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Religion News Service: Should clergy divorce themselves from civil marriage?
This ‘Giving Tuesday’, give the gifts of life, strong families, and the freedom to live out your faith
Alliance Defending Freedom: Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season and the flurry of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday allows you to get back to the true joy of the Christmas season.
Family Studies: Discussions about divorce, family stability, and the like typically focus on individuals and families in their normal childbearing and child-rearing years, and for good reason. Unstable or single-parent families have it tougher in all sorts of ways, and to the degree that their struggles affect future generations, solving their associated problems is all the more important. Indeed, it certainly is not uncommon to hear in conversation, even among those who think poorly of divorce in general, an almost audible relief when divorce occurs without children being involved, either because the couple has not had children or the children are grown and gone.
Christianity Today: Should pastors stop signing marriage certificates at the weddings they officiate? In response to same-sex marriage, should churches get out of the wedding business?
HuffPost Live: As same-sex marriage laws change, some conservative pastors say they won’t perform any type of civil marriage. Even liberal clergy are asking if civil and religious unions should be explicitly distinct. Does marriage need a separation of church and state?
Talk Radio News Service: In states where same-sex marriage laws are in effect, local government officials must provide the same marriage certification services that are traditionally available to heterosexual couples, Americans United for Separation of Church and State said. Americans United sent a memo to local officials to counteract an Arizona religious group, Alliance Defending Freedom, which insists that clerks and other government officials don’t have to serve same-sex couples.
Law and Religion UK: We plan to publish the Government’s response to the review before 1 January 2015.
The Daily Signal: Minnesota high schools may soon be affected by a proposed policy that would allow students to participate in sports based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
WND: “The preeminent social purpose of marriage – and the overriding reason why government recognizes marriage – is to connect children to both of their biological parents, argues a brief submitted by the Alliance Defending Freedom to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of supporters of a Florida law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Verdict Justia: When a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit invalidated state bans on same-sex marriage in Idaho and Nevada in October 2014, the panel included both Judge Stephen Reinhardt and Judge Marsha S. Berzon. Since 2010, the Ninth Circuit has heard 11 gay rights cases. Judge Reinhardt was on the panel in four of them while Judge Berzon was on five. Eighteen of the court’s active judges served on no same-sex marriage case. How likely are these panels the product of chance?
Same-sex marriage acceptance by Finnish Lutheran Archbishop prompts mass resignations from church; nearly 8,000 resign over weekend
The Christian Post: As many as 7,800 people have resigned from the Lutheran Church in Finland since the parliament approved a law legalizing same-sex marriages on Friday, which was backed by Kari Mäkinen, the Archbishop of Turku and Finland.
Aleteia: According to Inside Higher Ed, class discussion concerned John Rawls. The Teaching Assistant asked for concrete examples of situations which might illustrate Rawls’s idea that people’s exercise of their rights ought not to infringe on the rights of others. A student proposed the example of gay marriage. The TA declined to consider it. Another student approached the TA after class.
Law and Religion UK: Some commentators have observed that dual state-religion marriage regimes operate outside the US, and we suggested that there are important differences that are of relevance when considering the necessity and value of the Pledge. In this post these issues are considered in relation to secular and religious marriage in Europe, with particular reference to the position within the UK.
The Christian Institute: Some of the devastating effects of divorce on children have been revealed in a survey commissioned by family lawyers.
The Houston Chronicle: Texas officials want a federal judge to uphold the state’s marriage law, calling a request by same-sex couples to be allowed to immediately marry “untimely” and “out of order.”
Christian News Network: A Georgia fire chief has been suspended without pay and has been ordered to undergo sensitivity training after publishing a book that contains quotes decrying homosexual behavior and other forms of sexual perversion.
The Gospel Coalition: Elesa Binner is a paralegal at a small law firm in Roanoke, Virginia. For those on the outside, a career in law often correlates with pursuing truth, righting wrongs, and serving justice—the stuff of courtroom dramas and fast-paced thrillers. For Elesa, though, working in family/domestic law is a way to reflect the kindness and compassion of God.
The Christian Institute: Smacking should not be banned in Wales because the vast majority of parents would be turned into criminals, a columnist has warned.
In the Light of the Law: 13. Distinguish civil marriage from sacramental? Of course. Divide them? No! (25 November 2014) in re Mark McCall. 12. Rusty Reno, “Marriage Pledge is not an imperative conscience” (24 November 2014), Reno’s retraction of part of his argument.
