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MARRIAGE: Christians’ faith is tested

Letter by Constance V. Walden, University Place on Aug. 3, 2012 at 11:34 am with 78 Comments »
August 3, 2012 11:34 am

The issue of gay marriage tests the faith of Christians.

All Christians know from Genesis 2:24 and Mark 10:1-9 that marriage is a covenant from God between a woman and man. At least they should know this.

Christians who compromise on this issue fail the test.

 

Leave a comment Comments → 78
  1. tacomaboy46 says:

    Great letter to fire off the weekend…God, speaking through Ms. Constance, has spoken…
    All Christians who disagree…Epic Fail…Lol…

  2. nonstopjoe says:

    Marriage is merely an attempt to keep men’s wanderlust under control.

  3. MrCarleone says:

    How Sweet !

    Another shallow, trite letter from Ms. Walden !

  4. JLSchweizer says:

    What happens to those Christians who “fail the test?” Do they cease to be Christians? At judgment, will God direct them to either the luxury suite or basement based on their answer?

  5. MyBandito says:

    Christians need not change their lifestyle when same sex marriage is legal. They can focus on some other minority group to attack.

    Constance- Are you afraid that all of your Christian friends will run out and marry someone of the same sex? Is that the compromise?

  6. Harry_Anslinger says:

    Christian marriage is a covenant from God between a man and a woman. Civil marriage is licensed through the state and provides specific legal partnership rights. Civil marriage sanctioned by the state is not the same thing. Intelligent Christians understand the difference between the Bible and the Constitution. So do the courts which keep ruling against attempts to stifle human rights.

  7. Theefrinker says:

    Christians who compromise are taking a small step toward rational thought; I commend them for that much at least.

  8. Since marriage is a sacred convenient with God, I sure the all good Christians will disavow the purely secular benefits secular governments want them to have.

  9. surething says:

    Another stunningly ignorant letter.

  10. Some may view Constance’s letter as stunningly ignorant but it is still the law. Until such time as the Supreme Court of the United States rules differently it will remain law regardless of the Obama administration’s decision not to enforce it. (Pub.L. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419, enacted September 21, 1996, 1 U.S.C. § 7 and 28 U.S.C. § 1738C) is a United States federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

  11. dtacoma says:

    Forget critical thought processes – a book I read said this, so I’m simply going to believe it.

    Sheesh. What year is this?

  12. Frankenchrist says:

    Christianity is ancient myth and superstition.

  13. LeePHill says:

    Mark took 9 verses to say “a marriage is a man and woman”??????

  14. So, Constance, since you linked to Jesus ordering that there should be no divorce, why aren’t you petitioning to have the divorce laws changed to make it illegal for married couples to divorce?

    Christians who compromise on this issue fail the test, right?

  15. So did my wife & I fail the test when we got a State issued marriage license instead of keeping it just between us and God?

    Did attending a non-religous marriage ceremony make us fail the test?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  16. MARRIAGE, n.
    The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.

  17. bobcat1a says:

    We would all be able to sympathize with the christian viewpoint that marriage is “a covenant from God between a woman and man” if christians would stop sanctioning the dissolution of God’s covenant through divorce. Banning divorce is a greater “Defense of Marriage” than forbidding same sex marriage.

  18. Frankenchrist says:

    Mormons, like Mitt Romney, are members of a bizarre cult. They oppose gay marriage but love horse ballet. Go figure.

  19. Someday, some archaeological expedition will dig up all the Tacoma News Tribune files, and sit down to peruse the comments to the Letters, and they’ll shake their heads and wonder….

    …..”How did this culture exist as long as it did with such morons!!?”

  20. I suggest this writer does not marry a same sex partner. She doesn’t seem to have the disposition.

  21. MyBandito says:

    …..”How did this culture exist as long as it did with such morons!!?

    Reportedly since Cain and Abel we’ve had it in for our brother. Maybe it’s just human nature.

  22. bobbysangelwife says:

    Well said Harry.

