Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

And in the blindly obvious department...

The Attorney General of New Jersey explained that while the state will allow civil unions, this does not require any religious denomination to recognize such a union.

Well, gee.

Given that many churches don't recognize a civil marriage as quite as good as having the preacher say the words over you, or saying the words yourself, or walking nine times in a circle... I could go on, but I won't. Anyway, the deal is that preachers can refuse to marry people for all kinds of reasons. Catholic priests are not supposed to marry people who have a previous marriage that did not end in annullment or death. Orthodox rabbis will not marry women who have a secular divorce, but not a religious one. Many preachers will not perform interfaith marriages, and many of those who will place additional requirements upon the couple.

60 years ago, my husband and I could not have married in the state we did due to wicked laws. There are some folks who would not have married us had we asked them. I'm glad we didn't. Folks, it's time we stop denying religious freedom to those whose beliefs about marriage are not the traditional American standard.



Blogger Don said...


1/14/2007 12:59 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

And Amen.

I work at a church. A former pastor had to "counsel" with the to be wedded couple four months before he married them. If they were living together, he told them they had to stop and abstain from having sex until married.

I told him he was wrong. That it was none of his business.

One such couple, 10 years and 3 kids later, were deciding to tie the knot and for some reason picked this church. One meeting with the pastor, however, and they never came back.

I'd think after 10 years their relationship was pretty solid. Shame on that pastor. Thankfully he isn't there anymore.

1/14/2007 1:49 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Oh, for pity's sake!

Yes, and in the small town I come from, there was a real jerk of a preacher who denied a friend of mine marriage because he didn't like her fiance. She got a civil wedding and had 2 kids who were grown up before she attended any services again. And she only did that because of a question I asked her when I was still a young girl about what kind of church she went to. When she told me the story, I got angry and said that I thought the preacher was wrong. She had been blaming God for what that ignorant man had done.

It was my opinion then and remains so, that the real sin was the preacher presuming to stand between this couple and God. It is one thing to provide counsel. It is quite another to set oneself up as a false idol, dispensing one's own judgements on the lives of others as the words of God.

1/14/2007 6:19 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

Well said, Plain Foolish.

This couple had been attending church there for quite a few weeks and had been very faithful while there.

The pastor more than likely lost a couple who would have been an intregal part of the church.

I hope they didn't blame God. I hope they found another church.

I've been a church admininstrator for 25 years and he is the first pastor I've worked with that was like that. So hopefully his kind is in the minority.

1/15/2007 8:59 AM  

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