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Christianity, Government, And Marriage

Recently, I had a good friend of mine, knowing that I am both a Christian, and lean in the Libertarian direction, ask me my thoughts on the subject of Christianity and gay marriage. After a few days of thought, I decided that I would (with her permission) post our correspondence, on the site, and hopefully get some ‘insightful’ comments and feedback. This subject, as with others like it, can elicit passions from people of all faiths, and backgrounds. I can, and do, respect, all points of view. I only ask that everyone please be respectful to each other’s points of view, as well. The only way to find real solutions, to complex issues, in a country as large and diverse as ours, is to have open and honest discussion and debate.

Below, is my discussion with Kori:

Hi Mark, the questions I wanted to ask you are about homosexuality and where we should stand on it as patriots. I really waver on this issue. I know where I stand on it Biblically, but I am unsure politically where to be.

Hi Kori, well, me and you would agree, that, Biblically, homosexuality, according to God, himself, is a sin. So, we both agree, from a Biblical perspective. But, I have also thought of this a lot, as you have – and, as a Christian, I know that my relationship is between myself and God. Not, myself, my fellow citizens and God. My sense of morality comes from my Biblical beliefs – and, not from laws decreed by my Government. Also, I try to never judge anyone, Kori, lest I too want to be judged.

If all men are created equal and endowed by Him with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then should homosexuals be allowed to do what they wish?

I tend to lean in the yes direction. For example, marriage-licensing, to the best of my knowledge, and from what I have read, was made up by Government; and, instituted in The United States, in the early (please double-check that) 1800s. Therefore, who is the Government to tell any ‘two’ people that you can not have a contract together? In fact, contracts are wholly Constitutional, and should be adjudicated in our court system. So, there again, is this Government ‘legislation’ (or lobby groups) using licensing to social engineer our country, and play morality police?

Should they have the same freedoms we grant to various traditions and religions. Of course, homosexuality is not a religion; though, some do certainly worship the creation rather than the Creator. I just wonder if we ought to let them be?

I don’t believe this is cause for any new religion.

I usually avoid this conversation, in public, since I am not sure where to be on it. This is one instance where I think one way spiritually, and possibly another way politically.

I can understand that Kori! I only, recently, opened up, publicly, in regards to the subject of homosexuality and abortion. As a Christian, myself, I struggle, like you, with these issues. But, I can tell just by your questions on homosexuality, that you also believe in Freedom – I do, as well. I admire the fact that you have the ability to separate your faith from questions of civil life, and Constitutionality. I do believe there is a distinction.

I was a dancer for many years, in the entertainment industry, so you can imagine how many beloved friends I have that are gay. Which is another reason why I don’t touch the subject publicly.

Oh yes!  I am a guitarist. An old friend of mine, who I haven’t seen in years, was gay; but, he rarely talked about it. He was a great solo guitarist, and we wrote several songs together. We had a great musical chemistry; but, he knew that I liked women (ONLY), and talked about them, a lot, to him, back then! Therefore, we had a mutual respect for each other, and he never tried to impose his values on me – and, I never judged anyone any differently because they chose that path.

I don’t justify their behavior and remain solidly on scripture. But I just don’t get involved in the argument. Of course, many of the organizations I follow (CWA, Citizenlink, AFA, FRC,…) have this as one of their top issues.

I do not justify homosexuality either. And, in the few times that gay men have tried hitting on me, I have respectfully asked them to stop. And, told them, while I respect their right to be gay, I am not, and will NEVER be! I have actually shared Biblical scripture with a few gay people who I have gotten to know, and felt comfortable with. I was never, verbally, met with resentment. But, I have gotten the old, ‘God is Love’ speech – and, he loves us all etc. And, my reply is, the Bible is clear – and, they are God’s words.

I understand that the Founders were cool with freedom of pretty much anything as long as it didn’t bring harm to another. Well, my personal opinion is that homosexuality can be destructive to families, children, and loved ones; just as extra-marital sexual activity can be very harmful to individuals (emotionally, healthwise, etc.).

Kori, let’s keep in mind:
The Founders, when writing the Federal Constitution, gave a few, limited, and defined powers to a Federal Government, because these few things were necessary to our Federalist system, and were uniformly needed, and agreed upon, by the states. Therefore, imho, it is really wrong for our Federal Government to go beyond having a mere discussion on any topics of social or Biblical issues. In other words, their opinions, as fellow citizens, are welcome; however, no laws respecting these issues, Federally, should be acceptable. Which, imho, is where some of the Christian and Social Conservative groups, in this country, and mostly starting with the Reagan Admin, have gone a bit awry! And, frankly, angered many people. No party, in the Federal Government, should be making laws in regards to ‘their’ morality. No one on the left, or right! Republicans or Democrats!

