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Author Topic: Huckabee scares me...
Morbo
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Video of Huckabee qualifying his remarks about changing the Constitution Plus links to several bloggers' reactions.
quote:
Colmes: When you make statements like that, changing the Constitution in keeping with your God.

Huckabee: On two things. The context is two things. Human life amendment, which I support and which has been in the Republican platform since 1980. And by the way, Fred Thompson doesnít support it, nor does John McCain. And yet itís part of our platform and itís a very important part of our platform to say that human life is something weíre going to stand for. And the second thing is traditional marriage. So those are the two areas in which Iím talking about. Iím not suggesting that we re-write the constitution to reflect tithing or Sunday school attendance. I want to make that very clear.


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String
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
I have problems with that link and the way this has been treated. To begin with, Huckabee was talking about a marriage ammendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Not widespread changes to the constitution like many have speculated. And in doing so, his quote "to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view" is in keeping with Christian beliefs. Too many people think that because we run our country as a democracy that christianity or any religion can be run the same way. As a christian I believe marriage is an institution created by God for a man and a woman. And I believe that's not changeable by a democratic vote. Because the last time I looked, God doesn't hold elections. Huckabee is talking about ammending the constitution to make legal marriage closer to the standards set forth by God.

The way this has been reacted to is typical. Find out what the dude is talking about. That source didn't bother to explain any of that or even include the full excerpt from his speech. The way it was quoted and presented was meant to be reactionary, and that's exactly the way many of you took it, and reacted without finding out what exactly he was talking about.

Yeah, this fuss might get Huckabee the Howard Dean treatment. I guess any given front runner is only one sound-bite away from disaster.

As far as the gay marriage and abortion issues go, neither are going to change. They are irrelevant issues designed to get one-issue voters into the camp of one or another candidate.

quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
So long as Congress also passes laws mandating and standardizing the manner of presidential elections across the US -- specifically, the voting technology.

Losing the paper ballot system scares me alot more than any one candidate actually being elected fairly.
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fugu13
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Exactly. If we're going to abolish the electoral college, Presidential elections need to be conducted in a nationally standardized and transparent manner.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Morbo:
Video of Huckabee qualifying his remarks about changing the Constitution Plus links to several bloggers' reactions.
quote:
Colmes: When you make statements like that, changing the Constitution in keeping with your God.

Huckabee: On two things. The context is two things. Human life amendment, which I support and which has been in the Republican platform since 1980. And by the way, Fred Thompson doesnít support it, nor does John McCain. And yet itís part of our platform and itís a very important part of our platform to say that human life is something weíre going to stand for. And the second thing is traditional marriage. So those are the two areas in which Iím talking about. Iím not suggesting that we re-write the constitution to reflect tithing or Sunday school attendance. I want to make that very clear.


I hope he elucidates on these two points further, the ambiguity does not calm my fears much.
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Dagonee
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quote:
As far as the gay marriage and abortion issues go, neither are going to change. They are irrelevant issues designed to get one-issue voters into the camp of one or another candidate.
People keep saying this, yet we are closer to overruling Roe than we have ever been. Roe was decided 7-2. Of the justices appointed by Republican presidents, two have explicitly said they won't overturn Roe v. Wade. The rest have either said they would, or have not made a definitive statement (Roberts and Alito).

Kennedy was appointed by Reagan; he upheld Roe in Casey. However, originally Reagan appointed Bork for that spot, who would definitely have voted to overturn Roe. Even so, Kennedy has enabled restrictions on abortion that would be unconstitutional were his predecessor still on the court.

Souter is the only justice who is a confirmed failure with respect to the goal of overturning Roe. That's not a bad record on the most important aspect of this issue.

