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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

INTERPRETING "MARRIAGE"

BRYCE ON SOCIETY
- Why true Christians disagree with same-sex marriages.

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Same-sex marriage was back in the news recently. In January, "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson made his views on homosexuality known in an interview for GQ Magazine, resulting in a temporary suspension from A&E executives. Earlier this month, Brendan Eich, was forced to step down as CEO of Mozilla for supporting California's Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage. Prior to this, such admissions were considered harmless until 2012 when President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage, thereby politicizing it.

The gay community cannot comprehend why anyone would not endorse their position and are ready to pounce on those opposing it, regardless of their religious convictions. By doing so, they have put gay rights on a collision course with religion via the Constitution, specifically the First Amendment addressing freedom of speech and religion.

In the Christian world, practitioners view marriage as a sacrament, a religious ceremony used as a sign of divine grace. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul:

* "man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one," (Gen. 2:24)

* "So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matthew 19:6).

Thus, marriage bestows the sanctity of the joining in the eyes of the Lord and their families who consent to the coupling for propagation purposes. From a purely biological perspective, this makes sense as homosexual couples obviously cannot reproduce. I cannot speak for other religions, but I cannot imagine a true Christian who doesn't accept this position. It is simply unfathomable to them and an affront to their sensibilities. Because of this, Christians have difficulty applying the word "marriage" to homosexual couples. Perhaps another word is in order, such as "union," "partnership" or whatever, a label which would not offend the senses of Christians. Same-sex marriage advocates obviously will disagree over this interpretation, contending only love is necessary to form a marriage.

Attacking Christians for possessing their beliefs is obviously an affront to the First Amendment by denying religious freedom. Further, the 14th Amendment guarantees religious civil rights:

"Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

This guarantees "equal protection of the laws" for every person, including religious civil rights. Frankly, I'm surprised people such as Phil Robertson have not invoked the 14th Amendment to defend themselves.

As long as there are people who consider marriage a religious institution, the concept of same-sex marriage will remain abhorrent, and disagreements will perpetuate. If you consider it something else, such as a political or social concept, you will have no trouble accepting it. Unless the government negates religious freedom, the followers of Jesus Christ will continue to resist it, and strong disagreements will continue unabated in the same vein as abortion.

The media has taken same-sex marriage to new levels of political correctness, thereby manipulating public opinion. The growing acceptance of it is indicative of the decline of religion in this country. Regardless of what you call it, to Christians it is not "marriage."

We must then ask what is the real issue here, marriage or the right to transfer property and benefits to another person legally? I suspect the latter. Surely legislation can be written to provide for legal partners of gay couples. Christian America should have no problem with providing for the rights of all of its citizens. They may not agree with their lifestyle and consider it unnatural, but the gay community is not going away anytime soon. The biggest problem for Christians is simply the distortion of the meaning of "marriage."

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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