church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
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28-04-2014, 11:00 AM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
Here's the way I see it.... the only way that, in my mind, can be consistent with the 1st amendment of the Constitution. (US, of course.)

The churches are allowed to conduct pretty much whatever ceremonies they wish within their walls, with a few very loose limits (no murder-sacrifices, no assault, no rape, consenting adults only, etc). If they wish to perform a marriage ceremony for two guys or a guy and five women, they're allowed to. If they wish to update their internal records to say that they're married, they're allowed to. If they wish to update their own records on the basis of a marriage performed in a different denomination's church, they may do that as well. If they wish to not recognize those ceremonies, they may decline to do so. That's free practice of religion.

The government, in turn, can set its own standards for who is or isn't married, and apply those standards to things like tax filing status, spousal benefits, next of kin status and basically everything that involves the law discriminating based on marital status. They may recognize ceremonies performed in churches, or not, if they wish, so long as they treat all churches equally and allow for a non-religious alternative. Churches are freely allowed to perform ceremonies that the government will not recognize, but the married couple may not then file jointly on a tax return. That would be fraudulent. They are married as far as their church is concerned, but not as far as the law is concerned. Nor are churches which perform marriages not recognized by the government allowed to advertise that those marriages are legally recognized, and ideally they should give the warning that they are not. Similarly, the government may not mandate that churches perform ceremonies that the churches deem inappropriate. Such couples may have to shop around for a suitably liberal minister, or take the non-religious alternative (eg, a judge).

In short, religion (and possibly other social groups) should be in the business of marriage, and government should be in the business of civil unions, and a couple (or more!) may try to get both, one, or neither as they choose, as they qualify.

So no, I don't think this suit should win, because the government is not mandated to recognize ANY doctrine of ANY church, much less marriage ceremonies, and-...

Quote:State law says it is a misdemeanor crime for ministers to perform a marriage ceremony without having a marriage license for a couple.

...... well DAMN. That changes things. Hell yeah, that suit should go through. Just because the government doesn't recognize gay marriage doesn't mean it's allowed to prevent churches from performing services. That's a definite violation of free practice of religion and separation of church and state.
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28-04-2014, 11:16 AM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
(28-04-2014 10:29 AM)Impulse Wrote:  ... Religion clearly has had an influence, but that's not the same as it being the law.

You're absolutely right.

So take a case of religious interference that doesn't involve criminality: the religious employers' complaint that being forced to provide contraceptives as a medical insurance benefit to their employees infringes their free religious practice. They're right - it definitely infringes their free practice. Chops off an entire limb of long established practice, without anaesthetic. The court is still trying to adjudicate the outcome.

Not long ago there was a dust up of religious pharmacy employees refusing to fill contraceptive and "morning after" prescriptions on the grounds that it violated their free religious practice. Yeah it did. Of course it did. I don't recall the outcome but whatever it was I'm pretty sure it didn't materially interfere with the public's right to get prescriptions filled promptly.

I'm not opposed to a court declaring a particular religious practice as acceptable, but only if it does so on the merits of the practice, NOT as a granting of general religious liberty. Any legal measure that strengthens "general" religious liberty doesn't strengthen but weakens general liberty, as it makes us all hostage to religious whim.
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29-04-2014, 09:57 AM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
(28-04-2014 10:50 AM)Charis Wrote:  ... deleted my post because I'm being nonsensical ...

O c'mon. Any day gotten all the way through without any nonsense in it is a day wasted. Tongue
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29-04-2014, 11:46 AM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
(28-04-2014 09:46 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  The wording of the 1st amendment was a mistake, wording that hopefully will be corrected, and our culture and laws wisely do not apply that wording literally:

"... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..."

That's impossible in a civilization. Literal application of that sentiment is anarchy.

I think the real problem is that we have forgotten the context in which that was written and the original understanding of what was meant:

"The religious persecution that drove settlers from Europe to the British North American colonies sprang from the conviction, held by Protestants and Catholics alike, that uniformity of religion must exist in any given society. This conviction rested on the belief that there was one true religion and that it was the duty of the civil authorities to impose it, forcibly if necessary, in the interest of saving the souls of all citizens. Nonconformists could expect no mercy and might be executed as heretics. The dominance of the concept, denounced by Roger Williams as "enforced uniformity of religion," meant majority religious groups who controlled political power punished dissenters in their midst."