And that record does not support a contention that the abortion issue is irrelevant.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
In my experience, just about very middle class white parent cares about education.
They care about their kid's education, not the work and duty of public education at large. Public schooling, criminal justice reform, and immigration aren't minority issues. They are moral issues. Just like Civil Rights wasn't a minority issue, it was a moral issue that the white voting majority had been bungling for hundreds of years. The problem is that white people are too busy chasing wealth and security to trouble themselves, so minorities have to take up the issues as their own.
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Javert Hugo
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Minorities aren't interested in wealth and security?
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Yes, that's what I said. [Roll Eyes]
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Javert Hugo
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Clearly, they simply more moral than the evil majority.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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No more evil than some mechanic in Iowa who tacitly believes it's his right to have an inside track to picking the President.
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Scott R
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Irami, please back up this statement:

quote:
[White people] care about their kid's education, not the work and duty of public education at large.

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erosomniac
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Or any of your statements, really.
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pooka
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quote:
I just don't understand how an intelligent person can talk the way he does.
If you mean Card, he's devoted several columns to energy independence. And perhaps he doesn't believe a smart withdrawal involves telling your enemies exactly how long they have to keep resisting you.

But back to Huckabee, he said McCain does not support the Live amendment. But McCain does believe in overturning Roe v. Wade. McCain opposes the instituting of gay marriage from the Judicial Bench and believes the decision should be made by the populace. I think this reflects McCain being a conservative and not looking to remedies such as constitutional amendments to settle every issue that comes up.

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Ron Lambert
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String, I did listen--right away--to the video of Huckabee's full original statement about wanting to change the U.S. Constitution. There was no mistaking what he meant. He went way beyond calling for an amendment to define marriage. He was not talking about making just one change in the Constitution.

I have in past years, from time-to-time, received part of nation-wide mass mailings from Evangelical organizations, whose primary burden is to remove the separation between church and state, which is spoken of with great contempt. Many Evangelicals feel the Non-Establishment clause in the First Amendment has been used to persecute Christians, proscribe their traditions like having manger scenes in public places, and penalize them for trying to have their own legitimate say in public discourse about policies and laws that should govern our society. I think they have largely misconstrued the situation, though they do have some basis for their grievances.

But I do know for a fact that the single most important change in the Constitution that many Evangelicals want is to do away with that hated Non-Establishment clause. This is more important than the definition of marriage, more important than abortion. You can be absolutely certain that if there are to be any changes made to the Constitution, regardless of the pretext, this changing of the Non-Establishment clause will definitely be on the agenda, even if it may be somewhat hidden at first.

I do not think that Gov. Huckabee is evil or a monster; I share many of the same core values he does. I just believe he is seriously wrong on this one issue, that happens to be of tremendous importance.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
quote:
I just don't understand how an intelligent person can talk the way he does.
If you mean Card, he's devoted several columns to energy independence. And perhaps he doesn't believe a smart withdrawal involves telling your enemies exactly how long they have to keep resisting you.

Logically I don't think that argument really makes sense. If they really wanted us to leave, all they'd have to do would be give up for a few months. Go underground. Violence drops, we leave, and then they can pop right back out again and fan the flames right back up, and I bet we wouldn't go back in. I'm not a particularly big fan of the regimented way the Democrats have largely gone about this either, but Bush has been wholly unwilling to negotiate in any manner of degrees. Democrats say we won't pull out, but we MUST have benchmarks, some way to measure our progress, and more importantly (and backed up by military officials) some way to pressure the Iraqi government into action. Bush says a blanket no to all of that and just says to give him more money and to trust him.

Given an intractable foe, Bush I mean, not the insurgents, they've chosen to quit negotiating too, and just want out. You can't blame them when they originally spent years trying to find a middle ground with a President wholly unwilling to negotiate, and it's not just with Iraq, he's like that on every damned issue.

Is the argument supposed to be that if we just keep going, thinking we'll stay forever they'll just give up? We're in a part of the world where populations resist invaders for decades, for centuries. The Russians were stymied in Afghanistan for a decade before they gave up and went home. A DECADE. And this was a war he said we'd win a in a few months. Oh but yes, things have changed now. Now that he's been proven wrong a dozen times over we have to adjust to the new reality and trust him THIS TIME. I'm sorry but bull, it's all bull. A man only gets to screw up so many times before you label him incompetent. It's not even a matter of honesty, he's just not competent.

