God, not just human decision alone,
is the author of sacred institutions like marriage
and this is vastly important because
God endowed sacred institutions with benefits and a purpose
that are important for the eternal destiny of the family
and for the peace and unity of the whole society.
But every major religion is full of paradox:
salvation is a free gift of God and yet
worked out by our own effort in fear and trembling;
salvation is bright and glorious and yet
often arrived at through pain/chaos/martyrdom.
All this paradox and chaos results in meaninglessness:
difficulty in making sense of life.
Meaninglessness is the absolute threat
to our spiritual self-affirmation
just as emptiness is the relative threat.
Meaninglessness is the background to emptiness
just as death is the background
to the vicissitudes of life.
More paradox and chaos:
Christians finding excuses for creating death.
Pope Urban II put severe restrictions on war:
only if absolutely necessary
and only in defence of Christianity.
But then this pope decided a Crusade
would unify Christianity/bring peace/end all war.
Perhaps today we are more enlightened?
We recognize everyone and everything
has “ground value” – all things
are works or children of the Creator.
In other words: everything and everyone
has “intrinsic value” and therefore rights –
animals have rights and all of nature has rights.
Nothing has merely “instrumental value” –
nothing is merely a means to an end.
In the past the end was the wealth and pleasure of the rich
with no respect for God or sacred institutions
and no respect for the common good or Creation’s rights.