C.S. Lewis on civil marriage vs. church marriage.

As we wait for a Supreme Court ruling about marriage, I’m thinking about one of my favorite quotes from Christian author C.S. Lewis.

C.S. Lewis

Lewis was very opposed to divorce, and in his book Mere Christianity, he argued that Christians shouldn’t consider divorce an option. But then he said this:

Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question – how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to 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 should be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise 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.

Wise words.

The next entry in my series on questions Christians ask about gay people is on this very subject. Watch for it!