    Marriage: 1 man, 1 woman

  23. My belief in God and the teachings of the bible remain personal to me. To indicate judge does not love and have compassion just does not mix with what I have been taught. I respect differing opinions and am sadden when I read the terrible things said about faith. It shows me as a people we have a long, long way to go.

  24. LeePHill says:

    bobbysangelwife – nice deletion of part of Harry’s text –

    “<b<Christian marriage is a covenant from God between a man and a woman.”

    Unfortunately for you, the Christian faith doesn’t run our country.

  25. RegisteringFool says:

    Harry_Anslinger, above, is right. Religious marriage is a covenant with God. Civil marriage is a contract with the government. End of discussion.

  26. But govt adopted the Christian meaning of marriage when it stuck its fingers in the licensing game.

    This is not a chicken/egg scenario. The govt based thier position on the Christain definition.

  27. CT7 wrote: But govt adopted the Christian meaning of marriage when it stuck its fingers in the licensing game.

    This is not a chicken/egg scenario. The govt based thier position on the Christain definition.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Many on this forum do not comprehend that fact CT. Many seem to subscribe to the theory that ‘if it feels good, do it!’

  28. Clamat0 says:

    Mormons, like Mitt Romney, are members of a bizarre cult.

    Religious bigotry aside, Harry Reid finds your analysis of his religion to be offensive.

  29. Clamat0 says:

    So does allindasue.

  30. RegisteringFool says:

    CT7 – The government stuck its nose into the marriage business for racist, not religious, reasons. Since marriage had an impact on inheritance and many since many common law marriages were inter-racial there were some who wanted to ensure that whites only kept the money. Gays can talk about love, devotion and stability all they want, but the truth of the matter is that it has been, is, and always will be about the money.

    There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for the government to be involved in marriage in any way. And two wrongs do not make a right.

  31. penumbrage says:

    oldoc – “The govt based thier position on the Christain definition.”

    America (originally the free white male Christian landowner’s over 21 club) has diversified considerably over the last 235 years by identifying groups of innocent human beings (like non-Christians, blacks and women) whose rights were not previously recognized and by changing it’s laws accordingly, it strives for the ultimate goal of providing equal treatment under the law for all.
    As private institutions, your Men’s Club or Boy Scouts or Church may exclude any persons or groups they feel like. As the overall umbrella under which all citizens must co-exist, the government has no such option and must deal out rights fairly to all, even Larry Flint, Westboro Baptists and the Klan, regardless of how strongly you or your private institution may disagree.

  32. Clamat0 says:

    CT7 – The government stuck its nose into the marriage business for racist, not religious, reasons. Since marriage had an impact on inheritance and many since many common law marriages were inter-racial there were some who wanted to ensure that whites only kept the money.

    This is complete BS. Not satisfied with simply invoking the homophobe angle, you’re playing the race card too?

    To make your fairy tale work one would have to conflate tax code – specifically estate and income taxes – with Constitutional law. Trouble is that would only account for 96 years of the 236 years of the history of this republic (excluding the nine-year period of the Civil War when both taxes were imposed as a means of paying for the war).

    Aside from DOMA (signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996), kindly name where outside of tax code “the government (has) stuck its nose into the marriage business”. Better yet, show us what law(s) you’re referring to – specifically.

    I will grant that since 1996, the federal government, through both the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reform Act and the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (also signed by the Clinton Administration), as well as DOMA, has been more active in its involvement in its interpretation of marriage – both directly and on the periphery. But this is all very recent history – quite contrary to your assertions.

    The definition of marriage has always laid with the states. Of course, marital status has federal implications vis-a-vis tax law, social security benefits, etc – some 1300 or so – and they have always maintained a background presence on the subject. But, the federal government, for practical purposes, recognizes the state definitions. If tomorrow a state passes a law allowing brother-sister marriage after legislative consideration and debate, in the absence of a federal law to the contrary, the federal government would recognize that marriage for federal purposes. (Thus, the federal government can, if they chose to, recognize same-sex marriage and amend DOMA accordingly.)

