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Kmiec proposes end of legally recognized marriage
cna ^ | May 28, 2009

Posted on 05/28/2009 6:35:46 AM PDT by NYer

Professors Douglas Kmiec and Robert George

Washington D.C., May 28, 2009 / 04:41 am (CNA).- Doug Kmiec, a prominent Catholic who backed Barack Obama’s presidential bid, has endorsed replacing marriage with a neutral “civil license,” a proposal law professor Robert P. George called a “terrible idea” that would make the government neglect a vital social institution.

Speaking to CNSNews.com, Pepperdine University law professor Doug Kmiec said that although his solution to disputes over the definition of marriage might be “awkward,” it would “untie the state from this problem” by creating a new terminology that would apply to everyone, homosexual or not. “Call it a ‘civil license’,” he said.

“The net effect of that, would be to turn over--quite appropriately, it seems to me, the concept of marriage to churches and a church understanding,” he said.

Kmiec said that a motive for California’s Proposition 8, which restored the definition of marriage to being between a man and a woman, was religious believers’ “genuine concern” that the California ruling imposing homosexual “marriage” was not addressing religious freedom issues.

Saying he was among those believers who had such concern, Kmiec noted the possibility that churches which don’t acknowledge same-sex “marriage” could be subject to penalty, lose public benefits, or be subject to lawsuits “based on some theory of discrimination.”

Kmiec argued “civil licenses” would address the question. He proposed the state withdraw from “the marriage business” and do licensing “under a different name” to satisfy government interests for purposes of taxation and property.

Under his proposal, “the question of who can and cannot be married would be entirely determined in your voluntarily chosen faith community,” he added, saying that the proposal would reaffirm the significance of marriage “as a religious concept,” which has a much fuller understanding than is found in civil marriage.

Responding to Kmiec’s proposal, Princeton University professor Robert George said it was a “terrible” idea and a “very, very bad one.”

George told CNSNews.com that marriage is not like baptisms and bar mitzvahs but has “profound” social and public significance.

“It’s a pre-political institution,” he said. “It exists even apart from religion, even apart from polities. It’s the coming together of a husband and wife, creating the institution of family in which children are nurtured.”

“The family is the original and best Department of Health, Education and Welfare,” he continued, saying that governments, economies and legal systems all rely on the family to produce “basically honest, decent law abiding people of goodwill – citizens – who can take their rightful place in society.”

“Family is built on marriage, and government--the state--has a profound interest in the integrity and well-being of marriage, and to write it off as if it were a purely a religiously significant action and not an institution and action that has a profound public significance, would be a terrible mistake,” George told CNSNews.com.
 
“I don’t know where Professor Kmiec is getting his idea, but it’s a very, very bad one.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda; kmiec; marriage; religiousleft; romney

1 posted on 05/28/2009 6:35:46 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
Is this the age of the CINO? Where are the true Catholic voices?

Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


2 posted on 05/28/2009 6:36:43 AM PDT by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Can’t the Church officially excommunicate Kmiec, so at least when he makes such ridiculous statememts, others have an easy retort to the MSM that he is not a Catholic?


3 posted on 05/28/2009 6:39:48 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: NYer
Well, at least someone finally admits what the end game is to all of this homosexual marriage nonsense. Their has been a very effective, if covert war against marriage since the 1960's.

Feminist see marriage as some type of shackle of oppression or bondage against women. Liberals don't want any government favorability to the institution of marriage and the so-called gay-marriage debate is just a Trojan horse to destroy the marital union altogether.

4 posted on 05/28/2009 6:42:42 AM PDT by Big_Monkey
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To: NYer
Reynolds v. United States (1878)

"Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. Suppose one believed that human sacrifices were a necessary part of religious worship, would it be seriously contended that the civil government under which he lived could not interfere to prevent a sacrifice? Or if a wife religiously believed it was her duty to burn herself upon the funeral pile of her dead husband, would it be beyond the power of the civil government to prevent her carrying her belief into practice?

So here, as a law of the organization of society under the exclusive dominion of the United States, it is provided that plural marriages shall not be allowed. Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? [98 U.S. 145, 167] To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances."

5 posted on 05/28/2009 6:43:15 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood (Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???)
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To: PGR88

I wouldn’t be so quick to condemn this idea. Marriage is a religious institution first and foremost. Really, who cares what the state does with it’s (more and more) completely unrelated institution that goes by the same name.


6 posted on 05/28/2009 6:44:45 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Big_Monkey

Homosexual monogamy can never produce children...

