Apples and oranges. Marriage is a legal contract governed by state laws. The minor child must legally acquire a license which can be issued only by consent of the parents; therefore the likelihood of a church marrying a minor to anybody without parental consent is moot.
Perhaps you should be introduced to the members of the FLDS church - many, many of whom were married in the Church's eyes but not the eyes of the state.
My argument is not that at all. However, if I send my kid to a playground, unless I instruct otherwise, I fully expect the kid to be running and playing frisbie or ball or sliding down the slide, riding on the merry-go-round, teetering on the totter, and doing all the activities normally associated with a playground. Likewise, if I send or take my kid to church, I expect the kid to be involved in the activities promoted by that church.
And you'd be happy to allow your kid to run around and play becuase those are NORMAL, ROUTINE and EXPECTED occurances. Is there anyone that DOESN'T know that on occassion a kid gets beat up on a playground? Probably not. But it isn't normal, routine or expected. Being held down against your will and having an exorcism performed on you against your wishes ISN'T a normal, routine or expected activity.
So the issue before us is not whether exorcism is an activity promoted or sanctioned by the congregation in question. It clearly is. The issue is whether the Court erred in distinguishing between a 'normal church activity' and abuse. Remember I said early on that I tended to agree with the dissenting opinion of the Court just as you did. But I can also leave the door open here for consideration of other factors involved. It is those other factors that I am most interested in discussing.
No, that isn't the issue at all. For someone who claims to have read the decison you seem to have missed the entire opoint of it.
Nope. But all Assembly of God congregations that I know of do believe in and practice exorcism.
Big deal. The Catholic Church also believes in and practices exorcism but they do it so infrequently that most members of the Church have never witnesed one. I am a former Assembly of God member (as well as a former Catholic) and never once saw an excorsim performed in either church.
So for that activity to occur could easily be considered neither unusual nor abnormal any more than laying on of hands, spontaneous prayer or hymn singing, or an impromptu teaching would be considered unusual or abnormal.
And when people go out on dates it isn't unusual or abnormal for them to have sex either. But the minute you have a gang of 4 or 6 people pin the girl to a pool table in the local bar and force her to have sex it's called rape. But according to your theory it isn't right?
You are ignoring half of the entire picture. There are "normal activies" and then there "normal processes/procedures" for conducting those activities. When a person presents themselves at a place to participate in an activity the "reasonable person" standard holds they they expect "normal activity conducted in the normal manner". You are trying to look only at the activitiy and pretending that the manner the activity was conducted in doesn't matter. They are both of equeal importance.