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Bush's Shameful Assault Against Gay Marriage

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Bush is anti-American.

I agree with you that in terms of his explicit philosophy, Bush is anti-American--although in terms of his sense of life, I think he is somewhat mixed. (Kerry, on the other hand, is anti-American through and through.)

Someone ought to shove the Bill of Rights in front of him.  He took an oath which states that he is under obligation to defend the Constitution-  not limit our rights.

And this could apply to almost every politician in America today, so I'm not sure why you single Bush out on this count. Name a president in the last century that didn't strive to limit our rights in some way.

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But why are we concerned at all about religious practices? A church can "marry" a man and a goat for all I care. I only care about marriage as defined in the legal documents acknowledged by the government.
We should not be... this is my entire point.

The marriages performed by the government are not to be confused with those performed by religious establishment.

We only differ in that I see no point in calling a government "marriage" a "marriage" at all. If you called it--keeping the same legal benifits which currently exist--a "civil union" than there wouldn't be all this confusion about the two (specifically, churches would not claim to have any say in a "civil union," while they do claim to for a "marriage"). This should answer your question about my use of quotations (but than again, my previous posts should have, too).

As for this:

There certainly is a significant difference. By common practice a legally married couple is accorded a special status with special privileges by many organizations, both public and private. Until the time that a civil union is accepted as is a legal marriage by, for instance, insurance companies and government tax laws alike, there will remain a difference.

You will please note the qualifier at the end of the statment to which the above is responding. It states: "I am assuming that the same legal benefits apply to both, if not they should."

The main point of the statment is to identify that a "marriage," as given by the government, is of no relation what-so-ever to those performed by churches. Using the long established church term "marriage" to denote something different is of no benefit, it merely confuses everyone.

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Hi:

The same-sex marriage debate here is quite interesting.

If I may add, the opponents of same-sex marriage ignored the Equal Protection and Full Faith Credit clause. The U.S. Supreme Court consistently ruled that the Full Faith and Credit Clause require each state to honor the court judgments of other states. Also, marriage laws are under the jurisdiction of the state.

It would be interesting to observed whether the amendment proposed by Bush would be ratified by the states.

Q

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I see no point in calling a government "marriage" a "marriage" at all.  If you called it--keeping the same legal benifits which currently exist--a "civil union" than there wouldn't be all this confusion about the two (specifically, churches would not claim to have any say in a "civil union," while they do claim to for a "marriage").  This should answer your question about my use of quotations (but than again, my previous posts should have, too).

This is exactly the point I was trying to make back in the beginning of this thread. I think you've said it best here, though.

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The marriages performed by the government are not to be confused with those performed by religious establishment. 

It doesn't matter so much who performs the ceremony. What matters is the legal document, the marriage certificate, which the government issues.

We only differ in that I see no point in calling a government "marriage" a "marriage" at all.
Sorry, but this statement makes no sense to me. A marriage is the legal acknowledgement of the union, and that is what the government does.

If you called it--keeping the same legal benifits which currently exist--a "civil union" than there wouldn't be all this confusion about the two (specifically, churches would not claim to have any say in a "civil union," while they do claim to for a "marriage"). 

You are confusing the ceremony with legal act of marriage. I do not care if the ceremony is officiated over by a judge, a priest, or a porcupine. What matters is the legal document which the government recognizes as marriage.

This should answer your question about my use of quotations (but than again, my previous posts should have, too).
Sorry, but I still cannot make sense of your point in doing so.

As for this:You will please note the qualifier at the end of the statment to which the above is responding. It states: "I am assuming that the same legal benefits apply to both, if not they should."

The main point of the statment is to identify that a "marriage," as given by the government, is of no relation what-so-ever to those performed by churches. Using the long established church term "marriage" to denote something different is of no benefit, it merely confuses everyone.

I am not confused. The issue is quite clear to me.

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I agree with you that in terms of his explicit philosophy, Bush is anti-American--although in terms of his sense of life, I think he is somewhat mixed.

It depends on how exactly you define "anti-American." Possible definitions are:

  • A person whose philosophy differs from that of the Founding Fathers (applies to Bush)
  • A leader whose policies are not fully aligned with America's national interests (applies to Bush)
  • A person who hates America (doesn't apply to Bush)
  • A person who actively seeks to destroy America (doesn't apply to Bush)

I strongly suspect that the latter two do apply to Kerry.

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Marriage existed from ancient times. The church only turned it to a sacrament in the 12th century A.D.

I do think that gay couples should find another term, but not because of the religious connotations - but because of the ancient connotation of a man and a woman looking to establish a family together.

Even in ancient Greece, where homosexuality was common, they usually did not refer to it as marriage. Marriage was a term refering only to the union of a man and a woman, as a basis for forming a family.

