Month: March 2013

Gay Marriage & Separation of Church and State


Gay Marriage & Separation of Church and State

There is heated debate going on right now with regards to the legalization of Gay Marriage. Now, this whole debate in my opinion boils down to one thing: Gay couples receiving federal benefits the traditional married couple receives; but before they can receive this benefit, the legal definition of marriage has to be changed. The argument I present is that, can Gay Couples be accepted and given federal benefits of a traditional marriage without the definition of marriage not subject to be changed? Well, welcome to America, Welcome to the debate. Stay tuned!

Let us start by trying to figure out how “Marriage” started. How did the term marriage come about? And how did the government adopt the term marriage? Marriage is the term used by Church to describe the legal binding of a male and a female as husband and wife. The State or Government borrowed this term to describe the union between two people. If we are indeed separating the Church from State, then the term marriage should be left at the discretion of the Church – the State can then, rightfully adopt a new name to describe the union between two people. The truth is, it is not that easy – Separation of Church and State is not an easy concept to understand all because they are indeed separate, but united under an umbrella I like to call morality.

Let me explain: We the people of this country are governed by set of laws. Laws are needed to keep citizens in check and to protect one citizen from another. These laws also promote a stable society and also promotes positive improvement of the overall health of the country. Where the law is enforced or where the law is adhered to, there is less chaos. Where the law is not enforced, there is chaos and disruptiveness – grant it, this is not always the case. With that said, we need to know how these laws came about.

These laws are mostly moral laws which are derived from morality. Morality is therefore “the accepted moral standards: standard of conduct that are generally accepted as right or proper”. With that definition, how do we know what is proper? How do we know what is right and wrong? For example, we all know stealing is wrong – but how did we come to terms with the fact that stealing is wrong? Do you remember the first time you stole? Did you run and say to your mom: “hey mom, I took something which did not belong to me”? Most likely not. You did not do so because something within you told you that “hey, it is wrong to do that, but if you done it, then don’t tell your parent because you might get in trouble”. This proves my point that we all, for the most part, can tell right from wrong. Yes, there are certain things we have been taught to accept as right or wrong, but for the most part, we have always known what is right and what is wrong. With that said, I believe it is safe to say that there is a something like a Moral Law which is instilled in us from Day 1, but grow to be conscious of it over time. My next question is, where do we get this moral law? If there is a moral law, then there has to be a Moral Law Giver. The moral law giver in this situation is someone who has the ultimate power to supersede the moral law humans are born with and rightfully so, can ultimately judge us in the end. This is why no human being can “ultimately” judge another, but God (since He is the moral law giver). This moral law giver is not just a Christian principle, but a human principle, but for the sake of argument, let us strictly say that it is only a Christian principle. The country was founded on Christian beliefs, so it our founding fathers believed in the Moral Law Giver (God) and derived the Moral Law and Morality from the Moral Law Giver. So the State (government) can be separated from the Christian Church, but will be inextricably intertwined with it with regards to morality and moral law under one Moral Law Giver.

Yes this country was founded over 200 years ago and we are in modern time, but modernization does not change morality. Stealing was wrong and it is still viewed as wrong by all. Killing was wrong and it is still wrong – hence, the laws can’t be changed totally – they can be amended to fit the time, but can’t be totally changed to fit a crime. This is the reason why we have a huge debate going on.

There are marriage laws the government enforces and while these marriage laws differs from State to State, it is crucially important for the State to respect the Church in that arena due to the “Separation of Church and State”.

If the definition of marriage is changed, will it constitute Polygamy? What of Polygamy rights? The reason why Polygamy is not accepted in America (believe it or not) is the same reason why Gay marriage was not accepted: benefits a traditional married couple receives – these benefits under the current law in most states can’t be extended to the gay couple or polygamist. Someone may say gay marriage is different from polygamy because gay marriage is between two lovers while polygamy is between three of more people. Well, if we are going to neglect the Biblical definition of marriage, and redefine it based on human ideology or government principles, then an argument can also be made that Marriage can be between two or more people and should not be limited to only two people. I mean what stops it from it being between two or more people? If Marriage is strictly and solely an individual right as I have heard many politicians claim it to be, then we should be allowed to marry whoever we want and how many people we want to marry.

I do not hate gay couples and I do not oppose gay couples getting federal benefits – equality for all. If gay couples are in some form of union and they are together, then I do not see why they can’t get these benefits; but for the State or Government to infringe on the sanctity of marriage, that I  stronglyoppose. With that said, I stand by my belief that Marriage is between a man and a woman not instituted by man, but by God for procreation and the sustenance of the human race on earth.

Now back to my original question from the first paragraph: Can Gay Couples be accepted and given federal benefits of a traditional marriage without the definition of marriage not subject to be changed? Yes, they surely can. If the Church and State is indeed separated, then we should respect the Church and allow them to maintain the sanctity of Marriage.

Feel free to debate.