Nowhere has our callow politics asserted itself more thoughtlessly and noisily than in the politicization of personal or private life.
In a recent editorial calling for same-sex marriage to be legal, the Century editors noted that if and when legalization happens at the national level, the First Amendment will protect religious groups that have their own position on the question. The government won’t, for example, be able to force a church or minister to perform a same-sex wedding against their will. Yet as Mark Silk notes, a range of religious liberty questions will likely have to be addressed—and probably litigated.
A specifically Christian understanding of marriage doesn't insist on procreation. It insists that marriage mirrors God's fidelity.
The National Cathedral’s going to start doing same-sex weddings! Here’s what prominent conservative blogger Allahpundit has to say: [The cathedral is] nominally Episcopal but I’ve always thought of it as the beating heart of ceremonial deism, so no surprise that it would shift as the wider public does. Say this for [Dean Gary Hall], too: He makes no bones about his political intentions. Although if you’re head of the National Cathedral and reaching out to press a hot button, why bother doing that? Why pretend it’s a purely religious decision when it’s not? Allahpundit is obviously right about the ceremonial deism part. And I’ll be the first to admit that this strange American habit is bad for church and state alike. But it’s absurd to suggest that the National Cathedral is only “nominally Episcopal.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to consider whether to grant review of the Defense of Marriage Act. This follows the recent appellate court decision declaring the 16-year-old law unconstitutional. Judges in New York and Boston have now said DOMA violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause and interferes with a state’s right to set marriage eligibility requirements. But the final word will come from the Supreme Court.
I knew I had to talk to him. This longtime church elder would soon see my newsletter article, and he wasn't going to like it.
The new liturgy makes no claim that couples of the same sex can, in the ecclesiastical sense, marry. What it does say is more interesting.
The Chick-fil-A hullaballoo is a sad commentary on our society. It is a proxy war for the civil discourse we’re unable or unwilling to have over the issues that deeply divide us. I'm not opposed to peaceful demonstrations; I've participated in some myself over the years. But remember Newton's third law of motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That’s what we've seen here.
So it sounds like Tony Perkins--whose relative civility we both acknowledged and declined to be overly impressed by last week--will accept a dinner invitation from gay rights activist Jennifer Chrisler, who is married to a woman. Chrisler's invitation to Perkins followed Dan Savage's to Brian Brown, of the anti-same-sex-marriage National Organization for Marriage.
After Sen. Rand Paul made an offensive (and unfunny) joke involving the word "gay," Tony Perkins (of the Family Research Council) criticized him: I don’t think it's something we should joke about. We are talking about individuals who feel very strongly one way or the other, and I think we should be civil, respectful, allowing all sides to have the debate. Whaaa? That doesn't sound very hate groupy!
Last week was a momentous one for gay and lesbian issues. On Sunday Vice President Biden said on NBC’s Meet the Press that he is “absolutely comfortable with the fact that men [are] marrying men, women marrying women,” and he thinks they “are entitled to … all the civil rights” of heterosexual couples. On Tuesday the electorate in North Carolina voted overwhelmingly for a constitutional amendment that proscribes same-sex marriage and civil unions, despite the fact that the state already has a law against it. Most momentous of all, President Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts on Wednesday “that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
Early this week, the same video kept popping up on my Facebook wall. It's from a press conference in Greensboro, at which North Carolina NAACP president William Barber (whom the Century profiled here) made a crucial point: "How do you feel, personally, about same-sex marriage?" is the wrong question. The right question is about equal rights under the U.S. Constitution and federal law. By midweek, my Facebook wall was overwhelmed with comments (and links) about President Obama's decision to give the right answer to the wrong question.
North Carolina voters go to the polls today, and the race that will make all the headlines doesn’t have a candidate. On the ballot is a constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal domestic union recognized by the state. I’m against the amendment--a popular view here in Greensboro. The city council passed a resolution opposing it. Light blue “Vote Against” yard signs dot the neighborhood around our church. Across the state, opinions are more varied.