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NO LEGAL RECOGNITION SHOULD BE GRANTED BY THE STATE FOR CHURCH MARRIAGE
 
For the purpose of this article we will assume the state should recognise marriage.
 
The Catholic Church teaches that if a Catholic gets married in a register office the marriage is not real. In fairness, the same rule doesn’t apply to Protestants or anybody else. This is treason against the state and arises from the desire of the Church to get interfering in what does not concern it. It declares that Church law should be obeyed before state law. If the state cannot marry it would be a sin to get married in a register office though some countries require a civil marriage before you can go on to the Church ceremony. The wedding in the register office would be encouraging the state and going along with its nerve in saying it can really marry and it would be a lie to take wedding vows in a register office and have them considered valid when they are not.
 
Currently religious weddings in many countries are also civil weddings. That is they satisfy the requirements of God and the state for contracting a real marriage. What should be done is make it the law that the couple must undertake the civil ceremony in a register office or wherever and a separate Church wedding be held if they so wish. Humanism hopes to get the legal position on marriage changed completely to stop marriage being the facade it is and religious marriages invalidated and make it necessary for everybody to undergo a civil ceremony but only if we fail to get rid of marriage in its legal aspect altogether. Civil marriage not religious marriage should have the most protection if any. The civil marriage being the “real” marriage should precede the religious marriage.
 
The reason there should be two ceremonies for religious people one in the register office and the other in the Church is to show that the state and the Church operate by different authorities. The state has to be secular to run while the Church gets its authority from God so it is the opposite of secular. The Church actually has little regard for the legal aspect of marriage for it believes that God not the state binds in matrimony. It is untoward then for the Church to support the legal aspect for it does not consider it valid. You can’t really take your woman to be your wife if the law is wrong or just a human construct and if it does not make her your wife and if it is God that unites in matrimony. Religious marriages are not valid and they are treason for they deny the right of the state to function without God and focus on what is best for its citizens instead of depending on alleged revelations from God regarding how to treat them.
 
It seems blasphemous to have a civil wedding if it is not a real wedding like the Catholic Church would say but why care? Why should we believe that only God can validate a marriage? What about those who believe that only their guru can validate marriage for he is the hotline to God? What about nutters who think only the tooth-fairy can bind in matrimony? If we are going to put up with the idea that God binds in marriage then we have to make laws to suit the others too and could see the law commanding that marriage can only be real say if the tooth-fairy is invoked!
 
The civil marriage is real and the religious wedding cannot add to what is already there so it is a waste of time and money and a pretence. Marriage cannot bind what is already bound. If marriage is the bedrock of society then the state should be solemnising it in the register office or town hall and the clergy should not be automatically given the power to wed people. If they do, they do it in the name of the state and not the Church. The Church does not care about what is valid in the eyes of the state but only what is valid in the eyes of God so its weddings are nothing more than treason. The Church admits this for it says that the law should be disobeyed when God commands it for the law is man-made. The Church doing legally binding weddings just proves that the Church is stealing an authority it has no right to and lying to the state.
 
It is discrimination to give clergy the power to marry people legally and not give it to friends of the engaged couple. Why should the clergy get special honour? And a Catholic country will not regard Protestant clergy as genuine clergy. So how is that to be handled?
 
The Church should not be given the power to perform legalised weddings. If it should, then anybody should be given the power if they need it.
 
 
WORKS CONSULTED

A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Catholic Truth Society, Westminster, 1985
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