Originally posted by RANT
A church marriage is a ceremony, but that's all it is in the modern world. It's an important right of both the participants and the church,
and nobody is about to deny or impose sanctions upon who can or can't have or perform (or refuse to perform) that ceremony, but it's not
hmmm ... well RANT ... A CHURCH marriage, depending on the church,
is first and foremost a SACRAMENT. Or were you just looking at the
legal aspect that it is just a ceremony in the eyes of the law? I don't
think the law can force a church to perform a sacrament.
In the Catholic church and in the Orthodox churches it is a sacrament.
I think it is for the Episcopalians as well. It is also a ceremony but the
sacramental part is what it is first and foremost. The Church, who has
sacraments, has a duty to decide who is prepared to receive those
sacraments and who isn't.
It's part of that particular religion. If that religion doesn't allow for a
sacramental union of two people (be they homosexual or heterosexual)
then that church has a right not to provide that sacrament. It's the
JOB of the church to guide it's flock and part of that is educating the
people as to what is expected in order to obtain a sacrament.
No one has a 'right' to a sacrament if they don't follow the teachings
or beliefs of the church providing them. At least that's common sense
and church teaching. I don't think the law forces churches to provide
sacraments. (or do they??)
Of course not allowing the sacrament in no way forbids those people
from being married in the eyes of the law elsewhere (if the law allows
However, the homosexual folks who wish to be married can do so in
their respective churches that allow it. I don't know why a gay couple
would want to be married in a Catholic church anyways. If they are
actively gay, then they don't believe in the Catholic teachings, so why
would they want to be married in a church that they don't believe in?
Some of our lesbian friends used to be Catholic but when they embraced
their homosexuality they understood that they would not be married in
the Catholic church because (1) they no longer believed everything the
Catholic church taught and (2) the church wouldn't allow it even if they
wanted it. As of yet they have not wed in a church that allows
homosexual unions, but if they do, they understand that the Catholics
(and Orthodox) consider marriage in that church a sacrament and not
obtainable (heck .. not believed in by them anymore either).
[edit on 4/28/2005 by FlyersFan]