Training up children in the way they should go

Towleroad reports on a Boston Globe editorial debunking a popular anti-gay lie: The claim that public schools are “indoctrinating” children.

From the editorial:

Voters should also know that Massachusetts is not, in fact, teaching children to read, write, and have same-sex marriages. In 2006, a teacher in Lexington did read second-graders a book about a prince who marries another prince. But it wasn’t a regular subject. … And the books had previously been made available for parents’ review. Not surprisingly, the scary ads omit these details.

The Lexington litigation was highly unusual, and the scores of other school districts in the state simply haven’t been convulsed with controversy about same-sex marriage. That’s not to say the issue never arises; children increasingly have peers whose parents are married to adults of the same sex, and they’re bound to ask questions. But it’s noteworthy that the one case of pro-gay indoctrination that marriage opponents regularly cite is more than half a decade old — and misleading to boot.

Misleading? There’s no way to be sure of that just yet. What we know is this: One teacher in Lexington, Mass., read children a story about a prince who marries another prince. But what about the long-term effects?

Mark Regnerus and Bradley Wilcox should conduct a longitudinal study of that second-grade class — now in eighth grade — to measure whether, as predicted by the scientists of the religious right, they do, indeed, all turn out to be gay because of this horrific misconduct.

I’m exaggerating, of course. The religious right isn’t really deathly afraid that these children will all turn gay because they once heard a nice story about a same-sex couple. The religious right is actually deathly afraid that having once heard such a story these children will grow up to be more tolerant of and kinder too same-sex couples.

And the prospect of such tolerance and kindness terrifies them.

* * * * * * * * *

These photos of smiling college students cheerfully recording their opposition to same-sex marriage and their support for Minnesota’s failed anti-equality ban makes me sad in two directions.

First there’s the top-level contempt for others being expressed there — the eagerness to see the law used to further marginalize the marginal, which is always just a generally mean thing to do.

But then there’s the harm being done to these kids, too. And yes, these are kids. They’ve been encouraged to do this, instructed to do this, and praised for doing this. But in not too many years, though — maybe 10 or 15, maybe less — they’ll regret it.

And then what? It may be part of a larger crisis of faith in which they turn their backs on everything they learned at their “Bible-based” alma mater — Jesus and the Bible along with the presumption of homophobia.

Or that crisis may force them to double down in order to preserve their identity and never have to regret being the smiling haters in these photos. That kind of white-knuckled clinging to the indefensible isn’t uncommon, but I’ve never met anyone it allowed to be happy.

(Oh, and note this is Northwestern College in Minnesota — a private evangelical school which is not at all the same thing as Northwestern University.)

  • Lliira

    Uh… so how would an atheist get married? It’s not just a bureaucratic arrangement to me. Calling it that nauseates me. It means promising to share my life with someone else, to have sex with him and him alone, to romantically love him and him alone, to care for in sickness and in health, until one of us dies. It means sharing the fact of this mutual promise, the most important one we will ever make, before the entire world, because it is such an important matter. Pretending marriage is nothing more than a bureaucratic arrangement — well, we’re right back to where we used to be then, throwing away all the progress in companionate marriage that we and our forebears made. Might as well let other people decide it, if that’s all it is. How many cows are you worth?

    Besides which, no one wants to marry their toaster. A sadly large number of grown men want to kidnap teenage girls and “marry” them. That is very much something the government must stop. (And it must end the parental consent laws that allow a parent to hand over a girl to a grown man.)

    Marriage is a social thing. We do not live entirely private lives: we cannot and we should not. The solution is to stop discriminating against consenting adults, not to dismantle something that is still centrally important to so many of us.

  • Lliira

    Here is what I believe it is:

    I have seen many arguments from the religious right that if men can marry men, they will no longer marry women. Then, since marriage is the only protection for women against other men, and is the only safe place for a man to channel his sexuality, women will be constantly gang-raped. Straight line, this is what’s gonna happen. It’s what they really believe. They also really believe that unless men marry women, men will not care for women enough to “allow” us to have any rights whatsoever.

