Comments about ‘Letters: Religion has no place in the marriage debate’

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Published: Sunday, April 28 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Dietrich, ID

Churches do have a right to speak out on moral issues. Issues like marriage which effects churches. Do only unbelievers have a right to speak out on issues concerning morality? Use the church agrees to silence churches on issues that effect them.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Yes, I think people who are referring to the Bible to argue in support of traditional marriage are misguided. They could come up with better reasons without having to resort to the Bible. After all, strengthening rather than redefining marriage is a powerful tool to fight poverty. (But I digress.)

Anyhow, here is a question. The Bible says that we need to be kind to strangers ("for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt"). It also says that the laws should the same way to the politically powerful as to the politically weak. For that reason, I have very serious qualms about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. My position is based on the Bible.

Why is using the Bible to support traditional marriage out of place, but it isn't out of place to condemn Israel or to promote immigration reform?

Perhaps the Bible is a cultural standard which resonates with many people and that is why it belongs in discussions of public policy?

American Fork, UT

Marriage is a contract between the participants and regulated by the government. Mythology has no more place in it than it does in your mortgage agreement.

West Jordan, UT

By all means then shouldn't the State stay out of "regulating" what churches can and cannot do?

Hayden, ID

Marriage is a completely religious doctrine! God invented it! It may seem quaint and politically correct to try to separate religion and marriage but it can not be done without ignoring either God or the purpose of marriage. Good luck to any society who attempts either!

Oakley, UT

If marriage is not based on morality, religion, politics, or economics, why don't we just abolish marriage in favor of social contracts which may or may not be recognized by anyone else. Since the number of single parents is increasing, please don't use children as the reason for marriage.. they don't. Gay marriage is not for the purpose of having children since such is impossible without outside help. Please pople, examine your motives before attacking a practice that has existed for thousands of years...

Salt Lake , UT

For some of us religion has everything to do with the marriage debate. The Bible is a divine book assembled by inspired people. The Bible condemns homosexual behavior. And if you want to use President Jefferson's quote to the Danbury Baptists, look at it in its entirety and then follow up with Supreme Court decisions on Establishment Clause and Freedom of Religion.

Ogden, UT

@Mountanman 8:55 a.m. April 28, 2013

Marriage is a completely religious doctrine! God invented it! It may seem quaint and politically correct to try to separate religion and marriage but it can not be done without ignoring either God or the purpose of marriage. Good luck to any society who attempts either!


Okay -- it's "put up or shut up" time. Prove, with hard, articuable and deomonstable facts, the exitence of God.

I strongly believe, to the point of fact for me, that God is real and eternal. BUT I also realize that I won't be able to actually prove His eistence until I get to the other side of the veil and see what's there. Therefore, while I give testimony of my absolute belief, I don't use that belief as proof in an argument -- two different things. If you are going to assert the existence of God as fact in an argument, prove it.

Far East USA, SC

"why don't we just abolish marriage in favor of social contracts which may or may not be recognized by anyone else"

Isn't that what is required for marriage? Churches are not required. Religion is not required.
But, legal marriage does require a government document.

Try getting married without a marriage license and see how "recognized" that marriage really is.

I think what the writer is saying is that the Govt document should not be affected by religion. Once the government document is obtained, one can more forward with any or no, religious ceremony of their choosing.

Bountiful, UT

Oh, I know what you mean! Wow, can you imagine what a different place this country would be today if people like the Quakers had just kept their mouths shut about slavery? So, they had a religious thing against it. What gave them the right to be all judgmental? And, then, a hundred years later, along comes the Reverend Martin Luther King getting all uppity and quoting spirituals in public places.

Sure, I've heard that the biggest proof that one side of debate knows they haven't got a leg to stand on is that they try to silence the opposition rather than refute their arguments. Some people might think that's what this letter is about. But, hey, think how much shorter any public debate becomes once you tell one side they're not allowed to speak up.

Silver Spring, MD

With respect, I do believe that faith and even religious institutions have a role to play in this debate and, indeed, in all social policy. That said, the debate can't simply be, "God said it, and that ends it"-- because if that's the standard, then I can assure you that you'll find LOTS of differences in terms of belief of who God is, what He said and when and where, and even what it meant.

And under our system, no one belief has a lock on the truth when it comes to social policy. For that, you need to make arguments, both legal and social.

