I have been wondering about this subject a lot lately. It seems to me that the institution of marriage is not revered as it once was. Ask any person you know if their parents are still married and I guarantee 1 out of every 3 people will tell you that their parents are divorced. It is becoming an ever increasing trend in the United States for couples to get divorced instead of working out their problems. It seems easier to just throw in the towel and walk away. With this trend, why then would anyone care whether gays were able to marry or not?
I wonder why the powers that be still cling to the past and think that marriage is sacred and solemn. Further, why does the church feel that the union of two individuals is solely their jurisdiction. A couple can get married by the Justice of the Peace, a Notary Public and by a ship's captain in international waters, and these weddings are just as binding in the eyes of the law as a marriage in a church presided over by a minister or priest. Again, I would like to point out that prior to anyone getting married a license must be obtained by the court. A license is another term for permit, and a permit is a formal request of permission to do something. Therefore, if a state is responsible for granting permission and keeping track of the record of such permission, it is no longer a matter for the church. In the United States of America, the Constitution forbids the interference of the church in matters of the state.
In the Amendments to the Constitution are liberties that are granted all people in this country. It is called the Bill of Rights. My contention here is that under these articles personal freedom and choice are granted to the populace. Therefore, anyone making changes must be ratified through congress and then accepted by vote by the people. It is totally ridiculous for one organization, the church, to decree that a marriage is only between a man and a woman. What is the foundation for this? Why on earth would we allow anyone to limit our freedom to make our own choice? Trust me when I tell you by allowing Gay Marriages many changes would be made and the country stands to make more money because it. Each state would get to receive greater taxes, divorce attorney's stand to make more money, states would also make money off of licensing fees and registration fees associated with keeping these records. Also the vehicle is in place already for this recording process, the bureau of Vital Statistic keep tracks of birth, deaths, marriages, name changes, etc.
When marriage became a matter of decision and recorded by the State, the church lost all authority over it. It is not just a purview of the clergy anymore and hasn't been for a long time. I see allowing gay marriages as a win-win for the state, especially from a revenue generating standpoint alone. If the government truly is a Democracy and stands to defend freedom both home and abroad, then I honestly think that they need to take a look at this situation much more closely. Freedom is a basic right to free choice, the freedom to choose who governs us, the freedom of which religion we would like to practice, the right to bear arms and to voice our opinions. It is terrible that people we know and love have to keep their relationships secret, and have to make excuses for their lifestyle and their choices.
I think it too would be a wake-up call for the gay community, there would now be a financial cost associated with breaking up. There would be ramifications to wanting to go outside the relationship, deeper entanglements and court interactions that would have to take place. That is on top of all the benefits that they would receive if given the opportunity. Like I stated in my first blog entry on this subject, insurance benefits would be afforded to them, joint ownership of vehicles, debt, housing and other things. Decisions could be made for each other if one was unable to be reached or incapacitated, survivor benefits would be paid out in such cases of death. This person would also be considered immediate family and would be recognized as such by the state. Disputes over estates would be easier settled and the list goes on and on.
Marriage is union, a partnership, it is an obligation and a duty not lightly entered into, it is very much the same as forming a business partnership or corporation, both of which have to be recorded by each state and taxed as a single entity by the IRS. Take God and Religion out of the equation entirely, that is the law, and for that matter, I believe that they should not be allowed to have an lobby or special interest groups in congress anymore. Each state has representation with senators and congressmen, why is there a need to have a group of people declaring what the Church wants? Shouldn't each individual have a voice to decry what they want? As a matter of fact lobbyist groups should all be done away with period, if a business wants something done they should speak to the representatives of the state in which they are incorporated in and if that doesn't help too bad, this country was fine when we didn't have them, we don't need them, and their alarmist views.
Now back to my original observation about more and more marriages ending in divorce than stay together these days. It seems to me that this so called return to family values by the church is falling on deaf ears. It makes no sense to me that they cannot even keep their own house clean and they are calling for others to do the work for them. We are not in the early 1900's anymore where and when people got married and stayed together for richer or poorer, for better or worse. Since the 1970's divorce has been steadily on the rise, and what has the church done to resolve that? Seems to me that they should follow what Jesus said "Let he who is blameless cast the first stone." Even the pastor of my church divorced his wife and is now married to someone else. If we were to follow the strict cannon of the Bible and the letter of the law, both the husband and wife would be living in sin, marriage is to death alone. Since, it stands to reason that isn't reasonable anymore, can the whole institution of marriage still be reasonable? Many don't think so, but here is what I think should happen, and what should have happened 236 years ago when the constitution was ratified by the Continental Congress and the United States of America declared it's independence from Mother England, that the church should have no voice in the matters pertaining to and about the government period. That is what is meant by the separation of church and state, and since the church itself is so splintered and broken that they have to have different denominations and so forth maybe the institution should be finally put down. Further, as more and more of these so called religious leaders flounder and fall from grace because of infidelity, perversion or other such non-sense, why on earth is anyone paying attention to them anyway.