    He thinks he’s protecting women by opposing gay marriage. I know, it makes no sense. But I’d bet that’s what he’s thinking.

  • Greenygal

     It cuts away the whole ‘attack on religion’ and
    ‘redefining marriage’ – the only question that’s left is, given that
    same-sex couples are going to be living together and raising children
    together anyway, do you want to make these boring bureaucratic matters
    difficult and annoying for same-sex couples?

    I am, oh, about 90% sure that’s not what would happen.  What would happen is that people would go “Oh, my god, we were right!  Gay people really do want to destroy marriage!”  This proposal is redefining marriage as we currently have it–and that might even be a good idea, I don’t know, but it’s terrible public relations.

  • Tricksterson

    I didn’t.

  • Tricksterson

    More llikely he’s been indoctrinated into the idea that f gays are allowed to marry heterosexual marriage will wind up being degraded or even made illegal.

  • Tricksterson

    Everyone knows Atheists don’t believe in Marriage!

  • Tricksterson

    Why would a man who wanted to marry another man be interested in raping a woman?

  • PandaRosa

    and what would be so terrible about that?
    heteros don’t deserve marriage anymore

  • Julian Elson

    Rape is not necessarily about attraction. (Sometimes a straight man who is intent on sadistically degrading another man might rape that man.) I don’t know of any specific cases of gay men raping women, so I wouldn’t actually say I know that it happens, but I wouldn’t say it’s an outlandish idea: a rapist could be motivated by the desire to dominate or just hurt the victim. It’s significantly less likely than a straight man raping a woman, though.

  • arcseconds

    Uh… so how would an atheist get married?

    Clearly I haven’t made myself clear, if you’re inclined to say this.

    You get married however you like.  With a faux-religion-lite ceremony if you wish, or with a celebrant, or with vows exchanged in the privacy of your own home.   I’m repeating myself – but I’m not sure how to make this any clearer.

    You back it up with a Government-sponsored contract (assuming one is available to you), or not, as you see fit.

    It’s not just a bureaucratic arrangement to me. Calling it that
    nauseates me. It means promising to share my life with someone else, to
    have sex with him and him alone, to romantically love him and him alone,
    to care for in sickness and in health, until one of us dies. It means
    sharing the fact of this mutual promise, the most important one we will
    ever make, before the entire world, because it is such an important
    matter.

    What does the government have to do with any of that though?  Very little – I’ve never heard of any government checking up to see whether you love him or someone else or no-one at all (except in the case where someone’s an immigrant, but while I can vaguely see the necessity of this if I squint really hard, it still seems majorly invasive to me), and they hopefully aren’t checking up whom you’re having sex with.   Those are grounds for divorce, of course, but they don’t inevitably result in anyone pushing for divorce.

    Even now, the government is principally only concerned with the bureaucratic stuff.  So let it only be concerned with the bureaucratic stuff, and let’s not call that stuff  ‘marriage’, because I agree: when people get married, they’re not primarily entering into a legal contract of a particular sort.

    I’m not sure why you think the government needs to be involved here.  What would you do if the government refused to recognise your relationship – because you two are the wrong races or sexes or religions or they think you’re just marrying him for his citizenship?  Would you then say “Oh, well, the government won’t recognise our relationship, so no point in promising you anything, or having a party, or announcing our love to our friends – actually, I’m just going to go have some random sex with strangers now, see you next Tuesday?”

    Hopefully no.  In the absence of government, people would still get (and have in the past still got) married  (without government contracts) in whatever way they see fit.

    Pretending marriage is nothing more than a bureaucratic arrangement —
    well, we’re right back to where we used to be then, throwing away all
    the progress in companionate marriage that we and our forebears made.
    Might as well let other people decide it, if that’s all it is. How many
    cows are you worth?

