It’s Hard to Make Up Marriage

wedding cake assembly

This month, Libby Anne and Dan Finke are asking bloggers to comment on the purpose of marriage as part of their Forward Thinking linkup.  And, in order to try to speak clearly, I'd like to riff off of a recent Modern Love column in the Times, where the unmarried author shared his experience officiating a friend's wedding.Because it was a secular wedding, the officiant and his friends had a lot of flexibility with the how of the ceremony, but the author of the essay seemed to be frighteningly … [Read more...]

Yes, I am in favor of civil gay marriage!

Gay-Marriage just married

It looks like folks thought I was being coy in Sunday's post about the knock-on effects of gay marriage.  In fact, I was trying to avoid having the "gay marriage: yay or nay" debate hijack the point I was making: that the advent of gay marriage has made people pause and ask exactly what marriage is instead of embracing or rejecting it in a knee-jerk way.  The argument I was making didn't have the moral stature of gay marriage as a premise, and I wanted it to discuss something orthogonal to the us … [Read more...]

The Gay Marriage Debate I’m Looking Forward To


The Modern Love column that appears this week in The New York Times is written by a woman who found that gay marriage did have a big change on her own marriage: it made her feel more married.  I'll pull a few quotes, but pop over and read the whole thing. For me, marriage-role terminology carried too much baggage of a history I didn’t want. Although I could imagine the pride with which a new bride might have worked the words “my husband” into every sentence 60 years ago, I couldn’t get there mys … [Read more...]

You’ve Already Got Your Quest-Object!


 One theme I didn't get to touch on in my discussion of Gary Thomas's The Sacred Search yesterday is his attack on the idea of a soulmate, one specific person that you are destined to be with.  (I have to note that xkcd, and Tim Minchin have very funny riffs on this idea).  Thomas says a lot of our rhetoric on this topic draws heavily on a speech near the end of Plato's Symposium, which is adeptly glossed in Hedwig and the Angry Inch below:So, in this telling, we're all on an … [Read more...]

An Outward-Oriented Marriage

The Sacred Search Cover_thumb[2]

I received a free review copy of The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas as part of the Patheos Book Club.At a recent lecture, the speaker explained the difference between apologetics and theology.  In apologetics, you are writing for the unconverted, so you have to make sure to explain your reasoning and make an aggressive case.  In theology, you're writing for people who share the basic tenets of your faith, so you can skip over the background and just plunge deeply into your tradition.  Although … [Read more...]

A Disquisition on the Nature of Love, or, Contra Ron/Hermione

Ron's face is how I feel about this pairing

See, this is exactly why I love culture-wide book clubs.  I mention Harry Potter in passing, and you all start discussing the proper nature of love, and whether Ron/Hermione or any of the other case studies we're all quite familiar with from the series, fit the mold.I said that one of the reasons I hate the Ron/Hermione pairing is that Ron has, at best, apathy and at worst contempt for Hermione's curiosity and brightness.  I didn't she, or anyone else, should you marry someone wh … [Read more...]

“Careful the wish you make, wishes come true. Not free”

Yesterday, in my review of inSignificant, I started teasing the next thread of the Sondheim Symposium. For Bobby to progress, he needs to make himself vulnerable and unsafe.  We think of him transitioning into the role of servant, as Christ does.  A future Bobby, we hope, won’t still be able to be described as “Exclusive you! Elusive you!  Will any person ever get the juice of you?” as he is in “You Could Drive a Person Crazy.”If Company ends with a choice to give oneself (albeit it to an as … [Read more...]