First off, you're intentionally intellectually dishonest if you believe that there's ony 6,000 years of human history to draw precident from.
Written history prior to that gets very sketchy...but I'll grant you that archeologists go further, and have their findings. I am indeed drawing largely from the Judeo-Christian tradition, because, despite the freedoms our laws provide, the philosophies that drive our community (national) are the largely the product of it. Even atheists are often appreciative of some of the ideas and forms that have come out of that legacy.
On the topic of "power granted you by the State of Washington," it is not the power to marry two people (they can only marry each other - you can only officiate as an OFFICIAL granted the authrority to declare the contract entered into legally. No matter what you postulate to the people entering into the contract, or if they even refuse to utter a word to you or themselves, the only legally binding act is in signing the marriage contract at the time of officiation. I know this to be true as I've been authorized several times by law and custom to officiate over marriage and other 'solemn' acts). I recommend you expend some effort in study of contractual law and the authority of the State.
You are making a legal case for allowing anyone to marry as they please, I suppose. You'd like put age limitations on that. You might find rationale for not allowing polygamy--though imho it has more historic claim that same-sex marriage does. It's my simple contention that communities have the right to restrict marriage, based on community standards. I'm not going to be persuaded by legal arguments. Those I gleefully turn over to the Courts. And, if I don't like what the judges decide, and I am motivated enough, I might then begin lobbying to change the law.
Your use of the phrase 'authority by precident' is the same one used for millenia to rationalize serious abuses such as genocide, murder, opression, slavery, stigimitization, and separation; hardly something I'd be proud of.
Nevertheless, precedent is something you overturn by lobbying the people, so they agree to change it. When you short-circuit the community by getting judges to legislate from the bench, too often you create festering dissension. Note how the controversy over abortion just will not go away, despite the seeming conclusive decision of 1972.
Put it any way you want it; there is no intellectually honest way to defend descrimination in any form. We are warned "not to judge," but that does no]t mean "accept anything that goes, from anyone" (accepting discrimination is just as bad as making uninformed judgements), it simply means "judge not lightly," which means not before having honestly and intellectually examining a topic.
Well then, since a significant % of married people commit adultery, perhaps we should create a different type of marriage recognition for them. After all, if all the adults are consenting, perhaps an open marriage type contract, with a fluid number of adult parties involved??? Call it discrimination, but communities ought to be able to define marriage according to broad consensus of standards.
I really couldn't care less that you're a paid clergyman (even though Nephi had a few choice words about your profession... Something on the lines of calling it an abominat]ion; ya know, "eat thy bread from the sweat of thy own brow all the days of thy life" and all that),
If honesty is what you want, might I suggest that you simply admit that you do care what I am, and are highly suspicious because of the work I do? Why say you don't care and then sight your scriptures along with a particular shrill interpretation? OH...and as FYI, LDS chaplains get paid the same as I do. :-)
I simply take exception that you use that avocation, whether or not you state what it is, as a basis to make claims that are utterly indefensible. You have no moral authority because you strap on a rat cather. You have none because you hold a Doctorate of Divinity or Theology. You have no authority because you lead a congregation. In fact, I'd say that you'll be held to a higher standard than the rest of us because of your assumption of authority or knowledge.
Once again, I make no claims on this forum to any particular authority. My handle merely indicates that I may have some uniquely informative experiences to bring to the table. After all, why would I expect that my training and ordination from another religion would carry any weight here??? Would an IMAM go to my church's forum and demand to be respected for his spiritual authority and position? What you say I imply doesn't make sense.
Edited by prisonchaplain, 16 July 2010 - 12:51 PM.