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…]

Catholics begin synod on marriage & sexual morality

The Extraordinary Synod on the Family is underway at the Vatican.  Two hundred bishops of the Roman Catholic Church summoned by the Pope will discuss the church’s teachings about marriage, divorce, contraceptives, annullments, and sexual morality.  In particular, the bishops will study the pastoral issues such teachings raise, such as whether divorced Catholics should receive be allowed to Communion and the fact that most Catholics ignore the church’s teachings about birth control, among other teachings on sex and family. [Read more…]

Singles’ nation

For the first time since records were kept, a majority of American adults are single. [Read more…]

Luther on changing a baby’s diaper (rerun)

[Mollie Hemingway’s quotation from Luther’s “The Estate of Marriage” (1522) reminded me that I blogged on that sermon in 2007, several platforms ago.  So I thought I would rerun it.]

In working on an article about vocation, I was looking for the source of Luther’s famous saying about the holiness of changing diapers. I found his sermon “The Estate of Marriage” (1522) posted online here. A priceless excerpt:

Now observe that when that clever harlot, our natural reason (which the pagans followed in trying to be most clever), takes a look at married life, she turns up her nose and says, “Alas, must I rock the baby, wash its diapers, make its bed, smell its stench, stay up nights with it, take care of it when it cries, heal its rashes and sores, and on top of that care for my wife, provide for her, labour at my trade, take care of this and take care of that, do this and do that, endure this and endure that, and whatever else of bitterness and drudgery married life involves? What, should I make such a prisoner of myself? 0 you poor, wretched fellow, have you taken a wife? Fie, fie upon such wretchedness and bitterness! It is better to remain free and lead a peaceful. carefree life; I will become a priest or a nun and compel my children to do likewise.” [Read more…]

Federal judge throws out ban on polygamy

A federal judge in Utah has ruled that the state’s law banning polygamy is unconstitutional.  If the ruling is upheld on appeal–and how could it not be?–that would have a big impact not only on radical Mormons but on American Muslims.  And, of course, anyone else who might like to try that lifestyle.  (Think there would be many takers?) [Read more…]

When your mother is a man and your father is a woman

Feminists make a distinction between “sex,” which has to do with biology, and “gender,” which has to do with culture; thus, gender roles are changeable and interchangeable with those of men, having nothing to do with an individual’s sex.  But now sex is held to be changeable too, determined not by reproductive organs or the DNA of every cell in a person’s body but by the individual’s choice, which can be reinforced by surgical and hormone treatments.  And transgendered (technically, transexed) individuals can marry each other.  And, if they do so before the surgeries are complete, have children.  So now there are children whose mother is now a man and whose father is now a woman.  The account of two cases after the jump. [Read more…]