Re: Shapes of a Wedge

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Sun May 23 2004 - 19:35:17 EDT

On Sun, 23 May 2004 14:47:37 -0400 "George Murphy" <>
> The idea that the state marries people is also problematic:
> It is a
> man and woman who marry one another, not a judge or a pastor. (In
> the
> marriage service of the Lutheran Book of Worship the presiding
> minister does
> not say "I now pronounce you husband and wife" but "A and B, by
> their
> promises before God and in the presence of this congregation, have
> bound
> themselves to one another as husband and wife.") The Genesis
> creation
> accounts suggest that marriage has a priority over the state.
> the government and some Christians might not look at it that way.
> Shalom
> George
I can't speak of all, but I know that at least in some of the Latin
American countries, the only valid marriage is the civil ceremony.
Religious ceremonies are not recognized. This seems to be the result of
anticlericalism. But adherents to the various faiths consider the
religious ceremony vital.

As to who marries, the problem seems to be like the silly notion that
circulated in educational circles: We teach children, not subjects.
Educators demonstrated that they are too ill-educated to know the
difference between direct and indirect objects--accusative and dative in
Latin or Greek, preventing something so silly from being said. That a
marriage is only between husband and wife holds only for common law
marriage, which I don't think is universally recognized, and then only
with the lapse of time. I think this takes years. And then it is a matter
of state legal provisions.

As for the LBW, I wonder if that meets the requirements of all the
states. I don't know what the express provisions are. The authority is
granted by the state for clergy to perform the ceremony for adherents and
those who want the appearance. However, the state's concern is not merely
for religious adherents, but for all citizens.

I recognize the divine order in marriage and the traditional phrase,
"What God has joined together ..." But I cannot transfer that to the
general population. I would wish that divine authority would be
recognized by all, but it's not going to happen. The best I can hope for
is that law will not finally depend on the whim of some judge with an
Received on Sun May 23 19:38:13 2004

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