These people seek a ceremonious sanctification and an esoteric absolution.


7 posted on 05/28/2009 6:45:43 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood (Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???)
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To: NYer

If you let em carry on for a while, eventually they make their madness evident.


8 posted on 05/28/2009 6:45:53 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (the machines will break.)
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood
Government could exist only in name under such circumstances."

Personally I'd be willing to take my chances.

L

9 posted on 05/28/2009 6:46:05 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: PGR88
Can’t the Church officially excommunicate Kmiec

Better if they took him for a nap with the fishes.

10 posted on 05/28/2009 6:46:46 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (the machines will break.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

he is full on insane. period.


11 posted on 05/28/2009 6:47:03 AM PDT by xsmommy
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To: NYer

Loud and Proud.

12 posted on 05/28/2009 6:48:04 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (the machines will break.)
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To: NYer

Like most things it is involved with, we will never get the gubberment out of the marriage business, much to the detriment of the institution of marriage.

But this guy is really a weasel.

Freegards, thanks for all the pings


13 posted on 05/28/2009 6:48:23 AM PDT by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed Says Keep the Faith!)
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To: NYer
Robert P. George called a “terrible idea” that would make the government neglect a vital social institution.

The government should be neglecting all social institutions. Protect us from murderers and terrorists and leave everything else alone. There's no need for even these 'civil licenses' -- people can choose to form whatever sort of private contracts they want.

14 posted on 05/28/2009 6:48:32 AM PDT by Sloth (The Second Amendment is the ultimate "term limit.")
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To: NYer

I’m sorry but if you supported Obama, you aren’t a Catholic.


15 posted on 05/28/2009 6:48:57 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (ALSO SPRACH ZEROTHUSTRA)
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To: NYer

CINOs - The group that keeps taking and taking - alive and thriving since 1962.

They took the Mass; they took Baptism; they took Confession; they took Communion; they took Confirmation; they took Holy Orders; now they want Marriage. When do they take Extreme Unction? Or will the dead be allowed this one Sacrament?


16 posted on 05/28/2009 6:52:03 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners.)
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To: DManA

Good point. And then it will allow for the union of a man and a dog, a man and three small children, a women and four goats, ten men and forty two lemurs, two children and their pit bull, and...

Really, we care. Every state, apart from what it might be argued theoretically, has always relied upon some kind of world view system of morality. Whether that was the pagan view of Rome, or in the case of the US, in the biblical view of Judeo-Christian propriety.

We cannot escape such a connection between the underlying world view and the public morality, so the question will be: With what do we replace this with now?


17 posted on 05/28/2009 6:53:00 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88

The best we can do is be Salt of the Earth and hope people listen to us.


18 posted on 05/28/2009 7:03:40 AM PDT by DManA
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To: NYer
Actually, they look like a very nice couple. How long have they been together? (Sarcasm)

Marriage will still be valid to the believers long after the government gets rid of it. Once the financial benefits disappear, so will the homosexuals “need” to be married. But for those who look at the oath as to “God”, it won't matter one bit what the rest of them think, we will still be married and God will still bless our union.

19 posted on 05/28/2009 7:12:26 AM PDT by wbarmy (Hard core, extremist, and right-wing is a little too mild for my tastes.)
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To: NYer

Separation of church and state, folks. You wanted it. Now sit back and enjoy the results.


20 posted on 05/28/2009 7:13:10 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: DManA
Marriage is the foundation of the family unit, and society is composed of families. As a practical matter, the state needs a way to acknowledge links among people. Kmiec proposal about marriage licenses actually makes no sense because the state would still be involved in marriage if it issues licenses. If the state were really to “get out of the marriage business”, it would not have anything to do with it. Kmiec’s talk about marriage licenses is a tacit admission that the state needs to acknowledge marriage (and vice-versa).
21 posted on 05/28/2009 7:14:37 AM PDT by utahagen
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To: NYer

By all means! Let’s do away with all of our societal norms in order to mollify a minuscule percentage of the population...after all, aberrations should have the right to rule the normal folks, shouldn’t they? That is, as long as they donate sufficient amounts to the democrat party.


22 posted on 05/28/2009 7:19:57 AM PDT by Oldpuppymax (AGENDA OF THE LEFT EXPOSED)
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To: NYer

Get government out of the marriage business and “family” business entirely and I am a happy man.


23 posted on 05/28/2009 7:23:38 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: DManA; PGR88
Really, who cares what the state does with it’s (more and more) completely unrelated institution that goes by the same name.

