Saturday, October 18, 2008

Taxes to Caesar

Well, it's taken this long for the family legacy to bloom. I'm thinking of my Christmas cactus, which waited until April to finally blossom. Now, amidst the communion of saints, a grandfather and four great-uncles watch as I deliver my first sermon, which follows.

“Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emporer, or not?”

Elk Grove Village is not occupied by troops from a distant emperor, and the Archdiocese of Chicago doesn’t make the laws for this state, at least not officially, so permit me to rephrase the question: is it moral to pay taxes to the nation and state, to the administration led by the person Garrison Keillor calls The Current Occupant? Is it moral to pay taxes for the war in Iraq, for imprisoning enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay without due process? We pay income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and the hidden tax of inflation brought on by deficit spending. How do we, supposedly the source of political power in this country, express our disapproval of spending we find immoral? What can we do—what should we do—to express God’s call to us, to resist our understanding of society’s encroachment on Christian moral values, whatever we interpret them to be? The Mennonites and Quakers have a long history of tax resistance in this country, on theological grounds related to the Gospel we heard today. Should we follow their lead, or some other?

Today’s Gospel “pitch” has a rather long wind-up. Let’s review the run-up to it in the prior week’s Gospel readings.

Four weeks ago, Jesus called Matthew to follow him, which he did! Matthew was a Jew. He collected taxes for the Romans under King Herod. The tax was especially hated because it was a poll tax. It tested how much revenue could be squeezed out of the Jews for the Roman Empire. The Zealots actively opposed it. Matthew, quitting his job and following Jesus, directly affected Herod’s ability to collect those taxes. Encouraging Matthew to quit his job as tax collector could have been regarded as tax resistance, the sort of thing Zealots encouraged.

That was four weeks ago. Three weeks ago in the Gospel, the chief priests challenged Jesus, “By what authority are you [teaching]?” Jesus responded by calling them to justify their rejection of the baptism of John. Effectively, he trapped them between their rejection of John and their fear of the Jewish people. Jesus told the chief priests that the Jewish tax collectors would get to heaven before them, and put tax collectors and prostitutes in the same phrase, twice. That’s putting prostitutes and tax collectors—and, by implication, their managers, the Pharisees—in closer proximity to each other than Alaska is to Russia. That was three weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, we heard the parable of the landowner and the vineyard. In this parable, Jesus accused the chief priests and Pharisees of mistreating, stoning and killing God’s prophets. Layed it on their doorstep. He predicted that “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you [the mainstream Jewish leaders] and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom”.

Last week he did it again, repeating, in the parable of the king and his wedding feast, the same accusation. Jesus predicted that everyone except God’s chosen people would be invited to the heavenly banquet.

So, it should come as no surprise to us that the mainstream religious leaders of the day would mount a counter-attack, a sure-fire, lose-lose proposition for Jesus. It was a political battle for the hearts and minds of the Jews, Jesus speaking truth to power, power fighting back.

Let’s see, how can we catch him up in his own words? Let’s ask him about paying taxes to Caesar. If he’s a tax resister—and remember, that was one of the accusations against Jesus when he was brought before Pontius Pilate—we can arrest him and throw him in the klink. If he says it’s legal, why, then the Zealots and their supporters will abandon him: besides, it makes him a blasphemer, and we can discredit him within the community.

Why would he be labeled a blasphemer? Because the inscription on the coin, the denarius, read “Caesar Augustus Tiberius, son of the Divine Augustus.” Tiberius was the son of God. You can almost hear them say, “Yes! we’ve got him!”

And so, we come to Jesus’ answer that lives for us today: render unto our emperor (or president, or prime minister or whatever), that which is his, and unto God that which is God’s. How perfect, and yet how perfectly incomplete!

God is creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. If this choice is exclusive, what’s left to render to the emperor? Jesus’ response is much more ambiguous than a simple “choose one or the other”. He leaves it up to us, not him, to make the decisions, the moral choices.

