Friday, March 18, 2005

Marriage is More Than a Definition

My Wife and Child Posted by Hello

A thought today it may be good to step away from critical analysis and deal with an issue that is really personal to me. Family, more specifically, marriage. I have been married for over 2 years now and since our having "tied the knot" and during this time our nation has had to face some serious matters. Most relevant to this piece would be the debate over the meaning and definition of marriage. We were married around the time of the Lawrence v. Texas ruling and the subsequent events.

On the right you have those who cry for retaining the present definition of marriage. On the left you have them saying that the definition is as outdated as a stay at home mother or home schooling. Those in the center (like our beloved President) say that they want marriage to remain as it is but they would be o.k. with domestic partnerships and civil unions. It would seem as if the most prominent voices in society are all over the map on the matter. Save of course the voice of the people where majority after majority chose to amend State Constitutions to protect themselves from the onslaught of fags in veils and lesbians with mullets as “best men.” (Sorry Heather for the jab at your soon-to-be brother-in-law’s best “man”) The people’s voice is loud and clear on the issue.

Since my being involved in political discussion I have been asked on numerous occasions what my take on the issue is and what I think should, or could, be done. Anyone having even a modicum of insight into my religious and political persuasion ought to have an easy time figuring out which side of the isle I would find myself. I am a Christian Reconstructionist, a Paleoconservative, and a strong advocate for a homosexual death penalty. But here I want to attempt to put forth not only what “should” be done but also what, at present, is more “probable” to be done.

What should be done is to reinstate a homosexual death penalty. Truth be told, if we were to obey God’s Law concerning the sanctions against homosexuality we would have no “crisis.” The debate would be gone. At least from the homosexuals themselves. Their defenders could debate over whether or not to put them to death but not over whether or not we should alter God’s sacred definition and structure of marriage.

Another “should be done” would include the Church and the State to reconsider no-fault-divorce laws. These laws have done so much to strip marriage of its sanctity (and to say that marriage has any sanctity left amongst the tidal wave of reality TV show marriages, Las Vegas weddings, Jerry Springer weddings, and non-virgins wearing white wedding gowns proudly, is nostalgia at best and naivety at worst)

The Church also must reconsider its position concerning excommunication of members living adulterous lives due to their being divorced on non-Biblical grounds and then getting re-married on non-Biblical grounds. The Church must again take a hard stance on this issue as the primary defender and example of marriage in the world.

IT ought to be no surprise to us that the definition of marriage is under fire. Why wouldn’t it be? We, the Church, have not set before the world a good example of marriage, divorce, and restitution. We have also given them the impression that no-fault divorce is an acceptable, though unfortunate, event. This is a lie of catastrophic proportions! The Church has a divorce rate that is staggering! With the statistics available it would seem that the Church has a higher divorce rate than non-believers. And non-believers have a divorce rate of around 50%! Is it any wonder then that the world would be floundering in this sea of relativism and for-the-moment pleasure seeking? Doesn’t even the Word say that if the believer barely be saved what then of the world? By the looks of it we are being saved “as if through fire” leaving little or no room above the flames for the non-believer.

Concerning what “could” be done (as if what “should” be done “cannot” be done) on a Church and State level there are only a few alternatives. Some insist on a federal amendment to the Constitution. I am not a supporter of this measure. For starters, Republicans will never see it get out of committee or pass in the Senate. The House would be all for it but not the Senate. Another reason is because it is more of a political tool than a real concern for the vast majority of Republicans. Most of them have no problem with civil unions or domestic partnerships as long as they can salvage a “definition.”

Another problem with this solution is that it gets the civil government in an area where it does not belong. The Federal government has no Constitutional right to determine the definition of marriage. They are given specific right as explained in Article 1 Section 8. Granted they do not obey these guidelines this does not give us a permit then to separate from principle and law. It is kind of like saying that you will go 10 MPH over the speed limit because you know that there is a cop or a judge who does it. Point is, it is the law, and we are to uphold the law.

Constitutionally there are a few legitimate options but two are most probable. First, we could amend the “Full Faith and Credit” Clause to be more specific regarding what is eligible and ineligible to receive full faith and credit. We could also amend it in such a way as to allow states discretion as to what will receive full faith and credit. This is already done in part when dealing with “concealed-carry gun permits.” Another constitutional option would be to make a law needing only a basic majority (rather than the supermajority needed for Constitutional Amendments) establishing DOMA. Lastly, they could limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as well as lower federal courts. They even have the right to abolish any federal court outside of the Supreme Court. It may be wise to start with the 9th District. Court of Appeals if you ask me.
In conclusion, there is much that should have been done, even more that must now be done, and not a how lot that can be done. This is a strange time we live in. The Church must rise to the occasion and reclaim the right of “standard bearer.” Christians must come against the tidal wave of divorce and infidelity. It must reestablish the high standards that marriage once required. The Church would also do well to reconsider issues such as bride price, arranged marriage, and the effect that dating has had on marriage in America. And the government must do what it can within the boundaries that for better or worse it has imposed upon itself. This may not solve the problem but it will certainly get us thinking about how we can most effectively deal with it.

A definition is as reactive as it is creative and conservative. If marriage was in good shape there would be no debate. Definitions change only when the reality that it is to reflect and signify has changed. So for us to save a definition would do little to no good in saving, or even preserving, the reality of what it is to signify. Save marriage, the definition will follow.

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