Why am I saying this? Well, as you likely know, the Federal Government was created out of necessity; but, the states is where our Liberties were preserved. And, where all laws regarding these things were to be decided. And, there is no doubt that we had a very dominant Christian population, back then; and, many states did create laws based on their Biblical values. So, the bottom-line, really, is, all these things, including gay marriage, must be left to each state, respectively. That would also assure more harmony in our country - instead of the Federal Government trying to nationalize things that were never really meant to be nationalized.

And, from my Christian point of view, I regulate my own behavior according to my Christian beliefs; but, never try to push my beliefs onto others. I can share my beliefs, but, I am not very comfortable with people enforcing their beliefs through the power of law. Therefore, I too can not give a definitive answer, except to say: Let each state decide, respectively. And, while I am not really into pure democracy, perhaps, referendums are valid, in each state, when it comes to social issues. That way, no one can say your Rep, or my Rep, imposed their values; but, rather, each registered voter could directly vote their conscience.

And, clearly, there needs to be some social standards. None of us are looking to have some out of control, free for all, society. But, I do believe, for the most part, that free people should be able to regulate their own lives, according to their own moral code, and religious beliefs. And, like the rest of us, have to live or die with the consequences. If you have shared the word of God, it is up to that person to receive the word, right? If they chose to defy the word of God, our Government, and laws, will be of little consequence when they stand before God, himself. And, as you know, that comes from my (our) Christian belief, system.

In fact, if we extirpated Government from this business of licensing marriage, then the clergy can, and should, decide, if they can marry two people, according to their beliefs.

Do you happen to know: Does marriage come solely from the Christian belief system? If so, and it is clearly defined as a man and a woman, then it is reasonable to leave that definition as part of the Christian tradition, and have civil unions for non-heterosexual marriages.

Secularly-speaking, a union is basically a contract between people, or persons, and it is hard to justify any Government inserting itself between that, in our country. Only an independent court system to adjudicate contracts.

I hope that helps to answer your questions – at least somewhat? I really appreciate that you value my opinion, Kori. Thank you, and I value yours, as well.




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  1. “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams

    “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence. It is force, and like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington

    “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” – James Madison (Federalist Papers #45)

    “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government…” – Thomas Jefferson (First Inaugural Address – 1801)

    “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “Resolved, that the several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government.” – Thomas Jefferson (from The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798)

    “I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but the people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take power from them, but to inform them by education.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “The States are the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican [as in our Republic] tendencies.” – Thomas Jefferson

  2. Mark,
    Way to consolidate my jumbled mess of questions regarding this issue.  :)
    I’ll start off slow here since I tend to run off in every direction known (and unknown) to man.

    Morality should not be mandated. People must choose for themselves what they will do.

    Christians who may read this, please first take some time to listen to the following message from Alan Chambers of Exodus International (an ex-gay ministry)

    How Should the Church Respond to Homosexuality? (Part 1)

    How Should the Church Respond to Homosexuality? (Part 2)

    We must, above all, have tender and loving hearts toward those who are immersed in the homosexual lifestyle. This is a beautiful message.

    I appreciate, Mark, how, in your comment, you wove in the various quotes and excerpts of official Founding documents, and various perspectives, that address our dialog.

    More soon.

  3. These are only preliminary questions and responses I have come up with.  I’m certainly not suggesting this is the end of the conversation.  I remain unsettled on this issue.  I am certainly open and eager to hear other perspectives and insights.  So, bring it! :)

    What I know:
    Morality must not be mandated.
    God forces no one to come to Him. He stands at the door and knocks. He will only come to those who want Him. (Revelation 3:20)

    Since belief in Christ (the most important action mankind can make) is not mandated, NOTHING should be mandated. Therefore, no one is forced to do anything.

    Questions:
    Since all men (including homosexuals) are created equal and given the right to life and free-will, should homosexuals have the freedom to do whatever they like as long as it is not harmful to another?

    Yes - All men have the freedom to do what they wish and must settle it with God on their own terms.

    God will reach a heart set apart for Him no matter what sin they are involved with.
    A person can only be responsible for themselves.

