Marriage. That most Holy of Sacraments, that partnership between two individuals that perpetuates the race, the institution about which we all joke, and for which we all long…or long to escape from.
What is marriage? According to my faith, it is a Holy Sacrament, a witnessing before God and man that a man and a woman pledge their fidelity, love and honor to one another, for the rest of their lives. Any other agreement between man and woman, or man and man or woman and woman or man and gerbil does not fall within the bounds of that definition. There is no preclusion in my faith for a civil contract between any two parties over any topic, you just can’t call it marriage by the definition I use.
Why do my fellow Christians keep insisting on a direct linkage between civil government intrusion into our lives and our faith? If a church does not want to recognize a marriage whose strictures they disagree with, then they should not. If two people want to have a civil agreement that gives to the other the right to make certain decisions for them or benefit from certain legal obligations, so what? Do churches object to other business transactions in their community? Perhaps. They might object to a porn shop being sited next to a school. But there are many who are not religious who might likewise object, so that is not a purely religious reason.
You want an interesting study? Check out the history of marriage licensing in the US. The big push came in the 1920’s as part of the resurgence of racism, eugenics and socialism. Why in the name of all that is Holy would we want a legal check on inter-racial marriage to continue to be something we honor and require within our churches? Why would we continue to support the idea that a married couple should receive recognition as a single entity, like a corporation, rather than being what they are, two separate people before the law? If a married couple, in the eyes of God, wants to arrange certain civil matters such as inheritance or end of life decisions, they should do so with aid of counsel before the law, but it is irrelevant to their local congregation.
The Founders recognized that in order for the experiment in Liberty they were setting up to work, 2 things were required. The electorate must be educated so they are able to avoid the pitfalls of populism. They must also be religious, so that they make informed, moral decisions. None of what I have said should imply my moral approval of various forms of behavior. But, I am heartily tired of going to church and finding the state.