Saturday, March 21, 2009

Further Testimony on Vermont's "Right to Marry"

The Reformation is officially a less than 500 year old movement. The representation of "Historic Christianity" as being a monogamous tradtion, or even supposing to go back before that into Judaism denies the existence of Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, the practice of polygyny among Anabaptists during the reformation and the practice of it by protestant hymn writers like Martin Madan.

Dr. Selle, purporting to represent the "growing" evangelical protestant movement in Vermont, offers the following:
"Marriage is a public legal lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, that's the historic Christian and the Evangelical Protestant view. The Government (this is the point), the Government has the important task to protect and defend and foster marriage."
I disagree, the government should perhaps be in the business of defending it, but it would best defend it by simply viewing marriage as a contract and making the least number of regulations with regard to it, leaving us free to contract ourselves for marriage. The government does not inspect contracts, unless they fail. When you get your car repossessed, arguably something that may do more damage to you socially than a divorce, the government does not get involved, most of the time. The bank shows up with your contract, declares that you are in default, cites it's remedies, and takes your car. Only if they seek a judgment to recover deficiency does the issue show up in court. Marriage should be this way as well. So should the unfortunate occurrence of divorce. There are plenty of contracts that are executed, completed and resolved without the involvement of the courts. The courts are not necessary.
"It is the fundamental building block of all societies and cultures. Since the reformation, the government has been seen as such a protector, and therefore we would not accept as a legitimate compromise, a state marriage as a generic genderless civil act which then churches and religious people can tack on tack on their own little religious ceremonies as an add on, that simply will not cut it with this constituency."
I in fact would love to see a generic relationship contract where we could in fact tack on our own little religious ceremonies or addendums.

Marriage in the Bible is not a religious ceremony. It is not a sacrament. A religious ceremony is certainly not ruled out, but it's not required and there is no example of it in scripture nor is there a suggestion there should be such a ceremony.

Marriage in the Bible is never said to be a civil act either. Again, there is no example of such an occurrence, nor is there a suggestion that there should be such a civil oversight function.

Marriage in the scriptures are acts engaged in by private parties. The only public thing about them is that everyone tends to know there is a marriage. The only legal writ associated with a marriage in the Bible is the act of it's dissolution, divorce. That is the only event connected to marriage said to be in writing. A writ of divorcement essentially became a woman's license to act on her own, having been set aside by her husband.

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Pliggy said...

"I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter." - Martin Luther

The Pharisee said...

Now why did I leave that out?


Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
- Christ Jesus

I still don't read this as "Render unto Caesar anything Caesar wants" but admittedly, people have a right to interpret scripture any way they wish. Freedom of religion is important.

As it currently stands, I would suggest that the tax-payer backed "license to divorce" (aka Certificate of Civil Marriage) is really little more than legalized pimpery with a built-in protection policy anyway. Let the wealthy customize their fancy pre-nups and conjugal contracts via civil unions. They do anyway.

If Civil Law refuses to preserve and protect the millenia-old traditional institutions then Civil Law should simply abolish all said civil "contracts of marriage" and just make those "civil union" contracts optional so the people already rolling in the money can enjoy the liberty of making one another liable. After all, it's really all about the benefits, right?

By allowing we the "COMMON PEOPLE" their COMMON LAW they can always decide to purchase some fancy bit of paper when it best suits them (pre-nups and various attachments included). Don't they do that already?

Besides, One man buying five life insurance polices still amounts to five life insurance policies and the ones with the money are always the ones who make the policies. Let the lawyers deal with them. Business is business, but have mercy on the poor! At this rate they'll start charging people to breathe!