‘We will not obey’: Christian leaders threaten civil disobedience if Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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There's some problems with the rhetoric here.

Government does not have the power, by fiat, to change what a marriage is or what a family is. I don't mean to say that it ought not to do that; I mean it simply does not have that ability. It can encourage a whole lot of confusion, and can require businesses (and theoretically try to require religious institutions) to behave in certain ways, but it can't change what a family is or what a marriage is. 

It isn't possible to simultaneously claim that these things are defined by God and claim that the high court is about to transform them. (In other words, God has created their essence and nobody can unmake that reality by decree.)

I want to tell these folks to take a deep breath, calm down, and start pondering how to address the deeper problem: that our society is already deeply confused about marriage and family and the meaning of male and female. Certainly, the church has long needed to do a better job of teaching on these topics. But we're going to need to work even harder at this in the future, regardless of what the court decides.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Jim's picture

http://bccvisalaw.com/marriage/marriage_in_france.php

To be legal, all marriages must be performed by a French civil authority, i.e., an officier de l'etat civil, BEFORE any religious ceremony takes place. In practice, this means that all marriages must be performed by the mayor (mairie) or his legally authorized replacement, such as a deputy mayor (adjoint) or a city councilor (counseiller municipal), of the town in which one of the parties to be married has resided for at least forty (40) days immediately preceding the marriage.

... A religious ceremony may be performed only AFTER (never before) the civil ceremony. The minister, priest, or rabbi performing the religious ceremony will require the certificate of civil marriage (certificant de celebration civile) as proof that the civil ceremony has taken place.

 

Jim's picture

To Fix Gay Dilemma, Government Should Quit the Marriage Business

The solution is to unlink the religious institution of marriage -- as distinguished from the secular institution of civil union -- from the state. Under this proposal, any couple could register for civil union, recognized by the state, with all its rights and responsibilities. Religious couples could then go to the church, synagogue, mosque or other sacred institution of their choice in order to be married. These religious institutions would have total decision-making authority over which marriages to recognize. Catholic churches would not recognize gay marriages. Orthodox Jewish synagogues would not recognize a marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew who did not wish to convert to Judaism. And those religious institutions that chose to recognize gay marriages could do so. It would be entirely a religious decision beyond the scope of the state. Under this new arrangement, marriage would remain a sacrament, as ordained by the Bible and as interpreted by each individual church. No secular consequences would flow from marriage, only from civil union. In this way, gay couples would win exactly the same rights as heterosexual couples in relationship to the state. They would still have to persuade individual churches of their point of view, but that is not the concern of the secular state.

dgszweda's picture

Jim wrote:

To Fix Gay Dilemma, Government Should Quit the Marriage Business

The solution is to unlink the religious institution of marriage -- as distinguished from the secular institution of civil union -- from the state. Under this proposal, any couple could register for civil union, recognized by the state, with all its rights and responsibilities. Religious couples could then go to the church, synagogue, mosque or other sacred institution of their choice in order to be married. These religious institutions would have total decision-making authority over which marriages to recognize. Catholic churches would not recognize gay marriages. Orthodox Jewish synagogues would not recognize a marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew who did not wish to convert to Judaism. And those religious institutions that chose to recognize gay marriages could do so. It would be entirely a religious decision beyond the scope of the state. Under this new arrangement, marriage would remain a sacrament, as ordained by the Bible and as interpreted by each individual church. No secular consequences would flow from marriage, only from civil union. In this way, gay couples would win exactly the same rights as heterosexual couples in relationship to the state. They would still have to persuade individual churches of their point of view, but that is not the concern of the secular state.

 

i agree that this would fix the solution.  Allows the government to clearly not discriminate, but Llow religious institutions to keep their beliefs.

Andrew K's picture

Jim wrote:

http://bccvisalaw.com/marriage/marriage_in_france.php

To be legal, all marriages must be performed by a French civil authority, i.e., an officier de l'etat civil, BEFORE any religious ceremony takes place. In practice, this means that all marriages must be performed by the mayor (mairie) or his legally authorized replacement, such as a deputy mayor (adjoint) or a city councilor (counseiller municipal), of the town in which one of the parties to be married has resided for at least forty (40) days immediately preceding the marriage.

