We’ve seen magistrates in North Carolina quitting to avoid performing same-sex marriages, but now we have pastors refusing to perform straight marriages because they think doing so implicates them in the performance of gay marriages that they are not required to perform.
Now, two prominent Protestant theologians are trying to start a movement of like-minded anti-gay pastors who will refuse to perform weddings that require a state-issued marriage license, because, gay people are getting liecnsed by the state and marrying. They believe that participating in a wedding in which they are agents of the state sullies them by extension, in supporting same-sex marriage.
Pastors Christopher Seitz and Ephraim Radner hope to force different-sex couples to be married twice – once in a religious ceremony they will perform, and once in a civil ceremony, should the couple choose, to obtain a legal state-issued civil marriage license.
Calling it “a perilous time,” Pastors Seitz and Radner are claiming “marriage is being fundamentally redefined, and we are being tested yet again.” The “yet again” refers to divorce and co-habitation which they claim “have weakened marriage.”“If we fail to take clear action, we risk falsifying God’s Word,” the pastors believe. “To continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage.”
So they’ll perform straight weddings, but they won’t sign the marriage certificates, requiring the couple to do a government wedding as well. And you know what? I’m all for it. Ministers should not be allowed to solemnize a government contract in the first place. Every couple should get a government wedding, which shouldn’t require a ceremony but merely a signing of the papers, and then they can do a wedding celebration of whatever kind they choose. The legitimacy of a marriage should never have been established by a religious ritual in the first place.