We decide what to give to civil authority and what to withhold. We: you and I, as a community. Our actions and our inactions are moral choices, just as they were moral choices for the Pharisees and Herodians back then. Remember, somebody in that crowd of spiritual leaders produced a denarius with that blasphemous inscription engraved on it: they made the decision to trade in that coin. We are called by Jesus to make the same kind of moral choices today. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were left amazed and speechless. Here was an answer to their question that required them to take personal responsibility for their decisions, their moral choices. Throwing up their hands, saying “it’s not my fault, it’s the rules—see, it’s written in Scripture” was not an option, then or now.

On November 4th you will vote for John McCain or Barack Obama, for Dan Seals or Mark Kirk, or you will stay home and not vote. Those are all moral choices. We, collectively, are accountable for them. Our current state of affairs in this country, our foreign policy, our domestic policy, our financial crisis, our environmental state of global warming, can all be traced to our collective decisions or indecisions over the previous decades. As the late Walt Kelly rephrased John Paul Jones so well, “We have met the enemy, and they is us.”

Pray, then, but do not neglect to act, as a community, a state and a nation. Pray that we make the right moral choices on November 4th, and in the days to come, Pray that we avoid the traps and snares that our enemies lay for us, to deny us the kingdom of God on earth, as it is in heaven.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tattoos for gays

Thinking Anglicans covers the opinions of The Rev. Peter Mullen, chaplain to the London Stock Exchange, and their fallout, news articles in The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and BBC. Link to it here.
After being rebuked by his bishop, Rev. Mullen made a "full and complete apology" for remarks he claimed were attempts at humour (can't resist the British spelling).

Is Father Mullen so insulated from the real world that he cannot distinguish really funny comments from really offensive ones? Is he so ignorant of history that he fails to recognize the connection between his allegedly humourous proposal and the tattooing of Jews in the Third Reich? No sooner did I read this article in TA than I made that connection.

It would be a real laugh-riot if Peter Mullen just cut to the chase: re-open the camps, gas all gays and throw them in the ovens. It took the Third Reich years to get to that point, presumably to acclimate the populace to the treatment of their Jewish, gay and Communist neighbors as sub-human. That's the end objective, though, isn't it, and the same reason for working to achieve it. Gays aren't really human. Heteros can fall in love, form bonds of affection that last a lifetime, commit to each other; gays can only copulate.

I hate ignorance, especially willful ignorance enforced by hidebound clerics who don't get the Word God sent them.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The latest chain mail

An acquaintenace of mine sent me the latest "outrage," expressing severe umbrage that the new $1 coins don't contain the inscription "In God We Trust" and urging me and all my contacts to refuse to use them.

This is such silliness. The European Union uses €1 and €2 coins and probably saves a lot of money not printing paper bills, which don't last nearly as long as the coins. But the point of the outrage, of course, hasn't anything to do with running the government more efficiently. It's the missing slogan.

What is it about these people, who insist that our government recognize religion? Insisting on this motto bends our government to a particular ideology. It cheapens the motto. As Theodore Roosevelt pointed out, it is irreverent to the point of sacrilege. I believe it is another form of idolatry, to recognize the motto and worship it in place of true religion, which is helping widows, visiting prisoners, etc.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Buying Another Iraq

I've been distracted for about five weeks, caring for a man recovering from a traumatic brain injury, the victim of a vicious mugging. I'll have a post in the near future talking about the different types of love we encounter or exhibit, relevant to this topic.

But today's topic is about the $700billion dollar bailout that our Current Occupant has proposed to solve all the financial problems he and his cohorts created in the past eight years or more. And I titled it "Buying Another Iraq" because that's about how I see it: it hasn't been enough for Dubya to bury us in debt for a specious war, he has to double-down by rescuing Wall Street for the excesses he facilitated. The effects of this bailout will be felt for over 40 years.

Who benefits from this plan? Surely it must be the few hundred Wall Street financial leaders, aided and abetted by GOP-sponsored legislation that deregulated the financial markets. Surely those who supported Senator Phil Gramm's deregulation mania. These are the same people who benefited from the Bush tax cuts, during a time of war when we are all supposed to sacrifice. Sacrifice indeed. Now it is we, the middle class and below, who once again sacrifice. It is the wealthy few who get off the hook.

