Who churches decide to marry is not my concern

From The Stranger, who have been putting the screws to city council candidate Tim Burgess over his smarmy guest column in the Seattle Times (printed after the ’04 election):

However, he acknowledges that he would not push his own pastor to perform gay weddings or lobby the leaders of his own denomination to allow them. “I’m just not there yet,” he said, adding: “I’m running for city council, not city theologian.”

To this, “Switzerblog” adds:

Why should he? Same-sex marriage in the church is irrelevant in this conversation; the separation of church and state means that churches can refuse to acknowledge or perform marriages for whoever they want. It’s relevant to the voters what he wants the state to do about the issue – not whether he’ll hassle his pastor.

Right on. I don’t care who churches decide to marry. It doesn’t affect me. What matters is that King County should be able to issue a marriage license to two consenting adults of any sex. Whether a specific church wants to bless the union is all up to them. I’m sure, being that this is Seattle, that there are plenty of “rainbow” churches.

Comments

  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, this idea won’t sit well with the folks who think the state should be a church, and the church should be the state.

  2. 2

    busdrivermike spews:

    Why should the government grant marriage licenses to anyone? Why should anyone get special privileges granted to them by government for being sexually exclusive?

    After all, there is a separation of church and state. Yeah right, and that 1.5 billion dollars in faith based funding that comes from taxpayers pockets went to the wiccans.

    You guys aren’t there yet, but I do have hope.

  3. 3

    spews:

    That’s the whole enchilada, right there. It may irk a gay couple that their friendly neighborhood pastor won’t bless their union, but who cares? Take your business down the street to a more human padre. It’s their Kool-Aid, let them drink it.
    However, when my elected officials try to legislate who and how, that’s when I get a bellyache. I want the potholes filled, the fire stations manned, the hospitals and airports ship-shape for my tax dime. My vote says you save your religious crap for Sunday (or Friday or Saturday or the second Tuesday of next week, whatever.)
    I don’t pay taxes or cast my vote to hear quotes from King James. When an official talks to me, he or she speaks in plain secular English. (accents are optional)
    Keep it simple, keep it secular.

  4. 4

    spews:

    Maybe the answer is for the state to just get out of the marriage business all together. Why not establish a law that describes the rights and obligations of bonded couples? That way, if you want your bond be a marriage, then any licensed authority can “do the marriage” or one can just walk out of the courthouse, having filled in your papers, provided the required fees, etc.

    This way the sate can still recognize marriages, leaving it up to licensed agents … ministers, JOP, magicians, boat captains, etc. to decide who to do the marriage thing. If my brother and I want to be amrried and can find a Philatelistic Church (pun) that would be fine.

    Whike we are at it, unless the law has changed, any boat master can marry ANYONE by making an appropriate entry into the log when a boat is outside the 3 mile limit. Do any of the smart assed or fluffy tailed lawyers here know if this is still true?

    For a small fee, I will be happy to perform marriages on any two folks who will pay the fuel bill and not sue me if they get seasick or divorced. I will happily provide a hand written certificate, including our federal documentation number, and a photograph of the event.

    Steve Schwartz
    Master, the documented vessel Aquila

  5. 5

    Blah spews:

    The answer is to just make everything civil unions – for any two loving, consenual partners. State recognition of marriages would end and it becomes a solely religous institution. Church and state wins, and equality wins.

    This is probably too radical to ever be considered seriously though, but a guy can dream.

  6. 6

    Laura in WA spews:

    I agree totally. As a Christian (of the “open and affirming” variety) I do care whether or not churches will perform gay and lesbian weddings. However, that question is irrelevant to whether or not gay marriage should be legally recognized.

    The fact is, there are a lot of heterosexual marriages that the state recognizes but that certain churches will not perform. For example, some churches and houses of worship will not perform interfaith marriages. Some will not perform second marriages for divorced people. They are certainly within their legal rights to set these restrictions, but it has no bearing (nor should it) on the right of interfaith and divorced couples to obtain a valid marriage license from the state. Somehow in cases like these, people seem have no trouble understanding the difference between civil marriage and religious marriage. Why does this somehow seem to get so confusing whenever the issue of gay marriage comes up?