Negotiations with Iraq's government should be carrot and stick. You entice them to make changes with rewards but threaten them with consequences, such as our withdrawel, to spur them forward. It's worked in international diplomacy, such as with North Korea, for hundreds of years, but Bush won't do it. He's offered them so many carrots I bet they have 20/10 vision by now.

Lines like "democrats are trying to ensure our defeat" play well when you're trying to whip up partisan fervor, but they do NOTHING to solve the situation, and I think it's intellectual dishonest to purposely misrepresent the Democratic position on the issue. Language like that is tantamount to calling Democrats treasonous and traitors, which hey, I guess isn't that far out of bounds for a Bush follower. Democrats don't WANT to lose the war, they thing Bush's mishandling is what has cost us so much so far. And anyone who thinks differently of them is either not paying close enough attention, or is lying intentionally to stoke partisan tensions.

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Morbo
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Huckabee has a recent interview on beliefnet:
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/228/story_22873_1.html

As in the Fox news piece, he continues to walk back his statement about the Bible and the constitution, limiting it to abortion and same-sex marriage (page 2 at the link).

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pooka
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quote:
He's offered them so many carrots I bet they have 20/10 vision by now.
That's a good one, honestly. We don't agree on hardly anything but you are very fun to talk to.

I felt we went wrong when Bremer was installed as the provisional government head honcho. Turns out he replaced a guy who wanted Iraqi elections within 90 days, and wound up resigning. That would have been the way to go, in my opinion, and constituted regime change rather than imperialism.

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by erosomniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
"OMG the fundies are comin'! Hide your laws!"

A quick fix to...
quote:
OMG the fundies are comin'! Hide ur lawz!"
...and we've got bumper sticker material!

Edit: in fact...

Have I told you lately that I love you?

-pH

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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More news from the Huckster
I think the thing that bewildered me most about this article was this.
quote:
Reacting to criticism by his own party that he is too liberal, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is highlighting his conservative, evangelical southern credentials to South Carolina primary voters.
I wouldn't have thought that Huckabee would be "too liberal", for pretty much anyone, but hey, I suppose I could be wrong.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
We don't agree on hardly anything but you are very fun to talk to.

I quite agree, and feel the same way about you. I'm sure we'll find plenty of things we agree on eventually. [Big Grin]

I'm not sure what my opinion is on immediate elections. My gut instinct is that you're right. Quick elections would have gotten a vote in before debaathification had taken place, which would have meant maybe a more equal election and not as much seclusion for the Sunnis. Also the Baaths, for better or for worse, are the ones with all the government experience. For whatever corruption was there before, kicking them out has only made the fledgling government more corrupt. And it also might have meant electing officials before the major political powers that that are entrenched now would have had a chance to form.

Plus, waiting as long as we did I think gave anti-US groups plenty of time to sow discontent among the people there. Invading, toppling the old dictator, and then installing a temporary leader, which 200 years ago might as well have been a Lord or Viceroy to rule our conquest until we sorted it out, couldn't have looked good to the locals who we expected to greet us with hugs and kisses. Between that and dissolving the Iraqi Army, we created a LOT of problems for ourselves very, very early on that I think could have been avoided. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on the elections, maybe, because we'd never done something like that before (who had?) and it was uncharted waters.

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pooka
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I found this interesting:
quote:
whether you call them Evangelical, or fundamentalist, or religious right, or Christian conservative voters
This was in a transcript of the News Hour.

Do people really not know the difference between these? To be honest, I didn't know what Evangelical meant until this past fall, but it's a wing of Presbyterianism that is know for building rather large churches, if I'm not mistaken. Huckabee was a Baptist minister. I think an awful lot of people kind of assume Huckabee is Evangelical.

