In reply to: Some Afterthoughts - The Gospel in the Digital Age
I support the right and the necessity for every faith and denomination to define marriage according to the tenets of their faith, and I stand opposed to any individual or group that would try to "force" any church to go against their teachings and marry (or not marry) any couple that doesn't adhere to the faith.
That said, I firmly believe there are significant differences between the sacred and religious rites of marriage, and the civil right to marry, and that it is not for any church to define and codify religious rites into secular law. (if you ask me, the problem is one of semantics. "Marriage" isn't ( or shouldn't be) a legal term, infused as it is with sacred teachings and beliefs.)
The state has every right to choose to recognize religious ceremony as a legal union, just as each church can choose whether or not to recognize the secular, civil ceremony that creates a legal union as a marriage. But the twain needn't meet. Religious marriage is what your faith teaches you is is; no more and no less. Legal marriage need not--and I would argue, ought not--be based on any faith's religious teachings, but on the founding documents and laws of the land. Hopefully, this is the direction we are headed throughout this country.
I applaud the Catholic church's efforts to stay true to their teachings, and I hope they continue to do so. (I feel the same about my own faith--Unitarian Universalism--which has been performing weddings for same and opposite gendered couples for years, in accordance with our beliefs.) I would no more want US law to mandate (or forbid) my religious rites than I would your religious rites. If there's one place where the church and the state ought to remain divided it is in mandating or forbidding religious rites by federal, state, or local law... ...or mandating or forbidding Constitutional rights via the church, either.
Submitted for moderator approval July 8, 2011 at 9:07 PM
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