Re-building the institution of marriage requires changing the no-fault divorce laws, argue Thomas Farr and Hilary Towers. Another product of the 1960s, these laws have had unintended social consequences, to the point that “the only contract that is utterly unenforceable in law is marriage.” [Read more…]
Evangelicals, Pentecostalists, and even Mormons took part in a recent Vatican conference on marriage, which was hosted by Pope Francis. Southern Baptist social ministries spokesman Russell Moore was an invited speaker. So was megachurch pastor Rick Warren, who was said to have turned the Roman Catholic meeting into a “revivalist meeting.” (Does anyone know if any Lutherans participated?) The Catholics gave the evangelicals a standing ovation.
Do you think this was a good thing–religious people of various stripes rallying in defense of marriage–or a problematic and potentially dangerous bit of unionism? [Read more…]
Another family innovation: Marrying yourself. [Read more…]
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…]
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…]