You should care! Children will be taught about homosexuality in schools. The rights of people who believe marriage means a man and a woman will no longer matter. We’ll have to accept gay marriage whether we like it or not. And this is just the beginning of the fallout. In Canada, the slip down the slope has led to a proposal to legalize polygamy. In Massachusetts, where gay marriage is already legal, there is a movement to reduce the punishment for bestiality. And it all began with legalizing gay marriage.

24 posted on 05/28/2009 7:29:29 AM PDT by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

The trends are all negative and the heathen are in charge.

None the less He is in control.


25 posted on 05/28/2009 7:56:20 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

congress shall make no law....respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. would that ruling not be unconstitutional? shouldn’t government get out of the “marriage” business? marriage is a religious thing, is it not? so these civil licenses apply to anyone and they are called unions or something, but a religious service is still a marriage. wouldn’t churches have the right to determine who they will allow to be married under their doctrine? i am asking because i truly wish to know, not just to be a smart ass.


26 posted on 05/28/2009 8:09:21 AM PDT by madamemayhem (what would john wayne do?)
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To: DManA

The problem is that the state does have an interest in promoting stable families with a mother and a father for the upbringing of children.


27 posted on 05/28/2009 8:22:43 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam

“The problem is that the state does have an interest in promoting stable families with a mother and a father for the upbringing of children.”

I don’t think the state’s intrest has been too good for the institution of marriage. It has conditioned folks to see marriage as just another gubberment contract that can be broken and resumed at will. And since lots of folks are now conditioned to think that marriage comes from the gubberment, they will accept impossibilities like “gay marriage” just because the gubberment says it is cool.

Freegards


28 posted on 05/28/2009 8:54:00 AM PDT by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed Says Keep the Faith!)
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To: NYer; wagglebee; All
On the surface, this seems like a really bad idea.

But, consider this: when a priest (or minister or rabbi or imam) signs a marriage license (a license issued by the State), is the minister not acting as an agent of the State as well as an agent of the Religious Body for whom he is a cleric?

What concerns me is that, as long as a minister is authorized (or required) to sign the marriage license, he becomes somewhat under the jurisdiction of the State and subject to the State's laws. (For example, I believe that it would be illegal for a minister to sign a marriage license if he or she was aware of a plural marriage, even if such a marriage was perfectly acceptable within the religious tradition that ordained the minister)

For example, in Maryland State Law (Family Law, Title 2, §2-406),

(a)  Authorized officials.-  

(1) In this subsection, "judge" means: 

(i) a judge of the District Court, a circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals, or the Court of Appeals; 

(ii) a judge approved under Article IV, § 3A of the Maryland Constitution and § 1-302 of the Courts Article for recall and assignment to the District Court, a circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals, or the Court of Appeals; 

(iii) a judge of a United States District Court or a United States Court of Appeals; or 

(iv) a judge of a state court if the judge is active or retired but eligible for recall. 

(2) A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by: 

(i) any official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony; 

(ii) any clerk; 

(iii) any deputy clerk designated by the county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county; or 

(iv) a judge. 

(b)  Period during which ceremony may be performed.- Within 6 months after a license becomes effective, any authorized official may perform the marriage ceremony of the individuals named in the license. 

(c)  Performance by unauthorized individual prohibited; penalty.-  

(1) An individual may not perform a marriage ceremony unless the individual is authorized to perform a marriage ceremony under subsection (a) of this section. 

(2) An individual who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $500. 

(d)  Performance between individuals within prohibited degrees prohibited; penalty.-  

(1) An individual may not knowingly perform a marriage ceremony between individuals who are prohibited from marrying under § 2-202 of this title. 

(2) An individual who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $500. 

(e)  Performance without license prohibited; penalty.-  

(1) An individual may not perform a marriage ceremony without a license that is effective under this subtitle. 

(2) An individual who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500. 

What happens if the courts decide that it would be illegal to not allow gay marriage (violation of the 14th Amendment or some such)?

It could be interpreted that a church official authorized in §2-406(a)(2)(i) is required to perform such a ceremony. (He is, after all, defined as an agent of the state, by virtue of his authorization to sign the license)

Think I'm crazy for saying that? Have you actually read the SCOTUS decision in Roe v Wade? The logic applied above is clear and plain compared to the convoluted logic applied in that famous decision. Think Maryland has got screwed up laws? (Well, it does, but that's not the point) Check your own state's laws up.