... A religious ceremony may be performed only AFTER (never before) the civil ceremony. The minister, priest, or rabbi performing the religious ceremony will require the certificate of civil marriage (certificant de celebration civile) as proof that the civil ceremony has taken place.

 

That's interesting. My wife and I married in a religious ceremony a few months before we got all the legal paperwork done (we were overseas in a country that had restrictions on foreigner marriages, so there were extenuating circumstances for our unusual decision). We considered the religious ceremony--vows before witnesses--as the real marriage.

I had no problem with doing so because I don't see the govt. as having authority over authentic marriage, which predates both the fall and human govt, thereby superceding it. This French requirement is an example of the govt. sticking it's foot where it doesn't belong.

Rob Fall's picture

(and the Russian\Soviet) example was an attempt to rein in the power of the Roman (Russian Orthodox) Catholic Church.

Andrew K wrote:

 

Jim wrote:

 

http://bccvisalaw.com/marriage/marriage_in_france.php

To be legal, all marriages must be performed by a French civil authority, i.e., an officier de l'etat civil, BEFORE any religious ceremony takes place. In practice, this means that all marriages must be performed by the mayor (mairie) or his legally authorized replacement, such as a deputy mayor (adjoint) or a city councilor (counseiller municipal), of the town in which one of the parties to be married has resided for at least forty (40) days immediately preceding the marriage.

... A religious ceremony may be performed only AFTER (never before) the civil ceremony. The minister, priest, or rabbi performing the religious ceremony will require the certificate of civil marriage (certificant de celebration civile) as proof that the civil ceremony has taken place.

 

 

That's interesting. My wife and I married in a religious ceremony a few months before we got all the legal paperwork done (we were overseas in a country that had restrictions on foreigner marriages, so there were extenuating circumstances for our unusual decision). We considered the religious ceremony--vows before witnesses--as the real marriage.

 

I had no problem with doing so because I don't see the govt. as having authority over authentic marriage, which predates both the fall and human govt, thereby superceding it. This French requirement is an example of the govt. sticking it's foot where it doesn't belong.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Andrew K's picture

Rob Fall wrote:

(and the Russian\Soviet) example was an attempt to rein in the power of the Roman (Russian Orthodox) Catholic Church.

 

Andrew K wrote:

 

 

Jim wrote:

 

http://bccvisalaw.com/marriage/marriage_in_france.php

To be legal, all marriages must be performed by a French civil authority, i.e., an officier de l'etat civil, BEFORE any religious ceremony takes place. In practice, this means that all marriages must be performed by the mayor (mairie) or his legally authorized replacement, such as a deputy mayor (adjoint) or a city councilor (counseiller municipal), of the town in which one of the parties to be married has resided for at least forty (40) days immediately preceding the marriage.

... A religious ceremony may be performed only AFTER (never before) the civil ceremony. The minister, priest, or rabbi performing the religious ceremony will require the certificate of civil marriage (certificant de celebration civile) as proof that the civil ceremony has taken place.

 

 

That's interesting. My wife and I married in a religious ceremony a few months before we got all the legal paperwork done (we were overseas in a country that had restrictions on foreigner marriages, so there were extenuating circumstances for our unusual decision). We considered the religious ceremony--vows before witnesses--as the real marriage.

 

I had no problem with doing so because I don't see the govt. as having authority over authentic marriage, which predates both the fall and human govt, thereby superceding it. This French requirement is an example of the govt. sticking it's foot where it doesn't belong.

 

 

I'm sure it was. But that action, inadvertently or not, grants greater prerogatives to the state. Prerogatives that may not belong to it. It certainly implies, I'm sure to most people at least, that the state and only the state has the power to make a marriage.

Jim's picture

The answer is not civil disobedience but (and I am not suggesting that pastors should officiate gay marriages!):

  • The answer is active obedience to have Biblical marriages
  • I hypothesize that there is a marriage crisis among Chrisitans
    • Husbands are not what they should be
    • Wives the same
  • Coupled with (no pun intended) Chrisitian Millennials are avoiding marriage in droves