    Should homosexuals be allowed to adopt children? What is the benefit?

    Children are cared for and set in homes with a parent figure as opposed to parent-less facilities and minimal relational experience.

    What are the risks?

    No moral compass; denial and neglect of God (This happens in God-less families whether heterosexual or homosexual.)

    Should homosexuals be legally allowed to enter into a marriage? Civil union?
    What is the definition of marriage? In the church? In the state?

    Marriage is between a man and a woman and ordained by God (Adam & Eve) (Gen. 2:24)

    For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. What God has joined together, let no man separate. (Mt. 19:5-6)

    God joins a man and woman in marriage. He never joins two men or two women. God views homosexuality as an abomination. (Lev. 18:22; Gen. 19:5-7; Rom. 1:26-27)

    Politically, if homosexuals want to commit to binding contracts with one another, they should pursue this apart from marriage and instead with a civil union. Homosexuals just as any citizen is free to enter into whatever legal contract they so choose.

    If this were something that the American public were able to vote upon, I personally would vote against any provision for sinful behavior. One must vote their own conscience.

    Should homosexuals serve in the military?

    Pros:
    More men in service to our country.
    Freedom to all American citizens.

    Cons:
    Cost of separate living quarters for homosexuals (gay men and lesbian women separate) - doing this would accommodate a lifestyle that would be paid for by taxpayers who are morally and religiously opposed to supporting homosexual behavior. Thus causing Christian taxpayers to sin (not unlike taxpayer funding for abortion). (Mark 9:42)

    Same-sex sexual harassment situations.

    DADT allows homosexuals to serve and keeps Christian taxpayers from sinning by not having to pay for expensive living quarters and therefore accommodating homosexual behavior. (Paying gay soldiers salary is not in support of their lifestyle, it is payment for a job done.)

  4. Yes – All men have the freedom to do what they wish and must settle it with God on their own terms.

    Kori, I agree wholeheartedly! The fact that God, himself, gives us “free-will,” is exactly why “free people” must be left to “freely” regulate their own lives. Morality is something that can, and should be, shared, among citizens, and through our faith, churches, synagogues etc. But, no one, outside of God, himself, truly has the right to impose their morality through the force of law. Questions of social issues, and morality, prior to being codified into law, should come from the consensus of the people, in the respective states.

    God will reach a heart set apart for Him no matter what sin they are involved with. A person can only be responsible for themselves.

    Precisely right! In a free country, good moral behavior can never be guaranteed. Often times, we need to make big mistakes, and have enough room to make mistakes, so that we can see the error of our ways. I do believe that most, if not all, people, are born with a higher sense of morality – which, I believe, comes directly from God. For example: murder, naturally, is illegal, because it is one person taking the life of another; and, inflicting great pain on the deceased person’s loved ones. That said, the overwhelming majority of the people in this world, realize, there are grave moral implications to taking another person’s life. And, therefore, putting Earthly laws aside, may even realize, instinctively, that they may have violated the laws of nature – which are God’s Laws.

    Should homosexuals be allowed to adopt children? What is the benefit? What are the risks?

    I definitely agree that a family is better then no family. And, most certainly, there are very immoral heterosexual couples, as well. That said, and going back to the Laws of Nature: children are programmed to long for both a mother and a father, as they are growing up. God gave men and women the ability to reproduce; and, therefore, it stands to reason, that children would long for both a mother and a father.

    Should homosexuals be legally allowed to enter into a marriage? Civil union?

    There is no doubt, Constitutionally, that individuals, in our country, can enter into contractual agreements. It is also hard to justify any Government, in our country, inserting itself between individuals who want to engage into a contractual agreement. Therefore, the question of civil unions, is a no-brainer for me: Of course, consenting adults can enter into ‘contractual’ unions.

    The question of marriage, is certainly a little more tricky, and contentious. If marriage is indeed, a Christian tradition, and has it’s roots in the Christian faith, it is not hard to see why Christians, including myself, feel that the term marriage should be reserved for Christian couples. At the same time, we can not assume that because people are gay, that they aren’t also Christians. We can argue that they may be living in sin; but, we are all sinners – and, none of us are truly worthy of the Kingdom of God.

    And, this is where more research on marriage-licensing, in the United States, needs to be done:
    I do not feel that a proper function of Government is to decide who should and shouldn’t be allowed to get married; and, what the exact terms should be. The clergy are the ones who should be making these moral decisions. If the Government removed itself from this role, it would give the clergy more latitude to be the ones who decide if they can marry a couple, based on the religion, and their moral compass.

