Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Marriage as a Religious Sacrament

The issue of gay marriage has, for a while now, been politically charged. The religious right has been firmly against it. The progressive left has been okay with it, at least enough to please their far left base, but has not pushed for too much reform as it would distance them from the mainstream of American thought. The democrats were active enough to vote against a bill defining a marriage as strictly between a man and a woman that came though the senate in 2004.

I am a Catholic, and I stand by the beliefs of the Church. I believe homosexuality is a sin, much like a lot of other behaviors, such as theft or murder. However, America is a secular country, which means that it is of this earth and not ruled by the church. We all know the separation of church and state practice of the land; congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (Bill of Rights). This goes both ways, and many people seem to forget that as they cry out that religion is intruding on our public life. This amendment, the first one by the way, was meant to protect churches from the state. In Europe, during the eighteenth century, the state governments were very involved in churches inside the country, and our founders did not want that.

Marriage has been a religious sacrament long before the beginning of this country, which is to say that it belongs on the church side in this debate. In my opinion, this country has no jurisdiction to call a marriage anything, as it is an institution of religions. I am okay with laws being created respecting civil unions, in fact I am in favor of them. While the U.S. has very christian tendencies, it has a very diverse population and as such the government does have the right to make laws in respect to civil unions. If homosexuals would like to be joined in a civil union, while it saddens me as a christian, it is fine by me as an American. However, I am against the federal government doing anything about laws respecting civil unions. The issue concerning homosexual civil unions, like so many others, should be left to the states. The national government involves itself on too many social issues better left to the lower levels, like state and local governments.


Eric said...

i like your balanced approach to this issue. however you do not have to agree with every stance the church takes in order to be a good catholic/christian. sometimes it is better to step back and evaluate the positions of the church as the people of the church are humans too (as well as very politically motivated in some cases) and dont have all the answers. I certainly dont believe good people (that are gay) should be condemned as criminals (theft or murder, come on) for a factors outside of their control. you wouldnt condemn a autistic person for his nature, why someone gay?

Nick said...

I agree that homosexuals should not be condemned, however according to biblical text it is a sin. I have enough of my own problem with sins to condemn another. I would also hesitate to say that is outside of a person's control as well, as I have heard from a man who struggled with homosexuality and still does. He is happily married with kids, and admits that his wife has been a great mentor to him with his lifestyle.
I also agree with your attitude toward the Church, and I spread it toward religion in general as it is run by humans who are intrinsically flawed. Good to hear from you as I like comments on my writing.

Anonymous said...

I would disagree with biblical text then. Its a continuum, as with most things in life. It may be possible for some people to struggle with homosexuality and still be married because they can see both sides. I do not believe this would be possible for everyone to do. They may not be happy even if they hide it. Its more of a "sin" to live like that imo.

Mary Maloy said...

I believe that the church has the right to deny religious marriages, but the states should accept it at merely a political level. But then again, moral issues, according to the Supreme Courts, is deferred to the states.

av said...

I think there are a lot of things not understood yet about why someone is a homosexual. I would not tell someone that lifestyle was ok, though. I believe that God thinks it's a sin and I wouldn't want that to prevent someone from a life in heaven by choosing that lifestyle. I also believe that marriage is about balance and that a gay couple cannot provide that. Children need both a female and male role model because there are differences and children need that balance. My mother & father provided totally different needs. I can only say that I'm thankful I have my own challenges in life and that I don't have the confusion of homosexuality. I believe it must be one of the hardest personal challenges to deal with. I believe I saw that with my uncle who is now deceased and whom died from aids. I hope to see him in heaven one day.