Before we go any further, I want to be clear that we are all here (in this discussion) as loving members of the Christian family. (side note:
sarcasm or the misinterpretation thereof is a common problem in informal text communication - sometimes it's there and missed by the reader and sometime it's not there and added by the reader. Read carefully!)
In light of that, I regret the rash comment I made about Mr. Bush; adam is right, and I apologize. I still do not believe, however, that Mr. Bush represents the majority view in the Christian community. That, combined with the sheer vastness of his 'pulpit', concerns me. 'Nuff said.
Ok, back on track... (by the way, ST, I hope you were expecting long-winded and involved discussions when you included this particular forum! )
Yes, the spectre of churches being forced to marry contrary to their doctrine concerns me - a classic slippery-slope. The solution, however, is not the imposition of religious doctrine on the state - as is the current situation. Rather, I believe, (and this is really me - cuz I haven't heard it yet anywhere else!) that clergy should get out of the 'state/legal' marriage business entirely. Re-structure the legal parameters of secular/legal 'marriage' to be merely the recognition of a committed relationship with certain legal (read: financial) obligations vis-a-vis divorce. This legal recognition of marriage would be required regardless of whatever religious ceremony was performed to consecrate the marriage. Since this requirement is both a necessary and sufficient condition of legal marriage, the 'human rights' and 'discrimination' angles, from which attacks on 'religious marriage' may originate, are disarmed.
Institutions offering religious marriages are then fully free to define them any way they wish, since the couples would be required to register their 'legal marriage' with the state anyway. While it may seem counter-intuitive to argue for allowing 'any' definition of marriage, it the only way to fully protect our own definition (not that there exists a single 'Christian' definition) of marriage from attacks of political correctness.
Hmmm, I seem to have lost my train of thought... maybe I'll just let you return fire before I continue...
adam Wrote:And yes, I do not think that you can FORCE a person to believe in God, like a Theocracy; a Christian government would be good, but it's a personal decision, your relationship between you and God.
I'm not sure where to start here... well, if it's a Theocracy, how can it be a 'personal decision'? The history of Theocracies is not a happy story... We begin with Ramses II of Egypt and his persecution of the Jews... all the way to the Ayatollah in Iran today (and he's not alone). Along the way, we find the Crusades, The Holy Roman Empire, Bloody Mary, The British Empire of the 19th Century (maybe), The Third Reich, and Israel - just to name a few!
Interestingly, the Roman Empire we read of in Scripture was not Theocratic. They understood all too well that the imposition of beliefs led to unrest and insurrection. A shining example of how religious plurality breeds peace. This is one reason that Pax Romanus
was achieved and held for so long while Pax Brittanicus
was never really achieved.
Man, I sound like my History prof! Why can't I ever come up with that crap at finals?!
Anyway, hope I haven't offended anyone... but what's the point of being a Christian family
if we can't argue