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dancer67

Can you be a Christian and still

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Civil rights should not be up for public votes in 2011. Voting on gay marriage is no different than voting on "miscegenation" laws, Jim crow laws, a woman's right to vote or own property or slavery in my opinion. Just because it has been done does not make it right, ethical or moral.

 

Most of the benefits of marriage cost no money and the lack of those benefits is heartbreaking and soul crushing...even just status as next of kin. Straight people take these rights for granted. Denying them to others is wrong.

 

:iagree:

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That's true. Voting does involve morality.

 

But, I think there's a difference between voting based on a limited, sectarian morality, and voting based on a moral general, secular morality.

 

And I support your right to your belief. You have set up a belief in your life about this topic. It's no more or less valid than mine.

 

I have my own personal, limited, sectarian moral beliefs. For example, I believe that divorce is wrong. I believe that premarital sex is wrong. I believe that abortion is wrong. I believe that owning more stuff than you need is wrong. I believe that accumulating massive wealth while others are in need is wrong. I believe that killing another person in self-defense is wrong.

 

However, I recognize that those are not beliefs that are shared by most people. They are based on a specific set of moral/spiritual tenets that matter to me. I'm not going to attempt to enact them into law, and I wouldn't want to. I can believe that non-violence is a moral imperative and so killing another person even in self-defense is wrong without feeling the need to try to make it illegal for anybody to do so.

 

And that's the point. YOU believe you shouldn't, others believe they should. Beliefs are what it's all about. So, we either ditch voting, or respect everyone's reasons for voting as valid. You have set your reasons as more valid than another's reasons.

 

In fact, I wouldn't want it to be illegal for anybody else to do so. I recognize that reasonable, kind, decent people have genuine disagreements on these issues. I would never, ever, ever want to see another person legally barred from using violence to protect their life, even if I don't think it's right. I think using the law to coerce people to act in accord with my personal moral beliefs on genuinely contested issues would be an act of violence of a kind, and one I'd not want to commit.

 

There's a difference between legislating that sort of morality, and legislating the kind of morality that all reasonable people agree on and that is necessary to keep society from falling into chaos or to keep innocent bystanders from being genuinely harmed. So, we have laws against murder, against theft, against running red lights, against setting fires. Sure, that's legislating morality in a sense, but it's legislating a universal, practical morality.

 

It's very easy for me, personally, to see the difference between moral principles that are universal and practical in nature, and those that are more specific to my personal religious ideology. I have no problem legislating the former, but I would be completely unwilling to legislate the latter.

 

And I respect that you choose not to vote your beliefs on others, which you are actually doing because you believe you shouldn't do it so that's how you vote. You always vote your beliefs. I will go ahead and vote mine and see you at the polls excited you are exercising that freedom our nation affords us.

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I get that many believe we should have a religiously neutral government. I couldn't disagree more. I believe the Creator of all things should be in charge of all of His creations. So, since I follow the Creator above the created, I vote how His word dictates life should be.

 

You are right that it can be any other religion. I will fight to keep that from happening because it's not what I believe God feels is right. If I believe God is true and real, then I can't live any other way by mere definition of that belief.

 

Can I assume that you are also in favor of laws outlawing divorce, requiring that a rapist marry his victim, imposing the death penalty on women who are raped within the boundaries of a city, and requiring the death penalty for children who repeatedly disobey their parents?

 

No?

 

How about a law that requires complete and utter sharing of material goods, such that no one has more or better things than anyone else? Because I'm thinking that would be a great way to prevent covetousness, which is not only sinful but one of the Ten Commandments.

 

I'm guessing that somehow none of that is what you "believe God feels is right." That works out awesomely for you, doesn't it?

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In any case, the people didn't have a vote on the issue. It was decided by the provincial courts, and then the federal government made it official. I guess it would seem strange to Americans that this could happen without a huge amount of controversy, when polls suggested that most people wanted to keep the traditional definition of marriage (ETA: e.g., this one cited by CBC -- which is not known as a conservative media outlet), but Canadians tend to be mild-mannered and reluctant to rock the boat. Some might also have been concerned about being prosecuted under the human rights laws. These didn't include sexual orientation as a protected category, but judges began to "read in" this interpretation starting in the 1990's. Since then, a lot of people have been brought before the tribunals for saying and doing things that might be considered disparaging toward homosexual people, including a priest and a bishop who were simply presenting Catholic teaching. (Their cases were overturned, but they had to pay for their defense, while the commission paid the complainants' costs.)

 

I sometimes tell my American friends, "to understand Canada, picture the midwest, if it were taken over and ruled by people from Berkeley." ;)

 

According to the last poll I could find (here) Canadians mostly agree that gay couples should have the right to a civil marriage.

 

Question 2: "In principle, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree or somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that same-sex couples should have the same right to civil marriage as opposite-sex couples?"

36% strongly agreed;

23% somewhat agreed; together, 59% agreed

9% somewhat disagreed;

23% strongly disagreed; together, 32% disagreed

6% had no opinion;

2% did not reply.

 

This was a change from the 2005 poll where the numbers were a little more even but it should be also noted that the question was different.

 

"Do you support or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry."