I think some people use "Evangelical" the way "Shi'ite" was used in the 70's and 80's, to mean scary and militant, without any awareness that it is an actual sect.

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Javert Hugo
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Huckabee is an Evangelical. Your definition of an Evangelical is wrong.
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Jon Boy
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From Merriam-Webster:
quote:
1: of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels
2: protestant
3: emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching as contrasted with ritual
4 a
capitalized : of or relating to the Evangelical Church in Germany
b
often capitalized : of, adhering to, or marked by fundamentalism : fundamentalist
c
often capitalized : low church
5: marked by militant or crusading zeal : evangelistic <the evangelical ardor of the movement's leaders ó Amos Vogel>

I don't see how it's at all inaccurate.

[ January 18, 2008, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: Jon Boy ]

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Javert Hugo
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"wing of Presbytarianism known for building rather large churches"

There's nothing close to that in the MW definition.

Added: Or maybe JB wasn't addressing me. Never mind!

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pooka
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Huh, some of what I'm reading on wikipedia is familiar and some not. I guess that's why it sucks. The megachurches are still there, though.
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Javert Hugo:
Added: Or maybe JB wasn't addressing me. Never mind!

Nope. Your post wasn't there when I went to check M-W.
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kmbboots
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pooka, there is an evangelical wing of the Presbyterian Church. Several denominations have evangelical "branches". Evangelical, though, describes a type of belief and practice (see Jon Boy's post) that crosses denominational lines. Sometimes this is official - the Evangelical Lutheran Church, sometimes just descriptive - she is very evangelical about her beliefs.
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MattB
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The third of M-W's definitions is closest to what 'evangelical' as we generally use it in the United States means. The 'evangelical movement' in the US began in the early eighteenth century with the rise of charismatic, emotive Methodist preachers like George Whitefield and John Wesley who emphasized the importance of a personal, spiritual, saving relationship with Christ. The style quickly penetrated other denominations; the Presbyterians split into evangelical and non-evangelical wings in the early nineteenth century, as did the Congregationalists. However, the movement basically overrun the Baptists; there's only a fringe non-evangelical Baptist rump out there.

Evangelical, by the way, is not the same as 'fundamentalist.'

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Javert Hugo
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JB, that's the second time I've done that today.

--

I was just thinking that MattB would give a good definition of an evangelical.

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pooka
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Well, thanks for setting me straight, hatrack.

I came to hatrack.
I was wrong.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
And in doing so, his quote "to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view" is in keeping with Christian beliefs. Too many people think that because we run our country as a democracy that christianity or any religion can be run the same way. As a christian I believe marriage is an institution created by God for a man and a woman. And I believe that's not changeable by a democratic vote. Because the last time I looked, God doesn't hold elections.
Stihl1 has, inadvertently perhaps, articulated what I find so disturbing about Huckabee's original statement.

Like Stihl1 and Huckabee, I also believe that God's standards don't change by majority vote. But that is where our agreement ends.

You see what I believe to be absolute standards set by God, aren't the same as what Huckabee believes to be absolute standards set by God. While I am confident that I know what God's will is regarding my own marriage, I'm not at all confident what God's will is concerning the US constitution and I'm even less confident that Huckabee knows God's will on this issue.

So many people believe that because their religion operates according to an absolute standard given them from God, our government should operate according to the same principles. The problem is that we live in a pluralistic society. There is no consensus in our society about what God's standards are. Even many Christians disagree about whether God accepts same sex marriage and our society encompasses not only Christians but also Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, Atheist and many more.

As a Mormon Christian, I am not willing to accept Huckabee (or Obama or Romney or the members of a constitutional convention or the majority vote) as a legitimate authority on God's will or God's standards.

It would be a violation of my human rights if the government ruled that my church had to perform marriages according to a standard other than the one my church believes God has established.

It would be unethical and unjust if the church denied citizens of my church rights and privileges afforded to members of other churches.