In the Light of the Law: Attorney Mark McCall’s essay on New York marriage law offers another defense of the oddly-named “Marriage Pledge” that, I fear, fails to appreciate what the Pledge actually calls for and, worse, misconstrues the fundamental relationship between so-called civil marriage and Christian matrimony. Let me deal with the latter problem first for it goes to a central point of confusion.
Alliance Defending Freedom: One voice can make such an incredible difference. Sometimes that line can sound almost like a platitude. But it’s a truth amply backed up by the Bible, and by history: somehow, amid all the din of daily life, one clear voice breaks through the ceaseless commotion … draws our focus … clears away the mental debris … condenses a thousand ideas and opinions into a single truth.
The Daily Signal: As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m particularly thankful for marriage—both on a personal level and for the critical role it plays in society. Today, my parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. And last week, I was able to join hundreds from around the world at an International Interfaith Colloquium hosted by Pope Francis at the Vatican on the complementarity of man and woman.
AP: Arkansas and Mississippi became the latest two states Tuesday to have their gay marriage bans overturned by federal judges, but there are no rushes to the altar as both orders are on hold so the states can considers appeals.
The Gospel Coalition: “Rape culture” has come to mean different things for different people, and its use to shame and degrade any perceived misogynistic slight can cause a reflexively defensive attitude among certain sectors of the population.
Breakpoint: Some 60 percent of Americans live in a state where the definition of marriage has been changed to include same-sex couples. And the Supreme Court may soon enshrine the new definition nationwide.
Five Thirty Eight: Same-sex marriage has gained legal acceptance faster than even its most ardent backers could have believed just a few years ago. Now the Census Bureau is racing to adjust to the fast-changing landscape.
The Christian Post: Although Gallup polling from May indicates that American public opinion strongly favors legally recognizing same-sex marriage, 2014 midterm election exit polls found that voters were evenly divided on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Family Studies:“Do you have anyone to help?” This is the question on the lips of the moms at the suburban preschool my kids attend. And it means, have you asked someone—the caterer, the cleaning lady—to help cook and clean for the crowd?
The Christian Institute: An MLA is seeking to introduce a “conscience clause” in Northern Ireland, in response to an equality quango’s legal action against a Christian-run bakery in the Province.
Family Studies: In interviews we conducted with working-class young adults, my wife and I were surprised by the strength of their desires to have a long-lasting marriage and stable family life. But many of them were far from realizing those aspirations. Why? The wide-ranging challenges that frustrate their aspirations, which we must understand in order to find effective solutions, fall into four rough categories: family-of-origin, philosophical, psychological, and financial.
Red State: Even in Atlanta you will be made to care. Atlanta’s Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran, has been suspended for one month for writing a book in which he maintains orthodox Christian beliefs on sex and marriage.
The Washington Times (AP): Attorney General Bill Schuette and supporters of gay marriage have at least one thing in common: They want the U.S. Supreme Court to use a Michigan case to settle the legality of same-sex nuptials.
SCOTUS Blog: Moving rapidly to help persuade the Supreme Court to take up the same-sex marriage issue promptly, Michigan officials filed their brief Monday night in a key case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit — the only federal appeals court in the recent round of rulings to uphold a state’s ban on such unions.
First Things: Many of the responses to the Marriage Pledge from both sides of the divide on same-sex marriage have reflected substantial confusion over the distinction between Christian and civil marriage and what the role of the clergy is in the marriage ceremony. My purpose here is to clarify that distinction and then to evaluate criticisms of the Pledge when the distinction between the two types of marriage is properly understood.
First Things: With the legal affirmation of same-sex marriage in some states, should churches, synagogues, and mosques stop performing civil marriages? No, not yet. Marriage is, of course, more than a matter of statecraft.
Aleteia: Last week I was privileged to attend the Humanum Colloquium held at the Vatican, and about which I wrote in advance with optimism regarding the use of new visual arts to convey old truths. Now, with the colloquium behind me, I find myself thinking about the lasting contributions of this international gathering. And it strikes me today that perhaps one of the most important things was an attempt to frame the current international debate about marriage in terms of the humanity owed to the innocent.
