Tuesday, September 30, 2003
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Just thinkin’ about divorce and how Catholics approach it.

At the risk of being shouted down as a heretic to my Catholic Church, I’ll post this. I’m going to stay real simplistic, almost too simplistic, and not get into all of the Catholic doctrine, because we all know and understand that stuff. Most of us think that the State should get the hell out of marriage, and I am more hardcore than anyone on that. We all understand (I hope) the difference between the sacramental marriage and the State-given marriage. The doctrine is obviously clear. But why are Catholics so focused on the evils of “divorce” in general (philosophically, as opposed to sacramentally)? Yes, yes, I know the doctrine. Doctrine aside, a simple fact is that if a marriage is shot, it is shot. Dead is dead. If two people can’t get along, nothing can change that. Oh yes, propose some psycho-babbling marriage counseling for a couple whose marriage is shot by the time they are 30 years old, and hey, they only have about another 50-55 years to “stick it out” together. Time will fly! Seriously, doctrine is doctrine, and life is reality, and many Catholics, as we probably know, get divorced and use birth control pills (or approve of their use). And we need to ask ourselves why that is.

Without the State, realize that each religious rite will develop their own doctrines or rules for marriage, and people will be free to move along to other rites in order to accomodate what they desire (divorce). In other words, divorce will happen. In a perfect world, without the State, can non-religionists not get married? Of course, for if we tie marriage only to religion, atheists and assorted non-religionists will find a huge market for developing numerous private bodies that sanction marriages. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? No State (I’m dreamin’ again), and you could voluntarily associate with that body which most conforms to your beliefs (Catholicism, Protestantism, a secular body, etc.) Are Catholic libertarians against this – philosophically – on the basis of their philosophical beliefs (tied to the doctrine) concerning the marriage sacrament? It’s an interesting discussion point.

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