    If this were something that the American public were able to vote upon, I personally would vote against any provision for sinful behavior. One must vote their own conscience.

    Therefore, at this point, I could not say for sure how I would vote, if there were a referendum on gay marriage in my state. If I were a pastor, I don’t believe that I would marry two gay people. But, as a voter, and mere citizen, I may feel more comfortable leaving people free to speak to those who are far more qualified to counsel them on Biblical matters. And, again, this would work well if the Government removed itself from acting as the morality police.

    Should homosexuals serve in the military?

    After much thought, I did support repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. But, like many others, I wanted that consensus to come from our military personnel, as they are the ones defending our country. I do believe, however, if you can die for our country, then you should not be expected to forfeit your ‘First Amendment rights’ to free speech, merely for being gay. That said, there does need to be proper protocols, and standards of behavior, just as there is between men and women, while in service, and in the battlefield. Also, if a person is not gay, and is uncomfortable discussing the topic, they too should have the right to tell a person that they are not comfortable with the subject. And, both parties should respect each other, respectively.

    If this issue were as cut and dry as making it about tax-dollars, and any further military expenditures that may accrue, I could easily make the case that we do not need nearly 900 military bases all across the world, for God knows what. There is no sin in a person being able to “speak freely” to their fellow soldiers, and citizens. And, no citizen should ever be able to vote another citizen’s First Amendment rights away. Which is why I go back to military protocol: There are legitimate times, and places, just as in the workforce, where certain behaviors are not acceptable. And, these procedure should be decided by the military; not by some politicians on Capitol Hill.

  5. Speaking as a conservative gay libertarian… raised by atheists, who has evolved a Catholic leaning world view… God’s admonishment to “judge not lest ye be judged” seems to go hand in hand with our  Declaration of Independence:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Taken together, they provide an assumption, in my opinion, which precludes any government, or any majority of people the right to exclude any other group of people from their “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”

  6. The Declaration of Independence acknowledged “Our Creator,” but The Constitution, which provides the rules governing “We The People,” is not subject to the scrutiny of any one religious order or world view.

    Marriage, however was left by our founders to the oversight of “the many States”… The many States in turn, left approval or disapproval of who could enter into marriage, up to the localities… The only exception being that all states were duty bound to honor any marriage performed in any other state.  

    It wasn’t until the arrival of Social Security in 1935, that States became emboldened to make rules about marriage, once “social security benefits” became prescribed by the Fed Govt…

  7. Now, step back in time, it seems to me that the very same people who so ardently rally to “the defense of marriage” aren’t well grounded in the evolution of marriage…
     
    For instance, prior to  “The Council of Trent (convened 1545–1563) ruled that in future a marriage was only valid in Roman Catholic countries if it was witnessed by a priest of the Roman Catholic Church
    or, if obtaining a priest were impractical, by other witnesses. This ruling was not accepted in the newly Protestant nations of Europe, nor by Protestants who lived in Roman Catholic countries or their colonies in the Americas or elsewhere, nor by Eastern Orthodox Christians.”
     
    Marriage was not common practice among the vast majority of the people, it was largely reserved for only aristocratic or ruling families… it was rarely a matter of love… more a matter of treaty, or currying favor between ruling families…

  8. So, over the vast arch of human history, people have merely moved in together… Even in the 2011 years  since Christ died, marriage has remained out of reach for most people…
     
    Common-Law marriages were the order of the day… and are still recognized in many places around the world. Some folks managed to scrape together enough coinage to get their marriages recorded in the local parishes, but most peoples lives were such that they could neither afford the trip, nor pay the fee…
     
    But what we are arguing over here in 2011, is a civil government definition… Our Declaration of Independence, and our US Constitution… lead me to believe that “civil marriage” is a right of any man or woman… no matter the sexual preference or their chosen partner…

  9. Interesting topic in which to reflect upon: Christianity, Government, and Gay Marriage.  I’d like to first begin with  information I’ve read in a wonderful book  called  Understanding the Constitution (Ten Things Every Christian Should Know).  This book has been very enlightening to me because like you all, I have struggled greatly with which laws our government chooses to enforce and which they choose to ignore and just how many of them are actually backed by the Constitution.  I’ll share with you some of the key points that I have learned from the author  David Gibbs.  He is an attorney and owner of  the Christian Law Association.  I met him and conversed with him greatly at a home school convention I attended.

