Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Let's Get Out of the Marriage Business

Wedded Bliss for All or None
To Protest Ban on Gay Unions,
Arlington Pastor Refuses to Conduct Marriages
By Annie Gowen, Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

To protest Virginia's laws banning same-sex marriage, [Pastor David] Ensign and the church's governing council decided recently that Clarendon Presbyterian will no longer have any weddings, and Ensign will renounce his state authority to marry couples.

Any heterosexual couple who has their union "blessed" in a "celebration ceremony" at the tiny church will have to take the extra step of being officially wed by a justice of the peace at the courthouse.

"What we're saying is that in the commonwealth of Virginia, the laws that govern marriage are unjust and unequal," said Ensign, 45, who has served as the church's pastor since 2003. He said that the matter had been bothering him for months and that he suggested the policy to the congregation's leaders because his conscience would not allow him to continue performing legal marriages on the state's behalf. (source: washingtonpost.com)
Surprisingly, I agree. But not with the last paragraph. Marriage, by biblical definition, is between a man and a woman. "Gay marriage" is a contradiction in terms. Declaring a triangle to have three sides is not being unjust or unequal to squares. Ensign is simply expressing his right to be wrong.

In the process, but for misguided reasons, Ensign stumbles on the right solution: The Church should get out of the marriage business. The authority to grant God's blessing upon a husband and wife who have entered into a life-long commitment of love and fidelity does not reside with the government. This is the domain of the Church. And with Scripture as our arbiter, we do not need to look to a human institution for approval when celebrating and affirming the marriage covenant.

Let the State adjudicate contracts between interested parties. Let businesses determine if they want to extend special benefits to friends. But let the Church maintain the integrity of the marriage union as God intended - one man, one woman in a life-long mutual relationship.

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