Who is being bailed out, who lives and who dies, financially? It is one of the tenets of capitalism that reward results from risk. This bailout should shout to all Americans that the free market system has serious flaws that only government can correct, through regulation and controls, assiduously applied.
The companies who are "bailed out" should be nationalized, no less than FreddieMac and FannieMae. The executives and boards should be fired for cause and their golden parachutes confiscated. Trust in our financial system will not be restored until we have people running it who are doing so for better reasons than their own portfolios.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Blather in the e-mail

My beloved kid sister forwarded a petition for President Bush from an unnamed source, reading as follows:
We, the undersigned, protest the bill that the Senate voted on recently which would allow illegal aliens to access our Social Security. We ask that you and all Congressional representatives require citizenship as a pre-requisite for social services in the United States
The more I thought about this petition, the sillier it became. So, I wrote back to my sister, with cc's to my other siblings and relatives who received it. Here's what I said:

I don't think citizenship is the issue. Citizens and legal immigrants alike must pay into social security for at least 40 quarters--ten years--before they're eligible for SS benefits. Furthermore, the amount of their benefit is scaled to their income. This means that the benefits of minimum-wage workers are not the same as those of us paying larger amounts into SSA.

As for "illegal" immigrants, it would be helpful if the authors of this petition attached a bill number to it so that we could determine its exact wording and track its progress through the Congress. Without it, we are at the mercy of the author of this Ponzi scheme. Why have so many of you attached your name to a petition without checking out the actual bill before Congress, if in fact it exists with the provisions claimed? Do any of you actually believe an elected congresscritter would sponsor such a bill? What are you smoking?

Now that you have been alerted to the soft spots in this rabble-rousing, would you be willing to (1) research the real bill before Congress, (2) send in a retraction of your original email, should you find the details to be different from what was claimed, and (3) alert those who alerted you, that this whole e-mail enterprise is a fraud, if you so decide?

If you are unwilling to take these simple countermeasures, what are you prepared to say about your willingness to be duped by demagogues? Are you unwilling to recover your integrity? Are you unwilling to fight back against duplicity, innuendo and outright lies?

Don't feel like I'm singling you out. I've been duped before, it cost me tens of thousands of dollars at one point; I didn't do what I should have done to check out the claims of the perpetrator.

Please, folks, don't sign on to "outrages" until you've checked out the details. If there aren't any details, don't jump on the bandwagon. House and Senate bills have numbers, and they're all online, at and If you don't have the patience or training to understand the amazing complexity of what you're reading, then ask a librarian for help, or some other person who has the expertise.

And please stop sending me these faux alerts, they're distracting me from more important pursuits, like brushing my teeth and taking hot baths.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lambeth Noisemakers

Well, Lambeth 2008 has begun. 680 bishops and primates from around the world all at Canterbury. My own diocesan, Jeff Lee, has posting updates on YouTube here, here and here.

The noise of Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul and Bishop Jack Iker, of course, gets all the press. Archbishop Deng, most likely speaking for the Global South, released a statement of his bishops in the Episcopal Church of Sudan. Some snippets:
We believe that God created humankind in his own image; male and female he created them for the continuation of humankind on earth. Women and men were created as God’s agents and stewards on earth We believe that human sexuality is God’s gift to human beings which is rightly ordered only when expressed within the life-long commitment of marriage between one man and one woman.
So much for respecting the dignity of every human being. There are millions of gay men and women living in life-long commitments to each other that the church has actively oppressed, demeaned and even killed them for centuries. This historic position directly conflicts with Jesus' life and teaching, that care for God's people should have priority over any exclusionary or discriminatory institutional policy.
We reject homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within ECS.
Oh, silly me. It's not the homosexuality that's at issue, it's the practice. Straight folks can have sex, but gays must remain chaste. Rubbish.

++Deng Bul expresses a flawed theology. He's given ground on homosexuality, admitting it as an emotional condition. He acknowledges that God created gays and lesbians. What kind of God would create them but then restrict the joy of sexual activity only to heteros? He wants us to "respect the authority of the Bible," the book that states that God created his world, saw it was good, and loved it so much he sent Jesus into it. ++Deng Bul's God is a cruel god. That kind of theology doesn't respect the Bible.

