Happy Valentine’s Day!
St. Valentine, an unmarried priest, believed so much in marriage, that he defied the Emperor, which ultimately resulted in his death by beheading on February 14th, now known as “Valentine’s Day.”
A Romantic Day To Remember
St. Valentine believed in love so much that he defied the rules of his Emperor, Claudius II. Claudius made the decision to ban marriage among young people, believing that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers. Valentine began officiating marriages in secret but was eventually discovered, imprisoned and executed. Although I admire Valentine’s standing up for what he believed in, I would have suggested a different approach.
The History of Love and Marriage
Despite St. Valentine’s effort, love and marriage have not always gone together like a horse and carriage. Love and the institution of marriage is still evolving. There was a time when wives were considered the property of a man, with no legal rights to their children’s guardianship. In Roman society, only the upper class of Roman citizens had the legal right to marry. Believe it or not, Christian marriage was originally thought to be a questionable act, and not considered a sacrament until the 13th century. Although there is no official proof, much evidence reveals that the Church not only approved the sacrament of Marriage in the 13th Century, but allowed same- sex unions as well. Slaves were not permitted to marry as they were considered “property.” Asians and Native Americans were not permitted to marry in the early years of the U.S. and interracial couples were not permitted to marry in some states until as late as 1967.
Love and Marriage Today
We continue to see the legal battle over the institution of marriage in the U.S. today. In most states, same-sex couples are still unable to enter into civil marriages. Just as Americans in the past feared interracial marriage, today some Americans still fear same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, still in the U.S. where “all men are created equal, with certain inalienable rights”, we still struggle to realize the foundation on which this country was built.
Nate Berkus discusses his frustration over Marriage Rights in the U.S.
Nate Berkus says he’s surprised gay marriage has been such a controversial issue. “I’m so in favor that everyone should have equal rights regardless of who you are or what you are or how you label yourself,” he says. “The thought that this is such a huge controversy in our country…—I’m not sure I get that.”
If gay marriage were legal everywhere, Nate says, he would want to have a wedding one day. “I think people don’t necessarily understand is that… When you want to make that commitment to the person you love, to the person you want to be with forever, you want to have that ceremony and be surrounded by your friends.” When it comes down to it, Nate says he’s frustrated he doesn’t have the same marriage rights as everyone else. “I don’t want to be told that I can’t do it,” he says.
On this Valentine’s Day, in a world that could use more love, I wish all couples much love and happiness and a very happy Valentine’s Day!