Rethinking Legal Definitions of Marriage

Scott posted this on his Facebook page a couple of days ago. It’s a pretty thought provoking take on the passing of California’s ban on same sex marriages and well worth 6 minutes or so of your time. California isn’t the first state to pass this, Ohio did a few years ago (which I voted for) and many other states have as well. For some reason California’s passage is getting more attention than I remember other states votes getting. Maybe it’s because if any state would vote against it it would be California.
As I said, I voted for the Ohio amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. I stand by that assertion, though not necessarily that vote anymore. I’m not entirely sure, frankly.
I am sure of what God says marriage to be in scripture. Man and Woman. Nowhere does God indicate that folks of the same sex should get married. All examples of marriage in scripture are of men and women. God treats that relationship as special and has given married folks something special, sex, that they and only they are to enjoy. God has said that sex is not for unmarried people and it is not for people of the same sex. There’s really no way around that in scripture. So the clear implication, if not explicit instruction, is that marriage is a man-woman thing.
It is certainly within the rights of a people, be it a state or nation, to pass laws defining terms and legal entities. We can define marriage to be whatever we want it to be, but whatever we say has no bearing on what God says. Does the state have an interest in defining marriage? I suppose it does, but the extent that its interests align with Gods is mostly coincidence. By promoting placing that authority in the state, what statement is the Christian making? When the state’s interest no longer aligns with God’s, and in fact interferes and stands in the way of Godly marriages (as opposed to simple allowing marriages that God would not), what then will the Christian do? After all, we’ve already validated the state’s authority in this matter.
Is it wrong to vote for or promote these measures? No, but neither is it wrong to oppose them. God’s definitive opinion is not changed or harmed either way.
Were if to come up for vote again, I’m not so sure I’d vote for it now. What are your thoughts?

24 thoughts on “Rethinking Legal Definitions of Marriage

  1. Re-watching this I was reminded how it, at the risk of sounding condescending, smacked of human wisdom and arrogance. Looking past that, however, he asks some good questions.

  2. He does ask some good questions. They’re from a worldly perspective and a worldly definition of love, but what else can we expect form a broken people. They want to feel love even if it is the wrong sort of love. I mean even heterosexuals who are not Christian aren’t going to be seeking a Godly sort of love with their spouse. Heck even Christians don’t always do that. So my thing is, if they’re going to seek this love anyway, who are we to deny them the recognition at the political level that they seek? Whether they get it or not doesn’t make what they’re doing any more or less legitimate in the eyes of God.

  3. I havent watched the video yet, but I agree that non-believers should not be forced to hold true the teachings of my faith. Lets let that come when they’re converted. I dont feel that marriage would be in jeopardy any more than it already is by the consequences of heterosexual people’s sin.

  4. I think we’ve allowed the secular culture to intimidate us from advancing Christian values in our culture.
    Biblically, governments receive their authority from God, in order to enforce morality and to punish wrongdoers — whether Christian or not. Christians are supposed to be the ones who have that world view.
    We shouldn’t just hold our peace while the unbelievers redefine what is right and what is wrong. Yes, that is what many unbelievers want us to do. But we answer to a higher power.
    Both Christians and non-Christians seem to agree that murder is wrong, and that the government should enforce laws against it. OTOH when the murder occurs in the womb before the person emerges, some people cry out that we shouldn’t legislate morality. To a Christian, the wrongness of murder extends also to murder in the womb. Government should protect against murder in the womb also, and Christians should say so.
    Similarly, there seems to be a broad consensus in our country that a man can only have one wife — and that consensus is supported by law. I don’t hear many people complaining about the government taking a stand on that. If it is appropriate for government to regulate the number of wives a man can have, why not also the gender of that wife?
    The underlying motivation behind proponents of gay marriage is that they want the same rights that are granted to married couples. Can Christians support the right of a gay couple to adopt children? Why would that be more acceptable than having a polygamist adopt children? Neither is compatible with Christian doctrine.