 

That is not addressing purely civil marriages as the later poll does. It may well be that opinions didn't change at all but rather many Canadians make the distinction some have made her between what their church would condone and what the obligations of their secular government. That may be why there was no real reaction to the legalization of civil same-sex marriages rather then simply Canadian complacency.

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Heather, I respect what you're saying here and thank you for your thoughtful answer, but I think there's an important distinction to make: We're talking about whether someone has the right to choose for themselves, not whether the voter personally approves, right? The voter isn't voting for same-sex marriage; the vote is for the right of others to decide for themselves. By withholding a yes vote, or by voting against same-sex marriage, the voter is making the choice to not allow others their own decision. The only way to really voice your belief that it's up to individual decision-making is to actively vote for the right to choose, to vote on the side of freedom.

 

Right to the heart of the issue there. :001_smile:

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Can I assume that you are also in favor of laws outlawing divorce, requiring that a rapist marry his victim, imposing the death penalty on women who are raped within the boundaries of a city, and requiring the death penalty for children who repeatedly disobey their parents?

 

No?

 

How about a law that requires complete and utter sharing of material goods, such that no one has more or better things than anyone else? Because I'm thinking that would be a great way to prevent covetousness, which is not only sinful but one of the Ten Commandments.

 

I'm guessing that somehow none of that is what you "believe God feels is right." That works out awesomely for you, doesn't it?

 

I understand the levitical laws and such you are trying to trap me with. Read one of my first responses on here. I don't address those things which attempt to make a person look stupid. If you have an issue with Jesus fulfilling the law, that's not my issue.

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I get that many believe we should have a religiously neutral government. I couldn't disagree more. I believe the Creator of all things should be in charge of all of His creations. So, since I follow the Creator above the created, I vote how His word dictates life should be.

 

You are right that it can be any other religion. I will fight to keep that from happening because it's not what I believe God feels is right. If I believe God is true and real, then I can't live any other way by mere definition of that belief.

 

Yes, separation of church and state is awesome. It is to keep the government out of the church, not the church out of the government. It's a wonderful idea. It's not a law, it's not in the constitution, but it's a wonderful idea.

 

And when you manage to get your religious beliefs voted into law, that opens the door for someone else (other Christian with different beliefs, Jew, Muslim, atheist) to vote their religious beliefs into law.

 

How are you going to react if (strictly for example) voting blocs in your state manage to implement provisions of Sharia law?

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It is a very consistant position, one consistant with God's word. I just follow it. I think you are taking exception with how He set it up. That's fine. Many do. You don't have to agree with me. You can vote against what I vote for, and vice versa. Doesn't mean I am wrong, inconsistant, or going against God's word.

 

I'm not sure it's consistent at all. We were given free will. There was never a point in the OT when God ruled all people of Earth or even demanded that he should. In the NT it's made very clear to, "give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s." There's a clear seperation between the material demands of state and the demands of religion.

 

God is the creator, yes but He has given us the freedom to recognize, embrace and follow the demands that recognition imposes. We are free not to. God already reigns, he does not need humans coming in between Him and His world by setting up very human Christian regimes.

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If sharia law is put into effect, my family will make decisions at that point. We will have to protect our children from being murdered. I will honor the laws of the land while putting God's above it. Not scared of what if type questions. God's law above man's at all times.

 

Listen, you guys want to allow homosexuals to marry, fine. Vote for it. Speak out on it. No reason to bring all these things out on what if's to someone that doesn't agree. You will win eventually. I whole heartedly believe that. I believe homosexuals will be allowed to marry in every state in our nation. I also believe there will come a whole host of new hate and new laws against those who refuse to do the actual ceremony or other parts of the wedding. I think the tide will turn eventually. I am not worried about it. I put my comfort in God and do what He commands, not really worrying about what happens tomorrow.

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I'm not sure it's consistent at all. We were given free will. There was never a point in the OT when God ruled all people of Earth or even demanded that he should. In the NT it's made very clear to, "give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s." There's a clear seperation between the material demands of state and the demands of religion.

 

God is the creator, yes but He has given us the freedom to recognize, embrace and follow the demands that recognition imposes. We are free not to. God already reigns, he does not need humans coming in between Him and His world by setting up very human Christian regimes.

 

You are right. You are free not to. Just like I am free TO recognize it. Freedom. Thanks for proving my point. My freedom to recognize God's way is valid, important, and what I will use until my last dying breath. Just like some will not to their last dying breath. And yes, God started out with ruling the whole world. We just decided we didn't want that perfection.

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I understand the levitical laws and such you are trying to trap me with. Read one of my first responses on here. I don't address those things which attempt to make a person look stupid. If you have an issue with Jesus fulfilling the law, that's not my issue.

 

It is. A Christian state...Who defines that? Whose kind of Christianity gets to make the rules? I find that most people who advance this idea think it would be theirs...Really? Might it not be a sect of Christians who think the Levitical laws are not such a bad thing after all?

 

That IS the issue.

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You are right. You are free not to. Just like I am free TO recognize it. Freedom. Thanks for proving my point. My freedom to recognize God's way is valid, important, and what I will use until my last dying breath. Just like some will not to their last dying breath. And yes, God started out with ruling the whole world. We just decided we didn't want that perfection.

