15 January 2014

Uncommon Commentary #389: Civil Marriage Is Often Uncivil Anyway

If there were a polity governed by the principles of what I call "Domanism"—let's call it "Domania" or perhaps "the Doman Empire"—, it would take a very different approach to marriage from what prevails in the super-secular modern West.  The state would recognize Christian, Jewish, and most other religious wedding ceremonies, but not the civil variety. (Couples whose wedding had been performed by, e.g., a justice of the peace either prior to the establishment of this quasi-utopia, or in a land wherefrom they had subsequently migrated, would have to legitimate their marriage by making vows to God before a clergyman; so that children born previously would not be bastards, this solemnified marriage would be held as retroactive to the date of the civil ceremony.)  As reason and religion both require, marriage would be permitted only between persons of opposite sexes, and each person would be allowed just one husband or wife at a time.  Cohabitation with someone of the other sex would be forbidden.  Following Matthew 5:32, divorce would be allowed only in the event of sexual misconduct (which evidently is the meaning of "porneia", the word used in the New Testament); the spouse who was cheated on would be permitted to remarry, but the one who committed adultery would not be so permitted while the former spouse remained alive.
It's unlikely that Domania /the Doman Empire will be established while our fallen race is still running the world, but, if it ever should be, I'll supply you with pertinent information such as gross domestic product and average life expectancy and, most importantly, maps of this land.  (Ideally, it would extend over all Christendom, the territories in which Christianity has historically been the prevalent faith.  Of course, it would be even better if this potential realm overspread the entire world, but let's take one thing at a time; it's hard enough to get most nominal Christians to behave like Christians, without trying to enforce such standards of behavior among the infidels.)