Opening a can of worms here...

I try to avoid controversy here. It is perhaps spineless of me, but that's life. My primary reason for abstaining is that I grew up with the knowledge that opinions are "like a##h@les-- everybody has one." (Pardon me for being so crude) I have since been emboldened, thanks to this post over at Queen of Swords.

Anyway, I heard a blurb on the "news" this morning about a pastor in Amherst who is refusing to marry any couple until the state of Massachusetts allows gay marriage. (I use the quotation marks because this story is far from newsworthy-- pastors have been doing this for at least 5 years)

The story irked me enough to break my blogging silence on this thing we call marriage, and I know that some people will be disappointed with my thoughts. To those who are disappointed or surprised, please remember my crude second sentence.

I am married. Happily, hard-workingly, wonderfully married. I was married according to the traditions of the UMC, and the laws of the state of Maryland. Guess which means more to me? Duh. The fact is, that if the state or federal government decided to revoke my marriage license, I would be no less married. My marriage is a covenant with my husband, and not some social contract. The social contract has nothing to do with that covenant, it is merely a way for the government to keep track of things in case we cancel that contract.

Of course, it is easy for me to say this, right? After all, I "enjoy" the privileges of being "legally married." What privileges are there and why? Why does the government treat people differently anyway?

Here's the thing-- I firmly believe that our current system smacks of clericalism, and that marriage covenants should be left up to the churches. Could the government please get out of the business of marrying people and get to fixing the roads? I am usually the last person to look to European countries as an example, but I think the model is a valid one which has two systems-- one path to be recognized by the government, and the other to be recognized by the Church.

We already have this little law in place to protect the rights of churches and clergy, so I don't think that there will be any problems for those churches which desire to uphold to a Biblical standard. (Whether they choose to do so is something which remains to be seen, and that battle is for church government alone.)

I have very close family members who would love nothing more than to select "M" on forms. Me, I don't think we should be asking at all.


wolske said…
I'm actually in favor of privatizing roads as well, but I think that's a different conversation...

I think you're on the right track. incentives based on marital status will only encourage marriage for the wrong reasons.
The only concern I have is the current trend towards "hate speech" legislation. Neil raised a good point about it over at Queen of Swords. I think we may need a test sent through to the Supreme Court before this is really practical. Our churches should not have to exist in fear.

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