"Out of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ," the statement reads, and then asks the churches in Canada and the U.S. to deny rites of blessing or ordinations to our gay brothers and sisters and to stop litigating to recover stolen property. This isn't love, it's the opposite of love, it's fear. The Bible tells us not to be afraid, even in the face of really embarrassing news like the Annunciation, or throngs of angels appearing in the sky over Bethlehem, or an empty tomb.

The ECS statement says that reviving the oppression and discrimination of gays and lesbians is "essential for bridging the divisions which have opened up within the Communion." That's not true. The Archbishop of Canterbury, in an attempt to assuage the anxiety of the Global South, refrained from inviting +Gene, yet 200 or so bishops still boycotted the Conference. They've shown no inclination to listen to anything other than their own prejudices. They want to create a rigid, confessional church and call it Anglican and Episcopal. If they succeed, I'll find somewhere else to worship. I don't feel like being oppressed by a church.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How did Pharaoh feel?

I've been reading Exodus. I started around chapter 3, where Moses encountered burning shrubbery, and skipped across to chapters 5 and finally to chapter 7, where Moses and God finally focused in on getting Pharaoh to take notice of the Israelites' demands for freedom. There are some interesting passages in here:
"The Lord said to Moses, 'See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.'"
What an interesting parallel here between Exodus and Lambeth 2008. +++Rowan, Pharaoh of Lambeth, has in his panic regarded +Gene as a God to be feared. Earlier, he barred him from participating in prayers and conversation, and just now has forbade him from celebrating or preaching during "the Lambeth period".
"But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and I will multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt."
+Gene may not celebrate or preach, but he will be at Lambeth. So will Integrity; so will Fr. Jake; so will dozens of TEC bishops. Their presence and their witness will spread across the entire Conference, spreading the Good News of God's amazing love for all of us, gay or straight, in spite of +++Rowan's best efforts at containment.

OK, I've escaped from the OT, but there are wonderful parallels in the NT. From John 20:19:
"...the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you'".
Oh, the scariest message you can imagine, that all our fears and terrors and defenses and denials are permeable by His spirit. Just imagine Abp Rowan chartering a flight or two for the whole conference, taking "the wings of the morning and settling them all at the farthest limits of the sea", yet still unable to escape the living God who desires all His children to be loved.

It's late. Much to do tomorrow. Love one another.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Blog surfing

I stopped by Mark Harris' blog this afternoon and revisited a post he started a few days ago. You can read it here. Rev. Mark's comments are, IMO, reasonable and sane. The comments, OTOH, deteriorated into a battle of wits between two contributors not fully armed. Phil, aka "anonymous," had two real clinkers:
"[homosexual sex] is short of what God desires for us and designed us for.”
“we are fallen creatures who's [sic]judgement is faulty, so we need some external touchpoint to know God's will and design for human beings"
BLS, not to be under-done, had this gem:
"To change my mind, I need to be shown arguments from Holy Scripture and/or the Teaching of the universal Church."
Where to begin. In the first excerpt, God appears to have died and left Phil in charge. To Phil alone have God's desires and plans been revealed. The physical aspect of my partner's love for me appears not to be included. This would be disconcerting if Phil were God. He isn't.

Next, we learn that our judgement is faulty by reason of Original Sin. The murders of Matthew Shepard and Lawrence King, among countless others, were merely lapses in judgement. Archbishop Peter Akinola's labeling us as less than human was an error in judgement. I think not. I believe they were failures of the heart. Pharaoh kept the Israelites in bondage because his heart was only in the Egyptian economy. +++Rowan's heart is likewise in bondage, to the number of Anglicans ++Peter et al have gathered into the Anglican Communion. A schism wouldn't look good on his watch.

BLS has a different problem. You gays! Come down from the cross that culture has put you on and he will believe. BLS is a reincarnation of Thomas. He has no connection to Matthew Shepard and Lawrence King, therefore they do not inform his belief. BLS doesn't understand that he is in community with all of us, Gentile and Jew, man and woman, gay and straight. We are all the Body of Christ, when one suffers, we all suffer. Until the authorities come for him, it's not his problem.