    In fact, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 specifically guaranteed the right of former slaves to marry. And because of the fact that many states – particularly former slave states – banned interracial marriage at that time (again, contrary to your claims), reformers of the time were led to propose that federal control of marriage standards might be a good idea. But the idea was not pursued.

  33. RegisteringFool says:

    Clamat0 – I’m not making this up. And it is not me who is playing the race card. The white establishment did that in the last century.

    See, In re Estate of McLaughlin v. McLAUGHLIN, 4 Wash. 570; 30 P. 651 (1892); In re Estate of Wilbur v. BINGHAM, 8 Wash. 35; 35 P. 407 (1894), and relatively more recently, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).

    Rail all you want. Its about the money. Pure and simple.

  34. Clamat0 says:

    Uhh, obviously we’re talking apples to oranges here. You’re citing case histories and some case law derived from decisions made in certain states – specifically Washington State and, apparently, Virginia. Since your initial post on the subject made no such distinction, I assumed you were talking about federal law.

    But in fact, your clarification only underscores my point; the definition of marriage has always laid with the states.

    I would love to argue your conclusions (I think them to be fallacious), but your tangent is way off-topic and more suitable for a tin hat wardrobe. This whole line sounds like a bad pre-law lecture in Berkley.

  35. Bobby’s wife – ‘marriage: 1 man, 1 woman’ – How many wives did David have?

    CT7 – the government also allowed Slavery because it was a part of Christian culture – does that mean government should not have banned it?

    RF,
    Until the mid-1900, interracial marriage (common or otherwise) was illegal in the US.

    Marriage is about the money, which is one reason gays want to be allowed to marry.

    ‘no reason for government to be involved in marriage’ – Oh Lord, I know you told us to let fools speak, but why do we have to listen to them?

    Clamat0 – it’s worse than you think. There are over 1,400 benefits to being married. For a partial list take a look at:

    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/marriage-rights-benefits-30190.html

    RFool – it’s about the money and a whole lot more.

  36. Great post Clamato.

    I love his deflection afterward where he claims it was about money. His original post was clearly a weak race card (typical end of rational arguments/lib excuses).

    RF- this is not goodwill hunting. 1890’s case law?

  37. RegisteringFool says:

    Clamat0 – “Since your initial post on the subject made no such distinction, I assumed you were talking about federal law.”

    That was your first mistake. I said no such thing.

    “But in fact, your clarification only underscores my point; the definition of marriage has always laid with the states.”

    And my citation to Washington State law were based on the fact that we live in Washington and this is a Washington State newspaper. (At least I assume you live here.) Prior to 1892 Washington State (and Territory) recognized common law marriages. Yes, there was an assumption that it would involve a man and a woman, but there was no state licensing apparatus, only a voluntary registration procedure. It was the McLaughlin case that ended Washington’s recognition of common law marriages, required registration (aka licensing), and ushered in the era of civil marriages. (BTW – CT7, you apparently do not understand the principle of stare decisis.)

    The McLaughlin case involved an Indian widow who was denied any inheritance from her deceased Caucasian husband. There is simply no other explanation for the outcome in McLaughlin except for the latent racism of the justices who decided it. I cited the Loving case to show that this racist attitude toward marriage was not confined to the west coast.

    “I would love to argue your conclusions (I think them to be fallacious), but your tangent is way off-topic and more suitable for a tin hat wardrobe. This whole line sounds like a bad pre-law lecture in Berkley.”

    How is showing that this ongoing public argument over the religious underpinnings of marriage is a red herring “off-topic”? Moreover, your ad hominem attack demonstrates that you really don’t want to argue my conclusions but would prefer instead to attack me personally. That’s what the Nazis did in Germany, by the way.

  38. beerBoy says:

    RF – Godwin infractions don’t help your (otherwise good) argument.

