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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:34 pm 
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For centuries marriage ceremonies were governed by religious institutions. A representative of whatever church the couple belonged to would oversee the vows of matrimony. People were not considered married unless it was recognized by the church, sinigogue (sp), temple or what have U. Now, in the 21st Century those belonging to the legislative and legal branches of governments feel the need to take the issue upon themselves by enacting laws and striking down laws, respectively, that govern marriage. Actually, they've done it for years. That's why Van Sensei can't marry his first cousin. (lol Just an example Van, nothing personal meant.) The big issue is one we have all heard of in the news. Same sex marriage. But, I am baffled that lawmakers and judicial officials are even willing to put their nose, butts, and careers on the line to debate this topic to begin with. If I were in their position (just a short pass, I promise.) I would simply pass the whole issue off on the established religious institutions to decide. Lawmakers should, in my ever soo humble opinion, enact a law stating that marriage is traditionally a religious institution, therefore, if an established religious institution deems it in their unique spiritual providence the belief that same sex couples can and should enjoy the privilege and right of Holy matrimony, then that is the pervue (oddly similar to pervert, don't U think? lol) of the religious institution in which the couple belongs and the state should recognise such beliefs and honor the marriage. I say, "established religious institutions" so that some yahoo doesn't go and invent the World Church of Homesexuals or something similar. Maybe a religious institution could be defined as a religious institution that has gained a wide acceptance and following among the people. That way cults that spontaniously spring up can't claim to be a religious institutions.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:41 pm 
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For centuries marriage ceremonies were governed by religious institutions. A representative of whatever church the couple belonged to would oversee the vows of matrimony. People were not considered married unless it was recognized by the church, sinigogue (sp), temple or what have U.


Not in Massachusetts. In the early days of the Mass. Bay Colony, marriage was a secular, civil procedure governed by the civil laws of the Colony. The religious leaders had no say in the matter.

There are other legitimate reasons for local legislatures to create some broad rules - like age, closeness of relation, one-spouse-at-a-time - to govern marriage.

And no law requires a religious denomination to sanction a wedding that they oppose.

Jesus was considered such a yahoo of his day that he was executed. Mohammed was considered such a yahoo of his day that he was driven from Mecca.

Gene


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:34 am 
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Simple solution:

1) state out of marriage: churches can marry whomever they please, state does not bless religious unions

2) religion out of government sanctioned unions: no religious reasons to ban interracial, cross cultural, cross religion, or same sex etc marriage. People have to have a reason to curtail someone's right to form a union, and valid reasons include ability to consent (eg no horses, children, parents with children) and health (relatives in general). People can argue about particulars (if the government can ban the relatively safe cousin marriage, why can't they ban the 1/4 deadly CF gene carrier marriage) but the basic premise is freedom and separation of church and state.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:45 pm 
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because "seperation of church and state" is NOT in the Constitution. Its a phrase coined by Pres. Kennedy.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:26 pm 
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This site has some interesting history about the development of the constition and the Bill of Rights with respect to religion. I'm not sure of the author or accuracy but it seems to make sense.

http://www.geocities.com/ldjandl/thesis ... igion.html

Quote:
We do know that there were several versions of the freedom of religion which were discussed. The one version, which was titled as Article the Third, stated; "Congress shall make no law establishing religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor shall the rights of Conscience be infringed."[54] Other versions included "Congress shall make no law establishing one religious sect or society in preference to others." and "Congress shall not make any law infringing the rights of conscience, or establishing any religious sect or society."[55] Finally, on December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified[56] and the version which was agreed upon is as follows; "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."[57]


Footnote 57 is the first amendment which can be found here:
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/cons ... endment01/
Which reads
Quote:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


And also interestingly gives the history of the Mormon cases:
Quote:
The Mormon Cases .--The Court's first encounter with free exercise claims occurred in a series of cases in which the Federal Government and the territories moved against the Mormons because of their practice of polygamy. Actual prosecutions and convictions for bigamy presented little problem for the Court, inasmuch as it could distinguish between beliefs and acts. 197 But the presence of large numbers of Mormons in some of the territories made convictions for bigamy difficult to obtain, and in 1882 Congress enacted a statute which barred ''bigamists,'' ''polygamists,'' and ''any person cohabiting with more than one woman'' from voting or serving on juries. The Court sustained the law, even as applied to persons entering the state prior to enactment of the original law prohibiting bigamy and to persons as to whom the statute of limitations had run. 198 Subsequently, an act of a territorial legislature which required a prospective voter not only to swear that he was not a bigamist or polygamist but as well that ''I am not a member of any order, organization or association which teaches, advises, counsels or encourages its members, devotees or any other person to commit the crime of bigamy or polygamy . . . or which practices bigamy, polygamy or plural or celestial marriage as a doctrinal rite of such organization; that I do not and will not, publicly or privately, or in any manner whatever teach, advise, counsel or encourage any person to commit the crime of bigamy or polygamy . . . ,'' was upheld in an opinion that condemned plural marriage and its advocacy as equal evils. 199 And, finally, the Court sustained the revocation of the charter of the Mormon Church and confiscation of all church property not actually used for religious worship or for burial.200


Footnoes 197-200 are linked on the original site.