Laws that did things like allow prayer in Christian churches, but not Islamic mosques, were common at the time and the kind of thing the first amendment was designed to prohibit. Taken out of the context of disparate treatment of religions, or laws designed to target religious beliefs or non-beliefs rather than secular necessities, the clause would render all laws unenforceable, which was obviously not the intent.[/quote]
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29-04-2014, 12:09 PM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
(28-04-2014 11:16 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(28-04-2014 10:29 AM)Impulse Wrote:  ... Religion clearly has had an influence, but that's not the same as it being the law.

You're absolutely right.

So take a case of religious interference that doesn't involve criminality: the religious employers' complaint that being forced to provide contraceptives as a medical insurance benefit to their employees infringes their free religious practice. They're right - it definitely infringes their free practice. Chops off an entire limb of long established practice, without anaesthetic. The court is still trying to adjudicate the outcome.

Not long ago there was a dust up of religious pharmacy employees refusing to fill contraceptive and "morning after" prescriptions on the grounds that it violated their free religious practice. Yeah it did. Of course it did. I don't recall the outcome but whatever it was I'm pretty sure it didn't materially interfere with the public's right to get prescriptions filled promptly.

I'm not opposed to a court declaring a particular religious practice as acceptable, but only if it does so on the merits of the practice, NOT as a granting of general religious liberty. Any legal measure that strengthens "general" religious liberty doesn't strengthen but weakens general liberty, as it makes us all hostage to religious whim.
This really is a tangent to the original topic. You had stated that there was a time when the Bible was the law and I simply wanted to correct that. You agreed with my correction so that really is that.

In the interest of not derailing this thread, I'm not going to comment on your two examples of "religious interference" because we disagree that those are examples of interference with religion which means the thread would get derailed. I seem to recall there already being another thread about this in the politics forum anyway awhile back.

Regarding your last paragraph, I understand the point that you are raising and I have to think some more about it. It's not a simple "all or none" situation in my opinion, but practically speaking maybe it has to be in order to avoid the slippery slope.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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29-04-2014, 12:30 PM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
I wonder if these shitheads would demand the 'unfettered' practice of religion if some muslim shitheads wanted to stone an adulterer.

Eh, they probably would. Bad example.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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29-04-2014, 02:10 PM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
(28-04-2014 09:15 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  a new twist in fighting gay marriage bans.....I'm shocked its coming from NC.

church sues because bans limit practice of religion

The Bible condemns homosexuality 3 times in the OT, and once in the NT. It makes my head hurt to try to understand HOW they could support both equal rights AND the Bible.
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29-04-2014, 05:12 PM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
(29-04-2014 02:10 PM)Bible Belt Brawler Wrote:  
(28-04-2014 09:15 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  a new twist in fighting gay marriage bans.....I'm shocked its coming from NC.

church sues because bans limit practice of religion

The Bible condemns homosexuality 3 times in the OT, and once in the NT. It makes my head hurt to try to understand HOW they could support both equal rights AND the Bible.

UCC is in the liberal wing of Christianity. Biblical literalism is not a doctrine. Much of the Bible is identified as metaphor or artifice of the culture that wrote it, and much greater emphasis is placed on passages and quotes about compassion, kind treatment, charity, etc, than one would extract from a literal reading of the Bible.

Liberal Christianity is almost a separate religion from fundamentalist, evangelical, etc Christianity, and they draw considerable criticism from religious conservatives. They're actually our allies on most issues, including gay rights, other human rights, separation of church and state. I kinda wish more atheists would realize that. (I also kinda wish they were more aggressive in fighting back against conservative Christians, but eh, can't have everything.)
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29-04-2014, 05:18 PM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
enhances it really

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29-04-2014, 06:36 PM
RE: church says gay marriage bans limit their practice of religion
I know we condemn theists a lot for picking and choosing what parts of the bible they follow, but should we be thankful that this particular church has at least chosen the right parts to cherry pick? Love, equality and all that shit. As opposed to pretty much every other church that is cherry picking Leviticus whatever:whatever...

At least they're not stuck in the 800's. It says something when the biggest enemy against gay marriage (besides ignorance and cunts), religion, steps up to defend it.
It's a message to politicians like "if we can see this is stupid, why can't you?".

I'd shake their hand if I could, it's a pity theists couldn't be more like these theists.

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