  39. oldoc – “The govt based thier position on the Christain definition.”

    America (originally the free white male Christian landowner’s over 21 club) has diversified considerably over the last 235 years by identifying groups of innocent human beings (like non-Christians, blacks and women) whose rights were not previously recognized and by changing it’s laws accordingly, it strives for the ultimate goal of providing equal treatment under the law for all.
    As private institutions, your Men’s Club or Boy Scouts or Church may exclude any persons or groups they feel like. As the overall umbrella under which all citizens must co-exist, the government has no such option and must deal out rights fairly to all, even Larry Flint, Westboro Baptists and the Klan, regardless of how strongly you or your private institution may disagree.
    _______________________________________________________

    Couple of things Penumbrage. First, the quote you attributed to me are the words of CT7. Second, nowhere have I ever supported the theory that ‘equal protection under the law’ should be denied gays. It is my belief, however, that denying them the title of marriage to define their union does not violate any principle of equality. Civil union sounds good. If gays require the title of marriage to feel good about themselves then there must be something about their union that troubles them but it surely isn’t equality.

  40. Clamat0 says:

    That’s okay, bB – not the first time a Godwin infraction has been aimed at me. Maybe even deservedly so.

    RF, perhaps if you’d taken the time to make your AUG. 5, 2012 AT 1:14 AM post on AUG. 4, 2012 AT 1:37 PM
    your line of reasoning would have been a bit easier to follow.

    Mind you though, while I understand the point you’re trying to make, I still don’t agree that it is anything less than a tangental diversion from the topic. And clearly, your intention was to inject racism into the discussion, how else do you defend this:

    The government stuck its nose into the marriage business for racist, not religious, reasons.

    That statement alone is patently false on the macro scale, and conveniently exaggerated for effect on the micro.

    Since marriage had an impact on inheritance and many since many common law marriages were inter-racial there were some who wanted to ensure that whites only kept the money.

    Even your “money” angle is founded upon an example of 19th century racial prejudice. Why does this not like an attempt to inject racism into a discussion of how gay marriage should be viewed by Christians?

  41. RegisteringFool says:

    C0 – my prime motivation for entering this discussion at all was to pose the question, “Why is government in the marriage business at all.” I think I have shown pretty clearly that it was not, and is not, about religion. Yet that is what everybody seems to want to talk about ad nauseam. Rather, I have shown the government is mainly interested in social control and financial control.

    There is nothing in the law, yet, to prevent gays or Christians (I know a few gay Christians, by the way–talk about inner torment) from forming the bonds they want to form, or from performing the ceremonies they want to perform. The problem comes when gays want to inherit from their partners without a will, or when they want to be included on their partner’s health insurance plan. It is the government that drew those lines, and it drew those lines for financial and social control reasons, not religious reasons. The government may have used religious rhetoric to gain acceptance of those lines, but that simply amounts to more social control.

    Thus, the way Christians “should” view gay marriage becomes rather irrelevant to the larger debate over gay marriage in general and R-74 specifically.

    I submit that it is simply not the business of government, any government, to define what marriage is, or to determine what benefits flow from marriage.

  42. beerBoy says:

    RF – as long as marriage is a legal contract recognized by the State, that affects tax rates, it is the business of government to define what that contract entails. Now, if you are supporting the removal of any and all benefits connected to marriage, then you have a point.

  43. RegisteringFool says:

    beerBoy – bingo!

  44. bB, and RF, I have no substantive disagreements with any posts you’ve made since AUG. 5, 2012 AT 1:14 AM.

    I would only add that Constance’s LTE is specifically addressed to Christians. She advocates against the issue of gay marriage on religious/ moral grounds, not legal, racial (indeed, Constance is an African American woman), or economic grounds.