Polyamoury and polygamy are generally still as unwelcome as concepts in this country as they were in 1882. However gay sex and gay marriage have been slowly gaining support in this country as well as others. I know that polygamy still exists in many other countries as well though it's not my cup of tea.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:35 pm 
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Dana Sheets wrote:
Polyamoury and polygamy are generally still as unwelcome as concepts in this country as they were in 1882. However gay sex and gay marriage have been slowly gaining support in this country as well as others. I know that polygamy still exists in many other countries as well though it's not my cup of tea.


There are activists in the "alternative lifestyle" community (I know some) who believe and practice polyamoury. 8O They don't practice polygamy because it is specifically illegal, but they all live together. There are also groups that get shown on the TV sleaze magazines, usually during ratings week, that have established entire towns (yes, in the U.S. no, not in the South :roll: ) that practice polygamy and even incest.

There are physiological reasons to stop incest and relations between relatives, but just about everyone I know who's ever gone through a divorce wonders why anyone would ever consider polygamy! Many folks might not think it is wrong, per se... but they do wonder, after dealing with problems between two spouses how difficult it would be to deal with problems between more than two spouses! Regardless, as Dana points out, it's not my cup of tea, but with the growing acceptance of gay marriage, what exactly IS the argument against plural marriage?

Is there some medical argument? Or is it a moral argument? If it's a moral argument, then why is that any different from the moral argument that has been made by some against gay marriage? :?

Just wondering...


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:43 pm 
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The Constitution states that laws can't be enacted in preference of any one religion over others and that a religious state can not be declared. Why do U think Rhode Island was founded? Roger Williams (an ancestor of mine :) ) didn't like the way the Puritans of Massachusetts forced people to practice the Puritan religion. Thus the phrase, "U can not have freedom of religion without freedom from religion" was coined.

But, freedom of religion is different from the seperation of church and state. Maybe I should have written that Centuries ago marriage was a religious institution? I think that was the original intent of the practice. Heck, Henry VIII had to make his own church for England so he could divorce his wives, didn't he?

Bigamy, Polygamy, Polyamoury, etc. How much drama and how many headaches can people self inflict into their lives? Aren't monogamous relationships stressful enough? As far as same sex - to each his/her own. But, just like religion, don't push it on me. I couldn't care less what others do as long as it doesn't adversely effect me or the people I care about.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:48 pm 
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Panther wrote:
Is there some medical argument? Or is it a moral argument? If it's a moral argument, then why is that any different from the moral argument that has been made by some against gay marriage?

Just wondering...

Since several established religions tend to preach against same-sex relations and marriage (as is evident by Griffin's position), we can probably assume that a strictly religious/moral argument would tend to tie the issues together.

If you want arguments (from where the moon doesn't shine), I can opine a few.

SELFISHNESS: In most communities, the ratio is 50/50. If for some reason 95% of men died out in a short period of time, polygamy or prehaps sperm donation to women who wanted to conceive would make sense. But with the 50/50 ratio, polygamy means you're going to get haves and have-nots.

And what's good for the gander is good for the goose, no? Why shouldn't women argue for equality here? What's to stop a highly-desireable woman from entering into a union with a number of men? And that creates its own issues, as she can only have one child at a time...

Do we really need to go there? I'm all for free love, but Monday morning eventually rolls around.

GENETICS: A population is healthiest with genetic diversity. Allowing for polygamy means reduced variability in the gene pool. What may be advantageous today could dramatically change with an extreme hiccup in the environment. Whenever this happens - and it is guaranteed eventually to happen again - those species with the greatest genetic diversity are most likely to survive the catastrophic change. You want some odd booger or two in the gene pool to be the perfect fit for the new world so homo sapiens can carry on.

SOCIAL: Think of the impact of a young father with 4 wives and 16 kids when he is killed in a car wreck.

Those are just a few reasons...

Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:08 pm 
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Griffin

I'd like to follow up Dana's post with one of my own. I actually started to post on this, but held back for a day.

Being a graduate and former faculty of the University of Virginia, I know quite a bit about Thomas Jefferson. Here's a picture of his tombstone. He chose what was to be put on it. Note the lack of reference to being president of the United States. That shows you how important he thought these other accomplishments.

Image

Here is a link that shows this statute for religious freedom.

[url=http://www.religioustolerance.org/virg_bil.htm]Jefferson's 1777 Draft of a
Bill for Religious Freedom
[/url]

Note the following:
Quote:
It promoted religious freedom for the state of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison promoted the bill for years before it was finally passed by the Virginia legislature. At the time, the Anglican Church was officially recognized as the state religion. The law disestablished that denomination. An alternate proposal that many other denominations be recognized was rejected.

This bill is often called "the precursor to the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment" of the U.S. Constitution. 1 It is this Amendment that guarantees religious freedom for the individual, while erecting a wall of separation between church and government.