    Many have said that government has little place in a person’s life. While that may be somewhat true, we have to first understand that the concept of government is introduced in the very beginning of the Bible in the book of Genesis.  It is here that God told Noah and his sons that a government of law would be established to protect the lives of men.  (Genesis 9:5-6)  So, the first thing we must understand is that the concept of government was indeed God’s idea.

    Scripture makes it clear that God ordained government. In Romans 13:1, we read, “For there is no power but of God:  the powers that be are ordained of God.

    (Colossians 1:16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:  all things were created by Him, and for him.

    Government is not something that men invented, nor is there only one way for a man to be governed.  The Bible says nothing specifically about government being created “by the people, of the people, and for the people.”  Yet, God divinely established government as one of only THREE created institutions: The Home, The Church, The Government.

    Just as with the church and the home, when men speak about the government, they are speaking about an institution divinely ordained by God. Government is something very important and divinely ordained in God’s Book and, whether good or bad, government must be respected as a God-created institution.

    Next point, God will raise up governments. In Proverbs, 8:15-16 we read how God has TOTAL CONTROL in the affairs of governments on this earth. “By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.”

    There are lots of examples where God put into power rulers who loved and obeyed Him and where God raised up wicked and unjust governments and used them to accomplish His purposes. Remember, God turns the most wicked and vile ruler’s heart however He wants it. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1)

    The beauty of faith  is finding peace and realizing  that sometimes God may use hostile powers to punish His people.  We read about this in Jeremiah 51:11. Other times, God will use them to rescue His people : Daniel 2:37, 38.  So, its with this knowledge that we come to the realization that no ruler rises up unless and until God gives him the power and authority to do. Maybe the ruler is a child of God and maybe they aren’t.  That, of course, is something God knows.

    Governments will fail and or succeed according to His will.  There are various Old Testament passages that show how it pleased God to remove certain rulers. For example, Nebuchadnezzar (the King of Babylon) was removed from power in the book of Daniel.

    For me personally, I take great peace in knowing that ultimately the power or demise of our nation rests  in the hand of the Lord. It is with this knowledge that I understand that regardless of unGodly laws that come into being, He will ultimately either let us rise as a nation or we will fall. It is because of the clear cut examples listed above that I believe we cannot ignore the fact that government was established by GOD and therefore it would be remiss to ignore His rules and commandments for us. Keep in mind, our freedom again came from God and NOT from man.

  10. As I further read, I kept wondering, “just what if our government starts asking and demanding us to support something that goes against our faith?” I have pondered on this thought of mine for a very long time and have taken a great offense that my hard earned tax dollars are partially going toward the use of abortion for citizens who get government funding.  Murder clearly goes against my faith, yet there are those leaders in our nation who obviously do not view abortion as murder. So, the greater question is “when do we obey” and “when do we disobey”?

    Christians aren’t obedient because we are good citizens; Christians are good citizens because we are obedient to God. If we only obey a truly “just” government, we will be waiting a very long time because there will never be a truly just government until Jesus rules and reigns in eternity. Christians, according to attorney Robert Gibbs, may only disobey that portion of the law that violates their faith, and they should always be careful to obey those portions of the law that do not violate their faith.

    Fortunately, as Americans, we can still thank God for His blessing in raising up a good government for our nation. Not only is our government generally ‘good,’ it’s foundational documents based our laws on the laws of God.

    The Declaration of Independence is the “why” of American government, while the Constitution is the “how”.

  11. Forgive me southernbelle, but laws and government of men, vastly predate the Christian Era…  the earliest recorded & deciphered laws date to 1750 BC with the Code of Hammurabi.
     
    Certainly the Egyptians and Sumerians…  Ancient India and China… and the Aztecs & Incas before them had something similar to “codes of law”…
     
    God’s book of laws, the Bible, written by men, is not sacrosanct, the vast majority of it was not handed down from Moses… and applies only to religious life… not civil life… Our Constitution guarantees all citizens freedom of religion… which in my mind also frees all men from your personal view of God’s law…

  12. The rather difficult question asked, “should gay marriage be allowed”? It doesn’t seem all that difficult to answer when and if one would search the scriptures for what God says about marriage.  First of all, my answers above clearly illustrate that government was God ordained, I believe. If we believe in the Holy Bible then we have to believe the words in it are to be used to direct our life in all areas we travel.