Emperor Nero married a Greek boy called Sporos, during a tour to Greece, because he reminded him of his late wife Poppaea (which he had accidentaly killed). He staged a mock marriage, with guests and presents - and introduced everybody to his new "wife"". It is said that he even forced the guests to offer the traditional wishes that the union might be blessed with children.

Nero was mocked in his own time, which goes to show how unusual it was back then.

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It depends on how exactly you define "anti-American." Possible definitions are:
  • A person whose philosophy differs from that of the Founding Fathers (applies to Bush)




  • A leader whose policies are not fully aligned with America's national interests (applies to Bush)




  • A person who hates America (doesn't apply to Bush)




  • A person who actively seeks to destroy America (doesn't apply to Bush)

The first is clearly a matter of explicit philosophy, which is the context I specifically defined in saying that Bush is anti-American (to the extent that he has one). The third is (at least in the case of a non-philosophical person) clearly a sense of life issue, which is the context in which I said Bush is mixed.

Read or re-read Leonard Peikoff's "Religion vs. America" to see why I say that Bush is in fact anti-American, regardless of what his intentions might be.

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Sorry, but this statement makes no sense to me. A marriage is the legal acknowledgement of the union, and that is what the government does.
Since when is a marriage the legal acknowledgement of a union? Only reletively recently. First it was a religious pledge, absoultely controlled by the church.

When we call something completly different--the legal acknowledgement of the union--marriage, the chruches mistakenly think that the government is fooling around with their domain and that, therefore, the should have some say in how that is done.

Since you seem to not understand how my previous statments have already answered your questions--and so it is unlikely that you will see how the above does as well--I will tackle them individually.

It doesn't matter so much who performs the ceremony. What matters is the legal document, the marriage certificate, which the government issues.

I agree here. I simply see no reason to call that legal document a "marriage" certificate rather than a "certificate of unionship" or something of the like.

Sorry, but this statement makes no sense to me. A marriage is the legal acknowledgement of the union, and that is what the government does.
See above.

You are confusing the ceremony with legal act of marriage. I do not care if the ceremony is officiated over by a judge, a priest, or a porcupine. What matters is the legal document which the government recognizes as marriage.

How you figure that I am doing this is beyond me. I am addressing the problems with using a word which once denoted--and, in many minds, still does denote--a religious pledge to describe a legal recognition. When a preist performs a marriage there is a difference between what he is performing and what a justice of the peace performs. My concern is not over who performs it, but over what it means.

Sorry, but I still cannot make sense of your point in doing so. [speaking here of using quotes around the word marriage]

Hopefully by now you recognise that there is a difference between a religious marriage and a legal one. My use of the quotes was to differentiate between the two (the reasons I chose to use the quotes arond the legal ones should be obvious by now).

From a seperate post:

Incidentally, none of my remarks ever addressed the issue of homosexual marriage. I have been responding to what I consider to be rather strange views of marriage per se.

Yes, it should be obvious that we both think that the legal recognition of a union should be attainable by anyone in such a union.

Just to be perfectly clear, you are not responding to strange views of marriage (unless you are suggusting that there is no fundamental difference between a legal recognition and a religious pledge) as my views are on the useage of the word, not the marriage itself.

Honestly, I really don't see why you think it is so important to use the church word to discribe non-church unions.

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Since when is a marriage the legal acknowledgement of a union?  Only reletively recently.  First it was a religious pledge, absoultely controlled by the church.

You keep saying this, but both Eran and I have suggested that the church took it over from the Ancients. Do you deny that the Greeks had a concept of marriage, and that it was not just (if at all) religious in nature?

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Hopefully by now you recognise that there is a difference between a religious marriage and a legal one.

I have understood the difference since I was a child. Both I and my government could care less about the former and are only concerned with the latter. Marriage is a legal contract for which conditions and validation are set by the government. That the government permits certain clergy to sign the license which the state issues just means that the clergy are acting as agents for the government, and in no way implies that the government recognizes any religious claim to marriage.

I am at a complete loss to understand your concern for "religious marriage." At best, it is a private ritual performed by a bunch of confirmed mystics, having no more legal significance than an exorcism.

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From Richard's post

I agree here. I simply see no reason to call that legal document a "marriage" certificate rather than a "certificate of unionship" or something of the like.

From Stephen's post

I am at a complete loss to understand your concern for "religious marriage."

Stephen,

Why do you keep thinking that Richard is concerned with religious marriage? It is very clear to me that his concern lies solely in the confusion in the use of the term, which I think has become very relevant within this discussion. As it is used today, marriage is often used interchangeably as both a religious and legal ceremony. As you said yourself there is a difference between the two, don’t you think that there should be a distinction between the two?

