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INTERPRETING “MARRIAGE”

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 30, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– Why true Christians disagree with same-sex marriages.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Same-sex marriage was back in the news recently. In January, “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson made his views on homosexuality known in an interview for GQ Magazine, resulting in a temporary suspension from A&E executives. Earlier this month, Brendan Eich, was forced to step down as CEO of Mozilla for supporting California’s Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage. Prior to this, such admissions were considered harmless until 2012 when President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage, thereby politicizing it.

The gay community cannot comprehend why anyone would not endorse their position and are ready to pounce on those opposing it, regardless of their religious convictions. By doing so, they have put gay rights on a collision course with religion via the Constitution, specifically the First Amendment addressing freedom of speech and religion.

In the Christian world, practitioners view marriage as a sacrament, a religious ceremony used as a sign of divine grace. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul:

* “man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one,” (Gen. 2:24)

* “So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6).

Thus, marriage bestows the sanctity of the joining in the eyes of the Lord and their families who consent to the coupling for propagation purposes. From a purely biological perspective, this makes sense as homosexual couples obviously cannot reproduce. I cannot speak for other religions, but I cannot imagine a true Christian who doesn’t accept this position. It is simply unfathomable to them and an affront to their sensibilities. Because of this, Christians have difficulty applying the word “marriage” to homosexual couples. Perhaps another word is in order, such as “union,” “partnership” or whatever, a label which would not offend the senses of Christians. Same-sex marriage advocates obviously will disagree over this interpretation, contending only love is necessary to form a marriage.

Attacking Christians for possessing their beliefs is obviously an affront to the First Amendment by denying religious freedom. Further, the 14th Amendment guarantees religious civil rights:

“Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This guarantees “equal protection of the laws” for every person, including religious civil rights. Frankly, I’m surprised people such as Phil Robertson have not invoked the 14th Amendment to defend themselves.

As long as there are people who consider marriage a religious institution, the concept of same-sex marriage will remain abhorrent, and disagreements will perpetuate. If you consider it something else, such as a political or social concept, you will have no trouble accepting it. Unless the government negates religious freedom, the followers of Jesus Christ will continue to resist it, and strong disagreements will continue unabated in the same vein as abortion.

The media has taken same-sex marriage to new levels of political correctness, thereby manipulating public opinion. The growing acceptance of it is indicative of the decline of religion in this country. Regardless of what you call it, to Christians it is not “marriage.”

We must then ask what is the real issue here, marriage or the right to transfer property and benefits to another person legally? I suspect the latter. Surely legislation can be written to provide for legal partners of gay couples. Christian America should have no problem with providing for the rights of all of its citizens. They may not agree with their lifestyle and consider it unnatural, but the gay community is not going away anytime soon. The biggest problem for Christians is simply the distortion of the meaning of “marriage.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

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timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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LAST TIME:  FAREWELL SNOWBIRDS  – We hope you enjoyed your stay, but it is time to go home.

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17 Responses to “INTERPRETING “MARRIAGE””

  1. Joan Schoenling said

    Right on, Tim. . . .

    Thank you for saying it so succinctly and straightforwardly.

    j.

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A U.V. of Largo, Florida wrote…

    “Right on, as usual. I do think that couples who have been together as partners for years, should be granted certain rights tho’. It’s a shame they cannot visit each other in the event of terminal illness and all that goes with that and survivor benefits, etc. But I draw the line at calling it a true marriage.”

    Like

  3. Kevin Schachter said

    The problem arises in that a marriage is a legal contract (a civil agreement), between two persons, registered through the state in which it occurs, which bestows certain rights and responsibilities upon those who are married, as well as certain benefits (Lower taxes, survivor’s rights, etc.). If the government is going to recognize these civil unions (whatever we decide to call them), because of separation of church and state, they have no right restricting who can enter into these contracts so long as they have contractual capacity. Maybe the government has no place here, what if we eliminate any governmental benefits of marriage, and made it a purely religious rite? Why should people pay less taxes because they are married? If the “True Christians” feel so strongly in their beliefs, maybe instead of telling the government and the gays what they can call marriage, they should change their definition, and give up any civil benefits they could receive. I think it’s a very closed minded view to say that what one group believes is necessarily right for all groups.

