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Marriage Best Left to Churches ^ | December 13, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Posted on 12/13/2012 4:13:10 AM PST by Kaslin

The current conundrum regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage is what happens when church and state are mixed -- the topics become confusing and confused.

When I married my husband almost 15 years ago, I did so out of love and out of a desire to witness before God my commitment to him and his to me. The legal and tax ramifications did not enter into my head.

But for couples of the same sex, the legal and tax ramifications can be very important because their legal rights differ from those of heterosexual couples in a number of ways, from hospital visiting rights to insurance benefits and taxes on death benefits.

It is time for us to pull apart the institution of marriage from the definition of a legal union.

Marriage should be determined by the church, whatever church you belong to. Some religions agree to same-sex marriages, others do not.

On the other hand, the state should not meddle with the definition of marriage, but focus instead on determining the legality and requirements of civil unions.

Marriage -- and the relationship between partners and their God -- should be defined by the church.

Civil unions and their legalities should be defined by the state.

It would breach the idea of freedom of religion to force a priest or pastor who does not believe in same-sex marriage to perform such a union.

The division? The government should issue civil-union licenses that could be referenced for legal/insurance matters. Churches should continue to perform marriages as they see fit. The churches' determinations would not affect couples' legal standing in terms of taxes, benefits, etc.

Why is this delineation important?

Last week, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear two cases regarding same-sex marriage. One takes on the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as it applies to the government this way: "In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."

Lower courts have found that the act is unconstitutional.

The second case deals with California's Proposition 8, a voter initiative that amended the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Lower courts have declared it unconstitutional because it withdraws rights from a minority group.

The outcome of the cases could affect churches and organizations that do not recognize same-sex marriage.

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who is the chairman of the bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, noted in a National Catholic Register interview that the "real threat lies in the area of licensing of Catholic Charities' adoption agencies and accreditation of schools and universities that maintain their support of traditional marriage."

"It is not unthinkable that defending traditional marriage will be regarded as bigotry and hate speech and that all kinds of strictures will be placed on our schools," Lori said.

The real solution is to create a real division between church and state.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: doma; faithandfamily; gaymarriage; homosexualagenda; supremecourt

1 posted on 12/13/2012 4:13:11 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Boo . . .

John Adams
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.”

2 posted on 12/13/2012 4:18:23 AM PST by RushingWater
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To: Kaslin
When lawyers are no longer well versed in texts such as William Blackstone's Commentaries this is the type of nonsense we are forced to read. This is a 200+ year old argument.
3 posted on 12/13/2012 4:20:42 AM PST by ALPAPilot
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To: Kaslin

When government touches anything -—— it just gets very messy.

4 posted on 12/13/2012 4:35:31 AM PST by Jerrybob (Truth -- the new hate speech.)
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To: Kaslin

The title looked so promissing...

The State “licensing”, or recognition of Marriage is something FORCED on it by the overwhelming social and RELIGIOUS institution of Marriage. So many people were wedding, forming their families, living and dying under this institution, that they wanted the State to STAY THE HECK OUT OF IT! State recognition of Marriage FORCES the State to grant the natural rights of child custody, inheritance, power of attorney and others that married people naturally expect. These substantial freedoms can be rightfully granted because of the social authority of the Church and the solemn vows taken in Marriage.

I thought the author was going to state that it was time to end the practice of the so-called “civil marriage”, a “marriage” with no religious authority behind it - only the State, itself. (I’ve always wondered what is sworn-to in a Courthouse “marriage”; the State Constitution?)

The author is, of course, completely wrong. Granting the freedoms and powers of traditional Marriage to any and all, without moral and religious authority will simply destroy those freedoms and powers forever. You will be able to have your religious ceremony, but you will have none of the natural freedoms you are entitled to.

5 posted on 12/13/2012 4:44:46 AM PST by Empire_of_Liberty
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To: Kaslin
Marriage should be determined by the church, whatever church you belong to. Some religions agree to same-sex marriages, others do not.

That would certainly make the Muslims and Mormons happy, then they can have their many wives as young as they want them.

Then you will see man/boy churches starting to organize too.

6 posted on 12/13/2012 5:06:42 AM PST by Graybeard58 ("Civil rights” leader and MSNB-Hee Haw host Al Sharpton - Larry Elder)
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To: RushingWater

I disagree....

Marriage should between the couple and their maker, through their religious affiliation...(or no affiliation if that is your personal belief).

the only reason ‘Marriage’ is even government regulated is for taxation and for wills....

lets get more government regulation out of our is the conservative thing to do...

7 posted on 12/13/2012 5:45:41 AM PST by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Kaslin

Enough of this. Marriage is best left exactly as it has been for centuries. “Getting government out of the marriage business” isn’t conservative: it’s a cop-out.

8 posted on 12/13/2012 5:47:24 AM PST by jboot (This isn't your father's America. Stay safe and keep your powder dry.)
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To: Kaslin
Yeh right....And there wouldn't be one guy who would vounteer monies to care for children of the marriage.

Why do you think we register marriages with the state?? For once, it rally is for the children.

9 posted on 12/13/2012 6:27:55 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: jboot

“Marriage is best left exactly as it has been for centuries.”

Yeah, if the state would just do that, folks wouldn’t be questioning if the real benefits of state involvement aren’t outweighed by the real drawbacks. As far as the state is concerned, at least in the modern era, the definition it uses to recognize the institution is simply whatever judges, pols, or 51% of the majority think it is at any one time. That’s it, that’s all it ever will be. It was always a danger. Tree/man, woman/dolphin, chauffeur/fleet of rental cars-—as long as judges, pols, or the majority think they are marriages, that is what the state will consider marriages. Pope Leo XIII warned about it 130 years ago.