Public Discourse: Black children have suffered the most as a result of the decline of marriage in the black community. And today marriage faces new threats. Those who promote what they call marriage equality have unjustly appropriated the language and the mantle of the civil rights movement. But there can be no equivalence between blacks’ experience of slavery and oppression and the circumstances of homosexuals. Adapted from an address delivered at the Vatican during the Humanum Colloquium.
First Things: Christopher Seitz and I recently formulated a “marriage pledge,” which First Things has hosted. It asks signers who are pastors to stop signing civil marriage licences as part of the Christian marriages at which they officiate, In this way, they will give public notice that Christian marriage is not what the state calls “marriage.”
The Christian Institute: David Cameron’s ‘casual imposition’ of gay marriage “insulted settled beliefs”, and “wounded him politically”, a former editor of The Daily Telegraph has said.
The Christian Institute: A John Lewis Christmas advert featuring a penguin called Monty who is searching for ‘real love’, has been criticised for not promoting LGBT people.
First Things: Does the call for Christians to separate matrimony from government marriage mean we’re retreating from the public square? Damon Linker thinks so. He calls it an “unprecedented retreat of theologically conservative churches from engagement in American public life.” That’s exactly wrong.
First Things: A number of people charge the Marriage Pledge authored by Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz with “clericalism,” claiming that it seeks to keep the hands of pastors clean from signing dirty marriage docs while urging laymen to make their perilous way to City Hall. This is probably the silliest of many silly charges that have been made.
Douglas Wilson: In some ways, Matthew Schmitz’s cavalier dismissal of objections to the Marriage Pledge seems to invite an old-fashioned fisking. But I resist the invitation. The confusions about marriage in our time are deep and profound, and many of them are present in the underlying assumptions of this Pledge, a Pledge seeking to preserve Christian marriage by detaching it from public and legally enforceable commitments. But what if legally enforceable commitments are an essential part of what marriage is?
First Things: No-fault divorce changed the American culture of marriage. So did the sexual revolution. Now proponents of gay rights are redefining marriage at an even more fundamental level. What’s to be done? As a post-biblical vision of sex, gender, and marriage gains the upper hand in our society, should our religious institutions get out of marriage? Should priests, pastors, and rabbis renounce their roles as deputies of state authority in marriage? Or should we sustain the close links between religious and civil marriage?
BreakPoint: The next several years are going to be messy for Christians. We already know that some who claim to be within our fold will continue to challenge the historic, orthodox teaching about sexuality, marriage, and the essence of what it means to be made in the image of God. But even those of us who agree that marriage is what the church has always thought it was, will disagree on how best to move forward in a culture hell-bent on denying it.
Canon Law Blog: Matthew Schmitz of First Things has offered some brief rebuttals to opponents of the Marriage Pledge. As probably the Pledge’s primary public critic (perhaps I exaggerate my influence), I see my objections to the Pledge (beginning here) only partially addressed by Schmitz and in one aspect, at least, Schmitz raises a straw-man objection to Pledge opponents’ views. Let’s deal with that first.
Life News: The pro-life community has come together to support the Duggar family in response to efforts by liberals to get TLC to cancel their show, “19 Kids and Counting.”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit Friday to accept a friend-of-the-court brief that encourages the court to uphold the freedom of the people of Florida to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The movement standing against government intrusion in the pulpit is growing.
Springfield News-Leader: A year and a half later, on Oct. 15, same-sex marriage became legal in the state. Christian religious rights legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit against the city on Oct. 17, contending that the anti-discrimination ordinance forced Hitching Post Wedding Chapel owners Don and Lynn Knapp to perform same-sex marriages, thus violating their freedom of religion.
Mirror of Justice: There are men and women of extraordinary wisdom and insight who transcend their particular communities and traditions to be teachers of mankind. Plato was one. So was St. Augustine. So were Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
In the Light of the Law: Rusty Reno had no difficulty dispatching recent smears against the so-called “Marriage Pledge” as spiteful, for indeed, neither the pledge nor its authors, Radner and Seitz, are in the least spiteful. Instead, I say, Radner and Seitz are wrong, and their misnamed Marriage Pledge (which should be called what it expressly is, a “Pledge not to Certify as ‘Married’ Couples that Are Married”), should be dropped so that we can return to the business of opposing “same-sex marriage” without abandoning true marriage to the power of the State.
The Christian Institute: The Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) is calling on the Scottish Parliament to force teachers to promote same-sex marriage, even if it contravenes their religious conscience.
