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RELIGION AND MIXED MARRIAGE

 

Every nation can tell you stories about how because of the lies of the Catholic Church, how Catholics were cast out of their families for marrying a Protestant and even the children of the union were hated and made outcasts.

 

When a Catholic weds a Protestant it is on condition that the latter betray their faith in Jesus and their religion and permit the children to be raised as Catholics. The Catholic Church knows that everybody has a duty to promote their beliefs and yet she insists that in a mixed marriage that the children must be raised as Catholics if the non-Catholic partner’s conscience allows this. She is either pretending that this is not a sin or is taking advantage of a person who is too uninformed to see that such consent is evil. The Catholic partner does not care for the soul of the non-Catholic when she or he agrees to all this.

 

Protestants know they have a duty to try to convert others to what they consider to be the truth for Jesus told us to preach the good news to all creation. Rome urges them to sin, to go against what they think is right, to go against their principles, for her benefit and then she dares to proclaim sin as the worst evil. It is sinful to do what you believe to be wrong even if you are in error and it is not a sin. It makes one wonder if Rome is as interested in supporting religious freedom as she says she is. She opposes religious freedom for anybody who sincerely believes in doing harm and what harm could be worse than leading others into sin and Hell if they are the worst evils? Catholics claim to love Protestants and say that the person who tries to make you sin is an enemy and then they make them sin. Come to think of it the Catholic applicant for a mixed marriage is also being asked to renounce Christ and to renounce the teaching of Christ. They are being told to start believing that Jesus wants them to lead another into sin and hypocrisy for the love of the pope! To cast doubt on one teaching of Christ’s is to cease to sincerely believe in any of it. When the pope is made more important than Jesus Christ it is clear that any worship given to Christ honours the pope far more for Jesus is under the pope’s authority. It is not true that Catholics honour the pope more than Jesus just in some things. They cannot sincerely believe that the pope is Christ’s superior and not his superior at the same time.

 

Can a Christian marry a pagan? The Bible says that anything that could lead to a child coming under a pagan influence is wrong. But what if the Christian and the pagan won’t be having any? 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is thrown at people who believe that Christians and pagans cannot get married or party together. It forbids is any association with paganism that against loyalty to God and the faith. Marrying a pagan would be disloyalty even if the pagan does not want you involved in his faith and will not try to convert you for marriage is supposed to be about serving God and Jesus in an explicit Christian faith. Jesus prayed with sinners so it seems Christians can pray with pagans provided they all have the same being in mind but if the pagan tries to influence the Christian the commerce is forbidden. The Bible says that the unsaved are completely evil but we are told to love our enemies.

 

Paul declared that widows could only remarry in the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:39). He means that true Christians must only marry true Christians. He also said that if a partner in a pagan marriage becomes a Christian they can separate if they consent. This shows little desire to protect such marriages. Ezra forced the Jews to leave their pagan spouses with divine approval.

 

God says that we would rather sin than obey him. The Devil told Jesus that the nations of the world had given themselves to him so he could give these kingdoms to Jesus if he wished. If a Christian marries an unsaved person the children will follow the unsaved person. Since we are to do all we can for God alone it follows that it is a sin to marry a person who is not interested in making you holy and more devoted to your own cult (Nehemiah 13:23-27).

 

It must be a sin to date an unsaved person if you are a Christian because she or he is most likely to stay unsaved according to the Bible which condemns the world as a figure for the fact the world is mostly anti-God. Jesus said that the road to damnation is wide and the road to salvation is narrow and rough. The Bible says that everybody was at least for a time be against God and his paths (Romans 3). You are risking breaking your own heart if you have to break it off or you are risking your relationship with God if you cannot give her or him up.

 

The Catholic Church permits a spouse to separate if the partner leaves the Catholic Church or gives the children an education that is not Roman Catholic (page 261, Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Part 2 and the old Code of Canon Law, canon 1130).

 

Marriage is for two people who are compatible – who have enough in common to form a union.

 

The Catholic believes she serves God best in the Catholic religion. The Protestant thinks he serves best in the Protestant religion. God commands that we accept the truth he has revealed and that means accepting only one religion as having his approval. Loving God requires loving truth.

 

Jesus embraced little children saying, "Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me" (Mark 9:37). He is showing that he means welcoming a person in the loose sense. Strictly speaking it is only God that is to be welcomed. He is clear that he does not mean, "Whoever receives a child does not just receive the child but receives me too". "Receiveth not me", makes that plain. The verse shows that loving God is all that matters. That teaching proves that Christianity is sectarian - it tries to cause discord and division between people.

 

Since God decrees that spirituality comes first the married couple have to be spiritually compatible so that they help one another stay on the godly path and develop and grow in holiness. They have to have the same spirituality and for the same reasons. This is impossible between people of different religions.

 

Belief comes first in creating spirituality and each partner must encourage the beliefs of the other which can only be sincerely done if both agree on religious matters. So it follows that a marriage between two people of different religions is null and void as far as God is concerned.

 

If a Catholic really loves God as Jesus desired or is trying to, she will only be drawn to what is of God in another person. In other words, she will marry him because of his holiness and therefore because he is a Catholic.

