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  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    November 12, 2008 at 10:20 am

    If the state left the marriage business to the church, the results would be disastrous.  There are numerous laws on the books that rightly consider the state of marriage or lack thereof in many common situations, including taxation, divorce, estate taxes, child custody, power of attorney, social security benefits and so on.  To say the state shouldn’t even know whether people are married or not is basically saying that the state should not have a tool available to it to efficiently, respectfully and justly interact with its constituency.

    In a simple feudal society, the determination of marriage could perhaps be left to the church.  But in our modern society, the treatment of hundreds of millions of people oftentimes depends on determination of whether or not a couple is married.  Hence the tradition of the state declaring a couple married and issuing a marriage certificate.  If you leave the declaration of marriage to churches, you are opening a can of worms.  For example, Mary is divorcing John in court.  Mary and John were declared married by the Church of Common Law Marriage, and she is asking for half the assets.  John says he went to her church a few times but was actually a member of the Church of You Have to Get Married in a Ceremony to Really be Married.  Since they were not married, he argues he doesn’t have to give her jack squat.

    Now what does the court do?  It has to figure out whether they were married or not.  It used to be simple.  The judge would look it up in the records or ask the plaintiff to present a marriage certificate.  But now new case law needs to be developed to determine, post facto, whether or not two people did or did not enter into a consensual civil union contract.  How can you know if the union was consentual if there is no standard procedure for documenting such consent?  Some churches might not keep adequate records.  Or churches would differ as to whether they are married or not.  Church A would say the couple divorced three years ago, whereas church B would say they do not recognize divorce.  Religions can never agree on anything, even when they try.

    Leaving marriage to the churches is very poor public policy. 

    What next?  Leave military engagement to the church?  We tried that back in the times of the crusades. It sucks.

    Leave homeland security to the church?  We tried that back in the times of the Spanish Inquisition.  It sucks. 

    Please don’t let us go back to the times of the crusades and the Spanish Inquisition.  Keep the church out of my government!