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12-31-2011, 01:24 PM   #1
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An interesting article on US 'evangelicals', abortion and gay marriage

The New Evangelicals: How Christians are rethinking Abortion and Gay Marriage - ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

12-31-2011, 03:48 PM   #2
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If that's true, that is a very welcome change of direction!

Happy new year, Jouni.
12-31-2011, 03:58 PM   #3
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Perhaps it's because the "Millennials" are deserting in droves.

Why young evangelicals are leaving church - CNN.com
12-31-2011, 04:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
If that's true, that is a very welcome change of direction!

Happy new year, Jouni.
You too!

Among other things the message is that the US 'evangelicals' ('religious right' ?) is not as monolithic as one might think and/or that their views might be evolving in a more tolerant direction. Also, it would seem that these issues have been rather cynically used for political gain.


Last edited by jolepp; 01-04-2012 at 07:26 AM. Reason: typo
12-31-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Perhaps it's because the "Millennials" are deserting in droves.

Why young evangelicals are leaving church - CNN.com
QuoteQuote:
...
Millennials also part ways with conservative orthodoxy on wealth distribution and caring for the environment. According to a report in The Christian Science Monitor, three out of four say that wealthy corporations and financiers have too much power and that taxes should be raised on the very wealthy, and two out of three say financial institutions should be regulated more closely. In addition, most say that creationists' view on evolution is outdated.

Sounds a lot like Democratic ideology to me.
...
Sounds alarming .
01-04-2012, 06:23 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Even the author of the article cited in the OP and the people he quote succumb to a crucial error in the definition of "marriage." He writes...

QuoteQuote:
Another approach gaining ground concerns the state's role in marriage more broadly. Campolo and others suggest that government should grant only civil unions to hetero- and homosexual couples, as that is the state's legitimate purview.

Such unions would grant rights and responsibilities that promote the common good (such as parental responsibility for child support). Indeed, divorce is already civil, and religious divorce procedures have no bearing on legal status or rights.

On this view, faith traditions may have many regulations regarding marriage: Catholics may not marry those who have been divorced, for instance, while Protestants and Jews can. But the neutral state should not enforce religious views of marriage - not religious views of gay marriage anymore than religious views of heterosexual marriage.

The religious institution of marriage should be left to the churches, with each congregation deciding whether to bless gay ones. So, in my interview with him, David Gushee argued:

"The bonding of state and church in the recognition of marriages is a vestige of an earlier day ... I don't support gay marriage partly because of hesitations about furthering a system that is incoherent, but we need some sort of legal recognition for heterosexual and homosexual long-term co-habitation and domestic partnerships as well [because] it is not good for society to have relationships in legal limbo. When the state is not levelling the playing field and providing procedural justice, then the most powerful interests prevail."
What they fail to recognize or admit is that "marriage" predates all modern religions. Marriage was originally a financial contract between two families. A contract which imposed certain rights, privileges and responsibilities to both the couple and to their families. The rights, privileges and responsibilities that are recognized by our government, and which must be recognized in public venues or services, derive from these ancient contracts.

Civil unions on the other hand have no deep historical basis. I know of no one throughout history who has referred to their contract with their spouse as a "civil union" in either casual or official circumstances. Even people who are joined by a civil "justice of the peace" are considered "married" in the eyes of the state and that is how they refer to themselves. They are not considered "unionized." In some states, even people who merely live together for extended periods and who act as if they are "married" may be considered to be "married" under the concept of "common law marriage."

Another hurdle that opponents of gay marriage fail to recognize or consider when they propose "civil unions" as a "suitable sub" is the bureaucratic one. Just about every law on the books that talks about the rights, privileges and responsibilities of pair-bonded human couples, refers to "marriage." Few address "civil unions" and of those I know of none that state that all of the rights, privileges and responsibilities pertaining to marriage also apply to civil unions. Amending every law that refers to marriage to also include the term "civil union" as a legally recognized equivalent could take years if not decades. Even passing laws that supersede the language of all pertinent paws to make "marriage" and "civil union" equivalents could take years and in the meantime leave gay couples in limbo and unprotected by civil authorities.

So, lets turn to religion for a minute... When a priest, minister or pastor performs a wedding ceremony they generally use the words "matrimony" or "holy matrimony." This suggests a special spiritual significance to the contract. This makes god, and even the church, part of the contract. However (in the U.S. anyway... ), prior to performing even this ceremony, the religious officiant must see and after the vows are recited, sign a "marriage license" issued by the state. A couple "joined in holy matrimony" by the church without a state marriage license is not considered to be "married" by the state because the it is the marriage license, and not the religious "vows" which are considered the "legal contract." Only in this case is the "marriage" legally recognized by the state. In reality and for all practical and legal purposes, the only important thing is the signatures of the couple and the officiant attesting to the fact that the couple is now "married." All of the words and vows mean nothing to the state... just those signatures.

Now lets turn this around. A couple gets their state marriage license and has a justice of the peace or even a ship captain perform their ceremony. Once they and the officiant sign the license, they are married... no matter what the officiant said or even didn't say. No priest, minister, pastor or voodoo doctor required... and they don't have to mention or swear to god (any of them) in any way. And once the license is signed, if he keels over walking out the door, she gets his stuff... no questions asked (unless she snuffed him anyway...).