  7. 7

    Puddybud spews:

    Will: Interesting last paragraph above. Now if more of your moe-ronic friends had the same position:

    mysite.verizon.net/~vze43yrc/archives/Bondings-Vol25N3.pdf

  8. 8

    spews:

    Sez busdrivermike:

    Why should the government grant marriage licenses to anyone? …

    That’s exactly backwards. The real question is:

    Why should a church have anything to do with the granting of marriage licenses?

    Marriage is a contract. It confers certain advantages in the tax code and in insurance provisions. Those are subjects for governments to deal with, and religious notions have no place in that. None.

    Let churches celebrate those marriages they approve of, but don’t let them have anything whatsoever to do with the fact of marriage or the granting of licenses therefor.

  9. 11

    OneMan spews:

    @11:
    Pudiot, given the obvious slant of the blogger, I had to go look up the real story and here (AP) it is. Clearly, the church DIDN’T know the man was gay until they saw the pictures so they weren’t really being all that open and giving before they rescinded their offer. As usual, you find a resource with the most biased, inflammitory rhetoric in order to make your point, whatever it is.

    All that said, the church certainly has every right to refuse to provide the service for someone they think is a “sinner”. That’s kind of the whole point of Will’s original post, maybe you should try reading for content. The family has every right to be pissed, too. Looks to me like that’s where it ended. So what’s your point?

    -OM

  10. 12

    OneMan spews:

    OT: here’s an example of disappearing posts. Two appear to be missing prior to 9.

    -OM

  11. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 I saw a sign on a boat that said, “Marriages performed by captain good only for duration of voyage.”

  12. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    There’s circular reasoning going on here. “Marriage” is a legal relationship with property, tax, and other consequences. That’s why we care about it. If, for example, two gay individuals want inheritance rights … well, how do you keep the state out of that? Recognition of those rights requires state action. Courts, after all, are arms of the state. You don’t need church sanction for a marriage, but you do need legal (i.e., state) recognition of the marriage, for it to constitute a marriage in the eyes of the IRS, state and federal courts, banks, the passport office, etc. But maybe legal marriages will go by the boards and we’ll live in a new era of virtual marriages …

  13. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 “Let churches celebrate those marriages they approve of, but don’t let them have anything whatsoever to do with the fact of marriage or the granting of licenses therefor.”

    They don’t. You get the marriage license from a county office and take it to the pastor. Then he marries you. But if the pastor doesn’t feel like marrying you, you take it to Seattle Jew and go for a boat ride to the 3-mile (or 20-mile, or 200-mile, or outer continental shelf, whichever applies) limit and get the same result.

  14. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 “the church certainly has every right to refuse to provide the service for someone they think is a ‘sinner’”

    Interesting concept, in that Christian churches preach that everyone is a sinner, and hold that Christ is in the business of forgiving sins.

  15. 18

    OneMan spews:

    @16:
    Granted that there’s some cognitive disconnect around Jesus’ teachings and the way many churches operate, they still have the right to refuse service to whomever they wish, wouldn’t you agree?

    obShotAtReligion: it could be argued that almost all religions are in the business of cognitive disconnection.

    Finally, @11(now): “inflammatory”

    -OM

  16. 19

    spews:

    Compromise: give “marriage” to the religious institutions.

    Let the state use some other boring bureaucratic term like “civil union” or “domestic partnership” conferring all the civil, tax, insurance etc benefits.

    Why should the government grant marriage licenses to anyone?

    First I’d take the word “marriage” out. Let the right-wing have that one back if that make them happy. But there’s plenty of evidence that “domesticity”,”settling down”, what have you, is a cornerstone of any civil society and should be encouraged to point of favoring it in the tax code.

    Another way to do it of course it to tax everyone equally but then subsidize families with day care, food and housing assistance, pre-school, etc. But then a highly progressive income tax is needed and you get into the old fights about redistributing income which is more or less bullshit.

    So yeah, I think the right way to go is the latter. We may never see it in our lifetimes though.

  17. 20

    ArtFart spews:

    “Granted that there’s some cognitive disconnect around Jesus’ teachings…”

    Give OneMan the gold star for Novel Insight Of The Day!

  18. 21

    chadt spews:

    Fundamentalist Christianity is NOT about the teachings of Jesus. It’s about the Book of Revelation, Apocalyptic Old Testament prophets, Pharisaical legalism, raw emotion, and ignorance of history and systematic theology.