 

Which was a gift. I'm not sure why one would think he should take that away from us now.

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But it's not specifically "what if" type questions. It's a comment about how making laws that are based on *one* religion opens the doors to make laws that are based on *other* religions, or even different sects of the same religion.

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It is. A Christian state...Who defines that? Whose kind of Christianity gets to make the rules? I find that most people who advance this idea think it would be theirs...Really? Might it not be a sect of Christians who think the Levitical laws are not such a bad thing after all?

 

That IS the issue.

 

This. Or not even the levitical laws, but some of the people who believe (for example) that a woman should never work outside the home, and if she is (God forbid) widowed, single, or destitute, she needs to rely on family members and her church to care for her, or find a new husband to take care of her ASAP.

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Listen, I will not go on and on and on in these circles. You vote how you want (you are all voting your beliefs, so ironic that you don't want me to vote mine) and I will vote how I want. I don't ask why you vote a certain way. I view it as valid and important to you. I ask the same. You can roll your eyes, think I am dumb, think I am hateful, but you don't know me. You know some black words on a screen. You may or may not know God (I don't know each of you and your personal choice in that area). We are different. There you go.

 

You won't make me change my mind. I will always put God first in all things. That shouldn't make anyone angry, upset, or annoyed. If you seek tolerance, practice it first. But, honestly, just like you, I am not tolerant of all behaviors. I love God. I love people. I love those whom many of you would actually say you hated. I put God's ideals above man's. It's just a simple way of life for me and my family. You choose your lifestyle, I choose mine. But to ask a person to not vote their tried and true beliefs that have taken them a life time to develop and come to is wrong, unless you are willing to pull the right to vote from every American out there and allow free reign on all issues (which would actually be you exercising your beliefs there as well). Beliefs are a part of us and cannot be seperated from our person.

 

I think we have exhausted that topic. So, if something new pops up, I will engage it. Otherwise, this topic has been very fun. It's the nicest of all threads I have ever seen on the topic on the various boards I have been on since the creation of the internet.

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You don't think the government should force people to be Christian, but they should force them to follow Christian teachings? :confused:

 

No, I don't think that at all! I was just posing a question.

 

To me, if somebody thinks that they have some sort of moral/religious obligation to vote against gay marriage because they believe the Bible says homosexuality is wrong and feel that they have a duty to vote against sin, then I don't understand how they could support religious freedom. The first three commandments deal with worshiping the God of the Bible and him alone. Idolatry and blasphemy are listed as sins far more times than homosexual acts are. So, it just doesn't make sense to me how somebody can say that the government should support people's right to worship however they wish (even though idolatry and worshiping false gods and blasphemy are listed in the Bible as sins many, many times) but then say that the government should deny people the right to marry somebody of the same sex (using the argument that the Bible says homosexual acts are sinful). If you really think that you have a duty to legislate Christian morality into law, then I think you should be consistent about it, and the first thing to go should be religious freedom. No idolatry, no false worship, no blasphemy.

 

And, if somebody doesn't want to deny their neighbor the legal right to engage in idolatry, worship of false gods, or blasphemy, I don't understand why they'd want to deny their neighbor the legal right to marry somebody of the same sex. The Bible has WAY more to say about the sinfulness of the former than the latter.

 

But, personally, I don't want to see the government legislate against any of those things!

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Listen, I will not go on and on and on in these circles. You vote how you want (you are all voting your beliefs, so ironic that you don't want me to vote mine) and I will vote how I want. I don't ask why you vote a certain way. I view it as valid and important to you. I ask the same. You can roll your eyes, think I am dumb, think I am hateful, but you don't know me. You know some black words on a screen. You may or may not know God (I don't know each of you and your personal choice in that area). We are different. There you go.

 

I've done none of that. You hold a different view from mine that I'm challenging, that's all. I don't expect to change your mind. I do hope to offer you some food for thought that might help you come to a better understanding of my position and I'm hoping to gain the same form you as well. All the best discussions I've been involved with have been with folks I never came to an agreement with but did come to gain an understanding from or perhaps recognize some common ground. You can't get to that if you think the person you're talking with is dumb. I don't think you're dumb.

 

You won't make me change my mind. I will always put God first in all things. That shouldn't make anyone angry, upset, or annoyed. If you seek tolerance, practice it first. But, honestly, just like you, I am not tolerant of all behaviors. I love God. I love people. I love those whom many of you would actually say you hated. I put God's ideals above man's. It's just a simple way of life for me and my family. You choose your lifestyle, I choose mine. But to ask a person to not vote their tried and true beliefs that have taken them a life time to develop and come to is wrong, unless you are willing to pull the right to vote from every American out there and allow free reign on all issues (which would actually be you exercising your beliefs there as well). Beliefs are a part of us and cannot be seperated from our person.

 

:grouphug: I'm not upset in any way. I think you've been very good and generous to dive into this discussion and open up your reasoning as you have. Thank you.

 

I think we have exhausted that topic. So, if something new pops up, I will engage it. Otherwise, this topic has been very fun. It's the nicest of all threads I have ever seen on the topic on the various boards I have been on since the creation of the internet.