    Men are equal in the sense that God has created us all, male and female, with the same unalienable rights.  Because we are created in God’s image, we have a duty to respect and honor the rights or image of God in others. When others try to dishonor the image of God in us or in others, we have a duty to resist those efforts and to defend those God-given rights. The unalienable rights granted to Americans in the Declaration of Independence are rights which are based upon our corresponding duties owed to our Creator God.

    One point I should have mentioned above in my earlier post is that many critics of Christianity’s influence in America note that the Constitution does not mention God or the Bible. The truth is that it didn’t need to because the Declaration of Independence had already declared 12 years earlier that its basic principles of freedom, justice, and dependence on God came from the Bible. The Constitution merely added to that foundational document the rules by which its founding principles would be put into practice.

  13. The Bible does indeed say a lot about marriage southernbelle, modern Christianity ignores most of it… just as most modern Christians ignore all the rules against “the abominations” … So how many wives does your husband have? More than one are allowed by the Bible… has your husband married his brother’s widows as commanded by the Bible? 

    But we’re not debating God’s view of gay marriage here… but our civil governments’ 

    Our founders determined that religious law could not reign supreme over all citizens who may or not adhere to religious life…   thus our U.S. Civil government is separate and ungoverned by religious law… just as religious life is protected from civil government interference … Our wise founders created separation, in both directions, by the US Constitution…

    My marriage to my husband does not harm your marriage to your husband…  any more than my personal relationship with God harms yours…

    Or it wouldn’t, if my husband and I believed in gay marriage… we don’t… nor do we believe any civil government should have a say in who does or does not get married…

    But… in the name of protecting the widows, orphans and the destitute… Congress created Social Security… thereby sticking its nose into what should have always remained private and personal decisions… Congress gave itself this power… in the name of handing out benefits…

    Once again, proving that one should not ask government to do what the people or private religious institutions can do for themselves…
     

  14. The one issue on marriage I have yet to understand is why the Federal Government ever got involved to begin with.  I feel that the powers invested by an ordained minister who brings a man and woman together in holy matrimony is what makes it a binding union….not the license from the government telling me on a piece of paper that “you are officially married”.  So, in the respect of gay marriage,  we first have already determined in the Bible that it is a union between a man and a woman; therefore, would it not be appropriate for the gay community to find another “term” for their union?

  15. In the same sense, why did the Federal Government feel they had ANY right to “reward” those of us who are married by allowing us keep some of the money they take from us by giving the “deduction for marriage”.  Also with children, why do those who have children (I have three by the way) get tax deductions while when I was single and had NO children, I didn’t? If two people do the same job and make the same money, why would they not be taxed the same???

    Do we really need the Federal Government telling us to get married if we want a “deduction” or have a child and get a “deduction”.  I feel this is where intrusion from the Fed trying to show “nepotism” to same and not others is why we have this argument among politicians right now. Newsflash: (different topic I know) but… I’m FOR the Fair Tax!!! LOL

    I’d just like to add that I appreciate greatly the ability to discuss these topics with rational, civil people.  It is very refreshing  to do so even though we all may choose different paths in our personal lives.  As another human being and a fellow citizen in this nation, I’m very happy to have the freedoms that allow us to converse with one another on such issues.  I pray we keep these freedoms that we hold so dear. Well, as we southern belles say down here in the South. “Good night, y’all. We need our beauty rest.” 

    Take care gilcarvr, I enjoyed your conversation, immensely.

  16. Social Security benefits are the reason the Federal Government gave itself for needing to have federal government marriage oversight…
     
    You fail to understand, what the Bible says, has no relevance to what the federal government does… this is just one example of the separation of church and state…
     
    So you disagree with gay marriage? No one’s forcing you to marry your girlfriend…

  17. Hey guys!

    What I really want to know, in greater detail, is the history of marriage-licensing, in The United States; and, how the United States Government ever got into the role of marriage to begin with.

    Also, Article 6, Clause 3, of The United States Constitution, is very clear:

    “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    Which means, no one in our Government is required to meet any religious test or credentials, in order to serve our nation! Which, as a Christian, is even more reason to NOT want the Government in my faith, whatsoever!

    Sure, one person may share your Christian values, while another may try to strip them away! All Government, needs to stay out of our religious affairs! At least where Legislation is concerned.