    You seem to be stuck with the assumption that marriage is whatever the government does.  I explicitly said that under my proposal, the government would *not* deal with marriage at all – it wouldn’t call anything marriage, and it would only deal with bureaucratic matters.    Yet you seem to think I want to reduce marriage to bureaucratic matters.   The only way you can reach that conclusion is by ignoring what I actually said and assuming the current set-up, which is pretty confused (not all churches recognise all marriages, for example) but principally yields the whole area to the government.

    I think I’m doing exactly the opposite: freeing marriage from bureaucratic matters, to allow it to be what’s really important about marriage: a solemn promise made between two people in front of their community, whatever that may be.

    Besides which, no one wants to marry their toaster.

    No, it was purposely chosen to be an absurd example, my intention was to show how little we have to fear from people who decide to ‘marry’ things we don’t think as marryable.

    A sadly large number
    of grown men want to kidnap teenage girls and “marry” them. That is
    very much something the government must stop. (And it must end the
    parental consent laws that allow a parent to hand over a girl to a grown
    man.)

    The problem here, though, is not primarily that they’ve chosen to use the word ‘marriage’ to define their relationship.    The situation is no better if the man in question never claims to be married to the girl.  She’s still been kidnapped, the man is still trying to have a relationship with the girl that we think can only be properly done between two adults, we still think she’s incapable of the kind of consent necessary, and there’s plenty of laws apart from the marriage act or whatever that are designed to prevent this from happening.

    I can see that it might be seen to be a bit creepy if a man and an underage girl decide to call themselves ‘married’ without actually doing anything that’s otherwise illegal.  But if that happened today, really, what could the law do about it? Maybe they could prevent them from saying ‘marriage’, but they could just say “betrothed” and it would be just as creepy.   I don’t think creepiness can really be systematically outlawed…

  • Wednesday

    Okay, I have an honest question here: Is it really, really so difficult for most people to understand that a word can have more than one definition depending on context? Because as far as I’m concerned, we already have a distinction between religious marriage and civil marriage, and there is no problem that needs solving by changing the name of the legal status. But I’m a mathematician, so I’m used to working with definitions that change depending on context, and it can be hard for me to grock that not everyone sees things this way.

    Looking at how other people use the word marriage, it certainly _seems_ to me that most people actually do recognize multiple definitions of marriage based on context. We know there’s a difference between legal and religious marriage because we recognize people can be married by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas — marriages that are civil but not sanctified by any religious ceremony — and because we still use the words “married” and “wives” when we discuss cultures that practice polygamy (including the FLDS) even though those marriages aren’t recognized by our law (and frequently our religions). The LDS church recognizes two kinds of marriages with different theological meanings — Temple Marriages and the marriages that all other straight monogamists have . The Catholic church also officially recognizes and not-recognizes a second marriage after a divorce depending on the context. Conservative Judaism officially both recognizes and not-recognizes same-sex marriage and interfaith marriage depending on the rabbi and congregation and couple involved.

  • WalterC

    I think what you’re describing isn’t actually a failure to understand that one word can have more than one definition. I think what you’re describing is a (bad) logic argument, called equivocation — when someone pretends not to know that words can have more than one meaning in order to undermine their opponent’s arguments. 

    This is often accompanied by strawmanning, and is a close cousin to the rhetorical device used in the past election (“Acts of terror” vs. “terrorist attacks”) — which involved pretending not to understand that two slightly different phrases can have the same definition. 

    It’s a pretty effective argument if you’re aggressive enough and loud enough. The masters know how to subtly shift from definition to definition depending on what argument they need to use at the time, without telegraphing it to their opponent.

  • arcseconds

     Well, often the best solution isn’t necessarily the most popular one :]

    I think there’s a lot of benefit in arguing *for* this proposal anyway, as it puts pressure on people to clarify what they really regard as being important about marriage.

