In advocating for gay marriage, the Rev. Kuether is guilty of a straw man argument commonly used to discredit what most people and all of history have recognized -- that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman. His misleading argument goes like this: the view that marriage is between one man and one woman is merely a "religious" view, and for that reason should not find its way into a state's constitution. If this is true, then I would agree that a good case could be made for voting No on the MN Marriage Amendment and letting every church, pastor, man, and woman decide for themselves what is and is not marriage.
But what is conveniently left out of his letter is that marriage is more than a religious or denominational matter and has always been recognized as such. To be sure it is a religious issue (as all Christian church bodies affirm). But it is more than that as well.
As another example, take murder. The Bible says, "You shall not murder." Because this is a statement made in a religious book, is it somehow then of no interest to government? Of course not. There are certain matters that are of concern to both the church and the state. Murder, stealing, perjury, disrespect for authorities, etc., are religious issues and at the same time go beyond any one church. Our churches and governments have always recognized that there are matters that both the spiritual and temporal realms must speak to. Marriage has been one of those.
One would be hard-pressed to find in history a fight over the legal definition of marriage until the last few decades. But now we are fighting. Why? Because the time-tested, natural law, God-given definition of marriage for all is considered by some to be unfair to 2 percent of the population who have a lifestyle at odds with nature and God's law and because they wish to impose on all of us by law (or judicial order -- as was done in Iowa) a brand new definition of marriage that includes homosexual couples. Due to this assault on marriage, 31 states have attempted to and have been successful in adding the traditional definition of marriage to their constitutions. They have had to do so because Rev. Kuether and friends want to legally redefine marriage for all of society. So there is a fight to hang on to the traditional definition which is now being labeled by Rev. Kuether and others as "unjust."
No, Rev. Kuether, my definition of marriage is not merely mine; our church's understanding of marriage is not simply our church's. It goes beyond the doors of any church or religion. Just as God has decreed for all people of all time to protect innocent life, so he has given to all the understanding -- based in nature and attested to throughout history -- that marriage is between one man and one woman. To adopt any other definition is to impose on us and especially on our children a grand experiment that the world has never known.
If marriage is merely a matter of personal or church preference, then the door is wide open to allow for any and all definitions. If we cannot limit marriage to one man and one woman, we cannot limit it at all. -- Pastor David Thompson, Audubon