Most important historical development of 2013

I would say that the most important historical development of 2013, the one that will prove most pivotal and culturally significant , is the Supreme Court decision casting out the Defense of Marriage law, which, along with various other court decisions and state laws, threw the door completely open for same-sex marriage.  Never in all of human history and never in the wide diversity of human cultures, including those that have been most open to homosexuality, have men married men or women married women.  Just as a matter of history and anthropology, the new legal and social acceptance of gay marriage is revolutionary and unprecedented.

What else happened in 2013 that you think historians of the next century will study?  (That will not necessarily be the same as the “top news stories,” since historians are more interested in the big picture.)

 

Is religious liberty for individuals or just churches?

Mollie Hemingway has written a piece in the Wall Street Journal about the impact of gay marriage on religious liberty, which is being construed as applying only to religious institutions and not to individuals. [Read more...]

IRS recognizes same-sex marriages

When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, social conservatives consoled themselves by saying that the action did not mandate gay marriage across the board.  That remains a decision for each state.  But it does mean that the Federal Government now recognizes gay marriage.  That was made clear when the IRS and the Treasury Department announced that same-sex marriages, no matter what state they were performed in, will qualify for all marriage deductions and other tax benefits that husbands and wives receive. [Read more...]

Religious compromise as “the price of citizenship”

Michael Avramovich gives us useful details about that New Mexico Supreme Court case we blogged about that ruled that a Christian photographer had to shoot a gay commitment service (New Mexico doesn’t even have gay marriage!) against the dictates of her conscience.

In the account, we hear from the judge, who puts forward a new legal principle that, if it becomes a precedent, would essentially end religious liberty in this country.  The judge said that compromising one’s religious beliefs is “the price of citizenship.” [Read more...]

Photographers must shoot same-sex weddings

Advocates of gay marriage and even opponents who grudgingly accept its inevitability say that it won’t affect Christians and other people who have moral qualms about homosexuality.  But religious exemptions apparently only apply to churches and not to religious individuals.  It looks like the anti-discrimination laws are going to force individuals and businesses to go along with gay marriage despite the dictates of their conscience.  Or so says the New Mexico Supreme Court in ruling that a photographer has to shoot gay weddings even though he has religious objections to them. [Read more...]

The winning thread

I’m back home after two weeks, having taken my vacation and then going to the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education conference, trying to get back to normal.  Thanks to everyone who posted comments on those general categories while I was incommunicado.  There were some good discussions.  As I promised, I will announce a winner for the person who started a thread with the most comments.  According to my informal, non-counting analysis (correct me if you want to count), the virtual imaginary prize goes to Theological discussions (278 comments) and the thread started by PETE on Baptism. [Read more...]


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