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'God cannot restore the dream of marriage'

By mygodlesslife  |  Posted: November 18, 2012

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It has been said by David Ward on these pages, that marriage could ' be compared to the Olympic gold medal that we would all love to attain, but the commitment, dedication and singleness of purpose required makes it much easier to sit in the stands and settle for less'. Upon reflection, it is an unrealistic proposition that merely serves to shore up a confused understanding of either the institution of marriage or the process of elite sporting competition.

Whilst it may well be widely accepted that we all wish for a burgeoning relationship to culminate in the committed, dedicated and singular purpose Ward speaks of, the analogy begins to unravel when one considers that the two relationships being compared are not like-for-like. The goal of a successful personal relationship neither implies the failure of other's efforts, nor rewards one relationship over another based on the performance of its participants.

The Olympics also suggests a level playing field; something that some relationships are neither guaranteed, nor so much as recognised. The world's churches consistently oppose certain forms of relationship, and governments are only slowly introducing compromise legislation to afford these a 'foot in the door'. Unless it can be established that  'non-traditional' relationships have less value than 'traditional' ones, then there is no reason a representative government should not afford these equally valid rights in law. The churches are free to discriminate at will, and will no doubt continue to do so.

A touch-paper issue around the world, gay marriage, neither harms 'traditional' marriage, nor does it mean that it is a slippery slope that will lead to the moral decay of society. No one wishes to hinder the rights of heterosexual relationships, and no one is asking to
marry their pets. If marriage is such a strong institution, what harm could possibly be cast by more people wishing to have access to it? Unless, of course, those that oppose equal rights for all people, feel that other's rights are not as worthy or 'right'. That is not their call, though. They are called rights for a reason. One does not get to vote on whether one person's love and commitment for another individual has more value or integrity, anymore than if we were discussing mixed race or interdenominational marriage.

But what of 'traditional' marriage? Most religious believers (and some non-believers) might say that it is 'between one man and one woman', but this certainly isn't represented in scripture. In fact, marriage remains undefined in either testament. There are  numerous references to man/woman marriages, and homosexuality is largely seen as an 'abomination', but then after these Deuteronomical references we are introduced to Solomon (alleged ancestor of Jesus) who had 
700 wives and 300 concubines. Is this the tradition theists want to champion?

What is the big deal about tradition anyway? If it were so important, we would be entombed in an unchanging and stagnant society without any hope for our betterment. Wallowing in our self-righteous 'knowledge' that things simply cannot get better than that we have inherited from our ancestors. We don't do that, though. We are a modern and dynamic society that has a bent towards, at least trying, to make the world we live in a better place. Quite how denying homosexuals the same rights as heterosexual couples fits in with that picture, I am sure I do not know.

So what can God do to restore the dream of marriage? Unless he runs for Parliament, not much, it would seem. For although we are the creators of our own destiny, sadly our system still means that we have yet to afford basic human rights without resorting to voting on them. Hardly seems credible, but there you have it.

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  • Truro_Kernow  |  November 19 2012, 12:41PM

    There probably isn't a God. Get over it and enjoy life!

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  • Lafrowda  |  November 19 2012, 9:11AM

    As a baptist I would be the last person to invalidate the right of Government to legislate according to its light (or darkness) but I do want to retain the right to say "I disagree". We were persecuted by the established Church in several countries and under several denominations for our biblical views on Church/State relationship over many centuries. We like many others suffer by being bracketed with Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Methodists, & Presbyterians as "Christians" when actually we are very different in that we expect ALL our members to give credible evidence of a God wrought change of heart BEFORE we administer baptism & admit to Church member privilige. We live in a democracy which allows us to say NOT IN MY NAME, a democracy that has come about by Biblical knowledge. When Adam delved & Eve span where then was the Gentleman?

  • DWBlight  |  November 19 2012, 7:41AM

    This is my second attempt to comment on this post. I am neither athiest or theologian, I am not homosexual and not a lawmaker but I know enough about scripture to see that marriage is the answer to the "burning" question. If a moral regression is being inferred in a law not passing, Christian fundametalists are forgetting the basic principal for Christ's appearance; salvation. Both theologian and lawmaker would agree that God has ordained that the laws should be passed down through our governments. No one, I think, would dispute this. The first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul says in 7:9; "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn" Paul also says in his epistle to the Romans in 5:13 "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Barring the Dogma of the Old Testament, where, nothing is said of a woman lying with another woman, there is naught but a health concern as it was with many foods which were forbidden. I happen to enjoy eating oysters very much!

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  • mygodlesslife  |  November 18 2012, 11:43PM

    @Lafrowda. I recognise the reference to 'Abide with me', but I am unaware of the relevance to my article. Also, your second statement is vague and confusing. I don't suppose you are suggesting that allowing equal rights to marriage would equate to a regression in time when these rights were afforded. That would be an allusion to 'tradition' that is not borne out by the facts. Perhaps you allude to a moral regression, but this merely supports my point that in denying people equal rights to marriage - a notion that in no way suggests harm - morality is defined in perceived traditional values against those of others that share the exact same emotional qualities the original article's author suggested were the attainment of relationships. How is it that affording people the same rights in law harms marriage? Marriage is not itself sentient and can no more be harmed by equal rights than democracy. It appears to me - someone that has debated religion and its place in society for over two decades - that opposition to homosexual marriage tells me more about the people doing the opposing much more than it does about the basic concepts of what formalising a relationship in law does. I couldn't care less if churches want to discriminate. let them do so on their own terms, but when couples are not afforded the same rights in law for like-for-like relationships, the entire notion of freedoms of conscience and religion - so ingrained in western thought - falls under the purview of moral subjectivity and religious privilege. This cannot be allowed to continue.

  • Lafrowda  |  November 18 2012, 10:03PM

    Change & Decay in all around I see. Much that is progressive is really regressive.

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