And Ash,

I don’t really think the ancient Greek/Roman’s view or concepts of marriage, if they can really compare to today’s conception of marriage, is relevant to this issue. Richard’s point was that in today’s culture the term marriage was taken from the churches use of it, which is true, and that all this contributes to the confusion about what the real purpose of a marriage is.

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You keep saying this, but both Eran and I have suggested that the church took it over from the Ancients. Do you deny that the Greeks had a concept of marriage, and that it was not just (if at all) religious in nature?
Ash, the greeks may have had a concept which you can now compare to marriage... but it would have been more similar to the concept of slavery than of our marriage today. And more importantly, as Joe pointed out, the concern is not about the origins of the term but about the roots of its usage today.

At best, it is a private ritual performed by a bunch of confirmed mystics, having no more legal significance than an exorcism.

I agree. This is precisely why I am so amazed at your adoption of the term which has long denoted this mystical practice. I am not at all concerened with religious marriage, only with the distinction between it and legal marriage.

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It seems to me that all this fervor over the word marriage is reminiscent of political correctness. It appears to me that some folks are saying that context doesn't matter, it's connotation is so strong that context isn't important. I have to disagree. As with any word that has multiple meanings, it's important that the speaker uses the word in it's correct context. Anyone who doesn't like the word can avoid using it and substitute it in the manner he/she sees fit, while those who do use it should make sure the context is clear, just as they should with any word or words. It's already stifling enough to have to limit one's vocabulary because of the over-sensitivity of others without adding more words to the list.

Yes, I'm bachelorly-challenged.

VES

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Ash, the greeks may have had a concept which you can now compare to marriage... but it would have been more similar to the concept of slavery than of our marriage today.

Sorry, but that's factually not true.

The Greeks of the time would think you crazy for comparing their wives to slaves. It's true that they didn't have political rights (i.e. - voting or being elected to office) - but they were considered citizens with rights, and the actual treatment they recieved was much better than in most countries TODAY, and certainly better than slaves.

It's enough to read some Greek plays, to understand the inherent respect the Greeks had to any individual, man or woman - even slave.

Many Greek women were politically influencial, through their masculine friends. There were even debates in Athens wether or not to allow women to elect and be elected, and I think most intellectuals supported it - more than 2300 years ago! (Compare this with the fact that in most western countries women got voting rights only during the 19th cetury, and in Swizerland women got the right to vote only in the 1970s!)

I think the modern concept of marriage is taken mostly from the ancient Romans, not the Greeks. And surely not the Catholic Church! :o

If anything, I believe that the term marriage shouldn't be used in cases like Muslim countries where the wife is actually the slave of her husband, which has other wives too.

Marriage is, in the proper form, a romantic, legal and economical union between a man and a woman. In barbaric cultures (like in today's Middle East, and in the Dark Ages) the romantic was usually dropped, and more significance was given to the legal and economic - with religion being used as a mere fig leaf.

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I do not know where these mistaken ideas about marriage are coming from, but they are historically inaccurate and lack reasonable justification. The Marriage Act of 1753 established the modern cultural and legal basis of marriage, with the English state issuing a legal certificate validating the act. Religion has no more rightful claim to the concept of marriage than it does to the concept of ethics.

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Ash, the greeks may have had a concept which you can now compare to marriage... but it would have been more similar to the concept of slavery than of our marriage today.

Comparing the Ancient Greek concept of marriage to slavery is truly obscene. There are certainly questionable aspects of the treatment of women that we can now reflect upon, but the label of slavery is a gross injustice. Clearly you have not studied the history of Ancient Greece. Have you even read the Odyssey?

"And for thyself, may the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires; a husband and a home may they grant thee, and oneness of heart a goodly gift. For nothing is greater or better than this, when man and wife dwell in a home in one accord, a great grief to their foes and a joy to their friends; but they know it best themselves."

And more importantly, as Joe pointed out, the concern is not about the origins of the term but about the roots of its usage today.

You have not once provided a single shred of evidence in support of your assertion that the roots of marriage today lies with religion and that the concept of marriage belongs to them. As I said in a previous post, religion has no more rightful claim to the concept of marriage than it does to the concept of ethics.

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The idea that Greek marriage was like slavery is wrong (as Eran and Stephen have already pointed out). Most Greeks were farmers, and in those households the wife was practically the equal of the husband, managing the "business" side of running the household while the husband (along with one or two slaves, who were otherwise more or less treated as part of the family, eating at their table, etc.) worked in the field. The idea that Greek marriage was like slavery is liberal, multiculturalist (which is somehow always anti-Western culture) nonsense, and your antipathy toward marriage as such as a purely religious rite is, as I've said before, eerily reminiscent of the views of many Communists during the early Soviet period (in fact, there are parts of We The Living that deal with this issue).