  5. And so by that reasoning, any opportunity to Christianize the government should be observed. This leads to doctrinal squabbles becoming legal squabbles. Where is the line over what is a moral objection or not?
    More fundmentally, this leaves those that are not Christian an increasingly shrinking chance to live in the US under their own moral code.
    As a Christian, I don’t use the weapons of the world to wage war on sin and disobedience. (2 Co 10:3-5) The world uses politics as a weapon and a means to an end, but it shouldn’t be that way for us. These issues should be handled at the level of the human heart, not in the legislature. Making it illegal doesn’t change much anyway, otherwise, illegal Christianity would have died out centuries ago.
    As a side note, polygamy was reinforced as a crime in 1878 by the Supreme Court as a way to punish Mormons. Interestingly enough, later decisions of the same court declared that polygamy was “contrary to the spirit of Christianity and of the civilization which Christianity has produced in the Western World.” This was in response to the main argument that polygamy was a matter of religious belief.
    In other words, Mormons are not orthoprax, therefore polygamy is illegal. Personally, I don’t want to live under a legal system where orthopraxy is the standard.

  6. I think that the issue is really who has the authority to define marriage. Somewhere along the way the government acquired that right. Since we are a government that espouses that all are created equal it seems that (in the context of my previous statement) all citizens should have the right to marry whoever they want.
    Okay, having said that I have to say that I think that the government should only have the authority to grant civil unions. Religious institutions should be the ones with the authority to declare someone married since marriage is a 3-way covenant and not a 2-way contract.
    Back to reality.. I do wonder why it is okay to vote on this issue and not on the abortion issue. Why does the supreme court decide when life begins and citizens decide who can marry who? And why do we have a representative style of government if issues as important as marriage can simply be voted on by citizens?
    I guess I have more questions than answers 🙁

  7. Alan – Thanks for your thoughts, I really appreciate them. I have a great deal of respect for you as an elder and I’m grateful that you stop by and comment. I also appreciate it because our perspectives don’t align and I really value comments from folks who don’t agree with me.
    After that intro, you won’t be surprised that I disagree. 😀 I do agree that we should absolutely not be intimidated into not advancing Christian values. However, I’m not sure that using the state to do so is the best route.
    The NT doesn’t show the early church having any interest at all in changing the world through changing the government. They certainly had plenty of things in their day to take a stand against. One could argue, rightfully, that they lacked any sort of political clout to do so, but their focus was instead on changing the culture through changing individuals. In that they were absolutely successful, the world we live in is profoundly shaped by who they were.
    I’d argue that once they had the clout, around 400 AD when he church became not only legal but official, the church began it’s decline. It became about power and influence rather than living for Christ. I’d say that the church does its best when its focus is on the individual around them rather than bigger picture issues.
    Now, you mention abortion, and that’s a very different issue. It involves the fate of another human being, one with no ability to speak for itself. As Christians, we are called to stand for those who cannot speak for themselves. Gay marriage, while it may violate our own conscience and offend us personally, it doesn’t harm another human being.
    If you stop by again, I’d like to know your thoughts how modern Christian political activism squares with the activities of the early church.

  8. We are in a different environment from the early church. We have a representative government elected by the people. Christians have a voice today because they can vote. First century Christians did not have any such rights.
    However, Paul used his rights as a Roman citizen. (Acts 16:37, 22:25) He appealed to Caesar. (Acts 25:11) That suggests to me that exercising the rights of citizenship is not inconsistent with being a Christian.
    You wrote:
    > Now, you mention abortion, and that’s a very different issue
    If it is OK to appeal to government to curtail abortions, then it is OK to appeal to government on other matters. Appealing to government is not wrong in itself.
    Government is God’s servant to punish the wrongdoer (Rom 13:4). The entire reason for the existence of government is to enforce God’s moral standard. God defines what is wrong. If Christians don’t call for government to follow that standard, who will?
    Maybe some people think we should choose our battles, and that gay marriage is not high enough on the list to warrant our attention. At best that is a judgment matter. (The scriptures certainly don’t teach us to appeal to government on one issue but not the other.) At worst, it is compromise of Christian values.
    I agree that the primary way we bring about change is through influencing individual lives. I just don’t think it ends there.

  9. You make some valid points. For what it’s worth, I’m not 100% convinced that the legal route is the wrong way to go, just a lot less convinced than I once was.
    The vote in my state is done, so I don’t have to worry about it. I suppose it could come up again, but that seems unlikely for the short term anyway.
    Thanks for the thoughtful discussion, much appreciated. I’m always glad to have a disagreement that doesn’t break down into questioning motives or commitment.

