Re: Shapes of a Wedge

From: William Hamilton <>
Date: Sun May 23 2004 - 14:10:17 EDT

On Saturday, May 22, 2004, at 12:36 PM, jack syme wrote:

> I think it is clear that the state has an interest in domestic
> relationships, of the long-term-committed-to-one-other-person type.
> And the
> interests are widespread and involve things such as financial and
> economic
> concerns, child rearing and adoption, to proxy decision making. So,
> the
> state needs to have a definition of marriage, and a means to make
> marriages
> happen, that is free of any religious reasoning, and without involving
> religious institutions, if we are serious about keeping church and
> state
> separate. Something that is debatable of course, but I suspect,
> thinking as
> a Christian believer, that we probably do want.

I'm still thinking about this, but I wonder if the problem is not that
the state calls the licenses it issues "marriage licenses" and that a
ceremony performed by a government official is called a "marriage
ceremony". The state of course has a legitimate interest in
registering marriages and, perhaps, other long-term unions where there
are children, either by artificial insemination or adoption. But
calling a union not performed by clergy under the rules of a religion
marriage may be intrusion by the state into the domain of religion.
Bill Hamilton Rochester, MI 248 652 4148
Received on Sun May 23 14:11:05 2004

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