Doesn't anyone besides me see that the Church was created to control the masses, to be a money making device, to instill fear and force adherence to laws? If you take the Bible as fact then you will see that the church body was made up of the escaping tribes from Egypt and that they were in the desert wilderness for 40 years, now since there was so many people and different cultures and beliefs the ten commandments were then provided to the church to guide and cow the people into submission, and then extreme punishments and threats were written if these commandments were broken. Thankfully that was under the old covenant between God and Man, when Christ came a New Covenant was established, the temple veil was torn in two and New commandments were given. The old testament was to learn from but the new testament is where we are supposed to be living. The old testament was nothing but a Terrible and Vengeful God, Fire and Brimstone, but the new testament is all about Love, Compassion and a Merciful and forgiving God. No matter how you believe, if you are religious or not we are no longer bound by what was once known as the law. We are not saved by law and adherence to the commandments any longer, we are saved by grace and victory and salvation are ensured through love, trust and obedience.
Every country on the planet has a set of laws that govern them and in those laws can be found the remnants of the 10 commandments. The are enforced by the police and world organizations that are charged with the duty. However, let me explain this too you, if you truly believe in God and the Bible, then how can you doubt what the Bible says in Genesis? God created all things on heaven and earth, and saw that it was good. God doesn't make mistakes at all, everything was good and perfect. Therefore, anyone who truly believes in God knows that we are created in His image, we are perfect and blameless. The new testament in Romans talks about Homosexuality and what it says, if one reads and studies closely, is that if you don't keep God in your hearts and minds that you will be given to a reprobate mind, it also says that the burning of man for a man and woman for woman and doing that was unseemly that their punishment was meet. Now, what does all of this really mean and I will tell you what it means as I have been a Bible student and I am currently working on my Doctorate of Divinity, is this. If you keep the love of God in your heart and mind you will have to face the punishment of being gay on Earth, meet means here and now. If you don't keep God in your heart and mind then you will be given over to a reprobate mind, and that is where it goes on to say that they become backbiters, haters, whispers, liars, etc, etc. If you would like to know where I am getting this, it can all be found in the Paul's letter to the Romans. Since this isn't a Bible class I am going to leave it there, however, anyone who would like to know more feel free to drop me a line and I will be more than happy to discuss this with you further.
Now, on with gay marriage, it is sad to say that this great nation of ours has always been slow to change and even slower to understand the needs of it's people. In the Gettysburg address that was the foundation for the freeing of the slaves, Lincoln stated emphatically that all men were created equal, he led the country into the bloodiest war that tore the nation in two, just because of this fact. Though there were other causes and backgrounds that led to the war, the main result was the freeing of the slaves, but it took years and years for them to be recognized and receive civil liberties and voting rights and equal housing and job opportunities, etc. Look at how long women had to go without getting suffrage or the right to vote, much less break out of the stereotype that they had been locked into. War War 2 brought to the nations attention that women were just as capable as men in running businesses and working in factories and assembling weapons and munitions because our boys were gone over seas to fight against tyranny and oppression. My point is this change takes time and patience, and lots of marching and movements and speaking to get anything accomplished. But valiant efforts by Martin Luther King, and Martin Luther King Jr. gave us the foundation for civil rights, and we are not far afield when we ask for gay rights. All we are asking for is the right to have protections afforded under the law and the ability to choose who we want for a mate or partner. We have already gotten the right to vote, there is no longer segregation, but there are still those that hate. There are still those that don't tolerate difference, they don't tolerate interracial relationships and they do not like change at all. These are the people that cling to the church, crying for it's protection and they are the biggest hypocrites of all. They claim to be all righteous and pious, but they are hiding their actions behind closed doors, and hide in the shadows, afraid that they might be caught in the light, but come Sunday they are in the church praying for forgiveness once again. These are the fundamentalist those who are against change, they cannot see the future as a bright and shining place of new possibilities and hopes, they want to keep the status-quo . These are the leaders of our churches who that preach that anyone who doesn't believe like them has no place in heaven, such is the reason for so many different denominations, that is why there is still bigotry and intolerance in the world. When are they going to stop spreading hate, denial, and indifference, and embrace the true nature of God and teach the lessons of Christ who spoke only of Love.