  10. You’re a brave man, Salguod, to express yourself freely on this subject. More power to you.
    I’m currently in the middle of a lot of thought about the status of homosexuality before God and in my own mind. There’s precious little doubt about the status of homosexuals in my mind or God’s, but of homosexuality there is. People are people, and my joy comes from loving people, not judging them. I love the homosexuals in my life. I’m not sure I can support them, but I love them.
    So what do I think about gay marriage?
    I’m firmly, if not irrevocably, against it. In my estimation, changing thousands of years of culture is not a thing lightly to be undertaken. Anything that redefines the nuclear family as the core of civilization is a risky proposition and must be defended strongly. The status quo always receives the benefit of the doubt (tie goes to the runner, and all that), and in this case someone has to prove to me that societies survive better when marriage is redefined in any way. Conducting this experiment at the national level without proof of its certain success is foolish.
    You’ll note that my morality does not figure in that equation.
    My morality certainly can, though. “The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 20+ somewhere). When the church is allowed to exercise power, good things happen for everyone. Public health, education, welfare, detox programs, all come from Christian roots. A century ago Christians were extending the boundaries of love toward their fellow man. These days we’re defending the last bastions of decency, but it’s the same work. Let the church exert her love, and things will improve.
    As for this guy’s arguments, that love is defined exactly as he sees it, and that we should all feel guilty for not seeing it his way, well OK. His delivery leaves me cold. I don’t believe he believes what he’s saying. I think he’s decide to stake out a position, and he does so with force. Whatever.
    His definition of love is syrup. Real love looks down the road and sees consequences. Miscegenation laws were evil. Good point. To argue from the fact that some prohibited marriages were good marriages that all marriage is good marriage is a non-sequitor. It does not follow. Prove to me that any law that makes it more likely that children will be raised without the benefit of exactly one mother and one father joined for life is a good law. Prove to me that a child can be fully rounded when raised by two average men or two average women. The argument is ludicrous on the surface.
    The joker on the youtube says countless times that it’s not about politics, but he makes it about nothing but politics. The reality is children. Show me that children are better off without a balanced, complementary pair of parents in a legally protected relationship. Then you’ll be getting away from politics. All he showed me was people with a passion for a cause. I don’t know what spooky definition of politics he uses that doesn’t completely include his whole argument, but I want no part of it.
    Politics is a good thing. It’s how people change the world, and I welcome the sizeable minority of gays trying to do their part to change their world. But as a voting man, I’m going to stand behind the society that’s worked for 10,000 years, the society that God declared valid, and the society that stands the test of reason.
    Until I’m shown facts to the contrary.

  11. Romans 13 has less to do with legislation by civil governments, and more with the execution of justice. In Romans 12:17, he prefaces ideas expressed in Romans 13. While speaking about doing good, he warns that evil should be overcome with good (Rom 12:21). God will see that justice is done, he will bring wrath upon those who do evil. (Rom 12:19) In Rom 13:4, authorities are defined as “agents of wrath”.
    Civil authorities as agents of God’s wrath and as agents of justice is consistent with the OT record. Certain nations were raised up to punish other nations set up as enemies of God’s people.
    As such, I do not believe that governments are enforcers of God’s moral code. Being an agent of justice that God uses is not the same.
    As an aside, Paul did not submit to the governor when King Arteas tried to arrest him. (2 Corinthians 11:32-33).
    Back to the point, I do agree that people should be more vocal to their representatives in government on all levels. Our founding fathers made it clear that authority comes from those governed, meaning each one of us. We delegate our authority to elected representatives. Since they work for us, we have every imperative to lobby for whatever change we feel is necessary.
    However, the rule comes from all the people, not the most vocal. Our constitution speaks of the freedom of religion and the right to pursue happiness. Our individual rights end where another begins – this is a long-standing legal principle.
    As such, all of us can come together to agree on laws that keep us safe, orderly, etc. Murder, incest, theft and many other crimes can be easily recognized as universals. Even more detailed areas of morality can achieve some common ground when we all come together.In the end, though, it is important for the will of the people to be expressed, not the will of the Christian voters. Why? Because the rights of non-Christians to worship as they see fit is fundamental to our country’s laws. I do not want others to be limited in their worship of God or in their moral code (to a certain point) because I do not want my rights to worship and believe in a certain moral code to be outlawed. I believe that pursuing the line of reasoning is living in peace with my neighbors as much as is possible. (Rom 12:18)
    As far as gay marriage goes, many Christians get up in arms about how it violates God’s law. Yet, no one is calling the legislature to outlaw divorce, which God explicitly hates. (Mal 2:16)
    In regards to polygamy, Mormons claimed that it was a religious practice. In 1878, the Supreme Court ruled against them. Later ruling would even go as far as to state that polygamy is immoral and goes against the development of Western Christianity as practiced in the US. I do not know about others, but I do not want this line of reasoning used against anyone of any religion.
    Finally, I think about how God would want me to use my limited energy. I could go against these issues and work to end them. However, I find it bewildering when gay mariage is so hotly contested when a great depression may descend on us. There are so many important issues, why would this become the number one issue for me?
    Having said all this, I agree that much of politics is a disputable matter. Some see the importance of introducing more Christian values into the legal code, some see it as a waste of time, others are bound to see a middle ground. My objection is mostly centered around forcing others to live under a moral code by law instead of by choice.