 

You can’t mean the marriage vows if you wed somebody of a different persuasion or an atheist or agnostic for you will not be trying to develop them spiritually. It is no use developing them in small things at the expense of the larger. Once you do that you are not developing them at all but trying to seduce them into the error that neglecting the best is good.

 

God says that he is to be loved with all our powers so marriage is to be done for his sake and so that it will make the partners bring each other closer to him. Therefore the Church cannot tolerate or condone marriage with pagans until they convert first.

 

A Catholic and a Protestant would seem to have the right to marry for they have enough in common to marry. But the reason mixed marriage is said to be wrong is due to the spiritual differences for it is thought by the Roman Catholic Church that the Protestant is lacking the terrific helps to holiness that exist uniquely in the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestant would also have to be of a higher moral standard than was usual for Protestants or society because Catholics do not believe the Protestant teaching that faith alone is enough and to compensate for not being a Catholic.

 

When religion says that nobody is truly happy without God that means that that person cannot love others much for he does not love himself much for happiness is based on self-love and this means the person cannot have enough love to get married. It also means his marriage would be a lie. It also means that he will grab at material things rather than spiritual to gain happiness and fill the hole inside him so the wife will come second and he will grow in selfishness. Thus religion is a danger to the rights of any unbeliever. It also implies that his marriage can be annulled.

 

And religion says that taking marriage vows is a sacrilege when they are not meant and when they are taken to fool and without genuinely wanting a real marriage to happen.

 

If you sin you cut yourself away from God and from others on the spiritual level. Your love is a pretence so you cannot contract a marriage in a state of sin.

 

You will just be as unmarried when you leave the Church as when you went in.

 

Religion is a threat to equality for it opposes mixed marriage. Condemning mixed marriage shows that religious dogma and man made religious societies are being put before people.

 

Discouraging mixed marriage shows that it is thought that it is better for a Catholic to marry a man who is okay as long as he is a Catholic in preference to the noble Protestant suitor who could make her happier and be kinder to her.

 

The proper view is that mixed marriage is fine and if it doesn’t work or is difficult it is only that because people don’t have the sense to keep their religious feelings and views private.

 

Catholics are told that they cannot in good conscience attend gay weddings. They are not allowed to attend the weddings of Catholics who contract marriage against the rules of the Church. It is a sin to attend the wedding of Catholic divorcees. It is a sin to attend the marriage of a Catholic who is getting wed in a register office - the Church says such marriages are not real. The reason is that attending is implying that there is no sin in the ceremony and there is. The Catholic is supposed to feel revulsion towards sin. It is said that the more hatred you feel for a person's sin, then the more you love the sinner. They call this judging the sin and not the sinner.

 

Some say that attending the ceremony does not mean you are tacitly and implicitly implying that the sin of fake marriage is minor or that sin doesn't matter. They say it would be tacit approval if the ceremony would not go ahead if you were absent. They say that since it will happen whether you go or not, then attending does not imply approval. To this the Church replies that you are to hate sin and so you are to stay away from the ceremony. The Church says that even if you are an old man and sexy images will not pollute your mind you must not look at them. They depict sin and you are to feel revulsion for sin. The Church says your absence would be a loving warning that the marriage is wrong or false and sets an example for those who attend the ceremony while approving of it. 

 

A Catholic cannot be a witness for a civil partnership of same sex couples or at a register office marriage when at least one partner is a Catholic. That would be more serious than attending the ceremony as a guest. Attending the ceremony implies that the event is tolerable at least while the Church says it is a grave evil.

 

Conclusion

 

Religion sets out to cause trouble in mixed marriages. Religion causes unnecessary difficulties. Catholics and Protestants should divorce their religions and then marry. 

 

WORKS CONSULTED


A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Catholic Truth Society, Westminster, 1985
Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine 1, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, MH Gill, & Son, Dublin, 1954
Believing in God, PJ McGrath, Wolfhound Press, Dublin, 1995
Biblical Dictionary and Concordance of the New American Bible, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington DC, 1971
Divorce, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1946
Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, Uta Ranke Heinmann, Penguin, London, 1991
Moral Questions, Bishops Conference, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1971
New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Preparing for a Mixed Marriage, Irish Episcopal Conference, Veritas, Dublin, 1984
Rome has Spoken, A Guide to Forgotten Papal Statements and How They Have Changed Through the Centuries, Maureen Fiedler and Linda Rabben (Editors), Crossroad Publishing, New York, 1998
Shattered Vows, Exodus From the Priesthood, David Rice, Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 1990
Sex & Marriage A Catholic Perspective, John M Hamrogue C SS R, Liguori, Illinois, 1987
The Emancipation of a Freethinker, Herbert Ellsworth Cory, The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, 1947
“The Lord Hateth Putting Away!” and Reflections on Marriage and Divorce The Committee of the Christadelphian, Birmingham, 1985
 
The WWW
 
How to Fight the Religious Right, Brian Elroy McKinley
http://elroy.net/ehr/fighttheright.html