Thursday, July 18, 2013

Marriage and Drowning

Recently there have been articles about marriage. About why marriage is really only marriage in the Church, about how the Church should distance itself from civil marriage and about how the Church should not distance itself from civil marriage. Here's what I think, by way of analogy.

Consider a lifeguard, protecting swimmers at a beach. So the marriage is designed to support and protect the family. A professionally certified lifeguard is a lifeguard, and is certainly recognized as such. Even f the lifeguard is certified by a different authority we can recognize them as a lifeguard and trust them to protect the swimmers. Even where the certifying authority has different criteria, the aim and duty of the lifeguard is the same, and we are secure in the water, even if we are a little more secure knowing that the certification was the strictest.

Even a person who has had no formal training as a lifeguard can act as one. They may not know the best way to rescue a person, but they understand that their job is to keep the drowning victim's head above water as best they can and get them to shallow water. In fact, even a person who can't swim can act as a lifeguard, if they promise they will throw a life preserver to someone in trouble.

But the key thing here is to understand that the purpose of the lifeguard is to rescue swimmers in trouble. They do not become lifeguards for the purpose of playing frisbee on the beach. Yes, a lifeguard can also play frisbess on the beach sometimes, but someone playing frisbee on the beach is not a lifeguard. To call them one is not only incorrect, it endangers all the swimmers in the water.


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