  12. I gotta say, this conversation has been quite helpful. Thanks everyone.
    CP – Thanks for putting flesh to my vague unease (as expressed in my first comment above) with this video. All I could say was that it felt like ‘human wisdom’, you put meat on those bones.
    You’re absolutely right, his appeal is emotional, not rational. His argument seems to be simply, “It doesn’t effect you, so just be nice.” He then equates niceness with tolerance and silence. He makes no argument that allowing gay marriage is better for society, other than “they want to”.
    Making legal arguments outside of a religious context is easier for me to stomach for the reasons that Scott and Pink mentioned. If Christians today use their clout to force their preferences into law, what happens when or if Muslims or some other group are in the majority?
    Do you think a rational discourse on this issue is possible?
    BTW – I wrote about Rethinking the Idea of a Gay Christian in the early days of the blog. Might relate to your homosexuals vs. homosexuality comment.

  13. > Yet, no one is calling the legislature to outlaw divorce, which God explicitly hates. (Mal 2:16)
    Hehehe. You make some good and interesting points, my friend. Let me interact with a couple.
    I’d point you here:
    God loves divorce. He hates men who cover their wives with violence, requiring them to use such an awful measure as divorce to protect themselves. For that reason, I will always support divorce – identified fault divorce. I see the benefits of no-fault divorce, but as long as there’s justice in the land, it should be possible to identify the wronged party in the death of a marriage.
    > There are so many important issues, why would this become the number one issue for me?
    Framing of issues is critical. Whenever you hear an issue, have to consciously remove the issue from its careful framing. Letting “Bill” live in corner house does not bother me. Let a registered sex offender live by the school at the corner does. The only difference is the way Bill’s friends frame the issue.
    Gay marriage is about a lot of things. Take careful note of which of those things the “pro-” party brings up repeatedly, and you’ll learn a lot about the issue. They bring up our tired morality because they feel like it’s the weakest point in the “anti-” party’s platform. Why do they believe it to be weak? I assume it’s because they know we feel guilty about imposing our religious values on their American ones. When they can leverage our guilt, we do half their work for them.
    They make much less of the legal and economic angles, because they have less ground to stand on there. They won’t talk about societal survival at all.
    Legal: Any couple of any sex can stand before a minister and declare vows to each other. There’s no law preventing any marriage. The law prevents them from receiving protection against being abandonded by an unfaithful spouse. That protection comes at a cost to society. Is it a cost the majority of Americans are ready to pay?
    Economic: Health care benefits, savings plan benefits, and tax benefits come at a cost. Are Americans ready to pay for these benefits when they manifestly don’t add to society? They add to personal happiness, but a society benefits from rearing of responsible children. These unions don’t, as a category, add to society. Yes, gay couples can adopt, but that’s not the statistical norm. Hetero couples reproduce. Society’s laws support and protect that act of reproduction for very good reason. Supporting affection is a very different thing.
    A society that legally protects things that tend toward its own demise deserves what it gets.
    And as for the church legislating morality, I used to be against it – back in the 70’s when morality was pretty heavily legislated already. Boy was I wrong. If the moral don’t stand for morality, believe me, no one else will.
    Take a quick look at the statistics for our children’s futures in 2000 compared to 1970, and you’ll see how very important it is that someone stand for morality. It’s insane the number of children having children these days. We are growing near to the majority of children being born in economically unviable situations – single mothers, teenage parents, drug abusing parents. The economic debt loaded on these children is directly attributable to the moral debt their parents cannot pay.
    Immorality is costing this country trillions.
    So why doesn’t anyone stop it on that grounds alone? Because they are immoral. This world is filled with fallen people (like me.)
    The law of God is good and saves everyone who follows it. If we hesitate to vote for this good, how will we expect those who do not believe it to vote for it? Yes, they have that right, but look what they’re doing to themselves! Look at the simple statistics.
    Jesus Christ came to establish a kingdom, plain and simple. It’s not my job to make that happen. I’m not here to impose my view of His kingdom on everyone in American, but I’m here to vote and campaign for what I believe is right, and what Jesus thinks is right is what is right. I’ll vote and campaign for that at every opportunity (even if I sometimes guess wrong exactly what that might be.)
    To do any less would be unamerican.

