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How Protestantism Redefined Marriage

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Dorothea, May 16, 2012.

  1. Dorothea

    Dorothea One of God's handmaidens

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    This blogger from Huffington Post is right, imo!

    she says in the article "Were it not for the Protestant Reformation, marriage would not be considered a civil institution today. Had Christians followed the early church's example, marriage would never have been thrust into the realm of the government at all.

    "In light of this, Christians find themselves in an ironic and divided situation. As citizens of a secular country they must be licensed by the state to validate a practice that is rooted in a religious belief. Should this be the case? Should a practice rooted in a Judeo-Christian faith even be under the auspices of government? If marriage had been left to the church, the church could marry those who practice and follow its beliefs. Civil unions among same-sex couples could be left to the government, providing the full range of civil liberties citizens in a democracy expect. The fact that marriage is governed by the state, defies its purpose intended by God for heterosexuals and prevents civil liberties from being granted to same-sex couples."

    Bethany Blankley: How Protestantism Redefined Marriage
     
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  2. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    Government shouldnt be involved at all, thats why we have lawyers and prenuptial agreements. Unfortunately traditional Orthodox countries like Greece are so enamored by everything european they put off the ottomon model in the early 80's which was successful to embrace democracy;s version of marriage and now there suffering the consequences.
     
  3. Joseph Hazen

    Joseph Hazen The Religious Loudmouth

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    Pretty sure marriage in the Empire was a civil affair, which was then just blessed afterwards by the Bishop and the couple received Holy Communion together and that 'sealed' it. It was a civil thing in the beginning though.
     
  4. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 scavenging in the wasteland for gasoline

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    In the Middle Ages, the religious and the secular in the West were very much one in the same. If you read Luther, he has great, great faith and trust in the civil authorities and in the "godly princes" and other magistrates and local royals, etc. He saw them as custodians of Christ's sacraments. Think about it...in Europe, your baptism was your citizenship in Western Europe. To excommunicate someone was like taking not only Christ away, but also really taking away your citizenship. They were all one in the same.

    As Europe evolved into nation-states with democracies and secular and religious machineries being mutually exclusive, you have what you see today.

    England saw the monarchy and parliament as the godly prince principal and put their faith in the government to make religious choices. Look at 2012 and see how that worked out with the C of E!!! What a mess!

    But I agree that the civil authorities have no business trying to define marriage. That is best left up to faith and religion. Gay "marriage" truly makes me want to puke.
     
  5. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Interesting to consider the perspective...
     
  6. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    it's a state issue in my opinion. personally I don't care either way, just so long as the Feds don't get their hands on marriage. they usually botch that kinda stuff up.
     
  7. Kristos

    Kristos Servant

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    I don't know if this is historically correct. I'm pretty sure that the Church got involved in what was originally a civil matter pretty early on. First by blessing the civil marriage and later by performing the civil marriage itself. As far as I can tell this had absolutely nothing to do with the reformation and protestantism - whoever I will still blame them for removing the sacramental nature of marriage and obscuring it's true purpose in the minds of most people.
     
  8. Lirenel

    Lirenel Orthodox Christian

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    Ancient Roman marriage was civil as well as religious - as the Romans seemed to have been with most things. Likely, that as much as anything else influenced Western views of marriage. I can't say I know enough about Jewish and other Eastern marriage views to comment on Eastern influences.

    Interestingly, the word 'matrimony' has the root word 'mater', which is Latin for 'mother' - meaning that the purpose of a marriage is for the bearing of legitimate children.
     
  9. Dorothea

    Dorothea One of God's handmaidens

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    Interesting thoughts, all. :)
     
  10. Dorothea

    Dorothea One of God's handmaidens

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    this blog comes on the heels of the ban of gay marriage and civil unions in the state of North Carolina. Here is an example of taking something to the extreme that will only shoot all of the far right-wingers who are against gay marriage in their feet. That kind of strict ban of even civil unions, which is not even a religious matter, is only going to hurt their cause and make more people angry and probably push for gay marriage more because of that.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/...nned-gay-marriage-civil-unions-011158194.html

    What are your thoughts?
     
  11. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    Sounds good to me. Still not as strict as getting married in an Orthodox Church in Israel.
     
  12. gracefullamb

    gracefullamb Junior Member

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    I disagree it isn't about being allowed to have at least civil unions. Pass this in entirety or allow civil unions and ban marriage and they are still going to fight it. Don't think giving them civil unions will end the issue, such a thought misses what the real issue is. They are just like a heterosexual couple and just want to be with the person they love so they should be allowed to marry or at least that is the argument being used.

    California has recognized domestic partnerships between gays as well as heterosexuals since 1999. Yet California is currently tossing away money it doesn't have nor will it have anytime in the next decade to argue at the ballot and through the courts about gays being allowed to have marriage. Why? If all they want is the same rights as a heterosexual married couple what was wrong with the law California passed in 1999, it guaranteed them those rights. It is also a law that pertains to and is used by heterosexuals that want to shack up but also want all the rights, protection, and privileges under the law of being married.

    Furthermore North Carolina isn't the odd man out in this debate those of you living in states that recognize marriage, civil unions or partnerships or whatever else you want to call it between two people of the same sex are odd man out in this debate, a whole whopping 6 states recognize same sex marriage. 30 states have a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. 12 states have passed laws banning same sex marriage or defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. Of those 42 states that ban same sex marriage only 11 of them recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships. Less than a half of the states have come down in favor of same sex civil unions or marriage. The majority of this country has had the opportunity in the last decade to vote on this matter in some form and have voted against it. In all the states that recognize civil unions and/ or domestic partnerships there is no difference under the law between that or a marriage.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  13. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    I realize a number of people will not consider this (and more's the pity) but one of the most powerful writings I have ever seen on the question of what has happened to marriage in the modern world was written in 1920 by.... yes, GK Chesterton.

