Religion and the marriage discourse

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Authors: O. M. Ostlund, Jr., Scott Rutledge and David F. Forte
Date: August-September 2011
From: First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life(Issue 215)
Publisher: Institute on Religion and Public Life
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,101 words

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Let's get this straight: Any objection to same-sex marriage must be ruled invalid and thrown out of court because, as Matthew J. Franck points out in his excellent article ("Religion, Reason, and Same-Sex Marriage," May), any such objection is faith-based, and thus in conflict with the separation of church and state.

Amen to that, a murderer might say, recalling that one of the Ten Commandments is "Thou shalt not kill." And while he's at it, he might suborn one of his cronies to lie for him on the stand, since "Thou shalt not bear false witness" is also faith-based.

O. M. Ostlund Jr.


Matthew J. Franck's debunking of the charges of bigotry hurled at defenders of traditional marriage leaves his opponents little claim to the honorific rationality with which they flatter themselves. I wonder, however, why he seems to accept another of their self-descriptions: that they are secularists.

To encourage some type of conduct of character, to favor now what was previously disfavored, is to reshape our youth and our future. There is no illumination to be gained by applying the labels "secular" or "religious" to such transformations. In the course of debating sexual morality, therefore, neither party is entitled to any advantage by reason of the First Amendment. Will we have sexual legislation or sexual laissez-faire? Both are secular and both are religious, whether or not anyone is arguing in theological terms.

When Americans who are respectful of tradition speak of religion as a synonym for theism, they limit their use of the First Amendment to defensive purposes only. In applying the phrase "secular orthodoxy" to what the foes of traditional marriage...

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Source Citation
Ostlund, O. M., Jr., et al. "Religion and the marriage discourse." First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, no. 215, 2011, p. 14+. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A262787100