    I’m pretty sure that if they thought about it, most people (*especially* religious people) would realise that the thing that’s most important about marriage is not that it’s sanctioned by the state.   Most people don’t think it’s just about getting certain kinds of legal rights and tax breaks.

    (perhaps I really mean christianity here, where the traditional understanding is that marriage is a sacrament.

     I understand that for Muslims marriage is a lot more like a contract, and historically at least they’ve been much more open towards divorce (at least legally speaking) than Christianity has.  I recall reading somewhere that failure to provide sexual satisfaction was grounds for a woman to divorce her husband at some point.)

  • Tricksterson

    Granted for the sake of argument but I think what they’re really afraid of is that if gays are allowed to marry this will somehow translate into straight men getting rape.  Don’t ask me how.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You get married however you like.  With a faux-religion-lite ceremony
    if you wish, or with a celebrant, or with vows exchanged in the privacy
    of your own home.   I’m repeating myself – but I’m not sure how to make
    this any clearer.

    You back it up with a Government-sponsored contract (assuming one is available to you), or not, as you see fit.

    This is how the French do it, IIRC.

  • arcseconds

     

    Okay, I have an honest question here: Is it really, really so difficult
    for most people to understand that a word can have more than one
    definition depending on context? Because as far as I’m concerned, we
    already have a distinction between religious marriage and civil
    marriage, and there is no problem that needs solving by changing the
    name of the legal status.

    Apparently it is.  The fact that Fred’s pastor was extremely reluctant and uncomfortable  about marrying Fred and his fianceé  without the marriage license speaks volumes, I think.   A pastor, of all people (I would have thought), would be the first person to say “what the State thinks is just a convenience – marriage is in the eyes of God!  So let’s do the holy vow thing immediately and the paperwork later”.

    Also, people really swallow this whole ‘marriage is between one man and one woman’ thing, even people who aren’t otherwise flagrant Worley-type homophobes are really uncomfortable about this.

    There’s a lot of platonism around in Western culture, and I think this is one example.  There’s a Form of Marriage out there somewhere (in God’s brain, maybe) , and it has a Man and a Woman in it, and if our institutions of marriage don’t follow that as closely as possible, then they’re fallen, debased, diseased institutions.

  • arcseconds

     and the Germans too, I think…

  • Lori

    That doesn’t speak well of him either.

  • arcseconds

     equivocation is a logical fallacy, and you don’t need to have intent to commit logical fallacies.  Sometimes one ends up finding one has committed them despite oneself.

    I don’t think most people think there are really multiple definitions of marriage, or maybe they do on some days but not on others (this kind of split-opinion is pretty common, I think, on a lot of matters) or maybe they kind of agree there are multiple definitions but they’re all about instantiating the same concept – see my earlier remark re: platonism.

  • The Guest Who Posts

     That… says a lot about the person making the argument.

  • Wednesday

    I’m wary of drawing conclusions from Fred’s pastor because that’s a single data point, and, well… there are pharmacists who claim to think hormonal BC is an abortificant, eg. And in some states there is still a bit more entanglement than there should be — in NY clergy can be arrested for solemnizing marriages without licenses, although I think it boils down to whether they say “by the power invested in me by the State of New York…” or not.

    (perhaps I really mean christianity here, where the traditional understanding is that marriage is a sacrament.
    So what you really mean is Catholicism, then? Since most protestant denominations don’t consider marriage to be one of the sacraments. I’m sure you mean well, but some of us are getting really tired of the assumption that Catholic tradition somehow deserves to determine what marriage is for everyone else.

    If people really only have one operational definition of marriage independent of context, then how do we explain the evidence of recognizing Vegas marriages and divorced-not-annulled marriage and polygamy? 

  • Isabel C.

    Which is cool, except…it leaves a lot of people out in very material ways. I have no interest in promising to have sex with or love only one person; I have no interest in promising to love *anyone*, at that. I’m not interested in marriage on a romantic level at all. 