I am a gay man. I am a person of faith. My faith (Reform Judaism) informs my belief that social justice should guide us and that excluding good, innocent and moral gay couple from signing legally binding civil contracts denies them equal protection under the law, and is unjust as well, and should be remedied.

Your faith disagrees? That's fine, of course. But you need to make the case in civil terms, not simply based on faith or faith traditions.

Hayden, ID

@ Furry. Can you prove there is no God? Just because you have failed to observe the multitude of evidences for the existence of God, does not mean millions of other people have not. Absence of evidence for you is not evidence of absence for millions of other people. Failure to observe is the common denominator for people who have never seen the evidences for the existence of God.


@Pat --

"The Bible condemns homosexual behavior."

Religious arguments against homosexuality most often rely on quotes from the Old Testament. But, as someone pointed out to me in another thread, Old Testament laws were basically superseded and replaced by the principles taught in the New Testament (for example, Hebrews 8:6-13).

And guess what? Jesus himself never said a single word against homosexuals. In fact, one statement he *did* make -- Matthew 19:12 -- is often interpreted as indicating that Jesus both recognizes and accepts the fact that homosexuals are born that way.

@DougS --

"why don't we just abolish marriage in favor of social contracts..."

Marriage *is* a social contract -- specifically, a legal one. Atheists (and many other folks) get married just fine every day without the help of any church proceedings.

"Gay marriage is not for the purpose of having children...."

More than 100,000 gay couples are already raising children in this country. Roughly 6 **million** children in this country are apparently living with at least one gay parent.

Marriage helps children. It doesn't matter whether or not children are the specific reason for gays to marry -- the effect is still beneficial for those kids.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

Separation of church and state is exactly what applies here. The state has no business defining the religious union between a man and a woman as anything, including as anything else. The state should return marriage to the religions, where is originated, and define their benefits to whatever unions they decide are for the betterment of society. Call those unions anything suitable, but don't use a religious term, like baptism, communion, ordination, or marriage.

Change the words so you don't spit in the face of citizens who are religious. How hard is that?

However, it is total discrimination to say that anyone religious has no right to speak their values, as members of society decide what the collective values will be. The voices of those who go to church are as valid as those of the atheists.

Salt Lake City, UT

What the letter writer means is that our laws have to be secular otherwise it'd be the establishment of a religion, which is why Sharia law would be unconstitutional for instance. Religious people and churches can argue on behalf of laws but there needs to be a non-religious reason for the law. That's why the Prop 8 supporting lawyers aren't invoking God in their argument.

Othello, WA

"Religion has no place in the marriage debate."
Of course if I was gay or wanted to push the gay agenda, I would try to say the same thing, or stretch the truth enough to make the same argument!


@Christian 24-7 --

"The state has no business defining the religious union between a man and a woman as anything"

Quite a few Christian denominations, as well as non-Christian religions, are already quite happy to marry gay people in religious ceremonies. The state hasn't forced anything on them at all.

Why should your particular religious vision of marriage win over theirs?

"Change the words so you don't spit in the face of citizens who are religious."

I think you mean "citizens who are religious in the very same particular way that I am religious".

Many religious people *support* gay marriage. Your particular religion isn't any more important than theirs is.

This is one of the reasons why religion doesn't belong in this debate. Every religious group, and even every individual within each group, will have their own personal interpretation of religion. Which one gets to win? None of them should.

@Mountanman --

"Can you prove there is no God?"

It's impossible to prove a negative. That's why the person who makes a positive claim -- e.g. "There is a God" -- is the person who bears the burden of proof in any debate.

George F
Salt Lake , UT

Amazon com - to answer the question about the New Testament

Neither is the man without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord (1 Cor 11:11)

Their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature; and likewise also the men eaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly (Rom 1:26-27)

salt lake city, utah

So just how does God arbitrate a divorce settlement? And tell us mountainman just who created God, or did God just evolve sort of like the ameboeba?


@George F --

"Neither is the man without the woman...(1 Cor 11:11)"

This chapter actually says it's a sin for a woman to pray with her head uncovered, and that women are inferior to men. Do you therefore expect women to take up the hijab? This says nothing about sexuality.

"Their women did change the natural use.... (Rom 1:26-27)"

1. Paul also forbade women to speak in church and thought they were inferior to men. (1 Cor 14:34)
2. Paul also supported slavery (Col 3:22).

Do you really agree with *everything* Paul said?

If you want to listen to Paul, try this:

"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

Romans 13: 8-10

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