The sole advantage to what Kmiec proposes is that it takes marriage completely out of the legal picture and no longer mixes up Church and State, like I showed exists today. If "marriage" (vice a "domestic contract") is solely the purview of the Church and is not the State's business, then the protections of the First Amendment would clearly apply. Else, the State (through the courts) could assert primacy and demand compliance.

Think that this somehow dilutes the solemnity of marriage? Well, I would submit that they're not all that solemn today: with no-fault divorce, prenuptial agreements, and so on, we have a divorce rate of over 50% in this country. So obviously society doesn't hold marriage in very high esteem nowadays anyway.

Mind you, I would prefer that marriage was still a sanctified bond. I believe that it is only valid when it is entered into and kept per the precepts of Scripture...but since I am in the minority in American society (anybody divorced and remarried for any other reason than authorized by our Lord -- Matt 5:31-32 -- should check themselves before saying that they believe in the Holiness and Sanctification of the marriage bond)

29 posted on 05/28/2009 9:08:57 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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Sorry about the links in post #29 (I thought they were absolute...they weren’t...they were relative)


30 posted on 05/28/2009 9:10:42 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: Clemenza
In my own words here's how I read this.

Call it a Certificate of Union. Leave the "Marriage" to the Church.

Like a Certificate of Birth and leave the "Baptism" to the Church.

Much like a Certificate of Incorporation. Just for identification and taxes.

I don't like Kmiec because of his hypocritical support for BO but can't see the problem in this idea if it preserves "Marriage" for a man and a woman.

I could support it with one very important stipulation: NO ADOPTION OF CHILDREN !!. Lets see what Cino Kmiec would think about that.

31 posted on 05/28/2009 10:40:58 AM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: NYer

Here come the liberaltarians out of the woodwork; drooling over the prospect.


32 posted on 05/28/2009 4:38:14 PM PDT by fwdude
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To: fwdude

So now we want to just do away with marriage entirely?

As part of the whole gay marriage debate, there’s one important point I never hear mentioned. And that is that the relationship of a traditional married couple raising children has more significance to society than a same-sex adult partnership. So it makes sense for government and society to treat these relationships differently.

I know the activists say that lesbians can go to the IVF clinic and can adopt children, but the vast majority of same-sex couples will never have children.

I think we get side tracked by the separate but equal arguments of the gay activists. Their relationships are not as important to society as the relationships of couples raising their children. We all have a stake in how children are raised, and it makes sense for government and society to encourage these relationships. And it makes sense that these relationships will have greater government benefits than a childless same-sex adult partnership. I wish this point was made more often. Separate but equal doesn’t matter because a homosexual relationship isn’t equal; it’s not as important to the rest of society.


33 posted on 05/28/2009 5:09:17 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: madamemayhem
I don't think government should recognize anything but individual rights.

This identity group rights business is the road to tyranny.

We would be better off to start publicly hanging judges. The rule of law means very little anymore...

34 posted on 05/28/2009 7:53:05 PM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood (Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???)
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To: NYer
“I don’t know where Professor Kmiec is getting his idea, but it’s a very, very bad one.”

From Obama, where else?

Obama is taking heat from the left so his favorite apostate is sent out to cut marriage in half.

35 posted on 05/28/2009 7:57:53 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: NYer
I actually agree to an extent with Kmiec on this one although I understand where George is coming from. Kmiec still has gone off the deep end with his support for Obama.

I'd like to see government out of marriage. I don't like the fact that I have to get a marriage license even in this country. The only place I should have to go to get married is to my Catholic Parish.

36 posted on 05/28/2009 8:12:30 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (Buckley, Brooks, Parker - You supported Obama, so shut up and take your screwing)
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To: madamemayhem
congress shall make no law....respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. would that ruling not be unconstitutional? shouldn’t government get out of the “marriage” business?

The founding fathers who wrote the first amendment didn't seem to think so.

marriage is a religious thing, is it not?

Not exclusively. Marriage is a social institution. It predates organized religion. Some religions bless marriages, but there is a social purpose to heterosexual marraige, namely, encouraging stable families with a mother and father, that is entirely seperate from religion.

37 posted on 05/29/2009 9:16:44 AM PDT by curiosity
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To: markomalley
But, consider this: when a priest (or minister or rabbi or imam) signs a marriage license (a license issued by the State), is the minister not acting as an agent of the State as well as an agent of the Religious Body for whom he is a cleric?

In many countries, civil marriage is distinct from religious marriage. I got married in Mexico. My wife and I had had to have a civil ceremony, presided over by a judge, in addition to our Nuptual Mass.

