An Editorial from The Tablet—Marriage à la mode

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Public opinion cannot be relied on as a source of moral authority. The consensus at any time may favour the restoration of capital punishment; not so long ago it wanted homosexuals locked up; nineteenth-century public opinion did not think women should have the vote; eighteenth-century public opinion supported slavery. There were Christian voices involved in the reform of all those positions, but they were voices of protest grounded in Scripture, tradition and natural law, not of conformity to prevailing social norms.

The time may have come to accept that there will have to be at least two understandings of marriage side by side, and that each should go its own way. As in Europe, it is perfectly viable to have church marriage validated by religious authorities and secular marriage validated by state authorities, and for a couple that wishes to, to undergo both forms. Then there would no longer be any suggestion that the secular form of marriage is part of the Christian legacy. There are grounds, indeed, for doubting whether it has been so for some time.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

Posted February 25, 2011 at 5:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Larry Morse wrote:

The rational distinction is civil partnerships side by side with marriage properly so called. This wiil clarify the meaning of"marriage,” an essential clarification. Then, homosexuals cannot use it whichever way suits their purpose, and civil partnerships will give them those civil rights which they say is exactly what they want.  But this is too easy, too clear, too obviously correct. Larry

February 25, 5:02 pm | [comment link]
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