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It may not be too over-the-top to suggest that the push for Same-Sex Marriage is one of a number of trends moving toward an end of marriage. See this summary. For our previous (spirited) discussions of same-sex marriage see this post, and this follow-up.
Okie Gardener and I have been having a pretty interesting discussion in re his post, "Sex, Marriage and Same-Sex Marriage" in the comments section. So much so, I decided to extract the comments section and feature it as a free-standing post. I encourage you to read the original post in its entirety, and the acompanying article in its entirety; the discussion below begins with the premise that the institiution of marriage rests on three goods: procreation, fidelity and permanence.

A Waco Farmer wrote:
In re the "three goods:"
I understand that your central argument for marriage is protecting children, but we still believe in, as you note, marriage for heterosexual couples who do not/cannot procreate. Those barren unions are still allowed and seen as a positive good. How is that different from letting homosexual couples who will not procreate marry one another and enjoy the benefits available to opposite-sex couples without children?

an okie gardener wrote:
The short answer it that I encourage you to read the entire paper. The brief answer is that what is at issue is the definition of marriage. When one defines marriage as between a man and a woman, then procreation is the natural result of their union. The exceptions, barren couples, do not change the definition, but are simply an unfullfillment of the general case. Same sex unions are by definition barren, not by accident.

A Waco Farmer wrote:
I will read the paper, but my question is this: why cannot homosexual marriages be another exception? Again, staying with barren couples. Even if we know a man and a woman will not have children before they marry, we still see plenty of good reasons to encourage them to marry and offer them the same protections as a fruitful couple.

What makes the case of same-sex couples different?

A Waco Farmer wrote[continued]:
Okay. I'm back. I read the paper. I will probably go back and read it again.

Here is my summary:

1. In answer to my above question: the RCA does not recognize same-sex marriage because a rational reading of scripture, nature and tradition testifies against it.

Okay. I can accept that. In fact, from my own extremely inerudite theological perspective, I agree. Although I think there is a fundamental inconsistency in the position that places procreation as the sine qua non of marriage, and then favors birth control or allows barren marriages--but "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds."

2. Redefining marriage: the RCA argument completely satisfies me in terms of why the RCA is not going to participate or condone same-sex marriages. It rests, as I said, on a rational interpretation of scripture, nature and church tradtion.

On the other hand, the argument against the civil recognition of same-sex marriages falls a bit flat for me. I will need to read it again, but so much of that section seems to admit how little influence the church has on the definition of marriage. Why is same-sex marriage different?

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Some weeks ago I was asked to give my reasoning for opposing same-sex marriage. Sometimes procrastination can turn out for the best. As I mentioned in my ealier post on the One-China policy, I am a member of the Reformed Church in America (website link) and a delegate to this summer's annual meeting which we call General Synod. At this meeting we will be asked to approve a resolution to send the study guide "Human Sexuality and Marriage" to our congregations. I think it is a fantastic document. In this post I will give a few paragraphs as "teasers" to encourage you to read the whole thing. Then I will summarize the argument. Finally, I'll give the link to the document.

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