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View Diary: To lose my Best Man on Easter Sunday (66 comments)

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  •  I really hate the church freedom argument (9+ / 0-)

    because it's based on a premise that is entirely false and, more importantly, obviously false.  The obviousness of its falsehood is so strong that nobody who uses the premise can successfully convince me that they are actually merely honestly ignorant of its falsehood.  The premise's falsehood is so obvious that anyone who uses it in their argument is clearly a liar and not merely mistaken.  They are being deliberately manipulative and not giving a damn about the truth.

    What premise am I talking about?

    This one:  "If the government changes the laws so that same-sex marriage is legal, then this means churches will be forced to perform them.  This is clearly a violation of the first amendment's rules on religion"

    To anyone using that argument I reply, "No, you liar, if the condition existed where government-recognized marriage required a church ceremony, THAT would be a violation of the first amendment's rules on religion.  But you know perfectly well that's not how it works because churches already have the right to say, for example, 'you must me a member of our religion to get married by our clergy in our church.'  That would be massively illegal by the first amendment as well if the church was a government institution.   But it's not a government institution, which is what makes such a rule legal.  A Catholic church saying 'we won't perform a gay marriage' will have the exact same legal status that a Catholic church saying 'we won't perform a jewish marriage' already has today.  There are tons of marriages that are legal already that a religious institution already has the legal right to refuse to partake in.  So take your 'churches forced to perform gay marriage' argument and shove it up your ass, you lying bastard. "

    What the government recognizes as marriage is utterly and completely divorced from what churches do ceremonially in their halls.  The government does NOT say, 'Oh, you're a priest are you?  Well in that case you have the legal right to decide that two people are married.'  What the government does say is this: 'Oh you're a priest are you?  Well, then when you perform a marriage, here's several forms.  Fill one out and send it in with each marriage so that in addition to your church knowing about the ceremony, the government will know about it too.  As far as the law is concerned, Mr Priest, your role in this is merely as a notary witness to the arrangement and really its the legally binding signatures on those marriage forms that matter to us in the government - the same as if the marriage had been performed by a secular notary witness that had done a 30 second ceremony consisting of nothing more than "I have the authority to declare you married.  You want to be married?  Then sign here and here, and then say "i do".  There.  Done.

    The notion that legal marriage is somehow a religious institution is utter and complete horseshit.

    In fact, once upon a time in the middle ages marriage was so informally done that there were no records kept at ALL about marriages unless you were super-rich nobility and therefore people were concerned with tracking who was a "legitimate" heir.  They were just impromptu declarations on the spot among close friends that the government wasn't even aware of.  And the change to make marriage more official than that did NOT come from the church!  It came from nobility and the upper crust of mercantile families that wanted more recognition officially and called upon the church to start performing more marriages for them.

    The reason for "common law" marriage, in fact, was that it was a grandfather clause to be used by people who got married in the era when marriages weren't tracked officially on paper.   During the transition time when tracking marriage on paper was now becoming legally needed, they had to do something so that all the older married couples already in existence didn't suddenly become unmarried just because they had been married prior to the new law that required paperwork.

    The point being, marriage has always been secular.  Don't let the opponents of equal marriage sell the message that religion "owns" the concept marriage.

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