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Location: California, United States

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I saw an interesting article ...

in the Guardian today - Churches should celebrate bringing God into civil partnership ceremonies by Judith Maltby - here's part of it ....


Marriage is under threat, we hear from some church leaders. Not by heterosexuals with an ever-increasing divorce rate, but by gay and lesbian people who want to express their religious faith in their civil partnership ceremonies ....

So wwhy does the liberty to introduce God into civil partnership ceremonies devalue marriage? It would appear that there just isn't enough of God to go around. One cannot, apparently, honour and bless one pattern of living a faithful and committed life, without somehow devaluing another. It is the theological equivalent of printing too much money.

Western Christianity has been here before. Prior to the Reformation, marriage was the option for the spiritual "also rans": serious Christians showed just how serious they were by committing to various forms of monasticism, or the "religious life" (the term itself is very revealing). Aspects of the ceremonies of profession to the religious life had, and have, parallels with the marriage service; for example, women religious wear a ring to show they are married to Christ. This is why Martin Luther came so to despise it – with all the zeal of an ex-monk married to an ex-nun who discovered sex and marriage in middle age. The "lifestyle" of these religious, according to Luther, undermined marriage by providing another form of commitment which "devalued" it .....

Stability, love, faithfulness, commitment: these are the things in human relating that matter and the things the Church of England should be doing its best not to disparage or demonise but to foster and celebrate – in short, to bless. There really is enough of God to go around.



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