Friday, June 29, 2012

That Would Be An Ecumenical Matter

"I think people should mate for life, like pigeons or catholics."
Woody Allen

The Enemy described a married couple as "one flesh". He did not say "a happily married couple" or "a couple who married because they were in love", but you can make the humans ignore that. You can also make them forget that the man they call Paul did not confine it to married couples. Mere copulation, for him, makes "one flesh". You can thus get the humans to accept as rhetorical eulogies of "being in love" what were in fact plain decriptions of the real significance of sexual intercourse. The truth is that whenever a man lies with a woman, there, whether they like it or not, a transcendental relation is set up between them which must be eternally endured or eternally enjoyed.
C.S Lewis -- The Screwtape Letters

A great many people think that if you are a Christian yourself, you should try to make divorce difficult for everyone. I do not think that. At least I know I would be very angry if the Mohammedans [sic] tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.
C.S Lewis -- Mere Christianity

But now look at pages pp 26, 30 and 31 [of Mere Christianity]. There you will observe that you are really committed (with the Christian church as a whole) to the view that Christian marriage -- monogamous, permenant, rigidly "faithful" -- is in fact the truth about sexual behaviour for all humanity: this is the only road of of total health (including sex in its proper place) for all men and women...Do I not then say truly that your bringing in of Mohammedans [sic] on p 34 is a most stinking red herring? I do not think that you can possibly support your 'policy' [of a two-tier marriage system] by this argument, for by it you are giving away the very foundation of Christian marriage. The foundation is that this is "the correct way of running the human machine". Your argument reduces it merely to a way of (perhaps) getting an extra mileage out of a few selected machines.
Letter from J.R.R Tolkien to C.S. Lewis (not posted).

I say we shall have no more marriages. Those that are married already, all save one shall live. The rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery - go!