Comments about ‘My view: Religious marriage separate from government’

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Published: Thursday, June 19 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Phoenix, AZ

"These groups have believed that marriage is a spiritual contract between a man, a woman and God, and that this contract is part of an eternal process"

In the Old Testament and even the New, religion and government was one and the same. So, it is not correct to say that marriage was only a spiritual contract back in the day.

Bob K
Davis, CA

Perhaps those of us (including me) who are above the age at which we are still likely to marry ought to keep our opinions to ourselves, and listen to the younger generations, who are yet to marry.

This article would make sense if it were factually correct, which it is not.

I know the DN must push itself to print anything that vaguely agrees with the official mormon views, so I was not surprised to see this, but most of it is fantasy, at best.

Maybe 10 years ago, this piece would be worthy of discussion -- or even 5 years ago -- but now, to anyone who sees what is going on, I compare this to "Let's keep the buggy whip factories open, because the horseless carriage is a fad"

Many people of the same sex, particularly if raised mormon, feel that God has given them their partners to love and be family with forever. I think that Jesus would be the first to urge us to honor that.

Far East USA, SC

"Marriage has never been a government granted right"

I was married in Utah and my Marriage License was issued by the State of Utah and the ceremony was performed by a Circuit Court Judge.

Try getting legally "married" without that and then tell me that it is not a "government granted right"

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"For thousands of years, marriage has been defined by religious culture and has been practiced functionally as a religious contract between man, woman and God. Marriage has never been a government granted right, but a god-given commandment..."

Lost me right there.

If we are going to have an honest debate about gay marriage then we need to honestly describe history the best we can and not look at it through Mormon glasses. We've tried this tainted argument before and it just hasn't worked well in the courts.

Br. Jones
East Coast, MD

Respectfully, you need to check your history. While it was never seen on a large scale, polygamy was practiced in Hinduism for thousands of years and it has no principle forbidding it.

seattle, WA

If Adam and Steve who are good members of the Congregationalist Church (which approves of gay marriage) wish to get marriage, what gives you the right to thwart their intentions? Is your religion superior? Because that is what you are saying.

Secular government serves as a means to protect minorities in religion from the tyrannies of the majority religions. In this way we prevent open hostilities. Witness the Middle East and the endless intra-secular conflicts between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

And besides, Utah voted to prevent even civil marriages with its vote. In this way the people of Utah showed animus to homosexual marriage or civil unions. And animus to those who follow different religious beliefs.

Your option may have been a good one when the debate started. However, the determination of the religious fundamentalists in sync with the bigotry of many to kill any public recognition of the inherent right for gay couples to be treated equally before the law put the issue where it is now. You reap the whirlwind when you refuse to compromise or acknowledge other's rights to equal treatment and claim a religiously superior belief system.

Provo, UT

For thousands of years, marriage has been defined by religious culture and has been practiced functionally as a religious contract between man, woman and God. Marriage has never been a government granted right"

Government and religion were often the same back in the day.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, take the libertarian approach and get government out of marriage completely. The license fee hardly raises revenue. People could have whatever organization or religion they want to take care of marriage and divorces by agreement.

Springville, UT

Marriage is a legal contract. The sacrament portion is a religious rite. They should be completely and entirely separated. That is the only solution. Why do many Americans want to keep mixing government and religion? They are best when kept apart.

American Fork, UT

I think that is the way we will need to go since the government seems to want to tell religious organizations and everyone else what is right and what is wrong.

Let's take a vote on morality. All in favor of killing this group say AY, opposed Nay. AYs have it. Civil protections seems to be going by the wayside in favor of the "voice of the people".

Seriously, many foreign countries already have this practice and it seems to work out well enough.

Eagle Mountain, UT

The only way religious freedom is protected is by a secular society with secular laws.

Otherwise, we lose religious freedom. One religion will ultimately win out, and other beliefs will be crushed into insignificance.

Either we have a secular society with religious freedom, or we have a State Church. It is truly a binary choice with no alternative. My religious freedom is only as protected as the least popular religion's rights. Our laws must be religiously neutral.

Laws need to be based on if harm can be demonstrated to another person, or society as a whole. My freedoms cannot trump another's; nor can theirs trump mine. That is equal protection under the law.

Unless harm to someone else's life, liberty, property or rights can be shown we have no legal basis to deny same sex marriage.

Seattle, WA

This article hurts my head. Even though Mr. Woolley and I live in the same country and belong to the same church, his view of history, law, and religion is completely foreign to me. I do not understand his defensiveness and fear.

In my view religious rites and truths cannot be changed by law and will not fall to secular "attacks." To believe that the government can change religious truths suggests that religious truths are weak and changeable. Loyalty to God does not require a rejection of secular society--in fact, secular society is a foundation of religious freedom. Living in a secular world requires tolerance and respect for all sincere beliefs. Loyalty to God requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I am glad that Mr. Woolley at least recognizes the importance of ensuring civil protections for every citizen, including same-sex couples. The best way to provide equal protection for same-sex couples is through the government legal contract we call marriage.

American Fork, UT

This is reaching. You can say marriage is the domain of religion when divorce is, too. Otherwise, it's a legal contract. Religion is a very optional veneer on it.

Huntsville, UT

My previous comment was seemingly denied as it hasn't appeared. My comments on other articles have been pulled after-the-fact for some reason, maybe I shouldn't comment at all moderators?

In any case, the author of this opinion piece doesn't know his history of marriage. Thousands of years ago same-sex marriages were recognized, right along with opposite sex marriages, in many cultures. If he's going to make broad statements he should at least learn some of the facts first.

Orem, UT

Do we really want our country to be ran by religions?

How has that worked for the middle-east?

As someone who has been to other countries and studies history for a living, I grow increasingly weary of the vocal minority desiring that religion control our government.

We indeed live in scary times. Do we really want to become a theocracy? Is that what the FF imagined?

Provo, UT

Those who oppose same sex marriage and want to be taken seriously must cease the spewing of completely false statements, beginning with this one:

"Yet today, religion is being attacked by the secular world."

There is no "attack" on marriage. Same sex couples simply seek marriage equality - to have the same legal and social status as their opposite sex couple counterparts.

If that is an "attack", then the "sharing" of the gospel is an "attack" on the LDS faith by trying to extend its benefits and blessings to those who are not members!


This is already being done. There are quite a few "spiritual" marriages all over the west. It's only legally binding under the "law." There is where it gets tricky.

99352, WA

Whew, that was some first class pearl clutching.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

@Ranch Hand: "In any case, the author of this opinion piece doesn't know his history of marriage. Thousands of years ago same-sex marriages were recognized, right along with opposite sex marriages, in many cultures."

Well that is news to me. Can you go into more detail?

(I am skeptical, about 20 years ago someone made the 'discovery' that in the first few centuries of Christianity that there were religious blessings of same gender friendships and so they extrapolated and concluded that same gender sexual unions were being blessed.)

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

Apparently the author failed to pull the Wooley (pun) over the eyes of most readers judging by the posts here. Of course the author is trying to support the position of a religious organization with this "unbiased" editorial. There would be no debate if the religious organizations accepted the LGBT community as equals and not sinners.

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