des 052014
 

Da Norge for noen få år siden vedtok i Stortinget at også mennesker av samme kjønn kunne gifte seg med hverandre, var det (med rette) etter motstand fra Den katolske Kirke og andre kirkesamfunn. Men da noen (heldigvis ikke mange) deretter sa at dette også ødela ekteskapene mellom en mann og en kvinne, var det en misforståelse. (I Norge skjer det nå noe fra motsatt side; noen begynner å argumentere for at kirkene må miste vigselsretten fordi de ikke vil vie homofile par – se her i Aftenposten. Det er vel også en helt unødvendig konklusjon, som vel likevel ikke vil få så stor betydning for Den katolske Kirke; det vil bare bety at den kirkelige og den statlige bekreftelsen av ekteskapet vil måtte skje i to seremonier (noe som allerede er tilfelle i flere land i Europa), isteden for begge deler i én seremoni.)

I USA er det nå kristne i noen stater der homofile ekteskap nylig har blitt godtatt, som ønsker å nekte å samarbeide med myndighetene om ekteskapsinngåelsen. Dette mener kirkerettseksperten Edward Peters er en svært dårlig idé og bygger på en misforståelse av hva som konstituerer et ekteskap. Se HER og her en samling av artikler. Han skriver:

The gist of a recent poll is that one in three Americans do not want religious ministers to “sign marriage licenses as representatives of the state” so as to avoid, I guess, a connection between “civil marriage” and “religious marriage”, as if, you know, those are two fundamentally different things. Let me rephrase the poll findings: one in three Americans don’t understand what clergy signing marriage certificates are doing (and aren’t doing!) and so don’t know a good thing when they see it.

The call for ministers to boycott civil wedding certificates proposed under the wrongly-named “Marriage Pledge” (it is actually a Pledge Not to Acknowledge Real Marriages) probably would have gone nowhere except that it found an ally in the journal First Things. Well, that’s their responsibility. Mine is to make sure that as many people as possible see that the Radner-Seitz “Marriage Pledge” rests on a faulty understanding of what makes marriage and, in turn, of what ministers of religion do in certifying that a given marriage took place before them. I am not going to review all of the problems inherent in Radner-Seitz’s proposal, though they are many. Here I address just two points.

In the West (yes, I know Eastern Christianity thinks differently, but that problem is for another day), it has been settled matter among all Christians (though secular elements of the West do not realize that Christian thought has permeated their consciousness, too), it has been, as I say, settled matter in the West that the consent of the parties establishes marriage. If you think that the State made up marriage and confers it on a couple, or if you think that the Church created and bestows marriage on believers, or that God, or Zeus, or the Big Cosmic Other sends this thing called marriage on two people who want it, or if you hold any other theory of marriage whatsoever, besides that the consent of the parties makes marriage—then you need to stop reading this blog post and start studying solid treatises on marriage going back to the ancient Romans in some cases, and virtually everything since the 13th century, secular and religious alike.

I’m serious. If you do not really see that the couple’s consent makes marriage then you don’t understand what’s at stake.

Now, for those who do know that the consent of the parties makes marriage, the fundamental supposition of the Radner-Seitz Pledge—namely, that the State has changed the definition of marriage (which it can’t do and, even by its own count, has not succeeded in doing yet!) and, as a result, ministers who care about real marriage should not confer or cooperate in conferring marriage (as understood by at least some States), that supposition, I say, collapses: The State does not confer marriage on couples, couples confer marriage on each other! All the State does, and for that matter all the Church does, (and, for that matter, all that God does between baptized persons, but that discussion is more complex and is not immediately relevant to a discussion of Church-State cooperation in the matter of marriage), is to recognize what the couple did, namely, they married. …

Jeg leser FirstThings som Peters her kritiserer – de skriver om the Marriage Pledge bl.a. her.

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