And then there's the matter of the "universal" Church. What the heck is that? There hasn't been a universal Church since the Council of Chalcedon. Silly.

Where do these people get their religious education? God knows.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Rev. Canon Mark Harris has a brilliant post on where he thinks the Church should be regarding sexuality. Find it here.

Mark doesn't hide:
I still believe that sexual expression between persons of the same sex is no more evil or good than is sexual expression between men and women...

As to marriage, I am convinced that holiness of marriage is not in marriage, but in God's blessing on people committed to life long companionship. I see no reason to suppose that God does not, or can not, bless such commitments when they are other than between a man and a woman. The Church ought do no less.
There's more, a lot more. Read it all. Mark writes succinctly and in a highly organized manner. I should learn composition from him.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Episcopal Church Still Welcomes You!

Two events galvanized religious conservatives in and out of The Episcopal Church (“TEC”) in 2003. The Diocese of New Hampshire elected, and TEC approved, the first openly gay bishop in the Church, and the Canadian diocese of New Westminster authorized services for blessing same-sex unions.
Conservatives had been uncomfortable since 1979 with women in the clergy and a new Book of Common Prayer. Outside TEC, the Institute for Religion and Democracy (richly endowed by Howard Ahmanson Jr. and the Bradley, Coors, Olin, Scaife and Smith-Richardson family foundations) began plotting to recast mainstream denominations in rigid doctrinal—and homophobic—terms. TEC became one of its prime targets. IRD and Anglican neoconservatives coaxed other churches around the world to be horrified by an openly and honestly gay man being made a bishop. Together they helped create several organizations in the US, reconnecting conservative parishes to African provinces, forming an alternative church that they hoped the Anglican Communion would recognize as the “true” Anglican church in the US.
A word about Anglicans. There are 34 autonomous Anglican churches in the world, called Provinces, each governed by an Archbishop, called a Primate. Most primates appoint their own bishops, who then select the next primate. The Archbishop of Canter¬bury (UK) is “first among equals,” a position with more clout by rea¬son of being the “Mother Church”. The Primate in the US is called a Presiding Bishop and is elected every nine years by bishops, clergy and lay persons in a triennial General Convention (GC). The GC is the governing body of TEC. All church property is held in trust for TEC.
Following Bishop Robinson’s election, the Archbishop of Canterbury convened an “emergency” meeting of primates, appointing a conservative to conduct a Special Commission to address the twin horrors of an Episcopal bishop not hiding his homosexuality and an Anglican diocese producing a rite to bestow God’s blessing on gay couples who love each other. The Eames Commission produced the Windsor Report in 2004. It called for moratoria on the blessing of same-sex unions, consecration of gay bishops, and incursions by primates on other primates’ turf. The Windsor Report was thoroughly critiqued in 2005, part of the building resistance to hijacking TEC.
TEC elected not to consecrate any bishops until GC 2006. Primates in Nigeria, Rwanda and elsewhere continued their cross-border incursions, picking off conservative Episcopal parishes and taking the property with them. In 2006, TEC elected the Anglican Communion’s first female Primate, Katharine Jefferts Schori to be its new Presiding Bishop, another shock for Anglican traditionalists. Bishop Katharine has actively cleaned house since, tolerating dissent but not schism.
For all the noise emanating from straight Christians who hate gay Christians, fewer than 1% of Episcopal parishes have voted to leave the church. Congregations who lost members over Bishop Robinson report a net increase since. Still, count¬less thousands of dollars will be spent in litigation to recover church property, funds that will not help those who need it the most, for food, clothing, education and shelter. Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned.
David Fleer
There really are churches that welcome lesbians and gays?
Yes, there are. St. Nicholas in Elk Grove Village has an active ministry for LGBT Christians:
 adult education on spirituality and sexuality
 LGBT group discussions on spirituality
 openness to leadership talent: 50% of the board is gay
 commitment to celebration, not just tolerance or inclusion
“The Church has a sexuality complex, it’s bankrupt on issues of sexuality,” says pastor Stephen Martz. “It’s hurting the Church. Until this issue is resolved, the Church cannot be whole, cannot be human.” Martz’ vision for St. Nicholas is a congregation that includes everyone, not just those with a narrow range of “acceptable” sexuality. Oh, did I mention that St. Nicholas is growing larger, year by year?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fr. Jake pointed me to an interview with PB Katharine Jefferts Schori in the Seattle Times. You can read it here.