 

I don't think it's anywhere near exhausted. :) I think we keep finding new layers! It's morphed again and again as possible answers to the original question lead to new questions on related issues. That, in my mind, is the best kind of discussion.

 

Feel free to withdraw and not feel you've given up anything though and re-enter later if you choose. I've already done that several times with this thread and it's a great thing to do if you feel it's getting heated or too involved. :hug:

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Voting about gay marriage does not mean voting for or against other people's right to do what they want. People will always choose for themselves who they are going to enter into a lifelong committed relationship with. It means voting whether your tax money is going to be used by the government to provide the same benefits to gay couples as to straight couples. Voters On either side are taxpayers and have a right to express their beliefs democratically by voting.

 

You know I love you right? ;) I just want to bring up a couple points in regards to your post. Just some things to consider. The bolded is a concept we have been sold my Pastors, Politicians, media and even history. There is one person who stands in direct opposition to this concept...Jesus. Tax money was never yours and was never mine. It was always "Ceasar's." Therefore, "my tax money" really does not exist (speaking as a Christian). I am thankful that I get some say in my governement's spending of our nation resources, but they are not mine.

 

Please know that I realize this argument falls apart outside Christianity, but Jesus say's it IS Ceasar's. He never suggests not paying the government because it might benefit Roman temple worship. Granted it is not a perfect comparison, but it give us a very clear picture of Jesus's sense and respect for earthy boundaries and systems.

 

Another point to consider is this: If we were to actually run the numbers on what it costs the government to keep homosexuals from being married, we would probably find that it more expensive than to grant them the right to enter into a marriage covenant. In some measure, as taxpayers, it is irresponsibe of us to insist that the government be the watchdog of who can and can't chose to enter a marriage contract.

 

I am all for different religious groups being abe to chose who they are willing to marry. Any government who can limit the rights of one group has the power to limit for another. That is not a part of what I call a "Free Country."

 

:grouphug: I realy am not trying to argue with you, these were just things that forced me to view my stances a bit differently. Just yesterday the Fr. I heard speaking mentioned that it is not the governments job to legislate morality. He pointed out that Orthodox priests are defrocked if they enter politics. It is a conflict of interests.

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I see your point. And based on how you have defined it here if there were a ballot that stated I was voting for gays to have the right to choose to enter into a same-sex civil union then I would probably vote yes. I would not vote for it if it was referred to as "marriage" as I feel that is a God-ordained covenant.

 

In fact, if it were worded as a civil union there are more Christians who would vote for it (yes I know many personally).

 

Choosing to contractually bind yourselves together in the eyes of the government (and all that comes along with that... Good and bad) seems like something that should already be allowed.

 

Fair enough. :)

 

Just a quick anecdote that's somewhat of a tangent, but I think related. When I applied for my marriage license, I was told that there are two valid ways to execute the license: 1) get married by a judge at the courthouse OR 2) get married by a religious officiant. There was no third option to get married by a secular officiant outside of the courthouse. To me, that felt an awful lot like the government also views marriage as a religious institution. It was very upsetting to think that the beautiful wedding I had in mind would be impossible without finding a work-around. So we did. My mother got ordained on-line by some non-church church (calling herself The Reverend Mother), and she married us. According to the state, it was legal, despite our knowledge that it's a ridiculous solution.

 

I would be VERY pleased if we could work it out so that government civil unions and religious marriage were two entirely separate things. So, in that case, if we wish to marry, we would be legally joined at the courthouse and then any other ceremony we have (religious or otherwise) is entirely at our own discretion, not subject to approval by the state. But because people view civil unions as "less than," it's a hard thing to talk about.

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Since I haven't posted in a bit, going to chime in about this.(Since I started this original thead, 42 pages long, yikes!)

 

My best friends, the lesbian couple, asked both my DH and I to stand up for them in their wedding.

 

We happily obliged.:lol:

 

This had been a great thread and happy to see that it was kept civil. I have see both sides on this. And I appreciate all the input. :D

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Fair enough. :)

 

Just a quick anecdote that's somewhat of a tangent, but I think related. When I applied for my marriage license, I was told that there are two valid ways to execute the license: 1) get married by a judge at the courthouse OR 2) get married by a religious officiant. There was no third option to get married by a secular officiant outside of the courthouse. To me, that felt an awful lot like the government also views marriage as a religious institution. It was very upsetting to think that the beautiful wedding I had in mind would be impossible without finding a work-around. So we did. My mother got ordained on-line by some non-church church (calling herself The Reverend Mother), and she married us. According to the state, it was legal, despite our knowledge that it's a ridiculous solution.

 

/begin tangent

Okay, I know it's ridiculous. And it probably wasn't funny at the time. But I have to say that your mother's awesome. If my mother did this I'd be calling her Reverend Mother for some time.

/end tangent

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I've done none of that. You hold a different view from mine that I'm challenging, that's all. I don't expect to change your mind. I do hope to offer you some food for thought that might help you come to a better understanding of my position and I'm hoping to gain the same form you as well. All the best discussions I've been involved with have been with folks I never came to an agreement with but did come to gain an understanding from or perhaps recognize some common ground. You can't get to that if you think the person you're talking with is dumb. I don't think you're dumb.