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A W.A. of the Dominican Republic wrote…

    “Unfortunately, not only will the “debate” not go away soon, it will not go away period. We have a president who claims to be a Christian, but I think it is obvious his claim is only for political expediency, while standing for abortion and homosexual marriage on the other hand. He even appointed “Wally” Brewster, a deviant advocate of the homosexual, gay, lesbian, transgender lifestyle, as Ambassador to the DR, a country that is 75% Catholic. They even had a picture of him and his “husband” in the paper here. Tim, the world is becoming sicker and more immoral every day. I predict that within the next 10 years the man/boy love “debate” will be on the table and the age of consent for a relationship will be reduced to 14, as it is in some countries today. America (“Rome”) is burning and the so called “Christians in name only” will just keep adding fuel to the fire. Disgusted and sick of it all.”

    Like

  5. Kevin Schachter said

    You could always move to the Dominican Republic?

    Like

  6. Kevin Schachter said

    73% of the US population claims to be affiliated with Christianity. But if the government wants to issue marriage licenses, and base taxation rates and property rights on such, then according to the 1st amendment, religion can have no impact on that conversation. The government should either get out of the marriage business altogether, or treat it like any other contractual relationship and uphold it based purely on the elements of an enforceable contract.

    Like

    • Brian For Texas said

      Additional laws protecting gay relationships are unnecessary. There are plenty of laws already in place to protect persons and property of people co-habituating together; power-of-attorney, medical POA, joint bank accounts, joint purchase agreements for property, wills, etc. While some can argue that this is an inconvenience, I would counter that many most straight couples have many of these agreements in place as well and don’t rely strictly upon the legal benefits that state sanctioned marriages provide.

      Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    Kevin – I didn’t think it was that high, but nonetheless. Now we all know government will not get out of the way, as there is too much money in it. For example, we have the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms; so why do we need concealed weapons permits? It’s just another form of taxation.

    As I said in the article, I do not see why legislation cannot be introduced to accommodate the gay community. It’s not going to go away any time soon.

    Like

  8. Tim Bryce said

    A D.F. of New York City wrote…

    “Perhaps this is crude Tim but I’m pretty sure the only reason the government issues a marriage license is so they can get the $50. Otherwise you’d just pay a Justice of the Peace. And, also so they can hire a few of their buddies to make up the Marriage Department or whatever they call it. If you have trouble in your marriage I suggest you don’t call the government. Having answered the phone for the government I would try real hard not to laugh while speaking to whoever it was but laughing would be what I would do as soon as I hung up the phone.

    How anyone in any religion views anything is their business. What anyone can do to stop adults from entering into a contract for whatever reason so long as it is legal is beyond me. Why people on both sides of this, look to the government to somehow give sanction to their point of view, bewilders me.

    Why people of all political stripes look to the government like it is some deity I have no idea. When you call up the government you don’t get Him or Mother Nature or whatever you believe in. You only get someone like me. Sorry but good luck since everyone seems to persist in this.”

    Like

  9. Tim Bryce said

    A C.P. of Wichita, Kansas wrote…

    “You are so correct Tim! Christians had better stand against Homosexual marriage as this insidious attack on the family is to destroy our man/woman unions and make us out to be the “strange” or not normal union! I am also disgusted with my “Christian” friends that think that homosexuality is a victimless crime! There is a ton of documented proof out there that says otherwise. If you care to do the research, the NAMBLA organization which has been around now for quite a few years is a radical homosexual group that promotes pedophilia with young children as young as 2 years of age! These perverts are coming for our children. I am not so naive to think that there are some homosexuals that only desire adults to have sex with, but it is proving out that a enormous number of their population desire young children to have sex with and there is human trafficking numbers to support this and cases of Judges, Senators, Representatives, and other professional occupations representative in those numbers!!! This is far from a victimless crime. I also want to point out that the homosexual agenda is being taught in our elementary schools now and have been for some years! They are trying to make young children question their own sexuality enough to experiment and “see” if they should be homosexual! We have to rid this vermin out of the public arena back into their respective closets where they should have stayed! Otherwise they should repent and fall on their faces to ask God for forgiveness and be saved! God help us all!”

