Thursday, May 10, 2012

Putting Gay Marriage in an Appropriate Christian Context

Since Gary Wills’ “The Myth About Marriage” post yesterday to NYRBlog has a time stamp of 1:30 PM Eastern Time, it probably did not inform President Barack Obama in his interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News. The myth of the title is the proposition that marriage is a religious sacrament, at least within the Christian faith. He traces this proposition back to the writings of Thomas Aquinas and offers the following quote from historian Joseph Martos:
Before the eleventh century there was no such thing as a Christian wedding ceremony in the Latin church, and throughout the Middle Ages there was no single church ritual for solemnizing marriage between Christians.
Wills concludes his post with a rhetorically powerful punch line:
Those who do not want to let gay partners have the sacredness of sacramental marriage are relying on a Scholastic fiction of the thirteenth century to play with people’s lives, as the church has done ever since the time of Aquinas. The myth of the sacrament should not let people deprive gays of the right to natural marriage, whether blessed by Yahweh or not. They surely do not need—since no one does—the blessing of Saint Thomas.
While I doubt that Wills’ reasoned argument will have any effect on the emotional inclinations of all of those North Carolina voters, I found it comforting to find at least one writer with the common sense to put “proper Christian thinking” in perspective.

1 comment:

jones said...

I know this is probably too rational, but perhaps the way to alter the terms of this debate is for the government to get out of marriage altogether, and ONLY offer civil unions.