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January 14, 2014

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If government involvement can't be avoided, and leaving marriage to the churches is a fantasy, then there's no way the government will let churches define marriage.

Are you saying the gay agenda has won the day?

We're not asking for churches to define marriage, we're asking for the government not to artificially redefine it. We're asking for the natural and historical function of marriage to continue without the government forcing artificial constraints onto it. (See this quote from an article by Frank Beckwith for more on this.)

It's pretty funny to give fairly unlimited power to a given entity and then complain when that power isn't used in the manner you'd like.

Why is that, Poppies?

1) If a given entity abuses the power we grant it, why is it "pretty funny" if we object to the abuse?

2) We haven't given "fairly unlimited" power to the government. The power the government does have is derived from the continued consent of the governed.

Poppies, the whole point is that a strong marriage culture limits the power and interference of the government.

The Church can't enforce anything directly, that's true.

But the state cannot dictate the conditions under which the Church conducts its religious observances so long as the Church is not, in the process, performing a state function (creating a civil marriage).

Because of this, the church could demand that couples wanting to be joined in a church sanctioned union sign a fairly comprehensive set of legal contracts. This might include getting a civil marriage first, or it might preclude that. But in all events, no contract, no ceremony.

The Church would also be free to refuse communion or enact other religious sanctions on couples who attempt to skirt the religious requirements of marriage by not having a church-approved union, getting by on a civil marriage only.

Furthermore, the church could insist on one-man-one-woman unions only. Those wanting a union between a man and a man or three men and two women or between two men, a dog and a bridge will have to settle for a civil arrangement if and when those become available and bear the religious sanctions already mentioned.

And since the church would not be providing any legally protected state benefit, it could not be sued for refusing to perform a marriage ceremony.

This is probably the future of religious marriage.

Mike, "abuse" implies going outside the bounds of what is allowed. The State has total legal allowance to govern however it sees fit. It is, in fact, the final legal interpreter of its own limits! Accordingly, it's funny/strange to complain about developments that are completely in line with the system you've decided is justified. Further, the idea of mass "consent" is fundamentally incoherent. It's simply a might-makes-right situation right now, and if your particular cohort doesn't have the might, you'll either need to get it or push for a system that doesn't allow for a monopoly on legislation and force.

Amy, we don't have a strong marriage culture and are unlikely to get one anytime soon, so philosophically supporting a system that forces contemporary mores on every individual may not work out so well.

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