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View Diary: Focus On The Family Sees The Writing On The Wall (196 comments)

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  •  Problem is, they shouldn't be able to enforce (12+ / 0-)

    a difference except through actions within the churches. They want to, and in some states they've already found ways to.

    'Covenant Marriage' shouldn't be recognized as a separate legal category by the government at any level. It keeps abused women who need to get out legally bound to men that hurt them, and even in cases where the law clearly allows for divorce in cases of abuse, even documented physical violence against her may not be enough for the wife to get a divorce.

    If they want to enforce divorce bans in their churches, fine - but the highest penalty they ought to be able to give for breaking the ban is being forced out of the local church or denomination.

    Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

    by Cassandra Waites on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:00:40 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, definitely (6+ / 0-)

      I actually wasn't aware that these church-designated marriages had any legal bearing.  I totally agree, they should have NO legal weight whatsoever: the highest penalty would be to be banned from that church (or the group of churches, I guess).  

      "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

      by Brian A on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:08:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not so sure about that. (0+ / 0-)

      If two adults want to enter into a more-restrictive contract, the terms of which are clearly specified in law, who are you to tell them that they shouldn't, or worse, that they cannot?

      If they're adults, they're capable of making their own decisions, without needing your personal approval.

      Even if that decision is something that you would never ever do.

      Even if you think it's wrong.

      Anything else makes you just like them. Seeking to control the behavior of other people, so that it conforms to your ideals.

      It's none of your business.

      Butt the fuck out.

      --Shannon

      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:06:01 PM PDT

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      •  There have been women who entered into (0+ / 0-)

        covenant marriages fully believing there was a route to divorce in cases of abuse, discovered they had indeed managed to marry abusive men who kept that part of themselves hidden until after the wedding, and then found out they'd been lied to not just by their new husbands but by the people who told them getting beat up would still be accepted grounds for divorce.

        They made their own decisions. Then they found out they were given false information.

        If two people want to enter into a more-restrictive contract, they can have a pre-nup drawn up that lays out severe penalties for whichever partner files for divorce except in whatever cases they mutually choose and go into the marriage with full legal understanding of exactly what they are both agreeing to when they say 'I do'.

        Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

        by Cassandra Waites on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:39:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But you are still arrogating to yourself (0+ / 0-)

          the power to tell those women what they can do.

          Is the potential for a bad outcome higher in a "covenant marriage"?

          Probably.

          But that's not your call.

          These kinds of arguments always seem to come down to "it's for their own good". And I find that to be an utterly smug, morally-superior, totally bullshit attitude that treats one's fellow adult citizens as dependent children, fit only to be told what to do by those who know best. Surprisingly, the person advancing this argument inevitably places themselves into the latter category.

          --Shannon

          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

          by Leftie Gunner on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:33:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But we already limit how many rights (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GAladybug

            and capabilities someone can sign away in other kinds of contracts.

            And those other contracts generally aren't constantly modified by law after the fact without any of the involved parties having the capacity to renegotiate or leave (yes, with a penalty in many cases, but still a way out).

            Marriage is a special case, and given the religious movement behind the covenant marriage concept it's likely they'll try to find ways to add more restrictions over time - which would almost certainly apply to pre-existing covenant marriages in the same way the loosening of restrictions on non-covenant marriages applied to pre-existing marriages.

            Considering what the ex-husband of one of my cousins did to her, her entering into a covenant marriage with him and being forced to stay legally bound to him after he displayed his true colors and she realized she needed to get out would have probably been a 13th amendment violation.

            Just because someone has the legal capacity to divorce doesn't mean they have to ever chose to use it.

            And pre-nups are already used in some communities to recreate religiously prescribed penalties for divorce that the legal system has decided are no longer a part of the standard marriage contract the state recognizes - usually financial penalties. Granted, those communities are usually Jewish and the covenant marriage supporters are Christian, but the possibility is clearly there in existing legal frameworks.

            ...

            That attitude you speak of? That's the one the pastors who lie about the restrictions to get women in their congregations to agree to covenant marriages have.

            I think that if sex is supposed to be between consenting adults who understand what they're getting into and can say 'stop' if something damaging is going on, then marriage as recognized by the state sure as hell ought to have those same expectations.

            If a church wants to shun members who file for divorce, fine. If a couple want to set up a pre-nup so constraining that the penalties for filing make divorce practically unthinkable so that abuse would be the only reason worth the monetary damage, fine. Their choice with legal guidance, not coercion from a pastor lying to get the paperwork signed.

            I want there to be knowledgeable consent from both spouses involved, I want any closing off of divorce as a way out to be a personal thing on the couple-per-couple level with a clear limit on just how far the state legal system will allow those limits to go without running into existing 'can't sell yourself into slavery' contract law, and I want the state to just have the one type of marriage contract and not a separate second level for the evangelicals to constantly bicker about the legislated limits of and pull bait-and-switch with on their congregants.

            Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

            by Cassandra Waites on Mon May 23, 2011 at 10:05:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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