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View Diary: Why The Word Marriage Matters (76 comments)

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  •  Good luck, Killer (3+ / 0-)
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    Elise, BeninSC, Killer of Sacred Cows

    Here's to hoping for the best. I read that a positive Supreme Court ruling is expected, but that there's already an anti-marriage Constitutional referendum all queued up, with signatures waiting for verification. For what it's worth, I'm thinking that the bluenoses will get their comeuppance this time. I can't help much from Texas, where I'm located, but I have relatives in Cali, and they're all on your side.

    You can stop reading now. For the rest of this comment, I'll be availing myself of this opportunity to pontificate tangentially to your topic. I apologize in advance.

    I find the whole subject of the "definition of marriage" extremely irritating, because it exposes a gaping hole in our thought about the First Amendment, yet most people don't seem to notice.

    I've been married two times. The first time was in a church, with stained glass, candles, robes, a dreadful organ, and other medeival trappings. The second time was at a county office in a strip mall, with a service counter, grey filing cabinets, and government workers on the clock. They were exactly the same - same paperwork, same contractual implications, same best wishes for the bride and groom.

    How very strange.

    I suppose it's given that the State reserves unto istelf the right to define the contractual stuff, in the interests of Society at large. Where it gets a little weird is that the State has subcontracted these matters to churches.

    The devilish part of this deal is that the churches have handed over control of one of their most sacred sacraments to the the state.

    Everything was fine (or at least manageable) as long as the Church and the State were moving more or less along the same path. Now the State (by which I mean The People) are finally ready to move away from the tradition of the Church, and all heck is breaking loose.

    This whole conflict is because we were sloppy about separation of Church and State from the very beginning.

    It's clear to anyone with a brain that Society can't afford to allow the Church to dictate the terms under which free people govern themselves, but it's equally clear that the State has no business dictating Sacrament to Churches.

    We've put ourselves in a pickle.

    To my way of thinking, this is really the fault of the State, for involving itself in religious matters. The only way out of this box is for government to get out of the business of "marriage".

    Society can still reserve all the rights of regulation that we see fit - financial and contractual matters, child welfare, estates, insurance, and on and on - but we should leave marriage to churches.

    The State would have to invent a new word, say, "glorb", to describe the special contract we now call "marriage". Most laws that refer to marriage would still be in force, but "marriage" would be replaced with "glorbage". The exception would be that churches would have to be stripped of the power to glorb. They could, of course, "marry" people under their own rules, but that would have no force under law.

    Thank you for your patience.

    "Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising."
    ~~ Mark Twain

    by Ddeele on Wed May 14, 2008 at 07:52:49 PM PDT

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