Posts Tagged ‘Christian Marriage’

Thoughts on marriage and gay marriage

July 5, 2015
The last statement presumably was on June 24, 2015

The last statement was on June  24, 2015 (not August)

Hat tip to Tiffany’s Non-Blog.

There are lessons in this chart for people who advocate social change, and that is to never think that electing a particular politician is enough, and especially to never settle for the lesser of two evils.

I respect the gay rights movement for pressing relentlessly for social change and especially for withholding support for politicians who do not support their agenda.

The labor movement can learn from this.  Of course the gay rights movement had an easier task because its goals do not threaten any powerful monied interests.

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The ideal family

May 16, 2012

The conservative Christian writer Rod Dreher believes that the ideal family consists of a man and woman committed to stay together and to raise their children to be healthy, responsible adults.

My good friend Walter believes the ideal family is more than that.  It includes two sets of grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins as well as brothers and sisters.   He thinks children need all kinds of people in their lives – a crazy uncle, a sympathetic aunt, an adventurous cousin and so on – that they can relate to and they can see as examples, good and bad, of how to live.

I think Walter is right.  Sadly, though, this ideal isn’t always attainable.  I have divorced women friends and a widower friend who’ve had to bring up their children on their own.  It was a lot tougher than if they’d had a partner to share, but the children turned out all right.

Click on Some Burkean Thoughts on SSM for Rod Dreher’s argument that a society disintegrates when people regard marriage as a contract rather than a sacrament.  My problem with his argument is that, even if I were convinced he is right, I believe or disbelieve in religion based on what I think is true and false, not on what I think is theoretically best for society.  Maybe that shows I am a product of the individualistic American culture whose bad side Dreher deplores.

Anyhow, the data indicate that families are most stable, divorce rates are lowest, fewer children are born out of wedlock, etc., in the so-called blue states where social attitudes are most liberal than in the states where conservative Christianity is strongest.  That is not necessarily a criticism of conservative Christianity; as Jesus is quoted as saying, it is the sick and not the healthy who need a physician.   I take Dreher’s argument seriously, but, at the end of the day, I am not willing to make good people suffer in the name of a theoretical ideal that may or may not be valid and may or may not be attainable.

Christian marriage and civil unions

March 29, 2012

The major objection to legal recognition of gay marriage is that it is contrary to the historic teachings of Christianity and, indeed, of Judaism, Islam and other faiths.   But in fact the civil law as regards divorce has departed from Christian teachings from some time.

As I read the Gospels, Mark and Luke report that Jesus condemned condemned divorce, or Matthew that he condemned divorce except for reason of unchastity.  The first is the historic teaching of the Roman Catholic Church concerning marriage.   The second was the teaching of the main Protestant churches down through the early 20th century.

New York state’s “no fault” divorce law, under which I myself was divorced many years ago, allows a husband and wife to dissolve their marriage based on mutual agreement.   This is contradictory to the idea of marriage as bond which lasts “so long as you both shall live” than a same-sex union.   So are the laws of other states.  Civil marriage law for decades has ceased to reflect the Christian teaching that marriage is a sacrament that neither party can dissolve.

The Christian writer C.S. Lewis recognized the problem back in 1943

A great many people think that if you are a Christian yourself, you should try to make divorce difficult for everyone.   I do not think that.   At least I know I would be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine.

My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives.  There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on  her own members.   The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.

I don’t think the government should be in the business of defining marriage at all.   God, if He exists, knows who is married in His eyes and who is not.  Nothing the law can say can change this.  Let the government define the legal responsibilities of partners in civil unions and of parents to children,  and let the churches, who claim to speak for God, define marriage.