On Marriage

Marriage is an honorable estate, instituted of God, and therefore, not entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, discreetly, soberly and in the fear of God.

~ Traditional marriage ceremony

You pretty much had to be living under a rock if you missed President Barack Obama’s statement yesterday where he said his position on same-sex marriage had evolved and that he now thought that same-sex couples should be allowed to be married.

He went on to say that states should be allowed to decide. And with North Carolina, some 31 states have now declared that marriage is between a man and a woman

No surprise that this came the day after North Carolina Amendment One passed by an overwhelming margin. And no surprise that the day after the statement The Washington Post just “happened” to find a story about young Mitt Romney bullying a boy who was presumed to be gay.

But that’s politics, and marriage shouldn’t be political.

Still, story after story following the President’s remarks talked about how the President was on the “right side of history.” But how can that be? When in human history has marriage meant something other than a union of men and women?

Mitt Romney said in response, “I have the same view on marriage that I had when I was governor. I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman… This is a very tender and sensitive topic, as are many social issues, but I have the same view that I’ve had since running for office.”

The problem here is state involvement in marriage at all. Marriage is a sacrament of the church and as such needs no license from the state. It is true that the tax codes and other laws benefit married couples. It’s true that those in same sex relationships have issues with property, and insurance and power of attorney and more.

So let’s make the playing field even. Allow adults to enter into whatever relationship they so desire. And allow them to make whatever legal arrangements they desire.

But leave marriage to the church, or the religious (or other) institution of your choice.

This debate will continue to rage, but others have said:
Leslie Carbone at Bearing Drift said: The solution to what ails us lies neither in banning nor embracing same-sex “marriage”; it lies in depending on government less for everything from financial support to social sanction and harmony.

For as Obama himself implied, this is not a dispute featuring “bigots” on one side, any more than it has “perverts” on the other. It is a debate of reasonable people of goodwill who disagree about the nature of the most basic unit of society. In saying that he supports letting states decide the definition of marriage for themselves, Obama indicated that this issue shouldn’t be settled by judicial fiat. On this, we agree. Our national conversation shouldn’t be brought to an undemocratically abrupt end. But as it continues, advocates on all sides must contend with, and answer, the central question in this debate, without which we can’t know the what or the why of legal recognition, much less what justice demands: What is marriage?
Ryan T. Anderson, Robert P. George & Sherif Girgis, Marriage and the Presidency, National Review

The Rev. Joel Hunter of the 15,000 member Northland church, who is often referred to as President Barack Obama’s spiritual adviser, said he is disappointed with the president’s use of the “Golden Rule” to explain his endorsement of gay marriage.
The Christian Post Obama’s Spiritual Adviser Rebukes President On Golden Rule, Same-Sex Marriage

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement:
President Obama’s comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better. Unfortunately, President Obama’s words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons.

Franklin Graham issued the following statement:

“On Tuesday my state of North Carolina became the 31st state to approve a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. While the move to pass amendments defining marriage is relatively new, the definition of marriage is 8,000 years old and was defined not by man, but by God Himself.

“In changing his position from that of Senator/candidate Obama, President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage. It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more.

“The institution of marriage should not be defined by presidents or polls, governors or the media. The definition was set long ago and changing legislation or policy will never change God’s definition. This is a sad day for America. May God help us.”

Cross posted at Richmond Bible Examiner

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