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Gotta chime in on the gay marriage thing, because I think you miss the point a little bit.

Personally, I'm against it - coming from a Christian standpoint, I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. But - and this is the point - that's entirely beside the point.

Because coming from an American standpoint, marriage should be about a church. It's a religious thing, and always has been. Not a government thing. People talk about "separation of church and state" with this, and whether or not the government should allow it, but the fact that we're talking about government preventing or allowing any kind of marriage means we're already well past the separation of church and state discussion.

Give us civil unions. Make the legal part - who gets any kids, how shared bank accounts work, how much taxes you pay, et cetera - be tied to a contract between two legal adults (and by "legal" I mean of age and independence enough to be signing contracts for themselves). Then let people get married in whatever church they want for that personal touch.

Bottom line is, keep legal contracts and religious conventions separate. If you tie those together, then one way or another you're treading on somebody's beliefs.

The Viking

You're right, HP, I was off point. I have said in the past that marriage is a religious thing, and that states should just give civil unions to consenting adults. I should stick with that haha.

I remember the first time I heard the gay marriage issue being talked about, I thought it was silly. I distinctly remember thinking, "If a person's religious institution doesn't believe in marrying them, how can they get married?" This was before I knew marriage was a state thing as well as a religious ceremony. Gay couples should get the same benefits straight couples get from the state, and whether or not they can get married should be up to the religious institution they are part of.


I agree in some accord to the gay marriage thing. I can honestly say I'm a little split on the idea of it being legal. But basically, I figure if it makes people happy, what's the issue?
Where I want to comment on is talking about marriage being a religious thing. Well, it is... and it isn't. The problem is, marriage became a state issue because of divorce. So you say, just let them decide on a contract or prenup? Well, you can't say that and also say marriage is merely a religious matter. Why? Because from a purely religious standpoint, there is no divorce. The church won't allow you to stand up there and say, "... until death do us part... unless we decide otherwise, during which we will follow the provisions of paragraph 2.1 in this contract we both have previously signed..."

Churches can't rule on civil settlements. Well, they could as a 3rd party moderator, but it would still be up to the two divorcees to agree to terms and then self-impose said terms. Therefore, because of divorce, marriage MUST be a state regulated facet of society.

Likewise, in a society that leans towards state and religion being separate, and demands freedom of religion (as it should), there is only one way that society can collectively recognize a marriage, that is if it's state regulated. For instance, can you ever see the military accepting a document of the Catholic Church as a marriage certificate, thereby give that person his increase in BAH w/dep pay? And what about insurance companies giving married discounts, or other corporations offering married or dependent related benefits to their employees? They can't be relying on religious authorities to certify a marriage.

Anyway, I agree with your thinking in principal, but we have to understand the WHY of our society. Just like in the military and our ridiculous rules, there is always a WHY to that rule, i.e. some idiot didn't do something right, and got killed, now we have this rule. In this case, the WHY is divorce. In the society, just as in the military, these SOPs, for lake of a better term, are hard to replace with new concepts.
Just my two cents.
Love the blog btw.


If it makes people happy, what's the issue? The issue is that it would be the government forcing me to accept something that's against my religious beliefs.

[All the legal aspects to marriage] - these are all the reasons for a civil union. The whole point is that every instance where you point out that it would be inappropriate for the organization to accept a document from the church...you're right. They shouldn't. But where it would be weird for the military to accept a Catholic document, it's just as weird for them to accept a state document certifying a religious practice.

Basically, in the eyes of the military, the insurance companies, the law, and anything else you want, being married should be no different than having a live-in girlfriend. If you break up with her, she doesn't take have your stuff. You don't have insurance discounts. And she sure as hell doesn't have a dependent ID or get on your PCS orders or get you bigger BAH. Want any/all of the above? Get a civil union.

Churches can't rule on civil settlements, and they don't need to. Just like marriage, let a church handle divorce however they want (look at the Catholics - their view of divorce is already far different than civil). But for any and all legal aspects, get a civil union; the church needn't be involved at all.

Just like in the military, SOPs can be updated to work better in a world that's changed since they were written.

The Viking

Thanks Brian, I appreciate that. I think they should just replace the word "marriage" with "civil union" for all straight couples. Then they should legalize civil unions for gays, and both gays and straights would have to go to their religious institution of choice to get "married." That's just my opinion though, and I realize a ton of people disagree with that.

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