    Jesus is WAY down on the list of priorities. They wouldn’t recognize Him if He kicked them in the ass. Their only concern is retribution and burning you in hell if you don’t buy their ignorant and oversimplified belief system.

    Fundamentalism is pure politics, which is why they’re so interested in unifying church and state.

  19. 23

    Mark spews:

    No other issue will result in a complete Republican sweep in an election than official government recognition of gay “marriage”. (I put it in quotes, because it wouldn’t be a marriage). Gay marriage would result in 100% turnout among the GOP base and would result in rivers and waves of new Republican voters. If you want a GOP dominated government, lobby for gay marriage with everything you’ve got. Shout it from the mountaintop!!!!!

  20. 24

    Mark spews:

    chadt says:

    Fundamentalist Christianity is NOT about the teachings of Jesus. It’s about the Book of Revelation, Apocalyptic Old Testament prophets, Pharisaical legalism, raw emotion, and ignorance of history and systematic theology.

    Jesus is WAY down on the list of priorities. They wouldn’t recognize Him if He kicked them in the ass. Their only concern is retribution and burning you in hell if you don’t buy their ignorant and oversimplified belief system.

    Fundamentalism is pure politics, which is why they’re so interested in unifying church and state.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “fundamentalist”, that’s a loaded word if there ever was one. If you are referring to someone who is a “Christian”, the correct definition is one who has accepted Christ as saviour. The message of salvation is in the New Testament in the Book of John. As it relates to homosexuality, the Bible is clear that homosexual relationships are unnatural and immoral and is one of the manifestations of the lust of the flesh being fulfilled. Read the books of Romans, Ephesians, and Galatians for further reference. You can spout “fundamentalist” this and “wing nut” that, its all a bunch of crap and is void of any meaning. When discussing matters of Christianity, If it ain’t in the Bible…..IT AIN’T!!!!

  21. 25

    chadt spews:

    @23

    In your drams. It may not be by the end of the decade, but you will see gay marriage a legal institution in this country, no matter how much you froth at the mouth.

    You sound like Lester Maddox. Where’s your axe handle?

  22. 27

    chadt spews:

    Mark:
    your comment:

    “If it ain’t in the Bible…..IT AIN’T!!!!”

    Indicates everything we need to know about your belief system. Further discussion is an absolute waste of time.

  23. 28

    Mark spews:

    chadt says:

    @23

    In your drams. It may not be by the end of the decade, but you will see gay marriage a legal institution in this country, no matter how much you froth at the mouth.

    The people won’t tolerate it. You live in Seattle, so your sense of public opinion is warped way to the left. Nationally, gay marriage is highly unpopular and will remain so for at least the rest of our lifetimes.

  24. 29

    Mark spews:

    chadt says:

    Mark:
    your comment:

    “If it ain’t in the Bible…..IT AIN’T!!!!”

    Indicates everything we need to know about your belief system. Further discussion is an absolute waste of time.

    You are absolutely correct, whatever your theology is….it certainly isn’t Christianity.

  25. 30

    OneMan spews:

    Mark is a perfect example of why progressives should give up on using the word “marriage” to describe the union between two committed people (of whatever orientation). Somebody already said it: let them have the word “marriage”. It’s a word.

    I think there would be much less resistance to a civil union or legal commitment or “murrage” or some other thing that confers the identical rights with the identical amount of effort as “marriage” but leaves behind the verbal baggage.

    But I’m probably the wrong guy to be talking about this because I’m a completely hetero male who has been married as long as some of you have been alive (not you, Roger). I just don’t feel like my relationship is threatened by Adam and Steve.

    -OM

  26. 31

    spews:

    Mark drools:

    You are absolutely correct, whatever your theology is….it certainly isn’t Christianity.

    You may not have noticed it, but we’re discussing politics here. Politics, not theology.

    So take your simplistic theocratic slatherings elsewhere.

  27. 32

    Mark spews:

    N in Seattle says:

    Mark drools:

    You are absolutely correct, whatever your theology is….it certainly isn’t Christianity.

    You may not have noticed it, but we’re discussing politics here. Politics, not theology.

    So take your simplistic theocratic slatherings elsewhere.

    I didn’t bring it up, I’m merely correcting incorrect assertions about Christianity and the Bible made by Chad the theologian.

  28. 33

    chadt spews:

    @30

    I agree, and I’m certainly not going to quibble over titles.