The Christian Institute: Celebrities are the cause of a sharp rise in the number of children sending sexually explicit text messages, a child protection expert has warned.
Family Studies: Ambitious women, rejoice. If you can master time management, you may not have to choose between a powerhouse career and a happy family life. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recently published a study disproving the conventional wisdom that mothers must be less professionally productive, by examining the publication frequency of 10,000 academic economists.
Mirror of Justice: According to this report, “the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has upheld the right of churches and other religious institutions to request their employees to abide by their religious and moral ethos. The case concerned a doctor working at a church-owned hospital who was fired after he got divorced.”
Life News: In the wake of a petition demanding that the cable television channel TLC cancel “19 Kids and Counting” because of the Duggar Family’s pro-life and Christian views, thousands of pro-life people have signed a counter petition supporting them.
National Review: We stood, as for a head of state, and Pope Francis was ushered into the very room in the Vatican in which the bishops held the famous synod on the family this October. With his warm smile and a quiet “Buongiorno,” he opened the historic Interreligious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman this Monday in Rome.
Life Site News: A Change.org petition by gay activists has garnered nearly 100,000 signatures asking The Learning Channel to cancel the hugely popular “19 Kids and Counting” show.
First Things: Ryan Anderson and others (including Doug Wilson) wonder how I can support the Marriage Pledge. It asks pastors and priests to refrain from signing government provided marriage certificates, but allows and even encourages the newly wed couple to march down to the courthouse to get the government contract.
The Washington Post: With the winds of national press attention at its back, a change.org petitionurging TLC to cancel “19 Kids and Counting” has racked up more than 100,000 signatures. The reason, as stated by the petition’s creator: Recent anti-gay statements made by members of the Duggars, the family that stars on the popular TLC show.
Docsandlin: First Things (FT) has launched a crusade to get pastors out of the marriage-ceremony-performing business, or, as they would no doubt prefer, out of the business of government-sanctioned marriage-ceremony performance. The problem for “The Marriage Pledge” they are pushing is that these two practices are identical.
The Christian Institute: Plans to assign a named person to every child in Scotland clash with fundamental human rights, Scotland’s supreme civil court has heard.
The Christian Institute: An MLA has told the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland that its court action against a Christian bakery is “essentially bullying”.
Doug Wilson: So how are we to respond to this? A marriage pledge is being promoted at First Things, in which the undersigned ministers promise to cease cooperating with the civil magistrate on all things marriage. They will cease being agents for the state in weddings, and this in protest of the radical redefinition of marriage that is now underway in our culture.
First Things: The Marriage Pledge is not spiteful, as Andrew Sullivan suggests. Nor is it an act of aggression designed to destroy the “middle ground” Sullivan would like us to agree to occupy as members of a liberal society. On the contrary, it is an effort by Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz to encourage the Church to act in a way that is true to the meaning of marriage.
Family Studies: November marks National Caregiving Month. Having served for many years as a hospice chaplain and COO, I have seen first hand the power of home-based, family-centered caregiving. However, for all its strengths, providing care to a seriously ill adult as an informal, uncompensated, family caregiver can incur high costs that are often invisible to society at large. National Caregiving Month provides a perfect opportunity to increase our awareness of those costs.
The Daily Signal: The 2014 Global Slavery Index (GSI) found that there are nearly 36 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Of that, 36 million, nearly two-thirds, are from Asia. Without serious attention from the U.S. and Asian governments, millions of adults and children will continue to be forced into bonded labor, sex trafficking, slave-like conditions, and child soldiering in Asia.
Time Warner Cable News: The number of North Carolina magistrates who have resigned or retired early because of their opposition to performing same-sex marriages is higher than previously reported.
Public Discourse: “Marriage is on the wane . . . no amount of wishful thinking will bring it back,” says Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution in her new book, Generation Unbound: Drifting into Sex and Parenthood without Marriage.
Fox News (AP): The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block same-sex marriages in South Carolina.
Aleteia: How can the erosion of the marriage culture best be resisted? For Professor Robert George, the battle to uphold matrimony will come to us, but it must begin where marriage has been eroded and by protecting religious liberty.
SCOTUS Blog: With two Justices dissenting, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to delay same-sex marriages in South Carolina, leaving intact a federal judge’s order that goes into effect at noon and strikes down the state’s law. Neither the Court nor the dissenters gave any explanation.