The Marriage Pledge?

Some ministers are signing a “marriage pledge” promising not to sign state marriage licenses as a protest against legalized gay marriage.

This strikes me as a terrible, if well-intentioned, idea.  Doesn’t this mean that the marriages performed by these pastors won’t be legally recognized, unless the couple goes through a separate civil service?  Also, at least for Lutherans but also for most Protestants, marriage is not a sacrament; rather, it falls under the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Left, so that it falls under civil jurisdiction.  (The Reformers fought hard to get marriage out from under the restrictions of the church’s Canon Law into the laws of the state.) In a wedding, the church blesses the marriage in God’s name, which is very important, but it doesn’t create a marriage in a sacramental sense.  (It would for Catholics, so I can see how they could sign a marriage pledge, but I can’t see how Protestants could.  That marriage has to do with the temporal authorities does not mean that the state can create new definitions of marriage, but it still has a legitimate legal authority that we are obliged to honor.)

So I don’t see how the marriage pledge can be either legally or theologically correct.  But maybe I’m missing something, so I’m open to correction.  Read the pledge after the jump. [Read more...]

Immigration amnesty by executive order

President Obama, having been unable to get his way in Congress and now faced with a Republican majority in both houses, is reportedly preparing to impose immigration reform by executive fiat. granting amnesty to millions of people who are here illegally. [Read more...]

Two ways towards Net Neutrality

President Obama has embraced the principle of “net neutrality,” meaning that internet providers shouldn’t charge some big-content providers more than others.  Towards that end, the President wants to regulate the internet like any other utility.  As opposed to just tailoring a specific and limited regulation dealing with the issue.  He wants to take over the whole online universe, using a public-utility law written in 1934. [Read more...]

Why pastors’ housing allowance is tax-exempt

As we reported, an appeals court upheld the practice of pastors not having to pay taxes on their housing allowance.  But, you might ask, why is that?  Joe Carter explains the history of that provision, putting it into the context of the laws exempting religious property from taxation that go back through English Common Law  into ancient times. [Read more...]

The Obamacare confession

When I heard about the Obama operative who said that the passage of Obamacare was helped by Americans’ “stupidity,” I assumed it was just a gaffe, with which Republicans could play “gotcha.”  But it turns out, the comment was in the context of a frank explanation in front of a friendly liberal audience at MIT about how the administration got Obamacare through Congress.

And the operative’s other comments are even more damaging to the bill.  A second video supports the opponents’ of the law’s case before the Supreme Court by indicating that the language restricting subsidies to state exchanges was intentional. [Read more...]

Pastors’ housing allowance upheld

Pastors have traditionally been allowed to take a large percentage of their salary as a tax-free housing allowance.  A lower court last year ruled that the benefit is unconstitutional.  But now an appeals court has overturned that decision, meaning that the housing allowance is still on. [Read more...]


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