So where does this get us? It gets us to the conclusion that "marriage" is, at it's core, a civil institution serving civil societal needs. Churches and synagogues and temples can perform their own ceremonies and "sanctify" the "marriage" before and to their particular deity, but their ceremonies impart no legal rights, privileges or responsibilities upon the couple outside of that particular faith. This can differ, depending on where you live of course. But where church weddings confer civil rights, privileges and responsibilities (for instance, in England in the Church of England), the state has basically and simply extended the ability to issue state approved documents/licenses on it's behalf. It does not change the fact that the state is approving the "marriage" and that those rights, privileges and responsibilities are enforceable only by the state.

It also gets us to the conclusion that "marriage," not "civil union," should be the term used to refer to any "human pair-bond" which is recognized by the state to define the couple's civil rights, privileges and responsibilities. Let the churches have "holy matrimony" or even "holy marriage" if they must, but "MARRIAGE" belongs to all of us.

------------------------------------------------------------

addendum... from the article, a statement by a leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE)...

QuoteQuote:
The NAE ... supports neither gay marriage nor civil unions: "We also oppose innovations such as same-sex 'marriage.'" On the other, the NAE does not support discrimination: "homosexuals as individuals are entitled to civil rights, including equal protection of the law"; yet, "the NAE opposes legislation which would extend special consideration to such individuals based on their 'sexual orientation'."
No one in the gay community has asked for "special rights" or "considerations." All they've asked for is to have the same rights and considerations as other citizens "regardless" of their 'sexual orientation."

Mike

QuoteQuote:
"the United States government grants 1,138 rights to heterosexual but not to homosexual couples"

Last edited by MRRiley; 01-04-2012 at 07:40 AM.
01-04-2012, 07:20 AM   #7
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On the other hand, the junk-tv polling done by CNN indicated that those for whom abortion was the main issue (not the economy: Romney, and not the deficit: Paul) voted overwhelmingly for Santorum.

But then, I'm not sure how many young people go to the republican caucuses.
01-04-2012, 12:27 PM   #8
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Along the same lines, someone posted this link today. WHEN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE WAS A CHRISTIAN RITE

01-04-2012, 12:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
No one in the gay community has asked for "special rights" or "considerations." All they've asked for is to have the same rights and considerations as other citizens "regardless" of their 'sexual orientation."

Mike

Very much so, Mike: just try getting all that through pundits' and preachers' and politicians' heads, though. Willful ignorance about what's actually-involved, and I assure you, they have *no* interest in 'religious freedom' defining marriage anyway.

If it was about 'religious freedom' or 'religious definitions,' then they wouldn't be trying to force one religious definition on the many religions, churches, states, cities, and clergy that *do* recognize same-sex unions. As marriages, even. (In fact, these churches probably want to control even the Christian straights' marriages by *making* the state obey religion... so that their own flocks can't tell a Reverend, 'Heck with you, we're going to the courthouse.' )

*Religiously* I'm qualified to perform wedding ceremonies in at least three traditions, from the yellowed old ULC ID card in my pocket to ....more involved stuff, to traditions where the religious content is really between the *couple* and they just need a witness in good standing... to, hey, put me in temporary command of a vessel, "I now pronounce you married, I stand relieved."


Interestingly, *as* clergy, I've observed that marriage being a civil institution frees my hands *to* focus on any religious concerns, not be trying to balance tax law into the equation. (Actually, the old Lughnasa tradition of 'year and a day' marriages was always a really important tool in some of my tribes: in part *because* legal marriage is so involved and in some neighborhoods, economic circumstances were so... Unstable. Especially for same sex couples, who might take on all the religious and community obligations but get none of the government protections or benefits, making oaths before the Gods you might not be able to keep 'till death' is a weighty matter. No matter how much the couple may love each other or be committed. A few couples'd be doing that year in, year out. My sweetie and I were never handfasted religiously for similar reasons. Partly because *I* wouldn't have circumstance make an oathbreaker of her. Even if we were married in a state with equality, we'd still pay a 'marriage penalty' in big ways for a modicum of security that would not cross state lines.

In states like Vermont, even regarding *state* taxes, a lot of 'civil unions' were between straight couples (and elderly friends) who found a legal 'civil union' *advantageous,* compared to 'marriage,' ...cause it was less binding in some ways. If that doesn't show there's 'separate but unequal' with straight people having more options from the state than LGBTs.. I don't know what does. It's part of why Vermont went to full marriage equality, cause it was *shown* it's *not* about a 'definition' or a term. It's about the nuts and bolts of life. And civil law. Equal protection. Full faith and credit. Joint taxes and bank accounts and probate and family law and other un-sexy things.


Civil. Secular. Things. Real things. But that.




If this was about 'religious freedom,' certain religious groups wouldn't be trying to use the state to enforce *their* ways.


Witness the homophobic 'Baggers in Michigan, supposedly all about 'small government' ...but trying to remove civil and human rights protections from cities that *voted* for LGBT human rights.... (Along with a lot of other local government,) ...the exact opposite of what they claimed they were going to do.

It's not about a 'definition' or even there actually being some 'separate but equal,' cause that's not what the *actual laws say.*

That includes Santorum 'promising' to *revoke* same sex marriage contracts where they exist, in direct violation of even contract law in America.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 01-04-2012 at 01:23 PM.
01-04-2012, 02:48 PM   #10
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Morality is not dependent on public opinion.
01-04-2012, 04:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
Morality is not dependent on public opinion.
That's always given me cause to wonder why certain 'moralists' always play politics, y'know?


More to the point, always seem to be claiming 'moral justification' for what would otherwise be clearly 'petty cruelty.'
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