  18. Yes, southernbelle, I also enjoy being able to freely converse… for far too long citizens have allowed their political class to steer “social policy” via the tax code…

    Married people should not get preferential treatment over the unmarried… the childless should not be penalized… as tax deductions for families w/children penalizes them…. it goes against the Constitutional grain of the equal protection clause…

    Just as excluding a class of citizens from equal access to the rights and privileges of federal government recognition of marriage, penalizes same sex couples.

  19. For far too long citizens have allowed their political class to steer “social policy” via the tax code…

    Precisely, gilcarvr! And, these parties create their (platforms) pseudo Constitutions; then, over the years, have gotten (essentially bribed!) millions of Constitutionally-uninformed people to vote for them. As a result, we are seeing the eroding away of our true Constitutional rights, and freedoms, which were codified in our Constitution, by our Founders.

  20. If anyone is interested, I wrote this post some time ago: Is the United States a Christian nation
    And, I welcome all comments in that post, as well, for those who are interested.

    For the sake of this post, we did, and perhaps, rightfully so, get into a bit of a theological discussion; but, my true intent of this post is to talk about  our Government’s proper role in all of this; and, the history of marriage-licensing, and relevant policies, in The United States.

    If we focus the discussion too much on theology, then, potentially, it digresses into too much of an ideological discussion. I am more concerned, now, with our Constitution, and our Constitutional rights, as Americans; and how it relates to the subject of marriage.

  21. Our government has no moral or Constitutional obligation to define marriage in any way. If the government wants to keep marriage records, and birth records, fine – that’s logistical information and there is a good reason for it. Using a religious definition for marriage is fine, so get married in a church and leave the government out of it. There is more to being someone’s mate than producing offspring, or having sexual relations in a way that someone else finds agreeable.

  22. Jeff,
    I completely agree with you! And, I would modify that slightly, by saying, our ‘Federal’ Government has no moral or Constitutional right to define marriage. At the state-level, is where these decisions are to be taking place. But, even then, since Article 6, Clause 3, of The United States Constitution, is very clear:

    “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    … I can’t imagine why anyone would want any person, in any of our Governments making these moral, and holy decisions. Sure, if we empower our Government (which many have, over the years) to make such decisions, it could go either way. The Government could legislate from a Christian perspective, or our worse fears could come to fruition, which would be some form of religious beliefs that are foreign to the American people, and ‘really inconsistent’ with our traditions.

    Therefore, me and you are in complete agreement! Keep the Government out of marriage; and, let people make these decisions based on their respective faiths, and beliefs. And, with their clergy, pastors, rabbis etc.

  23. In his 1833, “Commentaries of The Constitution,” Associate Supreme Court Justice, Joseph Story (who was nominated by President James Madison), wrote the below words:


    § 1873. “It was under a solemn consciousness of the dangers from ecclesiastical ambition, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and the intolerance of sects, thus exemplified in our domestic, as well as in foreign annals, that it was deemed advisable to exclude from the national government all power to act upon the subject. The situation, too, of the different states equally proclaimed the policy, as well as the necessity of such an exclusion. In some of the states, episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in others, presbyterians; in others, congregationalists; in others, quakers; and in others again, there was a close numerical rivalry among contending sects. It was impossible, that there should not arise perpetual strife and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendancy, if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment. The only security was in extirpating the power. But this alone would have been an imperfect security, if it had not been followed up by a declaration of the right of the free exercise of religion, and a prohibition (as we have seen) of all religious tests. Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the state governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice, and the state constitutions…”

    In the above words, which came from one of our earliest Supreme Court Justices, makes it abundantly clear, that matters of faith were left solely to the states and to the people. And, not even The Supreme Court of The United States had a constitutional role in these matters.

  24. I am making an honest and wholehearted approach to trying to clearly understand the differences that many may have with federal government in their lives. Just because I am Christian does not mean I think everybody else has to be or else. Whatever faith or lack thereof one may choose is their business. That is the first point I would like to make. Next point, gilcarvr, is that, it is absolutely none of my business what you do or who one does it with behind closed doors. Nor is anyone else’s business what I do in my personal and/or religious life, as long as it causes no harm to others. If you think I am wrong, I clearly ask you or anyone just where specifically am I incorrect?

  25. Another thought I had was unless I missed it, the words… separation of church and state never appear in the constitution or its amendments. Please do not interpret this as I am for more government. I prefer less if I had my way. I am merely wanting to find out just where and how it all fits together.

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