  14. You’ll find that we agree in regards to divorce. I know a real person whose husband moved out. He only calls at tax time because he files as married. He figured that she would be too afraid of “the church” to divorce him. (Indications are that she will finally file against this bozo.)
    In regards to gay marriage, I’ll only say this:
    Legal Marriage is about more than children. If it was only for procreation, then infertile couples should also not be allowed to marry. After all, they would not be contributing to society and society shouldn’t be funding their affections.
    If the state has an interest in producing children, marriage is not required for this. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of children born in the US every year outside of marriage. Considering the number of American children that are up for adoption, it would seem that they are already enough children as it is.
    From a legal standpoint, marriage is about responsibilities one spouse has to another concerning property and financial support. State laws determine the specific rights and responsibilities for a couple.
    From an economic standpoint, the economy would support any situation that increases disposable income. Sharing living expenses is one factor of many that would increase disposable income. In regards to insurance, a married couple is cheaper to insure than two single people. Insurance companies offer discounts to businesses of all sizes for family plans. Businesses having lower employee costs is a good thing.
    I could be wrong, but it seems that the only way to frame objections to gay marriage is the moral reasons.
    As far as the cost of immorality, I’d say that two of the deadly sins are costing all of us a whole lot more than lust: deceit and greed.
    Ratings agencies, such as S&P and Moody’s took collections of poorly rated loans, and effectively claimed that all together, they suddenly became low risk assets. In other words, you take 30 bad loans and treat them as one loan, and suddenly you have one low-risk loan instead of 30 mid-to-high risk loans. As a result, we have school districts and other investors looking at what they believe are low risk assets and investing our tax money into them as a “safe” way to insure our children’s future.
    Why would someone group these things together? Got to make money from a bad deal somehow. Instead of simply not offering bad loans in the first place, the industry has to offload it on some sucker to bear the brunt of the bad deal. Guess who it is? Me and you thanks to the bailout.

  15. You know, it’s comment threads like this that make me wish I could get my commenters in a room together. What a discussion that would be.
    I’m no closer to being settled on this issue, in fact if anything, in the end I’m closer to where I was at first – in favor of legally defining marriage as between a man and woman.
    Thanks for the great discussion folks.

  16. > I’d say that two of the deadly sins are costing all of us a whole lot more than lust: deceit and greed.
    Hehehe. There go all my plans. 🙂
    You’ll find me standing right alongside you against these two immoralities. I don’t think we’d entirely agree where we should stop in looking for deceit and greed, but I’m with you in general.
    > If it was only for procreation, then infertile couples should also not be allowed to marry.
    Infertile couples are an exception. Assuming laws would be written to prohibit exceptions is not reasonable. Making homosexual marriage a standard alternative does not measurably increase the odds that society (not the state itself – the state exists to protect society) will thrive. We are still talking about changing a status quo of thousands of years. The burden of proof for such a large change lies with the side proposing the change.
    > Considering the number of American children that are up for adoption, it would seem that they are already enough children as it is.
    Hmmm. So you account for one immorality with another? Homosexual marriage makes sense because there are so many illegitimate children already?
    > From an economic standpoint, the economy would support any situation that increases disposable income.
    I think we could argue this one beyond either of our endurance levels. I believe this is a short-sighted perspective, but I’ll concede the point. Certainly in the short view you are correct.
    > it seems that the only way to frame objections to gay marriage is the moral reasons.
    I can see how you figure you’ve brushed my non-moral reasonings aside, but you won’t be surprised to hear I disagree. 🙂
    It was a good chat, and well met.
    Blessings on you.
    (I don’t know where I’ll be in the spring. Maybe Ohio, maybe Florida, but I’d be open.)

  17. Salguod –
    2 technical notes about your site upgrade.
    1) The site no longer remembers my personal info, though I check it off every time.
    2) After I post a comment, I have to refresh the page to see it. (And for some bizarre reason, yesterday I the comments form had a twin. The whole form was replicated one above the other. I don’t see it today, but I wasn’t looking either.)