Heterosexual marriage serves a secular, social purpose. It's great that religions sanctify the institution, but it is not only a religious institution.

That's why the libertine proposal to "get government out of the marriage business" is so absurd.

38 posted on 05/29/2009 9:23:32 AM PDT by curiosity
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To: NYer

“Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a how iron;

Forbidding to marry,....” 1 Timothy 4:1-3


39 posted on 05/29/2009 9:56:21 AM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publici scholae)
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To: TruthConquers

how = hot

opps


40 posted on 05/29/2009 9:56:57 AM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publici scholae)
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To: NYer

IMO, the less the government is involved in our lives, the better off we all are.


41 posted on 05/29/2009 9:58:27 AM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: curiosity
In many countries, civil marriage is distinct from religious marriage. I got married in Mexico. My wife and I had had to have a civil ceremony, presided over by a judge, in addition to our Nuptual Mass.

Agreed. It was that way when I was married in Turkey, also (yes, to another American). Is what you're suggesting that ministers no longer perform marriage ceremonies for the State (either by choice or by law)?

Heterosexual marriage serves a secular, social purpose. It's great that religions sanctify the institution, but it is not only a religious institution.

Agreed. And as long as it appears that we can preserve marriage to be between one man and one woman, this is the only arrangement that should be sanctioned by the State. Having said that, unless you see some major cultural jolt moving our society, and particularly the youth of our society back to a worldview that you and I would agree is a "moral" one, I cannot see any circumstance where the current trend will be reversed. I hope I'm wrong, but I can't see how.

That's why the libertine proposal to "get government out of the marriage business" is so absurd.

OK, but I think we somehow have a disconnect between ideals and reality. As I said in my earlier post, marriage is hardly the sanctified institution it once was, irregardless of homosexual "marriage" (or unions or whatever you want to call it).

I don't see much holy about the State institution of marriage (if it was truly holy, there wouldn't be that 50% divorce rate). I am concerned about the religious sacrament, as, at least in some places, there is an attempt to keep it as a sanctified arrangement that it should be.

42 posted on 05/29/2009 10:30:05 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: markomalley
Agreed. It was that way when I was married in Turkey, also (yes, to another American). Is what you're suggesting that ministers no longer perform marriage ceremonies for the State (either by choice or by law)?

I was just making a point that marriage serves a secular purpose in addition to its religious purpose.

I don't have a problem with the state using ministers as deputies in order to validate civil as well as religious marital unions. On the other hand, I don't mind having the civil and religious ceremonies separated, either. I don't think it matters much either way.

Agreed. And as long as it appears that we can preserve marriage to be between one man and one woman, this is the only arrangement that should be sanctioned by the State.

I would take it further. The state saction of this arrangment is essential to the health of our society.

Having said that, unless you see some major cultural jolt moving our society, and particularly the youth of our society back to a worldview that you and I would agree is a "moral" one, I cannot see any circumstance where the current trend will be reversed. I hope I'm wrong, but I can't see how.

The destruction of marriage altogether has always been the main goal of gay marriage advocates. The proposal in the article gives them exactly what they want.

On the other hand, I'm not nearly as pessimistic as you. I think there will be a backlash in time. When we see more and more families disintegrating before our eyes, the value of traditional marriage will become apparent. Give it time.

In the mean time, my wife and I will show the world the virtues of traditional marriage by our example.

43 posted on 05/29/2009 10:51:15 AM PDT by curiosity
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To: curiosity
On the other hand, I don't mind having the civil and religious ceremonies separated, either.

I actually think that this would be the best idea anyway.

The state saction of this arrangment is essential to the health of our society.

Agreed? But what if the culture really wants to commit cultural suicide.

The destruction of marriage altogether has always been the main goal of gay marriage advocates. The proposal in the article gives them exactly what they want.

I don't agree with that. The destruction of the Church (and Christianity) is the main goal. Once Christianity is destroyed as a source of morals and standard of virtue, they will have won. It's a spiritual battle, underneath all of this.

My reason for suggesting what I did was that it will prevent them from being able to destroy the Church via the requirement to make the Church recognize their arrangements (at least as long as there is a first amendment).

When we see more and more families disintegrating before our eyes, the value of traditional marriage will become apparent. Give it time.

I hope you're right. I'm also not holding my breath.

In the mean time, my wife and I will show the world the virtues of traditional marriage by our example.

Dig it.

44 posted on 05/29/2009 11:23:13 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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