  45. Clamat0 – I do wonder what Constance means by “compromise on this issue”. Since she is speaking for all of Christianity (not just the specific sect she ascribes to) is she only speaking of compromise in the religious sector or is she suggesting that all Christians of all sects fail if they consider the sacrament of marriage presided over by the Church as something different than the legal marriage contract presided over by the State/

  46. She sounds pretty absolute to me, bB. And I respect her opinion as well.

  47. penumbrage says:

    olddoc – Sorry to misattribute, the paragraph break and your lack of quotes led me astray.

    “If gays require the title of marriage to feel good about themselves then there must be something about their union that troubles them but it surely isn’t equality.”

    If by ‘feel good about themselves’ you mean ‘make the ultimate statement of commitment and love to another person in front of God, their families and friends’, I might agree with you.
    If by ‘equality’ you mean the 1300 other rights and benefits which the legal status of marriage confers but domestic unions do not (everything from survivor benefits thru hospital visitation to legal contracts), I don’t know of any who would agree with your definition of ‘equal protection under the law’ (including you, were the legal standings of marriages and domestic unions reversed).
    If your church is offending you by performing gay marriages, then find one that better fits your views.
    If you object to the term ‘marriage’ for the state’s legal recognition of non-religious unions and religious unions from ALL churches, regardless of whether their specific requirements exactly match your church’s requirements, then lobby to have the term changed to something that’s less offensive to you (‘domestic union’ would do nicely – provided the laws were changed so that the legal equality you assumed existed between the two actually did exist).
    Otherwise, just accept the fact that the two different kinds of marriage are merely homonyms (unless, of course, that term is also offensive).

  48. nonstopjoe says:

    Who cares what the requirements for civil marriage are – unless one wishes to get married in a civil ceremony? Many follow the tenets of various religious faiths, and for them marriage in a church ceremoney is what counts.

  49. Penumbrage, Washington State has a domestic partnership law that provides all the same state’s rights and responsibilities available to married opposite gender couples but gays and lesbians are not allowed to marry in Washington State. That is what I mean by equality. I would be interested in your enumeration the 1300 other rights and benefits denied to domestic partners in Washington State.

    And yes, I do object to the use of the term marriage to define homosexual relationships as does my church. You may cohabitate with whomever or whatever you choose just don’t attempt to add a measure of dignity to your activities by calling it marriage.

  50. beerBoy says:

    Separate but equal isn’t……

  51. RegisteringFool says:

    bB — Yep. Religious marriage is not the same as civil marriage. The problems occur when you try to conflate them.

  52. RF – the conflation is done by the anti-gay marriage types.

  53. MyBandito says:

    “You may cohabitate with whomever or whatever you choose just don’t attempt to add a measure of dignity to your activities by calling it marriage.”

    Although same sex marriage isn’t about dignity, same sex couples exhibit a level of commitment that surpasses that of different sex couples. This statement could easily apply to a good many, so called, straight couples who are looking for some sort of dignity or validation in their lives, judging by the divorce rate.

  54. MyBandito says:

    Although same sex marriage isn’t about “adding” dignity…….

  55. bobbysangelwife says:

    Marriage: 1 man, 1 woman

  56. LeePHill says:

    Zombie like repetition of slogans….impressive

  57. MyBandito says:

    Marriage: Two consenting adults.

  58. I wrote: “You may cohabitate with whomever or whatever you choose just don’t attempt to add a measure of dignity to your activities by calling it marriage.”
    _______________________________________________________________

    MyBandito responded: “Although same sex marriage isn’t about dignity, same sex couples exhibit a level of commitment that surpasses that of different sex couples. This statement could easily apply to a good many, so called, straight couples who are looking for some sort of dignity or validation in their lives, judging by the divorce rate.”
    _______________________________________________________________

    MyBandito, then by your own judgement, homosexual unions are quite different particularily with regard to committment level.
    Such unions obviously deserve and should be afforded a title that differentiates them from traditional mariages. I’m sure that are appropriate titles available. How about ‘homosexual eternal commitment unions’?

  59. MyBandito says:

    How about marriage? What difference does it make to you? Will your marriage or religion suffer if the word marriage is used? No!

