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Sunday, April 14, 2013

XCV. Let No Man Put Asunder

8: The Mormon PropositionProposition 8, the California marriage law was passed by the citizens of California but has been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States since it was passed by California a few years ago and the outcome was not accepted by those who opposed it.  Many of those opposed to the law blame of course the "religious right".  Does California even have a religious right?  A huge argument by some is that marriage is based in religion and that is why there are marriage laws.  But a question is raised that no one ever answers: who should be allowed to get married?  They want to answer but realize they can't.  Before that issue is tackled here are some other things we need to know about marriage.
  1. All cultures have a form of marriage.
  2. Not all marriages in history had to be sanctioned by the state.
  3. Ceremonies were not always used to "formalize" the union.
  4. There have been many types of marriages that have been allowed and many that have been banned by all cultures.
  5. It seems that all cultures have placed rules on marriages:
    • age, economic status, families, how many, race, religion
    • family obligations, succession, divorce, sexual actions
    • ceremonies, records
    • and yes...types of marriages
And since this seems to be universal then religion is not the only thing that creates marriage laws and traditions.  The culture as the whole in every historical society and age has decided what marriage is.  Cultures do this to allow for property rights, social boundaries, and for the continuation of their culture.  The culture decides what traditions and/or laws define marriage.  Yes, sometimes these cause what some may call discrimination.  Please see end of Thought to get full picture before criticism.
Now since the United States was founded on Christian values, not necessarily Christianity itself, there is a direct correlation between marriage laws and Biblical ideas.  However, the United States is even more strict than what the Bible says.  For instance, the Bible says you can not marry your sister but cousins are within your right.  The United States does not allow certain cousins.  The Bible does not limit the amount of how many wives a man can have, yet the United States bans many polygamous unions.  Although, it is implied in the Bible that it should be limited to just two people.  Adam and Eve are named for each other only.  All major Biblical figures have one person they are committed to.  Some have more than one marriage but they are committed to only one.  The Bible does allow for "civil unions", e.g., concubines, marriages for alliances, marriages not based on love, etc.  The United States though has not allowed civil unions, until the last few years.  So, to say that marriage laws are religious only is actually not the full story, inaccurate.  The government actually has had more influence than religion.  Maybe the government is the problem.
So why can't people answer the question, "who should be allowed to get married?"?  Well, due to our changing culture the question is one know one knows how to answer if one wants to be completely undiscriminating.

The question can be answered but many will not accept it or it will always be argued what the stipulations are.  Those who are for marriage equality of any sort can not answer it.  Because if they answer it what would they say?  Some would say that marriage should be allowed between any two consenting adults.  But, they can't because that would be hypocritical.  Here is why.  If you say "two" people, then why not three, or four people?  If you say "consenting", does that mean that people who have mental disabilities who may not understand the concept of marriage are not allowed?  Wouldn't that go against personal freedom?  If you say "adult", then what is an adult?  Here in the United States 18 is considered an adult, but in other countries, especially throughout history some 12 year olds were considered adults.  So, someone 17 years and 364 days old is not a consenting adult but one day later they are?  The problem with this answer is that as soon as they say two consenting adults, then discrimination happens.  They have placed rules on marriage.  Since this then would not be an answer that is viable then some would have to say that marriage should have to be completely open.  But they can not say this either because if they say that marriage should be completely open then the slippery slope becomes an actual slope.  Marriage has to be one or the other.  Either there has to be stipulations or it has to be completely open.
Here is the point every one needs to understand but many will not like.  Who created marriage?  God.  It is ordained by God.  It is defined by God.  But as always man takes what God had designed and makes their own rules.  One major rule is love each other faithfully.  Civil unions, which are different, should be allowed.  Marriage, by definition, is one man loving one woman.  Not by culture, not by race, not even by religion.  Let no man put asunder.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Someone once said that opening marriage laws to interpretation so that people could marry their dogs was a slippery slope propaganda and would never happen. Well, how about now??????


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