    You clearly want marriage to be nothing more than religious. The Bible, however, indicates that marriage is both civil and religious. Thus, these proposals attack the very idea of marriage as being both civil and religious. God indicates it is both, why can't you agree with God?
     
  10. KenH

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    Where in the Bible does it say that marriage is civil? What civil authority licensed the marriage of Adam and Eve?
     
    #10 KenH, Aug 14, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  11. AresMan

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    The Bible says that a man leaves his father and mother, cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. It says nothing about having to obtain some government license or contract to make it a "legitimate" marriage.

    The Bible says that what God has joined together let no man put asunder. It does not say that man has joined them together or that God needs a central, civil, secular authority to exercise this power.
     
  12. Ruiz

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    I didn't say marriage should require a government license. However, Reason and other outlets seem to think that we should not recognize the institution of marriage whatsoever and that there should not be a formalization of a covenant except insofar as it is a contractural agreement.

    My view is that marriage is both civil and religious. Civil, therefore the government has a role to recognize. In some manner, governments have formalized the process for administrative purposes.

    That is true, God joins people together. That is a part of the religious aspect of marriage. As noted, marriage is both civil and religious. God does take delight in ordaining marriages and blessing them--even for nonChristians. You do not have to be a Christian to enjoy the blessings of matrimony and the blessings God gives to Christians. Even if the individuals don't believe in God, God blesses marriages.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Two things:

    1. People who engage in homos3xual behavior and lifestyle choices already have the right to marry.

    2. The state interest in marriage is a longstanding matter, even in OT Israel under the theocracy where the state government had a role in marriage (who could and could not get married, who could and could not get divorced and remarried, and to protect the rights of the woman in divorce). Today, the practicalities of the matter remind us all that marriage needs some enforceable protection in order to protect both parties in the marriage.
     

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