Monday, January 10, 2011

A brief lesson in Parliamentary Democracy

Dear Saskatchewan Premier, Justice Minister,

The word you're likely looking for is "notwithstanding".

a Catholic living elsewhere


Anonymous said...

Maybe it should be obvious to me but it isn't - what is this post about?

your friend in Saskatchewan

Belfry Bat said...

Oh, it's in response to a news report that a provincial superior court judge did judge that some notion of common good was ascendent over religious freedom (which is mentioned earlier in the Charter, i.i.r.c., ...), so that civil marriage clerks could not, on the basis of religiously-informed moral belief, refuse to witness and register civil marriages between pairs of individuals who, due to their anatomies being coincident rather than complementary, cannot even in principle naturally beget children by eachother. The judge apparently cited an irrelevant slope of slippiness, too, but I won't get into that.

Now, I'd be tempted to say that, since a civil marriage isn't a marriage, it doesn't matter anyway; but I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that it's the duty of a Catholic to be an exemplary citizen, too. (not a toad-like unthinking patriotic pawn, but a model of living charitably in community, and obedient to those laws that are well-formed).

It used to be that the state recognized exactly those marriages that the Church said had taken place; but I think it's reasonable that a civil service be aware of who's married (or else there *will* be fraud), so I don't mind them keeping a separate civil registry of all that. And furthermore, I don't think it does any good to conceal valid Christian marriages from the state on the basis of the state's decision to recognize impossible marriages. All the moreso because the family is the fundamental and primary instance of social life. It matters. So I'd rather the provincial government acknowledged the truth of the matter and asserted true justice, this judge's intepretation of his country's constitution notwithstanding; and at the same time, they should contest the decision and appeal to a higher court.

Anyway, that's my 2c.

Belfry Bat said...

A kind and generous friend points out to me that there are nontrivial cases in which the Catholic Church presumes the validity of certain civil marriages (given the right matter). I remain ignorant about what exactly these cases are, of wherin lies the wisdom of the presumption, and whether it is rooted in some deeper presumption of the once-universal understanding of marriage's natural and supernatural ends --- an understanding which seems to have crumbled far and wide.

I don't think that hinders the rest of my ... er... rant.

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