    On the other hand, I could see a situation in which I wanted to get the tax benefits, shared insurance, and so forth of marriage with a good friend, someone I care about deeply and whose life I would like to remain a part of. Or hell, I’d like to have a business arrangement with someone amiable for reasons of citizenship or insurance or whatnot. The fact that I can’t do that, because the way society is set up makes it exclusive to romantic love for no reason that I can see, nauseates *me*.  

    As long as marriage confers material benefits, that part of it *should* be available as a purely bureaucratic arrangement.  I think it’s more important to stop discriminating, naturally, but theoretically? The government should not be in the business of sentiment, and your emotions shouldn’t have that much to do with your insurance benefits. 

  • Isabel C.

    Of course, we could always render my whole argument irrelevant with universal health care and similar, as well as more varieties of commitment/transition/etc ceremonies. I’d be totally for that–indeed, more so.

  • Ross Thompson

    I think this is the best solution, actually.

    What you describe “an entirely bureaucratic affair, and not called ‘marriage’” is what we currently call “marriage”. Why not keep the same name, and let religious groups chose their own name for their ceremonies; maybe “handfasting” or “joining” or “wedding”.

    That would involve a lot less change to the current set up, and it would mean not having to tell a big chunk of the country that they’re no longer “married”, just because it didn’t happen in a place of worship.

  • Ross Thompson

    Why would a man who wanted to marry another man be interested in raping a woman?

    Because sexuality isn’t binary? And rape isn’t about sex?

  • Ross Thompson

    This is how the French do it, IIRC.

    It’s how the Americans do it, too. With the caveat that some Americans are legally forbidden from marrying.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    So, now I’m curious.

    If, thanks to the intervention of a perverse genie, you had a choice between a cultural redefinition of marriage such that two adults can commit to mutual support without any romantic or erotic component whatsoever and receive the same benefits we now grant married couples, or a redistribution of benefits such that single people get the same benefits married couples get, which would more closely approach your preferred state?

  • Daughter

     In many states, an individual can apply to become a “marriage official” for one day. I have known several friends who have married this way: a friend of theirs applied for the one-day license and performed the marriage ceremony. This allows you to have the wedding of your choice, if you don’t want a justice of the peace to perform it.

  • Daughter

     And of course, even if you go the JoP route, you can always hold a separate ceremony with family and friends, again tailored to what is meaningful to you.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Yes, that’s true.
    I am at a complete loss for how this is a reply to my comment, so if there was a broader point here I’m afraid I missed it.

  • Carstonio

    I don’t know Arcseconds made the “marriage is a sacrament” reference, but I had assumed that it involved a lack of knowledge about the denominations instead of a Catholic-centric worldview. 

  • Isabel C.

    Mmm, perverse genie.

    Actually an easy choice: single people get benefits. Everyone gets benefits. I think it’s important to recognize all sorts of emotional bonds, but I think it’s *more* important to make sure people get decent health care even if they don’t have those bonds, or don’t have them with people who have nice jobs, or whatever. 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Because male sexuality can only be controlled within heterosexual marriage. All men are rampaging sex maniacs unless they are married to women. Men don’t really want to get married — the only reason they do it is because they have been taught that they have to, and that it’s the right thing to do, and they will be smoten if they don’t. All men are potential rapists at the very least. “Rape” means doing sexual stuff to someone who isn’t your wife. Anything sexual you do to your wife cannot be rape.

    (If you want a real answer: rape is about power, not about sex. It has nothing to do with attraction. But that’s not what these people are thinking.)

  • arcseconds

    What you describe “an entirely bureaucratic affair, and not called ‘marriage’” is what we currently call “marriage”.

    If this was true, no-one would be saying “marriage is (by definition) between one man and one woman”. 

