Sunday, September 20, 2009

Draft of Preliminary Report of the Special Committee to Study the Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage

The Full Report

This is worthwhile reading and study. The committee clearly worked carefully and well in the short period of time that it had to do this work. Thank you to them all.

Like Scripture and many other considerations related to the church's behavior, the report will read differently depending on who it is doing the reading. I am unsure of the wisdom in making no recommendation by the committee. It may have been that that was their charge. I need to think and pray about this a bit more and hear from others.

The following excerpt is an example of the division in interpretation, even of the report. "Those who defend marriage" could be thought of as those who defend marriage between a man and a woman. "Those who defend marriage" could also be viewed as those of us who see "civil union" for LGBT as a "second-class" option and unacceptable, defending it for all.

"Those who defend marriage as it has been understood see the compromise of civil unions as a dangerous and myopic redefinition of marriage that loses its social dimensions and encourages the impermanence of these arrangements. They would argue that marriage is the only significant institution supported by civil authority that protects children as they grow; the impermanence of the parental relationships is one of the major causes of a host of ills that beset the most vulnerable and weakest among us. European experience has demonstrated that diluting marriage into a private contract for the sake of one population can dilute it for the whole population.

While there may be significant small populations for whom a civil union is a useful contract, civil unions cannot serve to make peace between those who view homosexual practice differently."
-p. 22 of the report