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High-ranking Catholic slights state's marriage role; for him, them, us -- everybody

by Jeremy Hooper

Equality advocates are seeking the *CIVIL* marriage license, something that is, without debate, both a creation and product of the state. But we can say that until we are blue in the face and it won't matter -- the defiant opposition will still exalt their own personal religious read above government reality:

Screen Shot 2011-07-21 At 8.38.16 Am"Many people assume that marriage is a right that the state can simply create. That is a dangerous direction in which to go. The majority of voters cannot create whatever rights they want. Marriage is a gift given to us by God and defined by him. We, as Catholics, must not be afraid to say so publicly.

We need to be forthright in speaking about the importance of defending and protecting the gift of marriage within our Church and society. We need to be able to speak forthrightly to our people on the importance of marriage, and make it clear that our respect for the individual should not be at the expense of marriage itself.

-Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Chairman of the Committee on Marriage and Family Life of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

SOURCE: Dangerous Directions [Catholic World Report]

I've said it countless times: If this is really how folks like Kurz feel, then it's time they tell their fellow travelers to stop getting the civil marriage license altogether. Because if that's all marriage is, a contract between a couple and God, then there's no need for them to involve the state. In fact, involving the state would seem to undermine the Kurtz view, as one can only presume he sees God as quite capable of handling this on his own, free from the long lines, licensing fees, and buzzing fluorescent lights of a city office building. So if that really is the case, then it's time for Kurtz to follow his own logic. He can make it all about the religious ceremony and exclude gays as fervently and fully as he wants. But since Kurtz so staunchly resists the state's creation, then it's time he and his supporters render up the system that they are so proudly maligning for the sake of "culture war" politics!

But of course that won't happen. Because just like so many people hate "big government" until reminded of practical realities, those married heterosexuals who follow Kurtz's advice would surely stop attacking "the state's creation" if that meant forfeiting the rights, breaks, and benefits that come only through the civil contract. The "it's only about God" rhetoric tends to quiet when hospital visitation, tax breaks, inheritance, property transfer, legal attachment to children, and hundreds of other tangibles are placed on the altar table.

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