I found this comment of hers particularly interesting:

"The Lambeth Convention's intent is to gather bishops in community and to meet each other as individual human beings. It's never been intended to settle issues."

Oh, really? Has anyone bothered to inform +++Rowan, the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose conference this is? One duly elected and consecrated bishop, V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, was not "gathered" into this conference, even for common prayer. Why? Is he undeserving of being in community with his peers, some of whom have never been elected? Or is it because he is not perceived to be an individual human being? Conventional wisdom being oracular, all should know that heterosexuals can fall in love, form close personal bonds and make long-term commitments, while gays can only copulate. Has +VGR been relegated to a sub-human species, as were the Jews under the Third Reich? We must hope not.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Locked for fear of the Jews

Tough bunch. They'd just arranged to have Jesus arrested, tried, convicted and executed on trumped-up charges. One of his disciples, Peter, only escaped by insisting loudly that he wasn't a disciple. It was reasonable to assume that if they were found, they'd all be swept up and crucified in turn. So they met in a house with the doors, and presumably windows, locked. Nobody gets in to threaten them; nobody even wants to get out and risk death. So how did Jesus get in, twice?

Let us now fast-forward to Lambeth 2008, the decennial meeting of bishops and archbishops of the Anglican Communion. It is hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the epicenter of the autonomous Anglican churches around the world, the First Among Equals of all the Primates. The churches of the Anglican Communion are united first by their history of Colonial domination at some point in the last 400+ years, and second by their obeisance to a common liturgy, in spirit if not in word. It is he, Rowan Williams, appointed by the Queen of England, who decides who and what constitute the Anglican Communion.

Every ten years, the Archbishop of Canterbury invites most Anglican bishops and their wives to a fabulous party in the U.K. Those invited are "in" the Anglican Communion, those not invited are, well, "out". Bishops consecrated irregularly are "out." Bishops alleged to be complicit in murder of Muslims, or recently deposed, or actively violating centuries-old boundaries of other dioceses, are nonetheless "in." Gay bishops who hide or publicly deny their God-given sexuality, are "in;" the only gay bishop to openly proclaim God's gift of homosexuality to him, is "out." No one has ever asked, however: in the selection of invitees, is Christ ever locked out?

Which brings me to the subject of this post's title. I believe that God will appear behind the doors of Lambeth 2008 that Rowan the Easily Frightened has locked for fear of homosexuals. Bishop Robinson will appear at the Marketplace and speak to all who will listen. Bishop Marc Andrus has proposed a Witness at Lambeth to put the flesh and blood of LGBT persons on the ground or in videotapes at Lambeth. His idea, now public, will gather strength and support, God willing. The bishop which the Anglican Communion has refused will become, if not the chief cornerstone, the chief topic of discussion, at this Conference. The Spirit of God cannot be denied.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Throwing your life away

An acquaintenance of mine, on a listserv for married men who are coming to grips with their homosexuality, wrote:

"I feel like I am throwing my life away"

I wrote back:

I know how disorienting and frightening it is to abandon your married life and start over. All those images and ideas about the idyllic married life: 2.3 kids, house with picket fence, loving wife and housekeeper, stable job, all run aground on the reality that you're really a lot happier--a lot happier--with a guy. I had that same feeling last year, I also walked away from certain financial security in retirement. My parents were adults during the Depression, so I inherited a lot of frugality, and "throwing that away" takes either a lot of guts or no brains!

But, y'know, some things you have to throw away. They don't work anymore, and can't be repaired, or start to smell bad, or clutter up the place so you can't do other things of greater value to you. You may have discovered, as many of us [on this listserv] have, that you bought it for the wrong reasons. Your "married life" may fall into one or more of those categories. With deepest respect and great care for your wife and kids, throw away the marriage. Go with what works best for you.