The Sanctity of Marriage in the Modern Age

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by CivilLiberty, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. CivilLiberty
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    CivilLiberty Active Member

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    Defining the Roll of the Government in the Marriage Contract

    Freedom. A word that America was built on. But as a word, it's meaning has a wide range of interpretations. Interpretations that are today dividing America.

    One of the most divisive, as we saw in the last election, relates to the "sanctity" of marriage in our culture. To understand this perception, we need to look at the history of marriage as an institution.

    If prostitution is the oldest profession, it's likely that marriage is the oldest contract. Indeed in it's origins, marriage had little to do with love or religion. The oldest history of marriage dates to 2350 B.C., and it original intention was to "bind" a woman to a man. This essentially made the woman the "property" of the man, to "guarantee" that the man's heirs where biologically his.

    As the Catholic church became a dominant political and religious force in Europe, they eventually controlled the institution by mandating the blessings of a priest for a marriage to be legal.

    Marriage as a "sacrament" was widely accepted in the church by the 8th century, however the "sacramental" nature of marriage was not written into Canon law until 1563.

    The biggest changes in marriage emerged in the last 100 years or so. Granting women the right to vote was the first step in granting women equal rights. More recently, "no-fault" divorce laws, and the legal concept of marital rape, elevated the status of women in the marriage relationship to equality with the man. As opposed to becoming "the property" of the man, marriage is now the legal union of a man and a woman, with a number of legal privileges.

    The Supreme Court's ruling in Loving vs. Virginia dismissed the Anti-Miscegenation laws in the 16 states that had them, further defining the freedom to marry whomever one wishes.

    Historically, gay marriage is also not a new concept. Roman Emperor Nero twice married men. A few hundred years later the Roman outlawed homosexual marriages in 342 AD. Nevertheless, there are instances of gay marriage thereafter, such as the 13th century Greek Orthodox Church's “Order for Solemnisation of Same Sex Union".


    A Sensible Solution to America's Division Over Same-Sex Marriage

    Marriage as a holy, religious ceremony, belongs in the church, to be defined as appropriate by each individual religious body according to the dictates of their beliefs.

    The government should have no role in the "sanctity" of these religious bondings.

    However, in our modern society, there are logistical and legal ramifications relating to couples, particularly those that are raising families. To mitigate the "legality" (not "sanctity") of a couple/family, here the government can issue/oversee the legal aspects of the "contract."

    For the purposes of discussion, one could call the "legal" portion the "civil union", keeping the term "marriage" to apply only to any particular religion, or religious ceremony.

    With the understanding that legal means be available to all person in a non discriminatory manner, then any couple of any composition could have access to the legal civil union contract for forming a legal pair bond.

    Ultimately "marriage" as a religious institution should free itself from the bounds of governmental interference, and exist only as the religious sanctity observed by the couple and their god.

    Our modern society - a society of laws - dictates that each and every person be afford the equal protection and treatment of the laws. The "legal contract" nature of a union of two persons as a legal entity must therefore be afforded to all, regardless of their choice of spouse.


    -Andrew Somers
     
  2. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    You seek government legitimization of homosexuality. The majority of the American electorate have emphatically stated that they do not want this.

    This is a nation of laws - true - but those laws are (ostensibly) written by the duly elected representatives of the people.
     
  3. wolvie20m
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    wolvie20m Member

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    I think if they droped the word marriage, and used civil unions or another word that implies that, they would get allot further.
     
  4. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    That remains to be seen, I guess. I think that all but the most rabid of the gay lobby would be happy with civil unions, and advanced the "gay marriage" thing in much the same way a seller asks one price - knowing that he'll negotiate down to another.

    In any case, though, this issue needs to be addressed by the voters - as per the design of our Constitution - rather than through the tyranny of the courts.
     
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  5. wolvie20m
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    wolvie20m Member

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    I don't know if they droped the term marrige I don't think this should be settled in either a voting center or courts. I view it legal not moral but legal. Hey it's 2 consenting adults. I'm not doing it and I don't condone it but it's not really my business to say who can be together and who can't.
     
  6. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    But we are, after all, talking about conferring a right where no right now exists. Who, ultimately, should get to decide that - the courts, or the voters?
     
  7. wolvie20m
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    wolvie20m Member

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    Congress. If they want to change laws well thats where I'd go.
     
  8. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    That's a step in the right direction, in my opinion. At least there is some accountability to the voters that way, as opposed to the courts, which often act as unelected tyrants and unbidden social engineers.
     
  9. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    Great post. Here's my problem - it's fairly difficult to argue that there is a "sanctity" to marriage when a good percentage (some estimates go up to 50%) of marriages end in divorce. We can't really say we hold marriage as "sacred" unless we ban divorce. The folks who are opposed to gay marriage/civil unions hide behind the "sanctity" of marriage to mask their homophobia.

    acludem
     
  10. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey I am all for stricter divorce laws. In fact everyone arguing for the sanctity of marriage would want the stricter divorce laws. Your psuedo psychological analysis aside I think you have major problems dealing with the facts. Especially if you insist on quoting that 50% of marriages end in divorce after the multiple page thread on that exact subject has been discussed debated and disproved.
     

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