    They could only say “the marriage statute currently only permits one man and one woman to marry” or something like that, which in and of itself isn’t an argument against change.

     Some people even put ‘marriage’ in scare-quotes when describing same-sex relationships that some state has legally recognised, because they view this (or say they view it) as a conceptual impossibility that these people are married.

    People don’t do this with things that they think are purely legal matters.   If the government raises the minimum age for a drivers license to 21 years, people wouldn’t say things like ‘you can’t do that! 18 year olds by definition can legally drive” or refer to drivers under the age of 21 as ‘unlicensed drivers” in scare-quotes because really they are licensed drivers but the pig-headed government refuses to recognise them as such. 

    It’s not just that people occasionally have turns of phrases which indicate that they don’t think of marriage entirely in terms of government-backed contracts and rights of access and inheritance and so forth, they also say things like this:

    MARRIAGE

    Baptists assume a true marriage to be between a man and a woman. To
    that end, Baptists hold marriage is the most sacred and basic of
    societal units. They believe the strength of a society’s marriages is
    the greatest cause and indicator of societal health. In addition,
    marriage is viewed as a microcosm of our relationship with Jesus
    Christ. They believe that God meant for a marriage to help us
    understand, to some degree, God’s vast and intricate love for us.

    Healthy marriages, therefore, are important to Baptists.

    ( http://www.christianbaptists.com/baptist-beliefs/#marriage )

    and this:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09707a.htm

    etc. 

    Contracts and governments scarcely get a mention.

  • arcseconds

    (*chuckles*)
    Apparently sometimes I give the impression of being a Catholic, this isn’t the first time. 

    It would be odd if I had a Catholic-centric worldivew, as I’ve never been a Catholic, hardly know any Catholics, don’t live in a place where there are many Catholics…

    Apparently the Anglican church views marriage as ‘Commonly called a Sacrament but not to be Counted as a Sacrament of the Gospel’, or possibly as ‘sacramental rites’ :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_sacraments

    Anyway, I shouldn’t have said ‘sacrament’ as we’re starting to get bogged-down in hair-splitting niceities about what a sacrament is and who has them and who thinks marriage is a sacrament and who thinks it isn’t, but is instead some kind of sacrament-like thing.

    My point was really that Christianity on the whole doesn’t think of marriage as being primarily a government-backed legal contract between two persons, but rather a God-backed spiritual union or something like that.  

  • Carstonio

    I don’t know if that would describe all of Christianity, but I would agree that such a view effectively rejects the notion of secular government. The US bishops make arguments against contraception mandates and same-sex marriage that make some twisted sense only if one assumes that all citizens and their institutions are Catholic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    (If you want a real answer: rape is about power, not about sex. It has nothing to do with attraction. But that’s not what these people are thinking.)

    Can what they’re doing be fairly considered “thinking”?

  • arcseconds

    I don’t know if that would describe all of Christianity, …

    There’s virtually no statement you can make that would be true of all people and sects that call themselves Christian.   They tend to want to call less than four entities ‘God’ is about as safe as you can get.

    In my personal experience (which isn’t all that extensive, but has a degree of breadth to it nevertheless) of church services and listening to Christians, both ministers and lay people, plus what I’ve read on the internet, suggests quite strongly that this is the usual position articulated by Christians, as I’ve hear the ‘marriage is God’s plan for us’ kind of line many times, but I’ve never heard anyone say anything to the contrary, not even to say “but those so-called Christians over there don’t believe this” (except, of course, when it’s heterosexual marriage only people mischaracterising the position of Christians who are OK with same-sex marriage).

    ( I’m sure there are many Christians who don’t think this at all nevertheless, but then there are many Christians who don’t believe in God.  )

    I’ve just tried to check out what the usual Lutheran position is, and apparently Luther did rather like the idea that marriages are in the domain of the State, but he still seems to ultimately think marriage is God’s design:

    http://www.lutherquest.org/walther/articles/700/719.htm

  • arcseconds

     

    … but I would agree that such a view effectively rejects the notion of secular government.

