Sunday, June 06, 2004

 

Not All Churches Speak with one Voice on the FMA

I found this article today and it made me happy. It seems that not every demonimation of the Christian Church is on board with the FMA. Go Lutherans! Seems to me these folks asked themselves WWJD and came up with a pretty good answer.

http://www.wfn.org/2004/06/msg00034.html

Comments:
Just did a quick scan of the linked article...

What "civil right" are they speaking of?

I'm not going to go into this too far, because you and all your readers, I suspect, know where I stand on this.

I might not think that the FMA is the *best* possible solution, but I do think that it's not unreasonable, and is better than having a judicially forced acceptance of something that is staunchly opposed by a vast majority of the public. Again, we're not talking about persecution of the practitioners of the unpopular activity, only that the public can protect itself from having to accept it as morally equal to "traditional" (male + female) marriage.

If proponents of same-sex marriage had merely asked for a status that afforded similar legal rights and responsibilities as generally afforded to married couples, I predict that they would have gotten overwhelming support, but they didn't want that, and now they have forced upon the rest of the nation this issue. It's natural that the backlash would be substantial. But for hyper-active anti-tradition judges scattered throughout the nation, this issue would not exist.

The Lutherans are, IMHO, deceived. Being generous to them, I'll presume they don't know what they're really doing. The alternative is a fairly direct opposition to the scriptures they supposedly revere.

And Mr. Elepahnt, I know we've been through this a time or two, and your denomination doesn't find any clear indication that the Bible continued to disapprove of homosexual activity. Let me suggest Romans 1, especially verses 25 - 32. (here's a site, http://bible.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible?passage=ROM+1:25-32&language=english&version=NIV&showfn=on&showxref=on)

Umm... I think that a WWJD analysis, if scriptures are consulted, would arrive at a different, or at least a differently founded opinion of the FMA.
 
Oooh, Bible verses condemning homosexulaity! I like those almost as much as the ones that say men can beat their wives as long as the stick isn't thicker than their finger. Also helpful are the ones that tell me what kinds of slaves it is appropriate to own.
 
Bronson,

Several things you bring up I think are important. First, it gives me hope that you think that if civil unions or some other name for these relationships were offered other than marriage, it may be workable. To quote:

"If proponents of same-sex marriage had merely asked for a status that afforded similar legal rights and responsibilities as generally afforded to married couples, I predict that they would have gotten overwhelming support"

I think you hit the nail on the head when you discuss this as a battle over the 'word' marriage. I think concern is understandable when it appears that the courts are taking an institution many Christians feel ownership in and expanding it to include non-traditional couples would logically provoke a reaction especially in communities where people aren't knowingly exposed to gay men and women.

But, I don't think it is necessarily a moral blessing for the state to recognize such unions. In fact, I'm not arguing that any state should have to, just that this issue is not worthy of a constitutional amendment to deny a very small minority equal protection under the law. (No need to post a lengthy response on this point, I just think that if two people commit to each other - and I really don't care what goes on in the bedroom if they are both adults - that they should be able to share some basic rights like hospital visitation, joint ownership of property and the ability to make medical decisions for each other.)

As far as this issue being forced on other states, well that's just not going to happen. If another state is forced to recognize Massachusetts’s marriages, I'll eat my hat and concede everything - and if any church in the US is forced by a court to marry a gay couple I'll pay you child's college education.

I'm suspicious of politicians (republican and democrat) that tell me I need them to protect me from some one else's love. Remember the Defense of Marriage Act? It was shepherded through Congress by Bob Dole (Who was nursed back to health after WWII by his first wife who he left for Liddy, and Newt, who divorced his second wife while she had cancer and signed into law by none other than Bill Clinton (I know I don't have to elaborate here). Such actions, ring hollow. I totally agree with Cal Thomas (did I just say that?) That the best course of action by Christians is to lead by example.

I think faith is a wonderful thing. And I think that mandating adherence to a particular religious doctrine undermines, rather than enforces morality. The bible has been used to justify slavery, polygamy, war and Jim Crow laws. I think the goal of separation of church and state (and I don't subscribe to a strict ACLU separation) is not to protect us from religion, but to protect religion from politicians.

As far as the Evangelical Lutheran Church being off their rocker, maybe we could include language in the FMA to 'align doctrine' and ban such heretical view. (Wink!).....

I look at the world and see a complex, wonderful, interconnected system. So much variety and yet so many similar patterns. I think that God's challenges to us are much more complex and subtle than the somewhat lame doctrine that's often forced on us. Just scratching the surface on all I want to discuss here, but I think you get the basic gist of where I'm going. I'll try to incorporate it into a later posting.

I think that many good things can come out of this debate. First, I hope that a lot of married couples examine why they are married and discuss the meaning of marriage to them and second, I hope that we can find it in our hearts to allow some basic rights to people who commit themselves to caring for each other rather than having the government care for them.

Keep the comments coming; it's through such dialogue that we grow as a nation and in our faith. E Pluribus Unum....
 
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