I believe marriage is ordained of God. I believe that can't be changed by majority vote or government decree. Which is why government should stop regulating marriage.

If the government (by which I mean the majority of the people in a democratic society) wish to give rights and privileges to "married couples", then it is only fair that those same privileges be offered to married couples of all religions without regard to the particular restriction that religion places on marriage.

More preferrably, I think the government should stop recognizing marriage as a legally binding contract. Doing this creates a dangerous potential for the government to regulate religion. Religions should govern marriage, the state can govern civil unions that are offered equally to all citizens.

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pooka
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In that scenario, should a separation clause stipulating that the government cannot define marriage be put into the constitution?

That is to say, non-religious people might object to "religion" taking ownernship of marriage.

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Jhai
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I'm not sure if saying the government shouldn't define marriage is the same as saying only religions can define marriage.
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The Rabbit
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pooka, I think the first amendment covers that already.


I got carried away with my rant on marriage laws and didn't really express what concerns me about Huckabee's statements.

His statements about amending the constitution to match God's standards fails to recognize the that we live in a pluralistic society. It seems that he is completely oblivious to the fact that Americans don't agree on what God's standards are. He seems to be dividing America into those people who want to follow God's standards (as he understands them) and people who don't. Its like he doesn't even realize that the vast majority of Americans want to follow divine laws but disagree with him about what those laws are which is critical to understanding why we are a secular society.

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kmbboots
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Yup. What Rabbit said (again).

The government should enforce contracts.

The government should not be distributing (or withholding) sacraments.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
should a separation clause stipulating that the government cannot define marriage be put into the constitution?
My interpretation of the First Amendment would cover this already. Marriage is a religious institution, and therefore the government can't put any enforcements or restrictions on the religious institution itself.

I think everything we need to solve this debate was set in stone by the Founders.

Edit to add: whoops, late to the game on that one. I echo everything Rabbit is saying.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
In that scenario, should a separation clause stipulating that the government cannot define marriage be put into the constitution?

That is to say, non-religious people might object to "religion" taking ownernship of marriage.

There is nothing in what I said that would restrict marriage to religions. It would restrict the government from regulating marriages or considering marriage as a legally binding contract. If non-religious people wanted to get married, I'm sure that country clubs, resorts, and perhaps even bars would be willing to accommodate them with a ceremony. This could even broaden the options for non-religious people who now have the option of being married by a justice of the peace or a minister but not by a non-religious leader of their choosing.
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Jhai
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
My interpretation of the First Amendment would cover this already. Marriage is a religious institution, and therefore the government can't put any enforcements or restrictions on the religious institution itself.

I think everything we need to solve this debate was set in stone by the Founders.

Edit to add: whoops, late to the game on that one. I echo everything Rabbit is saying.

I agree with everything in this post (including that you were late to the game [Wink] ) EXCEPT that marriage is a religious institution. To paraphrase wikipedia, marriage is a interpersonal relationship, often coupled with religious, societal, and governmental implications, recognition, and institutions. As a society, I think it would be best if we separated out the governmental stuff from the rest of it. Or, what Rabbit said. [Smile]
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Lyrhawn
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Okay I had this big thing typed out and then realized I was making it far too complicated.

I agree with you entirely. Did you read my previous post on the subject? I agree wholeheartedly with getting all the governmental stuff out of marriage.

But once you get all that out, marriages, like deciding who gets them and the rules for them and what not, are controlled by the church, and thus I'd describe them as a religious institution, which is precisely why the government shouldn't be allowed to make any lawas about them, because the Constitution forbids it.

I think maybe we're getting caught up in terminology though. I expect regardless of what the churches would do in that situtation, whether or not a church sanctioned it, everyone who got a civil union would call themselves married and consider themselves married, and I wouldn't have a problem with it.

I feel like I'm not explaining myself properly, but I also feel like we agree entirely, so, I'll quit while I'm ahead.

