Monday, May 19, 2008

Fundamentalist Inconsistency

The other day while out in the car, I tuned into the Focus on the Family broadcast, hoping to hear some good ranty blogging fodder. As usual, they did not disappoint.

They regularly review new movies, mainly to decide whether or not the movie is "family friendly". And their definition of "family friendly" is rather narrow, to say the least.

I once heard them decline to recommend a movie that they otherwise liked because the movie had three cuss words in it. The movie in question was a sports movie, and the reality is that people involved in sports commonly use cuss words. I'm thinking the makers of the movie probably were quite restrained limiting the incidences of foul language to just three times.

Most recently, they reviewed a movie in which there were a few passing references to the main character being separated from his live-in girlfriend. The reviewer said he was "disappointed" by other characters trying to get them back together. He wondered why couldn't they have been a married couple, as it would then would.have been "appropriate", in the reviewer's opinion, to help get the couple back together.

In other words, the reviewer believed the relationship wasn't worth saving unless it ended with a marriage. His comments also implied that the separation was a correction of sin, rather than a sad event.

As I listened to the broadcast, I thought of how such fundamentalists will respect any legal marriage as being legitimate, even those where religion has played no part and were not blessed by a member of the clergy.

On the other hand, they would not consider a couple who'd had a non-legal church ceremony as being truly married. Such marriages have happened most often with elderly people who don't feel right just living together, but do not want to get legally married because they'd lose various legal benefits as the survivors of deceased former spouses.

In their worldview, a couple ideally has been legally married in church, but a legal secular marriage is valid to them as well. A marriage, blessed only in church without a state marriage license, would be considered invalid by them.

I don't get it. Fundamentalists often assert that marriage was "ordained by God", blah, blah, blah, so it would seem more logical for them to consider the spiritual aspect of marriage as being more important than the legal aspect.

Apparently not, however, if the attitudes I mentioned above are any indication.

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