Gay Marriage & Separation of Church and State


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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.

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6 comments

  1. I have now come to understand that unfortunately marriages today do not require a religious entity at all….The definition of marriage in the bible or instituted by God is not the same as the one in the law books…Marriage by definition in law.. is a legal contract , that is why the government issues a license for it, without the license even if you marry in the holiest church…you are not LEGALLY married until you sign the license…and part of the governments duties is to enforce legal contracts among the citizenry… I mean just paying the license fee and signing the paperwork constitute marriage…and as it stands now i don’t think the US constitution explicitly limits marriage to a man and a woman….there’s no gender reference…

    So in that regard same-sex marriage needs to be recognized by the government and offer same federal benefits as heterosexuals BECAUSE the law says so… I think churches and religious institutions should not be forced to recognize same-sex marriages if it deems it contrary to their beliefs…but that alone should not prevent gays from getting married….Religious institutions are trying to impose their beliefs on the government , even though i am on the side of the religious bodies…we also need to understand that governments do not operate on any religious guidelines, they just enforce civil laws….

    I am against same sex marriages…but until the constitution is amended to reflect marriage as SOLELY between a man an woman, i think they will win when all its said and done… because per their argument , the definition of marriage in the constitution does not exclude them … and the court of law does not operate on faith, it only interprets the law…

    hmm asem ooo…. and oh by the way Polygamy is actually ILLEGAL in the US ooo…. but good piece bossu….. watching the debates on CSPAN is interesting paa…. we need to be investing our energy in changing ‘marriage’ as it is defined in the law books, rather than preventing same-sex marriages , because with the way the world is heading, we may win with prop 8 today…. but religion is losing its footing in US and prop 8 will not stand the test of time….simply on civil grounds..

  2. This is a very interesting post. I’m really happy you touched on the issue of morality. However, you made an assertion that, morality doesn’t change. I beg to differ. Morality changes in degrees. A very good example is SLAVERY. Slavery was justified and moral till it was abolished by civil rights activists. Marriage between white and blacks was immoral and unlawful in the sight of some section of the American society. This is my two cents.

  3. I do appreciate the thought provoking points so far raised in this discussion- especially breaking down and narrowing the argument for simple heads like me.
    So, if i understand you well, all three preceding contributers share in the opinion that this issue of gay rights/same-sex (union/ marriage) all boil down to definition of terms (such as MARRIAGE, government, benefits, state, church,etc), right? And that my brother is calling for a “redefinition” of marriage to include same-sex unions.

    I think you’ve successfully identified the crust of the issue in this regard. Nontheless, this same point of definitions would also be the core of my argument in opposition to those clamouring for EQUALITY. We on the other side submit that MARRIAGE IS BUT ONE in kind and in form. We are saying that Marriage as created by the MOST HIGH GOD is as defined in Genesis 2:24-
    “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” A man and his wife (Eve- a woman).

    Bretheren, this is the definition of marriage as defined by the creator of this ancient sacred institution.

    So for those who now claim they have rights. That they are masters of their own will. That they know more than the creator. To them we say, have your way, live and let’s live. In as much as the master does not compel no one, but gives each one to choose out of their own free will, wheather to ACCEPT Him and serve Him or otherwise, we also do not compel none to accept our defintion, teachings or way of life. But attempts to twist the definition or rename the creation of The Lord will not be swallowed. Let them have their unions, contracts or whatever they call it, But please DO NOT purport to equate your unions with the Sacred creation of The Most High God. There is only one form of marriage, anything else is anything else. Marriage and anything else are not, and can never be same and EQUAL.

    They can have whatever benefits there is to whatever union/unions they find themselves in. But marriage benefits are for the married.

    Let us also not lose sight of the fact that there will be “false teachings” and “false prophets”. If the Lord has provided us with direct answers, let us strive to hold on and to cherish the Truth faithfully entrusted to us.

    I hope the little I have shared adds to the enlightenment we seek in these discussions. God Bless you all.

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