    OR

    How about ‘heterosexual eternal commitment unions’ (until divorce do us part) if that makes more sense to you?

    Let’s get real. You people treat the word marriage like a little child with a toy. That’s mine!…You can’t have it!

  60. Excellent MB, you have finally unraveled the mystery. I am certain that you would throw your unwavering support behind a move to change the name of soccer to baseball. Soccer is only a little bit different but should enjoy the prestige of being termed the ‘national pastime’.

    How about homosexual unions? What differenece does it make to you? Will your homosexual relationsip or religion suffer if the words homosexual relationship continue to be used?

  61. MyBandito says:

    Denying the use of the word marriage, denies same sex couples the same rights that different sex couples have. It’s discrimination.

    Different sex couples can marry for no other reason than convenience.

    Marriage is nothing more than a legal contract between two people. Their gender shouldn’t matter.

  62. MyBandito,
    How about a compromise:

    All secular matrimonial couplings will be called civil unions.

    All religious matrimonialy couplings will be called marriages.

    Only civil unions will be allowed to claim the 1400+ benefits offered by secular governments.

  63. MyBandito says:

    The religious couples would claim discrimination.

  64. beerBoy says:

    Nope…..religiously inclined could just go through a civil ceremony.

  65. MyBandito says:

    And if a same sex couple were to be married in a religious ceremony they would be ………….. married.

  66. normajean says:

    I have failed the test because I am a divorced Catholic woman who remarried civilly. Where’s the logic? If someone doesn’t believe in same sex marriage -well fine, but don’t you dare judge those who do lest you be judged as uncaring, unchristian & insensitive & totally ignorant

  67. This whole thing is getting quite tiresome. Hook up with your dog, cat, transformer, a martian…….I could care less just don’t be foolish enough to feel you have some nebulous right call it a marriage. You wish to will your property or extend hospital visiting rights, to your dog, cat, transformer or a martian….go right ahead. In Washington State you have every right currently available to married couples. For God’s sake, you people even have your own flag, gay naked bicycle parades and kiss-ins. Disgusting!

  68. beerBoy says:

    And they say the French are precious about protecting the integrity of their language…..

  69. MyBandito says:

    Oldoc- No doubt you find the whole same sex thing disgusting. That’s because you’re set in your ways. This isn’t about you.

  70. Bandito – let them, I claim separation of church and state. Besides couples can always have a civil ceremony in addition to their religious one – no one is denying them that right.

    Oldoc – what do you, a dog, a cat have in common = you are all non-sentient beings.

  71. normajean says:

    @beerBoy : “And they say the French are precious about protecting the integrity of their language…..”

    What are you saying?

  72. Apparently xring must consider transformers and martians sentient beings. Imagine them riding in the next gay naked bicycle parade or accepting xring’s marriage proposal.

  73. normajean – from the post above mine just don’t be foolish enough to feel you have some nebulous right call it a marriage.

    The argument from many has been “they already have civil unions which gives them the same benefits but I object to them calling it marriage”. So, many of the anti-same sex marriage folks are objecting over how the definition of a word is changing. Just like the French who strive to keep their language “pure” by not letting it evolve.

    The one truly “pure” language is Latin…..because it is a dead language stuck in the past.

  74. Oldoc – I consider transformers and Martians figments of someone’s over active imagination.

  75. Xring-I consider your rationale for homosexual marriage a figment of someone’s over active imagination.

  76. you also believe in transformers and little greenmen.

  77. beerBoy says:

    from wikipedia:

    Because of the New Testament’s frequent depictions of Pharisees as self-righteous rule-followers (see also Woes of the Pharisees and Legalism (theology)), the word “pharisee” (and its derivatives: “pharisaical”, etc.) has come into semi-common usage in English to describe a hypocritical and arrogant person who places the letter of the law above its spirit.

  78. Xring, if I believed in transformers and little greenmen I would probably be in favor of homesexual marriage as well. The logical liberally supported connection is just too strong to think otherwise.

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