Scott wrote:Traditionally, marriage was allowed only between a man and a woman of the same race and religion.
That's not entirely true, Scott.
In Catholicism since time immemorial Catholic women
and men have married non-Catholics. It's discouraged due to the conception of the education of the children in large part. But plenty of Catholic women have been married to pagans and non-Catholics. My mother is Catholic but my father is not.
In Islam a man can wed several women (up to 5 I think) and non-Muslim women, but Muslim women can only
marry Muslim men and only one man.
So, you might be getting your impression from that.
The United States had a bit of a different story. Many Catholics of the United States adopted the mainstream views of the United States. They still do. Just listen to some Republican Catholics comments about guns. They go directly
against not just the Pope's and Holy Sees view in Italy but the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference which is basically the Catholic Congress of the United States. In a certain way.
Pretty much conservative and liberal Catholics only pick what they want to follow. They deny it and come up with some excuse as to why they are more Catholic than the Pope (though, they usually don't explicitly state that, but that's the underlying logic).
So, most white Catholics adopted the racist attitudes (many still do) of the mainstream U.S. culture of whatever era they were in. Which means some tried to argue black people were not human etc.
But mainly I think "miscegenation" was taboo--or at least marriage was if extra-marital affairs were not--among mostly white, Catholic controlled territories of the colonized worlds. During the early 20th Century when Eugenics was the craze Brazil (long belittled by diplomats from the U.S. and Europe for so many blacks and mixed-races around the aristocratic court) did the opposite of the United States which promoted racial segregation and no miscegenation so as not to dilute "white blood" and create an inferior mongrel nation. Brazil promoted miscegenation for racist reasons in the reverse: to spread "white blood' throughout the population to improve the racial stock of the nation in subsequent generations.
It might be said here that Brazil has different--more complex too--racial constructs than the United States. There are many categories between white and black. And one can hold two or more classifications. For example, I've been told by a Brazilian that I would be officially classified as pardo
(brown) by the state, regarded as mulatto
, but called moreno
because no one would want to offend me. The term "mulatto" carries insulting connotations in Brazil that means untrust worthy for males and basically suggests a woman is a whore.
"White" in Brazil is phenotype broad like "black" is in the United States. Like "black" in the U.S. includes (me), people like Halle Berry to Wesley Snipes.
This person would be white in Brazil. Not black.
(Obama's former pastor Rev. Wright)
This person would be morena in Brazil. Not mulatta nor black.
These persons would be mulatta in Brazil.
(Halle Berry and Tyra Banks)
You'll see a Catholic Priest was murdered in the U.S. South by the KKK for marrying a white woman to a Puerto Rican man.
But the Catholic Church has always maintained that homosexuality is contrary to the proper moral order of human sexuality and immoral. That marriage can only be between man and woman. That marriage is not "dating" nor sentimental romance or temporary emotional states some call love (and divorce when said emotions and sentiments fade). That marriage is about a monogamous commitment of sex opened to and for the primary cause of a dual nature of creating offspring and educating said children. Furthermore, between two baptized people the marriage is said to be sacramental (outward, visible signs that reveal a greater inward, invisible truth). A marriage can only exist with the conjugal act. And a marriage is not form by state, paper contracts, nor by a priest. A marriage is greater than swearing, oath, and is a covenant made by man and woman with God. The priest and community only act as agents of official recognition.
This is my understanding (if my understanding is flawed in some way) of the Catholic conception of marriage.
On August 11, 1921, Father Coyle was shot and fatally wounded as he sat in the swing on his rectory front porch by an enraged minister whose daughter’s marriage to a dark-skinned Puerto Rican Father Coyle had presided over less than two hours before he was shot. He died forty minutes later in the operating room at St. Vincent’s Hospital. His funeral was one of the largest ever held in the history of Birmingham. The shooter, who was also a Klansman, was found not guilty in a trial held two months later. The trial was a travesty of justice.
-- Updated February 22nd, 2013, 10:35 pm to add the following --
It is patently false to claim that it is possible for couple B to conceive children. No 80-year-old women has ever given birth to a child. It doesn't happen rarely because it doesn't happen at all.
You are correct, Scott. And I doubt the Catholic Church would ever marry an 80 year old woman to a 25 year old man.
But this is a thread more about civil marriages. My own feeling is that secular nations claiming separation of church and state should have never gotten into the business of marriage (i.e., civil marriages).
But Newme is right that secular nation-states thought it wise to retain the ancient institutions of marriage--not so people can clap over those publicly declaring, even if temporarily, that they are in love with the person next to them--but because the family was considered the basic unit of society. They wanted to promote the stability of the family structure in society. And by family they meant those producing offspring.
Secular society has increasingly diminished marriage. I mean this for heterosexuals too. One of the biggest mockeries are those shot-gun wedding chapels in Las Vegas. The U.S. courts have helped disgrace the institution of marriage. As more generations go by more reduction of what marriage is lobbied by citizen groups. I'm waiting for when marriage--and the state bureaucracy funded through tax dollars--is extended to teenagers at high school football games after meeting each other only 7 days prior. All it tkes to persuade the public is come out with touching stories and repeat the words "Isn't it all about love
Love is sticking with your wife as she dies of cancer. Love is not Kim Kardashian getting divorced a few or several days after "marriage."
Feminist have also been pretty successful for lobbying for certain things that ought scare any man into thinking about marrying a woman. Or at least give it wise consideration. She'll divorce you over dissatisfaction and take half your money. She'll take your kid in the process.
To be honest with you... I don't have much regard for the contemporary culture and institution of marriage. My lesbian friend was in some civil union or something with one of her many girlfriends and that ended quick when the other one got pregnant by some dude and had his kid. Then I have a male relative (heterosexual) that has been married and divorced several times. The last wedding I didn't attend. I responded politely to the invite that I would not come but wished them both the best. And I meant my well wishes. But I just did not feel like putting on a front like this was some new flowering love for all of life that I needed to communally celebrate.
Excepted the social benefit of social prestige, every other benefit gay couples can obtain through written wills and making their partner the legal authority over medical decisions if they are unable to. I'm not married. Have no girlfriend or lover and I can even do that. I don't know how many times the VA Hospital has asked me if I want to assign some relative or friend as the legal decision maker over my medical care if I go into a coma or something.
This whole modern notion tax dollars, courts, political bureaucracy needs to be expanded into the personal sexual lives of people, and clap and whistle every time two grown juvenile people make googly eyes at each other is ridiculous. Why do I need to clap because you're providing oral sex to someone or claim to love someone odds are you'll be in court divorcing years later? I don't.
Sorry if 99% of what I said was nothing particularly philosophical.
Really, I don't care if Mormon people or Wiccans marry several spouses. Lesbians can marry each other. Hey, I don't care if 1 lesbian has 7 lesbian spouses. But I'm telling you know... if the state ever extends it's reach into puppy love over the internet and marries people online that have never met (think that Norte Dame football player fooled online in internet romance), or starts marrying people to their pets, I'm totally disregarding the whole civil marriage thing entirely. I don't care how much social pressure would be placed on me to clap and go "Aww...