    As I mentioned before, I think the basic idea here is platonism:  marriage is a kind of relationship that’s in the mind of God, and we’re supposed to instantiate it as best we can here on Earth, and the State is supposed to help out with this.

    (Lots of Christians who are OK with same-sex marriage appear to believe something of this sort too; it’s not just conservatives. )

    They also seem to believe that marriages practised by non-Christians are good in so far as they also approach this ideal.

    So there’s nothing wrong with a secular State having marriage laws, just so long as they help to bring about the right sorts of relationships.

    (there’s a difference of opinion as to what count as those right sorts of relationships, of course)

    But I think the view is also usually that this is far from the only idea that God has for us.  God also has ideas about justice and mercy, which we’re also supposed to instantiate, through the State where appropriate.

    Do you also think someone who argues that God wants us to look after the poor, and therefore wants a reasonable welfare system, is rejecting the notion of secular government?

  • Carstonio

    Do you also think someone who argues that God wants us to look after
    the poor, and therefore wants a reasonable welfare system, is rejecting
    the notion of secular government?

    Yes, if “God wants us to look after the poor” is the only argument your believer has for implementing a reasonable welfare system.

    The reason for secular government is that citizens belong to many different religions. Some believe in gods different from the person’s god, some don’t believe in gods at all, and some believe in the same god but have different stances about what that god wants. So the lawmaking process is about taking those beliefs off the table.

     The platonic ideal you mentioned is a sectarian argument and, at best,
    is meaningless to people who don’t share that particular religious view.
    Your believer is essentially arguing that the state is supposed to
    help in carrying out the will of hir god, and that’s fundamentally
    theocratic regardless of what that will might be. As Fred wrote in his King and Huck column some time back, the person has a civic responsibility to translate these ideas into secular terms when proposing secular
    laws, otherwise the person is essentially pushing theocracy.

  • Wednesday

     Okay, now you’re moving from “people don’t understand that there’s civil marriage and religious marriage and this is a problem we should solve by catering to their ignorance and changing the name of the legal status” to “Christian denominations teach marriage as a religious institution”. The latter is indisputable, but completely irrelevant, because religious institutions are not people and the US is not and should not be a theocracy. Catholics are not Catholicism. The Church and her bishops and
    archbishops teach that using birth control is a mortal sin, but most
    American Catholics disagree. Southern Baptists are not the Southern Baptist Convention, and are capable of disagreeing with the SBC’s sexism (among other things). Lutherans are not the ELCA, as evidenced by the wide variance among ELCA congregation and clergy stances towards LGBT inclusion in the church and LGBT rights in the law.

    And two major forces against LGBT rights — the Catholic Church and LDS
    Church — do in fact doctrinally distinguish
    between their ideal of religious marriage and other people’s marriages
    (both religious and civil).  Even if marriage is primarily religious for
    them, they still recognize as part of their teachings on
    marriage
    that other types of marriages exist.

    So not only does it not matter that the religious institutions themselves teach marriage is a primarily religious status, but some of them even officially recognize the existence of non-their-religion marriages.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    As one of those people (though one who, recognizing that it is all but a lost cause, supports SSM whenever it comes up), let me answer: 1) Yes, though that’s easier for me to say since i’m not married. I’ll let you know in a few years if I still agree. 2) However the hell you want.

  • Joshua

    There’s virtually no statement you can make that would be true of all people and sects that call themselves Christian.   They tend to want to call less than four entities ‘God’ is about as safe as you can get.

    I have a memory from my religious studies days of a Maori Christian movement, recognised by the Anglican Church in New Zealand as a christian denomination, that added two new elements to the Trinity. So.

    Looking around the web, I think it might have been the Ratana Church, which features a five-pointed star in its emblem. I may have misunderstood something along the way, of course.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X