October 13, 2009
Gay Marriage Begins With Separation
Our country was built on the foundation of separation between church and state. But has the concrete wall of separation begun to deteriorate? Or was it ever really there at all? As we continuously battle over the rights to same sex marriage, the question of church or state surfaces. It is due time that we examine this matter and decide once and for all if the church should have any opinion in the matter when this country is supposed to be based on a separation of the two. Howard Moody, a Baptist minister, addresses the issue of state versus church in the matter of gay marriage in his article published in 2004 in the Nation. Moody’s article, “Gay Marriage Shows Why We Need to Separate Church and State”, reiterates that when defining the right to gay marriage, there should be a clear separation between church and state due to the fact that heterosexual marriage in this country is based and granted from a purely legal (state) standpoint. Moody begins by discussing the motive for his article, he says, “the purpose of this writing is to discuss that the gay marriage debate is less about the legitimacy of the loving relationship of the same sex couple than about the relationship of church and state and how they define marriage” (Moody 145). So far the debate about gay marriage has focused on church and state rather than if a couple really does love each other and is worthy of marriage. When speaking of our nation, Moody proclaims that “Kings, presidents and rulers of all kinds have seen how important the control of marriage is to the regulation of social order. In this nation, the government has always been in charge of marriage” (Moody 148). While some may not agree with the idea of gay marriage, the legality of it should be left to the state to decide. In addition, while equality may not be achieved over night, the strong debate of gay marriage is surfacing at a fast rate and its time we take a closer look.
Most authors begin their works by defining who they are and why anyone should care what they have to say. Ethos, the appeal to credibility, helps to establish a writer and give their audience a sense of security in what they are about to engage themselves in. In the article, Moody uses ethos to appeal to his audience and prove that he is worthy of making the claims set forth regarding his position on gay marriage. He states, “Having been nurtured in the Christian faith from childhood and having served a lifetime as an ordained Baptist minister, I feel obligated first to address the religious controversy concerning the nature of marriage” (Moody 146). Understandably, Moody has the skills and training necessary to be a valid source on the subject of gay marriage. As a minister, one is granted the privilege to have the authority on marriage. Moody feels that even though he is part of the church there is still an issue concerning the right of gay marriage and who will make the decision to allow it or not. Further establishing his clout on the marriage forefront, Moody reminds his audience, “The church I served had a number of gay and lesbian couples who had been together for many years, but none of them had asked for public weddings or blessing on their relationship” (Moody 147). In this instance it is clear that Moody not only officiates over his church but has plenty of experience with the gay community. It seems that regardless of the love two people have for each other, when it comes to same sex marriage, no one even ventures to ask when joined in the religious community. Blessing or not, a couples love for each other does not change. However, at a state level love has nothing to do with it.
The use of definition as a method in conveying a message is solid and to the point. Throughout the article, the author uses the technique of definition to clearly state both cases, the view of the state versus the...