Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How does your religion address the issue of same-sex marriage?

from Indianapolis Star: Faith Forum: 3-6-2011

A bill before the Indiana legisla­ture would amend the state con­stitution to ban same-sex mar­riage.
During hearings about the bill, sup­porters said it would preserve values; op­ponents said it would codify discrimina­tion. Some people believe that homosexuality is immoral and that same­-sex marriages should not be permitted.
Others argue that same-sex marriage should be permitted because everyone has the right to be treated equally.
Which teachings in your faith tradition offer guidance?

Pastor, North United Methodist Church
Missing from the mar­riage amendment debate is the most important ques­tion of all: What's the pur­pose of marriage?
Christian Scripture is less helpful in this regard than some suggest. The First Testament reflects a culture where marriages were one part business deal and another part foreign policy. King David had sev­eral wives, while King Solomon was com­mended for his 700 wives and 300 concu­bines. Ancient marriages sustained bloodlines, preserved economic structures and reduced the likelihood that neighbor­ing kings would attack their in-laws and cousins.
By the Christian era, monogamy was the norm, but ambivalence about mar­riage is evident. Jesus never appears at a wedding, only a wedding reception. Paul believed preparation for Christ's return trumped marriage. He encouraged those who insisted on marrying to maintain the prevailing social hierarchy: God over man over woman over child over slave. Mar­riage did not become a church sacrament until the 13th century.
So what's the purpose of a Christian marriage? I ask couples preparing for marriage what they bring to the world that they could not offer individually.
Marriage is not for everyone, but Christian marriage is fundamentally about how the shared gifts of two faithful peo­ple witness God's love for the world.
Procreation oddly punctuates the mar­riage amendment debate. When Jesus said, 'Bring the children to me,' he was insisting that everyone, not parents alone, are necessary for a child's well-being. In­fertility, adoption and economic chal­lenges recently have tempered the reli­gious claim that procreation is a necessity of marriage. When my widowed grand­mother remarried at age 61, no one ex­pected child-bearing to be her gift to the marriage.
Should these Christian claims of mar­riage be imposed on society in the form of law? Are these Christian beliefs distinc­tively heterosexual? The most faithful - and constitutional - resolution will allow religious communities to bless marriages according to their respective faith com­mitments while upholding the state's role as a guarantor of equal rights and protec­tion for all citizens.

Congregation Shaarey Tefilla

Regarding this highly sensitive issue, I will cite two texts upon which I depend.
One is Genesis 1:26-27, which says that every person is created in the image of God and is therefore of infinite value.
From this comes America's founding prin­ciple: Human rights come from God, not the gene­rosity of the state.
Our society must not deny human rights to any lawful citizen. Tax advan­tages, inheritance rights, the right to make health­care decisions on behalf of one's partner, etc., should not be limited to heterosexual couples.
Monogamous homosexual relationships should be recognized by the government as civil unions.
My second text is Genesis 2:24: 'There­fore a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh.' This defines the Judeo-Christian ideal of marriage, and the ideal that children be raised by one father and one mother.
Therefore, Judaism empowers me to perform one wedding ceremony. It re­quires one Jewish man and one Jewish woman. There are other kinds of relation­ships between loving adults, but only a man and a woman make a marriage.
Why not any two loving adults? Why not any number of loving adults? An adult brother and sister, or parent and adult child, or three loving adults - why cannot these be marriages?
Virtually everyone is opposed to inces­tuous and plural marriage. But why?
There are no secular reasons to oppose them - certainly not the risk of birth de­fects from incest, which generally do not appear in the first generation of an inces­tuous union. Even if they did, we allow marriages between carriers of fatal dis­eases such as Tay-Sachs. The only reasons to prohibit incestuous or plural unions are Judeo-Christian values that have influ­enced society even if the source goes un­acknowledged.
So I conclude with the plea that as this sensitive issue is discussed, those with more liberal views should remember that they, too, have a line they will not cross.
Beware of labeling one line beautiful and accepting while deriding the other as bigoted and homophobic.


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