Writing for the New York Review of Books , the indefatigable Garry Wills asks , “Why do some people who would recognize gay civil unions oppose gay marriage? Certain religious groups want to deny gays the sacredeness of what they take to be a sacrament. But marriage is no sacrament.”

Wills goes on to offer a host of distortions of the history of Christian marriage, to which Brandon Watson offers a conversation-ending response:

Wills confuses marriage as a religious ritual with marriage as a sacrament.  A sacrament is, at its most basic, a sign of spiritual things. There is no getting around the fact that marriage is a sacrament or mystery in some sense, since Ephesians 5 explicitly treats of it in those terms, and, contrary to Wills, calling marriage a sacrament goes back as far in Christian history as we can find explicit statements on the subject, not just to the eleventh century. Augustine, for instance, writing well before the eleventh century,  explicitly discusses the sacramental character of marriage .

There is much, much more. Please read all of Brandon’s piece.

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