Is Marriage a Legal or Religious Institution?
I’m straying away from my usual talk about media, marketing and that kind of stuff and digging into something I avoid on this website.
I have a separate blog set up for those types of posts that you can find if you Google ScLoHo.
But I have talked about my faith on this site before, so here we go.
It’s an interesting week in Washington, D.C. as the Supreme Court has spent two days listening to two cases that are related to gay rights.
Leading up to this week have been stories in the news saying that Americans are now in favor of allowing homosexuals to marry. Studies say that more than 50% of us are now in favor.
Without going into the specifics of the two cases that the Supreme Court Justices listened to this week, I thought it was important to examine the bigger issue, one that I have not heard talked about very much in the media.
Is Marriage in the United States of America a Legal or Religious institution?
Those who are against homosexual marriage use the “Traditional” or “Biblical” argument
Those who are for homosexual marriage use the discrimination argument.
Just how many homosexuals do we have living among us?
Public perception is that it must be 30 to 40%. This is shaped by the inclusion of gay and lesbian characters on popular television shows, and other celebrity figures coming out and proclaiming their homosexual preference.
Studies say the real figure is around 3 to 4%. Even if the number is 10%, that is no where close to the public perception.
Still I bet that many or most of you have at least one person in your life that is gay. I can think of several that I know personally.
Back to the same-sex marriage issue,
Legally, our Federal Government grants me special tax benefits because I am married. This means that our U.S. Government sees marriage as a legal institution.
The problem is marriage is regulated by the states, not by the Feds, which is why the arguments before the Supreme Court are being watched closely for legal precedent.
As I see it, marriage is a legal institution, because our government gives married couples a whole host of benefits that two single people don’t receive.
As a Christian, I believe in the traditional, biblical view of marriage being between one man and one woman.
But hang on a moment. Doesn’t that conflict with what I just said?
No. My religious beliefs are personal.
Despite the controversy regrading separation of church and state, I see how we can have that separation with this marriage issue.
Legally, we need to follow government rules to get the legal benefits of marriage. But that does not mean that every minister must marry anyone if it goes beyond their religious beliefs. That would be like saying all restaurants need to serve fried clams to make everything fair and equal.
So, we’ve got marriage as a legal institution that is open to all adults and at the same time allowing religious institutions to be discriminating and honoring their own beliefs.
This being said, I am in favor of ending the legal discrimination against same sex marriage, while allowing individuals the option of being true to their own religious beliefs.
And one step further:
This is the week that Christians celebrate Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the grave to take on the burden of all of the sins of all humanity. This is God’s Love for all of us. It’s time for Christians to stop and love like Christ.