 

I didn't word myself well. I am sorry. I should have said "general you" after that. I am sorry if you thought I was attacking that you had done that. Please forgive my very bad wording.

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Fair enough. :)

 

Just a quick anecdote that's somewhat of a tangent, but I think related. When I applied for my marriage license, I was told that there are two valid ways to execute the license: 1) get married by a judge at the courthouse OR 2) get married by a religious officiant. There was no third option to get married by a secular officiant outside of the courthouse. To me, that felt an awful lot like the government also views marriage as a religious institution. It was very upsetting to think that the beautiful wedding I had in mind would be impossible without finding a work-around. So we did. My mother got ordained on-line by some non-church church (calling herself The Reverend Mother), and she married us. According to the state, it was legal, despite our knowledge that it's a ridiculous solution.

 

I would be VERY pleased if we could work it out so that government civil unions and religious marriage were two entirely separate things. So, in that case, if we wish to marry, we would be legally joined at the courthouse and then any other ceremony we have (religious or otherwise) is entirely at our own discretion, not subject to approval by the state. But because people view civil unions as "less than," it's a hard thing to talk about.

 

That's interesting. I know several people who have gotten married in secular ceremonies outside of a church AND a courthouse. My aunt was married in our backyard by the mayor of our town. My best friend was married by a lake also by a mayor. My brother was married by a judge but it was at a park.

 

Everyone who knows them views their marriages as equally valid as those married in a church building by a pastor. These are technically civil unions since they were not done in a religious ceremony and no one views them as "less than".

 

I agree that the two should be different. I am bound to my husband in the eyes of God whether anyone else recognizes it or not. We have made vows before God.

 

But I am also bound to him contractually in the eyes of the government. We share financial resources, pay joint taxes and are subject to laws regarding this contract. We also know there are penalties for breaking this civil union contract... Property laws, divorce laws, child support, alimony, etc.

 

If same sex couples want the right to enter into this same kind of civil union contract and be held to the same laws for breaking that contract, then why not? Most people I know would not have a problem with that.

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/begin tangent

Okay, I know it's ridiculous. And it probably wasn't funny at the time. But I have to say that your mother's awesome. If my mother did this I'd be calling her Reverend Mother for some time.

/end tangent

 

:iagree:

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That's interesting. I know several people who have gotten married in secular ceremonies outside of a church AND a courthouse. My aunt was married in our backyard by the mayor of our town. My best friend was married by a lake also by a mayor. My brother was married by a judge but it was at a park.

 

Everyone who knows them views their marriages as equally valid as those married in a church building by a pastor. These are technically civil unions since they were not done in a religious ceremony and no one views them as "less than".

 

I agree that the two should be different. I am bound to my husband in the eyes of God whether anyone else recognizes it or not. We have made vows before God.

 

But I am also bound to him contractually in the eyes of the government. We share financial resources, pay joint taxes and are subject to laws regarding this contract. We also know there are penalties for breaking this civil union contract... Property laws, divorce laws, child support, alimony, etc.

 

If same sex couples want the right to enter into this same kind of civil union contract and be held to the same laws for breaking that contract, then why not? Most people I know would not have a problem with that.

 

I agree that the language we use really does make a difference here. For example, I'd assume that your brother says he is "married," even though in a Christian view of marriage, he isn't. I think that if everyone saw it this way -- that "married" is a religious word and "joined" or some similar description is secular -- we wouldn't have this debate (at least, not among most people). Then everyone would be joined, and religious people would, in addition, be married. Popular usage, however, says that "married" is what we want, not "joined." So how do we reconcile that? I don't know. :(

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I agree that the two should be different. I am bound to my husband in the eyes of God whether anyone else recognizes it or not. We have made vows before God.

 

But I am also bound to him contractually in the eyes of the government. We share financial resources, pay joint taxes and are subject to laws regarding this contract. We also know there are penalties for breaking this civil union contract... Property laws, divorce laws, child support, alimony, etc.

 

If same sex couples want the right to enter into this same kind of civil union contract and be held to the same laws for breaking that contract, then why not? Most people I know would not have a problem with that.

 

But your equation bars same sex couples who believe in God and have a Church and religious authorities who are willing (and perhaps even enthusiastic) about joining the couple in matrimony with "vows made before God" from doing so.

 

You can not claim what you are offering as "equality." It is not.

 

Bill

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Good point, Simka. :001_smile: I will think about the "render to Caesar".

 

I wonder if this is different, though, if you live in a democracy. In ancient Rome regular people had no influence on how things were run.

 

We live in a democracy-- if we have a change to influence legislation, shouldn't we do it? and, if the other side wins, democratically, I think that is their right.

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But your equation bars same sex couples who believe in God and have a Church and religious authorities who are willing (and perhaps even enthusiastic) about joining the couple in matrimony with "vows made before God" from doing so.

 

You can not claim what you are offering as "equality." It is not.

 

Bill

 

I've always wondered about that as a religious freedom issue.

