Monday, September 12, 2011

Two Marriages and Two Questions

I got so many fun responses the last time I posted about this subject, I just couldn't resist doing it again!

Rachel Held Evans posts links every weekend on things of note around the blogosphere. Whether you agree with all the articles or not really isn't the point; she introduces us to a wide and wild range of thought and controversy.

Reading Tony Jones' articles on "There are Two Marriages," I was encouraged to see others pursuing this same line of thought. I'd never even considered his contention that pastors should not be agents of the state, and it's buzzing around in my head right now. I need to think on this some more, but it ties into some old readings of Christian anarchist thought (John Howard Yoder, Jacques Ellul) that I may have to post on at a later date.

While Jones' writings are concise, personal and provocative, what really blew me away was a pamphlet from Project 515. Propaganda, but in its truest sense, this pamphlet lays out how just one state discriminates against tax-paying citizens by 1) offering benefits that can only be accessed through marriage and 2) withholding marriage from citizens who desire it.

These run the gamut from financial, tax-exemption and insurance benefits we're all aware of, as well as, human-rights type benefits that we often take for granted. Like being able to collect your partner's remains after death. Some of the statutes are actually bad for the state. Statutes listed 69-73 actually cost the state money, as a partner but not legal spouse of someone at a state facility is NOT obligated to help with the expenses incurred by their stay there.

I'm going to leave comments open, provided that the discussion is beneficial and civil and on-topic. I will delete comments that do not stay on track or veer into religious-wing-nut territory, because we've already covered that ground. I won't, however, delete a comment merely because there is a disagreement of opinion.

My questions:

1) Which of the 515 shocked or surprised you?
2) If you don't think this is discrimination (or that this kind of discrimination is justified) I'm interested in hearing your nuanced, non-religious explanations.

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