    Like

  10. sirchristiantheheck@reagan.com said

    RIGHT ON !!! Thanks for your courage in writing this. Not enough “CHRISTIANS” will rally behind you but, be assured, I have your back (if you need it) as I will not, and cannot, accept a man/man or woman/woman union as marriage. Never have, never will; no one or no argument will ever change my mind. Keep it up Tim and you will be well known in due time.

    Like

  11. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “Your essay is so timely for me. I’ve been mulling over this subject, especially since last weekend. I have mixed feelings.

    My daughter, Sarah, is getting married (to a man) next year and we just put a deposit on the reception hall last Saturday. The owner of the hall is a lovely woman; a strong Christian who actively lives her beliefs. She confided that she is distressed by having recently received a request to reserve the facility for a same sex wedding. Same sex marriage is against her beliefs and she cannot, in good conscience, accept the request. U.S. Commerce law requires that she not discriminate, which means she would be forced to accept the reservation or be sued. Since the date requested is already booked, she has temporarily dodged the bullet, but the issue will surely arise again. Her conscience is hurting and she is concerned about the future of her business as well as her employees’ feelings, some of whom will not want to work those events if she is forced to host them. She will not ask anyone to act against their beliefs and wishes to have her own respected. The issue has the potential for a media storm and a ruined business.

    I have sympathy for anyone who experiences discrimination. I have felt the sting of it plenty of times. If one of my children was gay, I would feel terrible to know that society judged them for who they love, rather than who they are. That said, I respect the teachings and beliefs put forth by Christian and other religions regarding same sex unions. I think you’ve nailed it perfectly with this: “As long as there are people who consider marriage a religious institution, the concept of same-sex marriage will remain abhorrent, and disagreements will perpetuate. If you consider it something else, such as a political or social concept, you will have no trouble accepting it.”

    I’m out of patience with the runaway claims of being offended by nearly everything these days, but do not believe that any person should be forced by law to act against his/her beliefs. If the same sex couple seeks acceptance of their lifestyle, can they not equally understand and honor the religious beliefs of the business owner? Sarah’s fiance is a paralegal, serving in the Army, and advised the banquet hall owner to consult her attorney. I wonder if the 14th Amendment will protect this business owner’s rights.

    Sarah really wants a Catholic wedding in a church. The location they’ve chosen for the wedding is in a town about halfway between our home and her fiance’s parents’ home in the northern upper peninsula. They are trying to accommodate as many family members as possible. Since we do not have a church membership in that town, she may have a problem finding a pastor willing to do the ceremony. She will settle for any Christian church that will welcome them, and does not intend to take any rejection personally. Churches have rules and some limit weddings to members only. We respect that. Premarital counseling may be challenging, with Cole stationed in Virginia and Sarah in Michigan. If Sarah is unable to find a willing pastor, my dearest friend is a Unity minister who will be happy to perform the ceremony at the hall.

    I have to believe that there are ways to find middle ground for same sex unions. Sometimes, however, people don’t want to compromise. That is the heart of the conflict.

    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts. Your essays are always stimulating to read.”

    Like

  12. Tim Bryce said

    A B.B. of Saint Louis, Missouri wrote…

    “The Left agrees with the John Locke-Jean Jacques Rousseau view that you can teach people to believe anything as long as you get them early enough. They had the monopoly with public schools and want to go back to that, eliminating charter schools, home schooling, and religious schools, when they are strong enough to do it!

    The big push for gay marriage is coming from younger people, and that is no surprise. They have been subjected to a full generation of pro-gay propaganda, masquerading as social science in the schools, and cannot see things any other way. It was eye-opening when Obama unilaterally allowed enlistment of gay soldiers and sailors, by repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the young conservatives at National Review supported the move, or yawned about its unimportance. Like all other children of the1990s they have been relentlessly propagandized and now think that the perverse is normality.”

    Like

  13. Tim Bryce said

    A C.R. of Bellingham, Washington wrote…

    “Demon-crats do not seem to understand, I guess from having no religious training in Christianity, that Homosexuality is sowing fallow seed on barren lands. Additionally it is committing Apostasy against the words of God and the Apostles in defiance of God’s laws for Christians..”

    Like

  14. […] INTERPRETING “MARRIAGE” […]

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