    It's called "The Superstition of Divorce", and while it was aimed primarily at tbe attack on the family that easy divorce turned out to be, it is relevant to all of the modern attacks, including "gay marriage". Once I understood that divorce really IS a superstition, generally speaking, everything began to make sense. (I think the first time people hear that, they'd HAVE to do a double-take.)

    In short, a clear understanding of what marriage IS helps us to understand what it is NOT, and why.

    http://www.gkc.org.uk/gkc/books/divorce.txt

    The man always makes you think, and sometimes laugh.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  14. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    I'll also repeat that as long as we use these modern expressions that have been foisted on us - "heterosexual", etc - we lose, by framing things in the terms of the Enemy, the father of liars. Our language should express truth, not falsehood, and when we learn that a term does express a lie, we should abandon it.
     
  15. Protoevangel

    Protoevangel Smash the Patriarchy!

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    What you say here really does have a lot of wisdom to it. I'm not entirely convinced that completely "abandoning" the language of society is the whole answer, though. My take on it is that if we absolutely refuse to utilize to the language of the society we find ourselves in (especially in an anti-Christian society such as the US), our voice will be drowned out entirely; we will never do anything except talk past those we are speaking with.

    On the other hand, we absolutely need to keep our understanding grounded in the Faith. I believe that we CAN do that regardless of the language used. But to do it effectively, we MUST to stay aware of exactly that which you are warning us about; the inherent lie within that language being used, and the proper language that is our heritage and birthright.

    I do need to get better, because as you keep warning us (with good reason), I do see my attitudes start to change when I get too drawn into the language of the age, without reference to the language of sanity.

    I hope you don't take this as an argument against what you are saying here, but as my own uneducated and unrefined unrefined musing on the subject.
     
  16. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    I agree, and there certainly are nuances. But if I have accomplished the objective of forcing people to ask themselves "Should I be using this word at all? Where and when; in what context, if at all?" "Is its use really enabling or facilitating the spread of this insanity?"
    I will have done the first step of what I am trying to do - get people to stop taking that language for granted and using it without considering these questions.

    The law of charity might REQUIRE me to use that language. But I think that at least two-thirds of the time, it does not.
     
  17. JesusIsTheWay33

    JesusIsTheWay33 Guest

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    Yes and no. There wasn't much of a divide, but the Investiture Controversy under Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) had begun to create a divide between the two, IMO, and in the medieval period the concept of the "two swords" - one temporal and wielded by the state, and one spiritual and wielded by the church - was popular. Pope Boniface VIII's bull Unam Sanctam makes reference to this, and claims that temporal power must be subordinated to spiritual power. I believe Luther references this with a similar "doctrine of two kingdoms", perhaps a reference to Augustine (De Civitate XIV, ch. 28: "Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self.")

    As for Roman marriage: I believe in pagan Rome, there were several forms of marriage. There was a religious form of marriage (the confarreatio), which was presided over by the Pontifex Maximus and the Flamen Dialis (that is, the head of the various priestly colleges and the chief priest of Jupiter, respectively). The Flamen Dialis himself had to be married by this ceremony, and his parents had to have been, as well (presumably in this case he didn't part-celebrate the marriage himself!). It required ten witnesses to be present.

    There was also a kind of ceremonialised "sale" of the wife to the husband (!) called coemptio, which was performed in the presence of a scales-holder and five witnesses.

    There was also usus (again - !), in which, if a woman and man cohabited for a year, they were married. A woman could avoid this kind of marriage by absenting herself from her partner's home for three days and three nights. In all the three cases outlined above, the woman became mancipated by her husband - effectively, his property, though there were exceptions (a divorced woman who married by coemptio, for instance, became emancipated rather than mancipated).

    There was also marriage sine manu, which seems to have functioned like a usus marriage, except that the woman remained under her father's authority rather than transferring to her husband's. There doesn't appear to have been any ceremony, except the woman's father accompanying her to the groom's house. Children of the union were not considered part of the family of the mother's paterfamilias. Marriage sine manu became increasingly prevalent, so that cum manu marriage effectively ceased to function (except for Roman nobility) during the early imperial period.

    So it was effectively a state-administered affair (keeping in mind that people like the Flamen Dialis and the Pontifex Maximus were effectively state officials (and also keeping in mind just how odd Roman religion was...).

    It should also be pointed out that ancient Roman personal morality was radically different to Christian mores in many respects, and hopefully many of these things fell out of practice with the increasing Christianisation of the Empire.
     
  18. Protoevangel

    Protoevangel Smash the Patriarchy!

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    :thumbsup:
     
  19. Dorothea

    Dorothea One of God's handmaidens

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    I don't know. I guess I see it as a separation of church and state. Marriage is a sacrament performed in the Church. Civil unions and/or partnerships are of the secular society and I don't think we can force them to marry in the Church under the beliefs we believe in since everyone has free will to choose God's way or not. :sorry:
     
  20. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    The problem with this approach, Dorothy, is that the vast majority of people that we admit to be married are NOT married in the Church, yet we still acknowledge that they are married.

    We do not propose forcing people to marry in the Church. We DO propose denying legal acknowledgement that a man can be married to another man, to his pet dog or turtle, or whatever, for such acknowledgement means forcing US to acknowledge it as marriage, or make US the outcasts.
     
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