    But as far as progressives having to deal with huge numbers of people of Mark’s fundamentalist persuasion who claim to speak as the only true Christians, it isn’t gonna be a threat.

    They’re vocal way out of proportion to their numbers, and now that the Bush pseudo-theocracy is in well-deserved decline, the fear that Democrats have had of these folks will prove to be groundless. They’ll continue to hiss and shriek. They always have. It’s just that media fawned on them while Bush had the media intimidated.

    Mainstream Protestantism has been largely silent during the Bush administration, while several major denominations have begun the process of regularizing their systems to formally involve their gay members.

    The shriekers would have us believe that they are significant, but they’re a phenomenon of the deep south.

  29. 34

    Puddybud spews:

    Chadt, latest of the ASSWipe Idiot Savants:

    Please place for all to see the

    URL

    Citation

    Time & Date Stamp

    hhere I blogged I supported Fred Phelps?

    You just can’t make shit up and see if it sticks. Oops… yous a Moonbat! that’s SOP for your kind!

  30. 35

    Mark spews:

    @30

    I agree, and I’m certainly not going to quibble over titles.

    But as far as progressives having to deal with huge numbers of people of Mark’s fundamentalist persuasion who claim to speak as the only true Christians, it isn’t gonna be a threat.

    They’re vocal way out of proportion to their numbers, and now that the Bush pseudo-theocracy is in well-deserved decline, the fear that Democrats have had of these folks will prove to be groundless. They’ll continue to hiss and shriek. They always have. It’s just that media fawned on them while Bush had the media intimidated.

    Mainstream Protestantism has been largely silent during the Bush administration, while several major denominations have begun the process of regularizing their systems to formally involve their gay members.

    The shriekers would have us believe that they are significant, but they’re a phenomenon of the deep south.

    And what exactly is a “mainstream Protestant”? And where exactly in the Bible does it say anything about “maintstream Protestant” or for that matter “fundamentalist”?

    Answer: You have none. There is no basis for your statement and you are just pulling that out of your sphincter

  31. 36

    Puddybud spews:

    Mark@32: N in Seattle has issues following thread themes because Moonbat!speak on religious issues doesn’t register in their pathetic mindset.

  32. 37

    chadt spews:

    @34

    Well, Puddy, the link I posted sets forth Fred’s justification of his actions with biblical citations, and if you a believer in the Literal Authority of scripture, as you have indicated, you ARE in fellowship with your fellow Christian, Fred Phelps, aren’t you????

    You are one of those Right Thinking Christians you mentioned, are you not?

  33. 38

    Broadway Joe spews:

    2:

    $1,500,000,000 in government funding to Wiccan groups?

    BULLSHIT.

    My wife is a practicing Wiccan, finally happy after being ignored and excluded by Mormons and told she was a whore by fundie Xtians (for the crimes of divorcing her husband upon finding out that he was doing things he ought not to, and then having the nerve to even ask her pastor to officate at our wedding nearly eight years later). If this Fundamentally Stupid administration has actually given one-and-a-half billion dollars to Wiccans and Wiccan groups, I’d like to see some proof. Please account for every last dollar, Mike.

  34. 39

    Broadway Joe spews:

    And as for the main topic, after the fundie pastor of the church my wife attended when we decided to get married refused us, oddly enough, we got married in a Foursquare church. Yeah, Holy Rollers and all that. They didn’t judge us or look down upon us. We even got a break on the cost for the service by agreeing to be the guinea pigs for their new marriage-counseling program, which wound up being remarkably effective in helping us weather tough times in our relationship later on.

    So which churches decide to perform same-sex marriages, and which churches decide not to, is irrelevant. As my example shows, some churches refuse even heterosexual marriages if the couple isn’t up to their standards.

  35. 40

    Puddybud spews:

    Chadt: As John Barelli and I disagree on Christian things, so do I on Fred Phelps.

    I am sure you and Jesse Jackson are in lock step in Moonbat! issues right?

  36. 42

    Mark spews:

    chadt says:

    Barelli sounds like a Christian.

    You sound like Fred Phelps.

    Therefor…..

    09/08/2007 at 11:29 pm

    And you sound 100% ignorant. You have no idea whatsoever what it means to be a Christian or what Christianity is all about. You can babble on about “fundamentalist” this, and “wingnut” that. Those are irrelevant and meaningless labels that have nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity or The Bible.