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Stephen C.
post Nov 28 2007, 11:43 AM
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moved topic to lava pit, as this seemed perhaps to be a better venue - d'rbeh

This post has been edited by d'rbeh: Nov 28 2007, 12:16 PM
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Ken Telinome
post Jan 2 2013, 02:36 AM
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It has been the case throughout history that governments have and should legislate what constitutes a marriage, because a marriage is not just about sex and procreation. Technically, marriage is and always has been a contract between persons, which is why a divorce is so tedious--it is a breaking of a contract, and the parties need to be compensated for the broken contract.

I am a highly religious man and as many of you know have been studying for ordained ministry (Lutheran tradition) for almost four years now. The idea that marriage between one man and one woman as the natural order, or even Biblical marriage, is false. From ancient times up until only less than a hundred years ago, marriage was a property contract in which a male took ownership of one or more females as his property. It was a monetary contract with terms and conditions. The purpose was to make sure that the human race continued, so a man being married to multiple women was not only acceptable, for much of history, it was the norm (the Old Testament of the Christian Bible assumes this arrangement to be the norm and is only concerned with who the Israelites marry, not how many they marry). Later, Judaism adopted the one man-one woman stance on marriage, but still treated marriage as a property law.

We have come a long, long way from Biblical marriage. Except where it is necessary for survival, polygamy is generally frowned upon. In most places, marriage, while still a property contract, no longer considers the woman to be part of the property, but an equal property-holder. We've emphasized the emotional, intimate nature of nature (perhaps too much), attempting to foster the image of marriage as an image of love, equality.

That marriage has always been a religious as well as a civil contract is a consequence of the nature of society and culture. The distinction between "religious life" and "secular life" is fairly recent. Before about the Enlightenment, there were both the same thing--"life".

Now, however, there is a general separation of the two in many places. Here, I refer back to my earlier statement. Marriage, while blessed by the religious side of life, has always been a civil contract as well. It offers more than acceptance for the marriage, but in the United States of America, for example, there are 1138 federal provisions covering rights, benefits, and priveleges that stipulate marriage as a factor. These are rights, benefits, and priveleges that are generally not available in any other way. It is the responsibility of the government, as the structure maintaining and regulating society, to ensure that these rights are equally available to all.

I am familiar with the Biblical arguments against homosexual behavior, and there can be no denying that the Biblical authors and editors considered homosexuality to be a threat to their society--and at that time, it can be argued that it was. The argument that I hear most often is that if the Bible says it, then it must be followed to the letter. Yet not a single Christian does this, and no honest Christian claims to. To insist that the few references to homosexuality must be adhered to unconditionally while other commands (Jesus the Christ forbidding divorce, for example) are able to be ignored defeats the argument immediately. Another argument must be found.

For my part, I try never to take a single verse out of the Bible and treat it like the whole. The Bible is a collection of stories, and all stories need to be taken as a whole before they are broken apart. The God I worship is many things, but is above all a God who tries in every way to have a meaningful, fulfilling relationship with God's children, whether they be chosen, adopted, or estranged. And contrary to popular belief, God changes God's mind on many occasions, and I am open to the possibility that in this new age with new challenges, it is time for a change.

I am 100% for same-sex civil unions that bestow every single benefit that marriage provides because of the civil obligations I mentioned above. I am probably about 90% for religious same-sex marriage in my own tradition, and that 10% is really a semantic issue.


Avatar: Ken Telinome | KI: 00329185 | Blog: Living an Ecumenical Life
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Posts in this topic
- Stephen C.   Same-sex Marriage   Nov 28 2007, 11:43 AM
- - d'rbeh   thanks for the topic stephen. i haven't visit...   Nov 28 2007, 04:49 PM
- - Lord Chaos   My interactions with gay people over the years hav...   Nov 28 2007, 07:53 PM
- - Michi   Once upon a time marriage ceremonies were preforme...   Nov 28 2007, 11:42 PM
|- - Stephen C.   QUOTE (Michi @ Nov 28 2007, 11:42 PM) My ...   Nov 28 2007, 11:51 PM
|- - Michi   QUOTE Here is a sugestion. You could always have s...   Nov 29 2007, 08:10 PM
- - gaiasmaiden   i read one of the 2 links yesterday and found it r...   Nov 29 2007, 10:02 AM
- - Ged   Living in the highly liberal () UK we have civil p...   Dec 11 2007, 11:36 AM
- - Etheldred   I am totally in favour of anyone having the right ...   Jun 22 2008, 02:36 PM
|- - Tomala   I have no problems with two people of the same sex...   Jun 22 2008, 08:59 PM
- - Kaym   This is amazing to me that so many people could be...   Jun 30 2012, 03:04 PM
|- - Tomala   QUOTE (Kaym @ Jun 30 2012, 12:04 PM) ...   Jul 18 2012, 02:05 AM
- - Kon'Dor   It's amazing to me that when someone has an op...   Jul 2 2012, 04:34 PM
- - Robyn   Thank you, Kon'Dor. I was oh so tempted to mak...   Jul 3 2012, 11:36 PM
- - Kon'Dor   Thank you Robyn. Let me clarify one little thing...   Jul 4 2012, 10:04 AM
- - d'rbeh   it always kind of fascinated me why marriage betwe...   Jul 17 2012, 10:35 PM
|- - lisilee   QUOTE (d'rbeh @ Jul 18 2012, 03:35 AM...   Dec 22 2012, 12:43 PM
- - Shana   If I might interject a bit of humor... "I su...   Jul 18 2012, 08:50 AM
- - Ken Telinome   It has been the case throughout history that gover...   Jan 2 2013, 02:36 AM

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