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Jhai
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I think we agree on the major policy stuff, but I do think there's a major point that we disagree on. Basically, I think that once you get all the government stuff out, marriages are not (only) controlled by religions, which seems in direct contrast to your statement that "once you get all that out, marriages, like deciding who gets them and the rules for them and what not, are controlled by the church, and thus I'd describe them as a religious institution...". I think this is a pretty big difference between our two views.

For example, I believe that should this policy that we both agree on take place, an atheist could have a civil ceremony for the state in front of the judge, and then have a non-religious marriage ceremony later or before, and these two (non-religious) ceremonies would have different & important meanings.

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kmbboots
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That's where you run into trouble, though. "Marriage" is, for many people, a sacrament - like baptism or confirmation. It would be sort of like saying that any person who has reformed their life has been "baptised".

I'm not saying that this is how it should be, but this is where much of the religious community is going to balk.

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Jhai
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I think that even if (or especially if) the religious community believes that marriage is a sacrament, it can agree with the basic policy that the government should not be in the business of granting that sacrament.
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kmbboots
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Right.
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Ron Lambert
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Historically, all the Protestant Reformers referred to their religion as "The Evangelical Faith." This is the nomenclature used in the early histories of the Reformation, such as Wylie's and D'Aubigne's.

If like Jhai, Lyrhawn, Kmboots, and others said, the government should not be involved in defining marriage, just enforcing the contract, then that would mean if someone believes in polygamy, then that could not be forbidden, and the FBI clampdown on Mormons a century ago was wrong. I realize, some here may like the idea of revisiting the legality of polygamy--but our society has collectively decided it is not going to tolerate polygamy, and I see no virtue in re-opening a past and settled discussion about this.

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kmbboots
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The government enforces contracts. It could very well decide that one contract would specifically preclude another similar contract.

Not saying it should, but it could.

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Lyrhawn
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I've never waded into the issue at all? But what are the non-religious arguments against and for polygamy?

Jhai -

I think kate more or less summarized what I was saying. Marriage, from the way you are talking about it, and I agree with you here, is between two people, in that interpersonal relationship way, and I agree with you. I like looking at historical precedents, and marriage goes back much further than any of the major religions, well, maybe except Judaism, but it wouldn't matter anyway because it existed way before in parts of the world Judaism hadn't touched yet, so, as far as I'm concerned marriage is a piece of human interaction rather than strictly a religious institution.

I worded it wrong before, but there IS a religious institution of marriage. I think we got caught up in that you thought I was saying all marriage regardless of how other defined it was automatically religious inherently, and that's not what I meant. But marriage, in the religious sense, and not the individual it means whatever I want it to sense, is controlled by the church.

I think we need to set up a clear line between religious marriage and non-religious marriage, which we generally just call civil union, but people will call it marriage anyway, for the purposes of this discussion. Like I said, I think this is a problem of terminology.

Does that clarify at all? Or do you still think we disagree?

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Jhai
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Yeah, that clears it up. After your further clarification, I agree that it's almost certainly just a problem of terminology.
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kmbboots
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If we are thinking historically, marriage was first a contract between two people. The "groom" and the bride's father (or other guardian). They made the deal. The woman was basically property to be bought and sold or traded to secure alliances. It is really only fairly recently that we think of marriage as being between two people both of whom get to decide.

I don't think that we want to use most historical ideas of marriage as a model!

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Lyrhawn
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Not as a model, just to know where it started. It comes in handy when people are claiming what marriage is or what it should be, to be able to go back and say "yeah but, BEFORE that, it was like this."

And the use of women as chattel, though prevelent, wasn't universal. Plus it varied in degrees. A few societies gave women equal status to men, or at least, something better than that of property.

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String
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Dag:

well said. I guess that just because sometimes the abortion issue is used to herd voters, It doesn't mean that there isn't an active movement to do something about it. I just think that it is too bad that some people will vote on one ore two issues, sometimes for a candidate that may not otherwise represent them in government. You caught me generalizing a bit I guess. [Embarrassed]

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