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Subject:  Re: Dear GOP Date:  11/15/2012  12:14 PM
Author:  Frydaze1 Number:  34715 of 39982

Apologies to impolite for engaging on her board...


I'd like to ask you a couple of questions on just a few specific points. I'm not interested in a massive, acrimonious debate. Just a few points that confuse me even when I discuss them with my conservative friends. So assuming you're willing to answer courteously, I will ask courteously:

- Trying to improve education of our youth by giving it back to parents and churches instead of a non-Constitutional Department of Education that imposes a non-religious secular humanism on children.

Religions have many conflicting views on various scientific subjects. Even just within Christianity. What is your ideal of how the public school system should handle this? For example: Bill Nye was verbally attacked for stating that the moon doesn't have its own light but instead reflects the light of the sun, when a particular group of Christians insisted that the bible said otherwise. I'm going to assume that you agree that the moon does not, in fact, cast light of its own. But there are Christians who feel that such a teaching contradicts their religious beliefs. How should the public school system determine which religious beliefs should be honored by not being contradicted in public education? For many of us, the answer is "if it goes against what current science tells us to be true, it shouldn't be taught in schools". Do you have a rule to offer instead, which would allow your beliefs to be taught but not a "moon casts its own light" belief to be taught? Or do you believe that both should be taught? Should it be by national majority vote? A school-by-school parental vote? A Department of Education vote? What is your solution?

It is the Democrat Party that wants the government to usurp the rights of churches who established marriage and make it a secular humanist thing. Gay rights activist reject the "civil union" label which would accomplish want they want, but hold out for corrupting the church's term for a sacred union between a man and a woman.

Do you believe that people who don't belong to a church should be permitted to marry? My husband and I were married in a back yard, in a secular ceremony. We are both atheists. (Though my uncle, who married us, is Jewish.) Do you consider our marriage to be *legally* valid even though it wasn't performed by or blessed by any church? (I don't care if you consider it to be religiously valid, since your religion doesn't interest me.)

We can argue all day about whether or not marriage started as a church controlled institution. I believe there is plenty of evidence that it didn't. But it really doesn't matter which of us is right there. The fact is that marriage is *currently* a legal state, regardless of whether or not it is also sometimes considered a religious state. This is why my husband and I are, legally, considered married. No matter what your church's opinion is of our marriage. And we do NOT have a "Civil Union", we have a marriage - by the definition of every state in our nation. Even without a church. A religious ceremony is currently considered an optional add-on to the legal commitment of marriage. I agree that no government should force your church to perform such an optional religious ceremony if they don't wish to. But it is clear by the very fact that I am married, that the church (as if there were only one!) doesn't own the rights to the word "marriage" or its definition or its application.

Unless you believe that marriage should be legally denied to atheists, satanists, muslims, buddhists, pagans, etc. you cannot logically claim that the church is in charge of marriage in any way, shape, or form. Nor that they *have* been in charge for as long as those marriages have been legally available.

The government has had an input into what constitutes a valid marriage for centuries, even here in America. The Mormons established a colony in Utah and wanted to join the Union, but were not permitted to until they agreed to give up their polygamous marriages. That is a classic example of the government telling a church that its religious beliefs about marriage would not be accepted as a national standard, nor even permitted within their own group if they were part of our country. So you can neither blame the Democrats for that, nor even claim that it's unconstitutional. It's been an established prerogative of our government for centuries.

You can certainly claim that you'd *like* for the church to be the sole owner of the right to create and define marriage. But it is dishonest to claim that they've actually had such ownership in the entire history of our country since at least before Utah became a state.

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