Bear with me just a little longer, because it is important for you to follow this through to the conclusion. You see I have laid the groundwork and foundation out for you in a simple a way as I could. I know that some of my readers are not christian and don't necessarily agree with anything that I am writing about God and the Bible, but the honest truth is that it doesn't matter what any of us believes, because the fact remains that this Nation does believe and is founded upon that very belief, and as tragic as that may sound to you it is still a fact. The constitution does call for the separation of church and state, because the revolutionaries were afraid that just like England, the whims and dictates of government would be governed by the church. Such was the life they came from and their fear very real. Remember until the time of Henry the 8th the Catholic church was the only recognized church, Henry wanted to divorce his wife and was denied approval by the pope, therefore Henry did what he thought was best and created the Church of England where he established himself the supreme head. He appointed the Archbishop of Canterbury to be his voice and govern over the Church of England, the archbishop granted Henry his wish for a divorce. Then came the reformation when the church underwent significant changes under Martin Luther, which affected both the Catholic church and the Church of England, because until the time of the Reformation the Church of England was governed by the wills and whims of the crown. Because the Sovereign of England was also the head and supreme ruler of the church it stood to reason that whatever the king wanted would be declared by the clergy and enforced upon the parishioners.
So you can see that the fear of the founding fathers would be that interference of the church in matters of the state would lead to a similar rule as was in England at the time. Do you understand now why the subject of Gay marriage is such a controversy, it is one last stronghold the church has. You see marriage was the province of the church for centuries, but that has changed, and the value of marriage has either decreased in opinion and practice, or has given away to a society that no longer cares to fix that which is broken, but would rather throw it away and replace it with something new. Gay Marriage is actually not a matter of religious debate though some would have you think it was. You see marriage is just the joining of two individuals. Marriage is granted by the government, certain privileges and rights, but these are not something that is granted by the church. Marriage is a contractual agreement ratified by the government, and in this case by each state, that allows two individuals to be considered as one. Husbands assume the liability of the wife and so forth. If two men or two women want that same option it should be afforded to them. This country is founded on our freedom to choose what we want. Our troops are fighting in an operation called "Enduring Freedom", and what does that mean, we are fighting for others right to have a choice, all that the gay community is asking for is the right to choose their own partners and have it recognized by the state, just like it would recognize a business, medical partnership, or even a church body. Gay marriage is just about wanting to be recognized as a couple, a union of souls, a partnership to building a life and future together. Why the church is jumping in with their two cents worth is because they are stuck in the past, they are clinging to the old ways, and have not learned anything from the reformations of the church, Martin Luther, Calvin and so many others have spawned revisions of church dogma and philosophy over the centuries. Now, with their grasp failing on current society they are clinging to old beliefs and trying to impose their beliefs on a government that is not supposed to even care about the wants and desires of the church. We need a strong leader in office that is a Constitutional believer and one that can champion and uphold the values and laws that the founding fathers wrote 236 years ago. The church needs to learn to embrace change and let go of the past, leave the teachings of the old testament behind, come into the new century with a clear understanding of what Jesus was trying to teach and understand that Love, acceptance, and compassion are the way of the future. It needs to leave the teaching of intolerance, hatred and bigotry, they have no place within its purview, and it needs to understand that all of us are the same, we vote the same, look the same, and do the same things, who we do them with is none of their damn business. Let it go, look within itself and embrace change and espouse love and I guaranty the world will be a much better place to live in. People need to understand that they are free to believe as they want, but are not and cannot impose those beliefs on others, there is no difference at all between same sex marriage and opposite sex marriage, they both mean and accomplish the same thing and if the church played it's cards right could also stand to draw in more money and people, if they just understood that Jesus preached love and acceptance.
I am sorry I rambled on so long and got so religious on you, but the foundation had to be laid, and understand needs to be easy to see and conclusions should be eliminated if you follow the logic here.
There should be no objection what-so-ever about Gay Marriage, the church has no voice, and it is the people and the states right to choose. If you don't like the way your state representatives are representing you then vote them out and put someone in who will listen. This is not rocket science, and someone needs to put the church back in it's place, and their voice should be stripped 100 percent from all political fronts as it was mandated and ratified in the constitution of the United States.
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All my hopes and dreams are with you,