 

Many clergy in my denomination bless same-sex unions and would like to perform same-sex marriages. However, the state denies them the right to perform a legally binding marriage, even though they want to. To me, that seems like just as much as an infringement upon my church's rights as it would be to force another church to marry same-sex couples (or divorced couples, or anybody else) if they didn't want to.

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I agree that the language we use really does make a difference here. For example, I'd assume that your brother says he is "married," even though in a Christian view of marriage, he isn't. I think that if everyone saw it this way -- that "married" is a religious word and "joined" or some similar description is secular -- we wouldn't have this debate (at least, not among most people). Then everyone would be joined, and religious people would, in addition, be married. Popular usage, however, says that "married" is what we want, not "joined." So how do we reconcile that? I don't know. :(

 

:iagree::iagree:

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This country is a republic, not a democracy. It's a land of laws.

 

There should be a legal marriage for anyone that wants to marry that is performed by a legal entity, Reverant Mother or whomever the law recognizes. For those that want to marry in a religious context there are legal religious figures.

 

I think banning gay marriage is unconstitutional; there's no reason other than bias that it should be illegal. Immoral is up to the individual but there is no reason for it to be illegal.

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But your equation bars same sex couples who believe in God and have a Church and religious authorities who are willing (and perhaps even enthusiastic) about joining the couple in matrimony with "vows made before God" from doing so.

 

You can not claim what you are offering as "equality." It is not.

 

Bill

 

They can have Barney the Dinosaur officiate their wedding for all I care.

 

Believe it or not Bill, it is statements like yours that keep the argument going. For people like you it is not enough for a Christian to say "hey, you same-sex couples want to bind yourselves legally together, go for it."

 

No. You ALSO want all Christians to say that homosexual behavior is normal, natural, beautiful and God approves. Well it isn't going to happen and it is not fair of you to ask us to chuck our deeply held religious beliefs out the window.

 

I am willing to concede and have a live and let live attitude about civil unions. That will have to be enough because that is all you are getting out of me. I will not throw away my religious beliefs because they offend you.

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I've always wondered about that as a religious freedom issue.

 

Many clergy in my denomination bless same-sex unions and would like to perform same-sex marriages. However, the state denies them the right to perform a legally binding marriage, even though they want to. To me, that seems like just as much as an infringement upon my church's rights as it would be to force another church to marry same-sex couples (or divorced couples, or anybody else) if they didn't want to.

 

Polygamy is illegal in this country even though there are religious groups that include it in their doctrine. It has been brought to the courts (years ago) but still is a US law today.

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Many religious officiates are willing to perform marriages.

 

If a clergyman does not wish to marry a same sex couple that is their business but others are.

 

But will this always be the case? Will discrimination lawsuits arise when clergymen (or whomever) do not want to marry a same sex couple? :confused:

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They can have Barney the Dinosaur officiate their wedding for all I care.

 

Believe it or not Bill, it is statements like yours that keep the argument going. For people like you it is not enough for a Christian to say "hey, you same-sex couples want to bind yourselves legally together, go for it."

 

Yes Heather, it keeps an argument going because "separate but equal" is not equal.

 

No. You ALSO want all Christians to say that homosexual behavior is normal, natural, beautiful and God approves. Well it isn't going to happen and it is not fair of you to ask us to chuck our deeply held religious beliefs out the window.

 

No. What you are saying is you would allow the deeply held religious beliefs of some people to trounce the deeply held beliefs of others. It is a position which denies freedom of conscious to individuals. You are on the losing side in a struggle that will be won in time.

 

I am willing to concede and have a live and let live attitude about civil unions. That will have to be enough because that is all you are getting out of me. I will not throw away my religious beliefs because they offend you.

 

It is not good enough. No one has asked you to change your religious beliefs. Do as you will. But when you use your bleief to deny freedom to others you will have a fight on your hands.

 

Bill

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No. You ALSO want all Christians to say that homosexual behavior is normal, natural, beautiful and God approves. Well it isn't going to happen and it is not fair of you to ask us to chuck our deeply held religious beliefs out the window.

 

I am willing to concede and have a live and let live attitude about civil unions. That will have to be enough because that is all you are getting out of me. I will not throw away my religious beliefs because they offend you.

 

:iagree: As long as civil unions don't end up doing the same thing.

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It may well be that opinions didn't change at all but rather many Canadians make the distinction some have made her between what their church would condone and what the obligations of their secular government. That may be why there was no real reaction to the legalization of civil same-sex marriages rather then simply Canadian complacency.

Perhaps. But I find it interesting that the 2006 poll shows 59% agreeing in principle with same-sex marriage, but 89% agreeing that "it is now a settled matter and there should not be another vote."

 

So there were 30% who still weren't in favor, but also weren't in favor of doing anything about it. Even though they never got to have much say in the matter in the first place.

 

I can't see that happening in the US! ;)

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No, I don't think that at all! I was just posing a question.