  18. Yeah, there’s some special magic called AJAX at work in this template set (theme) that’s supposed to add your comment to the page wouth a refresh, but it’s not working right. No one can tell me why.
    If you look, once you post a comment, the entire post is replicated. You’re right, a page refresh fixes it.
    I want to either de-AJAX this theme & personalize it or try a new one, but on my test blogs, I can’t get other themes to load right either. They end up all jacked up. Again, no one can tell me why.
    Something is obviously not quite as it should be. In theory, the blog software upgrade was all new and fresh and loading a template set is supposed to wipe the old ones away. In theory, all that is left is my posts, which shouldn’t effect the layout.
    Anyway, for now I’m living with this. Hopefully I can sort it out soon.

  19. I for one would not want to argue that Christians shouldn’t vote where they believe their morals/the holy spirit lead them. The problem becomes that in this country we are not to make any laws respecting the establishment of a religion. If you begin to vote in moral laws solely on the basis that they are your own religion’s moral code then you are in effect trying to establish a Christian nation.
    Our country is not now a Christian nation. Maybe a significant portion of the framers wanted it to be. Given the Supreme Court case pink cited it seems that certain justices did. I for one don’t.
    Any time I can think of that man tried making a nation based on their notion of what God’s morality was it usually ended badly. Let’s assume for the moment that we could outlaw all immorality. Where would you and I be? In jail. I’m not arguing that it’s a slippery slope though it could be. I’m saying that this can end nowhere good. We need to compromise with the non-believers.
    Compromise is not a dirty word. It doesn’t mean don’t vote. It doesn’t mean don’t stand up. It is an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions so it does mean that while we may have to concede that the government allows civil unions to occur it also means that we gain say the ability for our churches to choose to not bless that union. There are churches that will, of course and that’s another kettle of fish.
    I submit that if we as Christians “kept God’s house” rather than worrying about keeping Washington in some sort of moral bounds that we might be better off as a nation. By that I don’t mean making the church uber-legal/moral, but rather if we practiced the love, charity, discipline, etc. that Christ showed us then the fruit that that would bear could be nothing but good for our country. Better, I think, then all the legislated morality in the world.

  20. “As far as the cost of immorality, I’d say that two of the deadly sins are costing all of us a whole lot more than lust: deceit and greed.”
    Pink, this issue right here is the one that is my litmus test on taking folks seriously. When the same person wanting to use the law to enforce a moral value on someone proposes laws against these two, I’ll start listening to them. And let’s face it, our laws against stealing and murder have nothing to do with morality and everything to do with protecting our own backsides. Folks pointing to them as examples of “legislated morality” are completely off base.

  21. Mark wrote:
    > When the same person wanting to use the law
    > to enforce a moral value on someone
    > proposes laws against these two, I’ll start
    > listening to them.
    There are laws in the domains of deceit and greed. Deceit: Don’t try lying to a police officer, or to a judge. Or try performing a ‘pidgeon drop’ scam. Try watering your lawn on the wrong day during watering restrictions.
    Americans are comfortable with legislating certain issues of morality. And despite our highly idealistic self-image, the majority does get their way almost every time. The only way to get legislation passed is to persuade a majority to support it.
    One thing that disturbs me is that give too much weight to our founding fathers’ opinions. They produced the best governmental structure ever devised by man, and I don’t think we should be messing around with it in any big ways. But only God has ultimate authority. Jesus is Lord, not the founding fathers.

  22. > If you begin to vote in moral laws solely on the basis that they are your own religion’s moral code then you are in effect trying to establish a Christian nation.
    Non-sequitor. If I vote for the best morals I know, it’s plum silly for them not to be the morals of my religion too. I can vote for the best morals I know without asking anyone to worship my God.
    > rather than worrying about keeping Washington in some sort of moral bounds that we might be better off as a nation
    I used to believe this too, but history, economics and facts kept proving me wrong. I gave up. Acutuaries have to consider moral risk for a reason. Morality is playing a tremendous role in our slide into poverty. It was morality that took Rome down, and it’s taking us too.
    When the Romans quit “manning up” and pouring their hearts and souls and blood into keeping the empire sound, the barbarians overtook it. That slide in civil morality was proceeded by a slide in personal morality. It’s not possible to draw a syllogistic connection between the two events, but common sense says we tread on soft ground when we ignore it.
    My argument against homosexual marriage is still societal rather than moral, but the moral argument is not actually easily brushed aside.

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