How can you say that pre-Christian marriage is irrelevant to the discussion, but Christian marriage is relevant in today's secular context? Be consistent. Either both are relevant, or neither. Either way, your arguments are nonsense.

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Alright... I stand corrected (about greek marriage).

Perhaps legal marriage ought to keep the term, and religion should adopt another. There does, however, need to be a distinction between the two.

your antipathy toward marriage as such as a purely religious rite is, as I've said before, eerily reminiscent of the views of many Communists during the early Soviet period
This, however, is absurd. I have claimed nothing against legal marriage, I simply proposed calling it something else. In fact my reason in doing so was so that it could be made more distinctly seperate from the religious rites you speak of.

It appears to me that some folks are saying that context doesn't matter, it's connotation is so strong that context isn't important.

RationalCop, my arguement is that using the same word to describe to simliar but distinct things allows for others to confuse the word. It is not that rational people cannot communicate with such words, but that people who want to be deceptive can do so more easily with such words.

For example, many people are outraged at the concept of gay marriage because it will change their religious institution (obviously, it doesen't because gay (legal) marriage has nothing to do with religion what-so-ever). The churches, and the president, and others, perpetuate this by saying that such marriages would change the definition of the word. By deliberatly confusing the context, and thereby bypassing the fact that the term has more than one meaning, they cause the outrage which we today see about the concept of gay marriage (even when "civil unions" are going on with little concern).

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It is not that rational people cannot communicate with such words, but that people who want to be deceptive can do so more easily with such words.

RH,

People who want to be deceptive will do so regardless of the relative ease that one word has over another. I don't think it's worth the effort to argue over how much easier it is, if it even is easier. That, to me, is beside the point.

many people are outraged at the concept of gay marriage because it will change their religious institution (obviously, it doesen't because gay (legal) marriage has nothing to do with religion what-so-ever).

I think those same people would be against gay marriage regardless of a change in verbage. The verbage neither helps nor detracts from their prejudice. The real prejudice is against the act, the affront to their beliefs, their god, not what it's called.

In terms of what marriage means to people, it can easily be subtlely different to each person anyway. Should we then create a series of different words for each subtle variation?

For example, to one person marriage may mean an obligation you have to a woman because you accidentally knocked her up and it's the right thing to do. Love, committment and trust may have no bearing in that meaning. To another person, marriage may mean you spend most of your time with that person, but it doesn't exclude having sex with another person. Or to expand on that theme, marriage means they live together and reap the economic benefits, but they both swap partners with other people. To some marriage may mean the act of obligation to marry a person your parents picked for you at an early age.

At any rate, I just don't see that the term is that much of an affront to me. Many words change their meaning over the course of time, regardless of their origin.

You may be right that a change or a clarification is needed. I'm just not convinced that it causes that much confusion.

VES

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I think those same people would be against gay marriage regardless of a change in verbage.

Even if the gay couple was only engaging in a civil union? If the state stopped using the religious tainted term “marriage” don’t you think the religious types would not get as involved? This is not something that needs to happen, it is just merely a suggestion, one that makes sense to me and that I think would work. We all know that the purpose of a documented marriage is for legal purposes, but nearly everyone who is against gays getting married, 55% of America (according to USA Today), think that its purpose is mainly religious in nature. Find someone who is against gay marriage and ask them what they think marriage is, you might here them mention that it is also a legal matter but don’t hold your breath.

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Alright... I stand corrected (about greek marriage). 

The issue was not only the realities of marriage in Ancient Greece, but the historical roots and significance of marriage. The argument made was that religion has no more rightful claim to the concept of marriage than it does to the concept of ethics.

Perhaps legal marriage ought to keep the term, and religion should adopt another.  There does, however, need to be a distinction between the two.

There already is a distinction, which I have repeatedly struggled to communicate. There is: being married in the eyes of the law, and being married in the eyes of god. What's the problem? I know the difference, and so do millions of Americans. Note that people legally dissolve their marriage in a divorce, while some religions do not approve. Do we also need to change the word "divorce?"

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Not that this has anything to do with the issue, but what I think Richard was referring to when he compared the Greek concept of marriage to slavery was that women were often, depending upon what time period we are talking about, bought from there fathers/families by there soon to be husbands. During a different time women were betrothed by force before they were old enough to walk. They were considered property like a slave. They were not, however, usually forced to do labor. A marriage is, according to the Merriam online dictionary: “1-the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law”. If you were being bought by your husband or subject to arranged marriage, this is not what we today would call a marriage.

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