 

To me, if somebody thinks that they have some sort of moral/religious obligation to vote against gay marriage because they believe the Bible says homosexuality is wrong and feel that they have a duty to vote against sin, then I don't understand how they could support religious freedom. The first three commandments deal with worshiping the God of the Bible and him alone. Idolatry and blasphemy are listed as sins far more times than homosexual acts are. So, it just doesn't make sense to me how somebody can say that the government should support people's right to worship however they wish (even though idolatry and worshiping false gods and blasphemy are listed in the Bible as sins many, many times) but then say that the government should deny people the right to marry somebody of the same sex (using the argument that the Bible says homosexual acts are sinful). If you really think that you have a duty to legislate Christian morality into law, then I think you should be consistent about it, and the first thing to go should be religious freedom. No idolatry, no false worship, no blasphemy.

 

And, if somebody doesn't want to deny their neighbor the legal right to engage in idolatry, worship of false gods, or blasphemy, I don't understand why they'd want to deny their neighbor the legal right to marry somebody of the same sex. The Bible has WAY more to say about the sinfulness of the former than the latter.

 

But, personally, I don't want to see the government legislate against any of those things!

 

Ah, okay, thank you for clarifying. From your post, I couldn't really tell the tone. You know, internet and all ;) :001_smile:

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But will this always be the case? Will discrimination lawsuits arise when clergymen (or whomever) do not want to marry a same sex couple? :confused:

 

Is there a law forcing pastors to marry mixed race couples? No.

 

I am sure there are some that do not

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No. What you are saying is you would allow the deeply held religious beliefs of some people to trounce the deeply held beliefs of others. It is a position which denies freedom of conscious to individuals. You are on the losing side in a struggle that will be won in time.

 

Bill

 

In demanding that I support that which my deeply held religious beliefs say is a sin, YOU are "trouncing" on MY freedom. Losing side? Well, that is entirely debatable. I've read the Bible. I know how the story ends.

 

And you do realize that it is NOT just Christians who will not vote for gay marriage right? I know plenty of atheists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and people who claim no religion whatsoever who ALSO vote against it.

 

So maybe you could widen the net just a bit instead of blaming it all on those hate-mongering christians?

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I think one of the best ways to handle the marriage/civil union issue (IMHO)

is to do as is done in France.

 

The legal union is done at the court house, or town hall, basically. This ensures all legal rights to the couple. This is the joining that matters with regard to the state.

 

Then, if the religious couple wants a religious ceremony, they have one as well, but it does not confer legal standing. It is strictly religious. One does not affect the other, and the religious officient can only recognize the couple as married in the laws of their religion, not the state.

 

Religious people feel they have the only right to "marriage", but happily admit that there's is a god-inspired concept. A religious marriage unites them in the sight of their deity of choice, but does not confer legal rights. So, it's unfair to conflate the two, both for the religious people and for non-religious people.

 

Religious officiants in the US are granted "by the state" the right to confer legal rights. We should stop doing that so as to not blur the line. Here's an example of this in "real time"

 

Thinking about the LDS version of the eternal marriage. Theirs is a special, religious marriage that binds participants for "time and all eternity". This is separate from the legal contract as well. It is a different sort of marriage than most religions recognize, and one different that our laws recognize.

 

I suggest that the only partnership that gives couples legal standing in the US (which is a legal entity) is the civil union. Everyone is entitled to this. For religious people who want a religious "marriage" in addition, they should get one from their religious organization.

 

Voila, problem solved!

 

Church out of state. State out of church!

 

No rights infringed upon!

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I suggest that the only partnership that gives couples legal standing in the US (which is a legal entity) is the civil union. Everyone is entitled to this. For religious people who want a religious "marriage" in addition, they should get one from their religious organization.

 

Voila, problem solved!

 

Church out of state. State out of church!

 

No rights infringed upon!

 

 

That's what I agree with, and my Gov, (a practicing cradle Catholic does, too).

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Okay, my question on evangelicals and natural law is answered in this piece from Touchstone magazine. The author, an evangelical, talks about how despite the country being founded on principles of natural law, most Americans "tend to gravitate toward either a secularist or a scripturalist view of law," thus ensuring that they will just keep talking past each other.

 

One can definitely see that going on in this thread. The last couple of pages are just depressing. Y'all have a great country here. Maybe you can try to find some common ground?

 

I'm going to go eat a bag of cookies now. :tongue_smilie:

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.....

 

Religious people feel they have the only right to "marriage", but happily admit that there's is a god-inspired concept. A religious marriage unites them in the sight of their deity of choice, but does not confer legal rights. So, it's unfair to conflate the two, both for the religious people and for non-religious people.

 

Religious officiants in the US are granted "by the state" the right to confer legal rights. We should stop doing that so as to not blur the line.....

 

I suggest that the only partnership that gives couples legal standing in the US (which is a legal entity) is the civil union. Everyone is entitled to this. For religious people who want a religious "marriage" in addition, they should get one from their religious organization.

 

Voila, problem solved!

 

Church out of state. State out of church!

 

No rights infringed upon!

 

:iagree::iagree:

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Can I assume that you are also in favor of laws outlawing divorce, requiring that a rapist marry his victim, imposing the death penalty on women who are raped within the boundaries of a city, and requiring the death penalty for children who repeatedly disobey their parents?

 

No?

 

How about a law that requires complete and utter sharing of material goods, such that no one has more or better things than anyone else? Because I'm thinking that would be a great way to prevent covetousness, which is not only sinful but one of the Ten Commandments.

