Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Civil v. secular marriage

Sometimes I write letters to the editor of our local paper. Problem is, they only let you publish once a month. Some thirty-day periods are dry for me, other times I have a half-dozen topics. What usually seems to happen is that right after I get a letter in the paper, something really outrageous gets published and I'm out of action.

I just sent one off about the neo-con pundits claiming this is a center-right country. The problem is that we didn't elect the center-right candidate, we elected the center left candidate...

Today some of us were talking about the bruhaha over gay marriage. The opposition to same sex marriages comes not from legal scholars, but from the churches...

Marriage is a civil contract between two people. At least that’s where it starts. In many countries, if people want to get married they have a civil ceremony, then they have a church wedding—a blessing, really—if they want to submit to the protocols of a particular religious sect. Otherwise, how churches define marriage has nothing to do with the actual legal act of getting married or being married. That’s the way it should be.

The opposition to “gay marriage” comes from churches, as I said. If marriage was recognized as a civil commitment above all, then churches that are opposed to same-sex unions, simply wouldn’t perform them. It’s simple. America is a secular society; religion and state are two different things. That’s pretty much what the founders of this country had in mind.

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