So you can see, Griffin, that your proposal is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. And I am thankful of that, and all the foresight Jeffeson had when crafting his work.

Here's another quote I like...
Quote:
Render unto Ceasar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's


Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:26 pm 
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I'm not polyrmorous myself, but I do know a bit about it, and think these reasons against it are a bit specious. I'd suggest reading about it if you haven't. A faq can be a good place to start. http://www.faqs.org/faqs/polyamory/faq/ It seems like people are starting with a lot of misconceptions here.


Quote:
... what's good for the gander is good for the goose, no? Why shouldn't women argue for equality here?


That is typically the norm in polyamory as far as I'm aware. The harem situation isn't quite the same.

Bill Glasheen wrote:
SELFISHNESS:
with the 50/50 ratio, polygamy means you're going to get haves and have-nots.


Actually one of the purported benefits is that polyamory avoids the situation where one person wants to do something and the other doesn't. With multiple people, there's both a greater chance that one of the others shares a particular goal at any given time, and also less reason to feel obligated to do activities you're not interested in.

Quote:
GENETICS: A population is healthiest with genetic diversity. Allowing for polygamy means reduced variability in the gene pool.


If you're restricting your view of polygamy to the circumstance of one man with many wives then yes. But a more egalitarian polyamorous community will actually have more genetic diversity.

Quote:
SOCIAL: Think of the impact of a young father with 4 wives and 16 kids when he is killed in a car wreck.


Again, if you're only thinking in terms of one man to many women, you might worry about this. However, I would also suggest that unless this man is the financial support for everyone, the sitation is actually more stable because instead of losing half of the potential wage earners and parent figures, you're only losing 1/5. And the emotional support is greater by virtue of the fact that they're all there to support each other. If one of the widows can't handle the loss, there's at least the possibility that the others will be able to take care of things while she recovers.

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- Justin Powell


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:29 pm 
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The big difference between polyamoury and adultery is that you promised you wouldn't. Many many people are polyamourous - particularly in college. 8O :lol: But they'd never want to be called that. They're just "players."

And none of it would really matter except for the over 1000 rights and legal protections you get with that little piece of paper from the state and that magical little word "marriage"

Hopsital visitation rights
property rights
child custody and protection rights
insurance benefits
social security benefits
will and estate transfer
joint taxes
....the list is long.

And what about swingers? There are still swinging clubs in this country - anybody going to take away their marriage licenses?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:05 pm 
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Well if you want to get strictly into polyamoury, these days you can't eliminate increased risk of spreading STDs as an important topic. Yea, yea, safe sex... Actually you can have safER sex. But there's no such thing as safe sex.

Speaking of college days, all I have to say is that I'm glad I "experienced" my youth before really bad stuff started going around... 8O

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:43 pm 
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Actually Bill, my argument isn't really against the Constitution. I didn't say that any law should name one particular church as the sole arbitar of what should or should not be considered a legitimate marriage. Just that the legislative and Legal branches of our government should put the responsibility back where it originated. With religious scholars, clerics and clergy. I do however, agree with your point against polygamy and the effects it could have on the global gene pool.

I am spiritually at odds with the entire argument because, despite my arguments here, I do not believe in organized religion. Also, Bill, I thank U for the enlightening little bit about Thomas Jefferson, although it doesn't prove your point in the slightest. What it proves is that Thomas Jefferson fought for religious freedom. But, there isn't any article, clause or amendment in the Constitution that states anything about the seperation of church and state. He fought so that there wouldn't be a state religion, and I'm glad he did. Its bad enough living in the south, in the middle of the Bible Belt as it is!! What would it be like if there were a state religion?!? AAAAAAAAAAAUGH!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:54 pm 
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Griffin wrote:
What it proves is that Thomas Jefferson fought for religious freedom. But, there isn't any article, clause or amendment in the Constitution that states anything about the seperation of church and state. He fought so that there wouldn't be a state religion, and I'm glad he did.

These are indeed points of contention.

The whole point of having a Supreme Court is to interpret whatever the heck "it" all means.

If you read Jefferson's original Virginia statute, it speaks volumes. For instance...
Quote:
that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry

***

WE, the General Assembly of Virginia, do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

***

If you want to know from whence the ideas in the U.S. Constitution came from, well you're looking at it. Wording tends over time to become more parsimonious.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:15 pm 
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Again, that's a Virginia statute. Not a part of the Constitution. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for the seperation of church and state. But, we can't claim that its a part of the Constitution. It isn't. There can't be organized prayer at school sponsored events so as not to offend athiests. But a young muslim girl has just recently been alloud the right to bow to Mecca for her second daily prayer during school time. I believe it was in Florida? That prayer isn't sponsored by the school, thus not sponsored by the government. Both of these examples are not examples of the seperation of church and state, but examples of people being alloud their religious freedom. And since some people (myself included) wholeheartedly support the idea of seperating church and state, why is it not appropriate for the legislature to assign providence of what was originally a religious institution back to religious organizations? It was their providence to begin with, give it back. If there is a church that supports gay marriage, then so be it. That's the perogative of the people who belong to that particular religious community or organization.


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