Showing posts from August, 2011

the fallacy of the recent legalization of marriage

One defense for the legitimacy of sacramental marriage without a legal marriage certificate is that the civil marriage is a recent invention in humanity's existence. Legality is simple when times are simple, but as a society becomes more complex, new realities arise over time, and more socialist, an entity that redistributes wealth, law must follow to provide enforceable, fair and consistent justice for its citizens. This 2007 NYT opinion piece by Stephanie Coontz sees the same things, but arrives at the opposite conclusion. She opens with this question, WHY do people — gay or straight — need the state’s permission to marry? For most of Western history, they didn’t, because marriage was a private contract between two families. The parents’ agreement to the match, not the approval of church or state, was what confirmed its validity. My thinking is that families could enforce the maintenance of justice in the marriage or divorce. Some societies today still use the dowry system as a …

Tony Jones's sacramental (but not legal) marriage

Addendum May 2013: Dr. Jones announces his attention to civilly marriage.

Back on January 4, 2010 Tony Jones PhD, recent author of The Church is Flat and resident theologian of Solomon's Porch--an ecclesiastical community in Minneapolis--posted a call for clergy to get out of the Legal marriage business. He thought it incongruous for the church to act as agents for the state. He writes,
And most problematic, from my perspective, is that the clergyperson, with the stroke of a pen, makes legal a contract that s/he has no ability or potential to end. And, having gone through a divorce, I can tell you that extricating oneself from the legal contract that is marriage in our society is no mean feat. And the clergyman who married us was, understandably, not around to help unravel what he had helped establish. It kind of sounds legit. His further intention was to lower the barrier for gays to marry; somehow. I'm not sure how. I have gay friends in Connecticut who were sacramentall…

book report: fathermothergod by Lucia Greenhouse (2011)

I don't know if this genre of books exists, but I would call fathermothergod by Lucia Greenhouse a spiritual horror story. I confess to enjoying Stephen King for a while and his horror fiction, but his writing had nowhere near the effect Greenhouse's memoir did on me. The night I finished the book, the last half of it in one night, past my bedtime, I ended up having a nightmare being trapped in Christian Science.
Her father became a church practitioner, someone who prayed for and encouraged sick members, trying to help them get rid of their perception of illness, which founder Mary Baker Eddy denied was reality. To her, only the spiritual is real, and the physical is illusion. He tells her, “Lucia, dear, you know we don’t discuss symptoms in Christian Science. It doesn’t support the healing process.” So when the practioner's daughter wants to get eyeglasses, he felt threatened. I remember my Eyeglasses Rebellion and, more recently, the acrimony I created by announcing my i…

BHO, WND, snopes, and this follower of Jesus

I'm spilling much digital ink on my facebook wall in discussion with a fellow believer in Jesus and lover of the Haitians, whom I met on my trip to Haiti after the big quake. Sometimes he sendsImage via Wikipedia me articles from sources such as World Net Daily. I can't link to it. It seems to do more harm than good. I will only post my thoughts and not those of my brother in the Lord. Again, one side of a conversation, in which you'll have to imagine a more erudite partner than myself.
Here is where my political philosophy starts.
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Paul doesn't discriminate according to which authority is legitimate or not, many of the Ceasars got to power by killing the previous one.

If one should happen to believe President Obama is an enemy, Jesus has a plan for that as well, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, ble…

book report: The Total Money Meltdown by Thor Ramsey

Last year I facilitated a Financial Peace class at my church and I learned people's travails with cash and credit, but no one told their story with the wit of Thor Ramsey, no relation to Dave Ramsey. Thor is not related to Dave, but he is a stand-up comedian who is not afraid to share the embarrassing choices and decisions he made as his family approached bankruptcy but emerged a year later out of debt and without declaring bankruptcy, trying to follow Dave's plan.
Thor got into flipping houses before the housing market crash, and was stuck in a gorgeous house with a new 50k kitchen and a decline in job offers for stand-up shows. He had many credit card debts and little savings. His wife did not work and he had children. Thor had an opportunity to seek sympathy, but he doesn't. He blames himself and his foolishness. As they work on their debt-snowball, and he becomes despondent over the bills, he draws closer to God, who keeps providing work and money, just in time. As his …