Solution to the gay marriage “question”

In a departure from my usual library related postings, I have a solution that few people seem to consider. Take government out the marriage license business. Just let people get married in whatever church or organization supports their way of life and be done with it. State marriage simply replaces a church’s authority with that of the state. This quote from the Ohio Bar Association (found via this post at Homeland Stupidity) spells it out pretty clearly:

“Marriage is a legal as well as a spiritual and personal relationship. When you repeat your marriage vows, you enter into a legal contract. There are three parties to that legal contract: 1) you; 2) your spouse; and 3) the state of Ohio. The state is a party to the contract because under its laws, you have certain obligations and responsibilities to each other, to any children you may have, and to Ohio.”

The first amendment of the Constitution states,”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This can be interpreted in many ways and Findlaw has some history and background. The phrase “separation of church and state” comes from a letter written in 1802 by then President Thomas Jefferson.

A prohibition against same sex marriage does not belong in the Constitution. It is an endorsement of one particular religious view, which seems if not directly in opposition to the First Amendment, at least in conflict with it.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has more commentary and a form where you can email your Representative and Senators.

A new pope

Cardinal Ratzinger – Pope Benedict XVI. Heaven help us. I am not a happy Catholic. Ratzinger is much too conservative for me. After all he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He’s the guy who went after church dissidents and upheld church policy against attempts for reform. They used to call that the Inquisition you know, and it doesn’t have the best reputation.

I agree with Jurandir Arauj, of the National Conference of Bishops Afro-Brazilian Section who told Reuters: “It seems that he is too conservative. Hopefully the Holy Spirit can help him change. We expected a person like John Paul. Somebody who could give the Church alternatives … open the Church to the world, look more at reality.”

Vatican astronomer talks about science and religion

Astrobiology Magazine has an interview up with a Vatican astronomer, Guy Consolmagno, who also curates the Vatican’s meteorite collections. Interesting stuff about astronomy and religion.

The best quote is on what happens if we find ET life. Of several options, this could happen,” We find a dozen civilizations out there, and a bunch of Jehovah’s witnesses go up and convert them all.” And on the idea that ET would convert us to an alien religion, “We can’t even convert ourselves.”

Of interest to monks

It’s been a while since I posted anything that would fit in the religion category, so here goes. If you are interested in Catholic news, try Catholic World News. For a library of Catholic documents and reference material, try Catholic Culture. Catholic Culture also reviews web sites, including one that I used to run.

In other news, I gave up on Zempt because it hasn’t been updated in a long time. So I am now using w.bloggar to post to the blog.