One of the only reasons the gays want ‘gay marriage’ is because many have been conditioned to think marriage comes from and is defined by the state as little pieces of paper, simply a contract with benefits and strictures that can be broken and resumed between any parties the state deems possible. Therefore, to many, the state simply recognizing an impossibility like ‘gay marriage’ makes ‘gay marriage’ possible and acceptable. A recent poll has 40% of people thinking marriage comes from man and the state.

The other reason they need state recognized ‘gay marriage,’ is they want and need a way to punish those people and faiths that won’t buy into their nonsense. They can’t punish anyone for disagreeing with them without the state involved.

Not that I think the state will ever give up the institution at this point, it gives massive control of the culture.


10 posted on 12/13/2012 6:43:15 AM PST by Ransomed
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To: Kaslin

Problem is there are dozens—if not hundreds—of ways the government treats people differently according to whether they are married or not. The reason for this, historically—the State has understood stable marriages are to its benefit. Married families make more income, own more property, are the best place to raise kids, are more religious, more moral (generally), have lower rates of violence and other crime statistics, lower disease rates, etc. etc. and are basically the rock of stability to society. Therefore it is totally rational for the State to favor marriage, as such policies actually favor a healthy, stable civilization.

Care & custody of children, probate and inheritance, taxes of all kinds, ownership of property, government benefits & entitlements...all of these things and more depend on the government having legal means to determine who is married and who isn’t.

Things were much simpler in say early America—where all Church denominations—and individuals—basically believed the same things on marriage, and all that was necessary was a minister’s signature in a bible to prove a couple was married. Since government benefits and entitlements were much less (though they existed in those days too—in things like military pensions) it wasn’t as vital to be able to legally prove marriage anyway. However by the 1800s, as government involvement in life got greater...a standard, organized way to prove legitimate marriage came about parallel (and linked) to the record of the religious commitment, in the marriage license.

Given that much greater government entanglement in marriage now—it is impossible to turn the clock back—and proposed libertarian solutions (”get government out of the marriage business”) are just fantasies not based on the facts of modern real life.

11 posted on 12/13/2012 6:55:28 AM PST by AnalogReigns (because the real world is not digital...)
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To: Empire_of_Liberty
So many people were wedding, forming their families, living and dying under this institution,they wanted the State to STAY THE HECK OUT OF IT!

If so, pray tell how did the state get involved anyway. Your assertion makes no sense.

You're totally dismissive of the fact-based point the author makes that even prominent churches no longer agree what a constitutes a marriage. If they can't agree where is your moral authority to demand the State follow their lead on this issue?

No freedoms, as you mistakenly call the body of contractual obligations and responsibilities, are deprived because it's opened to more people.

Your line of argument is decades behind where we are in the culture war in secular and religious venues both.

12 posted on 12/13/2012 7:38:53 AM PST by newzjunkey (bah)
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To: jboot
Marriage is best left exactly as it has been for centuries.

You're another freeper who misses the point that churches don't even agree now what that is. Further, marriage is failing as an institution even examined on traditional grounds.

You want to avoid reality as reality passes you by.

Gov't will never be out of the "marriage" business as a matter of contract law since there are things like inheritance, powers of attorney, taxes, alimony, property rights and so forth to consider. But why not stop calling THAT a marriage? Why not keep the term for your faith practice particularly as we see in this piece various faiths have differing views now?

If you keep up your argument you'll lose the term entirely to "progress." Is that the conservative thing to do?

People keep trying argue narrow things that were lost 20 years ago instead of examining the landscape of today and how best to protect our religious liberty.

13 posted on 12/13/2012 7:48:48 AM PST by newzjunkey (bah)
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To: Kaslin

If the government gets out of the marriage business, what kind of legal rights would the children have? Would they be considered bastards if it was a church that the state didn’t recognise, like wiccan?

14 posted on 12/13/2012 7:55:54 AM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to, otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: newzjunkey

We got State recognition of our religious marriages placed into State Constitutions. That tells the State to treat our kids as though they are ours. It tells the State we can be in charge of each other. It tells the State that we share common property. These are natural rights, so making sure that the State recognizes them is of benefit to us.

The backing of the Church and our vows makes recognition of these rights reasonable.

You can assign these rights to people at random, as we are setting out to do, but the results will be that these natural rights will be lost to all through their abuses. As the inevitable failings will occur from handing adoptive chlidren over to sodomites, for instance, the natural rights of parents will be lost to government intervention.

You are right to point out that the Churches, themselves, are loosing moral authority as they embrace sexual promiscuity and sodomy. So where is the commitment and moral authority to make the natural rights of marriage and family reasonable to assign to the “marriages” they will consecrate?

The freedoms that married people enjoy today from Government intrusion in their marriage and family will be lost as these natural rights are assigned in a manner that no longer makes them reasonable.

My argument is Conservative. It is based on an understanding of the origins and meaning of the tradition of Marriage, and the role of Government in it.

I couldn’t care less about the “culture wars” or current views. We elect a President like a national Amercan Idol contest now. How qualified can “current views” be to define what is Marriage?

15 posted on 12/13/2012 9:46:12 AM PST by Empire_of_Liberty
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To: Empire_of_Liberty

Do you know of any societies or nations that didn’t have enforceable marriage laws of some sort, whether Rome or American Indians, or under the state/church enforcement under Catholic rule, or whatever?

16 posted on 12/13/2012 12:04:51 PM PST by ansel12 (A.Coulter2005(truncated)Romney will never recover from his Court's create of a right to gay marriage)
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To: Kaslin

Cushman is an idiot - the quintessential RINO (non-conservative.)

17 posted on 12/13/2012 12:37:31 PM PST by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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