 

I'm guessing that somehow none of that is what you "believe God feels is right." That works out awesomely for you, doesn't it?

 

I understand the levitical laws and such you are trying to trap me with. Read one of my first responses on here. I don't address those things which attempt to make a person look stupid. If you have an issue with Jesus fulfilling the law, that's not my issue.

 

Jesus fulfilled the Ten Commandments, and so the prohibition against covetousness is no longer binding?

 

Jesus spoke against divorce himself, right? Or at least against remarriage. So that's not solely a Levitical law. And yet Christian churches preside over remarriages all the time.

 

The passage that declares homosexuality "an abomination" is in Leviticus. I hear anti-gay Christians quote that specific phrase all the time, and yet you seem to want me to understand that Levitical laws have been fulfilled.

 

I don't know why I'm pursuing this, because it's come up here before (in a discussion about female ministers) and I have never, ever been able to make sense out of which Biblical laws are supposed to be "fulfilled" and which are supposed to be "God's eternal laws." There may be some sort of internal logic that fundamentalist Christians perceive, but from the outside it looks a h*ll of a lot more like y'all are picking and choosing the ones that suit you.

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They can have Barney the Dinosaur officiate their wedding for all I care.

 

Believe it or not Bill, it is statements like yours that keep the argument going. For people like you it is not enough for a Christian to say "hey, you same-sex couples want to bind yourselves legally together, go for it."

 

No. You ALSO want all Christians to say that homosexual behavior is normal, natural, beautiful and God approves. Well it isn't going to happen and it is not fair of you to ask us to chuck our deeply held religious beliefs out the window.

 

I am willing to concede and have a live and let live attitude about civil unions. That will have to be enough because that is all you are getting out of me. I will not throw away my religious beliefs because they offend you.

 

Heather, I can't speak for Bill, but although I may want all Christians to leave judgment of same-sex couples alone, I don't think it's reasonable for me to expect it of them.

 

I agree with what I take Bill's point to be: if there are churches which accept same-sex relationships, why shouldn't those churches be allowed to marry same-sex couples? I'll offer my church as an example. We believe that gay and lesbian couples are fully equal, and they are equally cherished in our religious tradition. My minister, who is ordained and empowered by the state of Maryland to marry heterosexual couples, would happily marry gay or lesbian couples and bless their relationships as sacred. The state forbids him to.

 

How is that not a violation of his religious freedom? Why should the dictates of your faith be enshrined in law and the dictates of my faith be forbidden? How does protection of your religious rights require that my minister not exercise his?

 

Here's an analogy I've made before:

 

What would be wrong with a federal law that prohibited the ordination of women? Many religions believe that ordination is a sacred status that pertains only to men.

 

Why shouldn't their religious convictions be respected by enshrining that status in federal law? Denominations which do ordain women could use a secondary status, maybe called a "lay worship leader." Those women could still do all the same parts of their job, but it would be clear that ordination is something sacred and different that women cannot be part of, and historically have never been part of. After all, liberals like the Episcopalians, United Methodists, Presbyterians, American Baptists, and so on can't expect to get to shove their modern, inclusive definition of who gets to receive a sacrament down everyone else's throat.

 

...If that seems like an obvious example of the federal government infringing on some people's religious freedom in order to enforce other people's religious preferences - and I hope that it does - you are left with the need to explain why some religious denominations' opposition to gay marriage trumps other denominations' support.

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I think one of the best ways to handle the marriage/civil union issue (IMHO)

is to do as is done in France.

 

The legal union is done at the court house, or town hall, basically. This ensures all legal rights to the couple. This is the joining that matters with regard to the state.

 

Then, if the religious couple wants a religious ceremony, they have one as well, but it does not confer legal standing. It is strictly religious. One does not affect the other, and the religious officient can only recognize the couple as married in the laws of their religion, not the state.

 

Religious people feel they have the only right to "marriage", but happily admit that there's is a god-inspired concept. A religious marriage unites them in the sight of their deity of choice, but does not confer legal rights. So, it's unfair to conflate the two, both for the religious people and for non-religious people.

 

Religious officiants in the US are granted "by the state" the right to confer legal rights. We should stop doing that so as to not blur the line. Here's an example of this in "real time"

 

Thinking about the LDS version of the eternal marriage. Theirs is a special, religious marriage that binds participants for "time and all eternity". This is separate from the legal contract as well. It is a different sort of marriage than most religions recognize, and one different that our laws recognize.

 

I suggest that the only partnership that gives couples legal standing in the US (which is a legal entity) is the civil union. Everyone is entitled to this. For religious people who want a religious "marriage" in addition, they should get one from their religious organization.

 

Voila, problem solved!

 

Church out of state. State out of church!

 

No rights infringed upon!

 

:iagree: This is actually how my minister feels it should be done as well.

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But will this always be the case? Will discrimination lawsuits arise when clergymen (or whomever) do not want to marry a same sex couple? :confused:

 

The Constitution and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, and have since this country was founded. Did you ever hear of a clergyperson being forced to perform an interfaith wedding? Or a Rabbi being forced to marry two Catholics?

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