NOM BLOG

Washington's National Cathedral to Host Ceremonies for Same-Sex Partners

 

Another consequence of redefining marriage:

"...In light of the legality of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia and now Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, decided in December to allow an expansion of the Christian marriage sacrament. The diocese covers the district and four counties in Maryland. The change is allowed under a "local option" granted by the church's General Convention, church leaders said. Each priest in the diocese can then decide whether to perform same-sex unions.

...The House of Bishops voted last year 111-41 to authorize a provisional rite for same-sex unions. Some congregations have left the church over its inclusion of gays and lesbians over the years." (AP)

Examples like this remind us that when you redefine "civil" marriage you create the new possibility of same-sex ceremonies in churches. Gay marriage advocates love to artificially split these two recognitions of marriage when they think it suits their purposes but the categories always re-collapse as soon as a liberal church like this one decides it wants to conduct ceremonies with same-sex partners.

The simplest way to prevent same-sex ceremonies in churches is to fight for the recognition of marriage in civil law.

Many conservative Episcopalians have already left this denomination for other Christian churches that have retained their marriage tradition -- Episcopalian attendance is down 16% in the last decade alone. Mainline protestant denominations, including Methodists, Presbyterians and the worldwide Anglican communion have retained their marriage tradition, especially because the areas where Anglicanism are growing fastest in Africa and Asia, the congregations are strongly pro-marriage.

Some may see this as the Episcopalian church attempting to become even more progressive, but religion analysts such as Rob Kerby, the Senior Editor at Belief.net have asked if moves like this might signal the near collapse and "meltdown of liberal Christianity".

22 Comments

  1. Marc Paul
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    No tweets, comments, shares.

    Hello (echoes).

    Where is everyone?

  2. Paul Cook-Giles
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Thomas, perhaps you're not aware that Christian denominations --like the Metropolitan Community Churchs-- and other faith communities have been performing marriages for gay couples for many years. Churches have *always* had the option of deciding for which couples they will --or will not-- perform marriages.

    The only thing that has changed is the fact that if gay couples have civil marriage licenses, their marriages will be recognized by (some) states... regardless of whether that marriage is solemnized in a cathedral or a city hall. Religious ceremonies are an *option* for civil marriages; they aren't required. And you know that.

  3. Will Fisher
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    If the Episcopal Church (my denomination) wants to host same sex weddings, so what? We're not doing so because of any government dictate. Isn't religious freedom what NOM says they're about? If you don't want to have gay weddings in your church don't have them!

  4. Paul Mc
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Blame Henry VIII.

    He separated from Rome in order for the state (himself) to regulate marriage and introduce divorce.

    In particular, the RC church defines marriage in a very different way from civil marriage. It does not recognise civil marriage as marriage. It might as well be called Woogthump as Civil Marriage, as far as RC church is concerned.

    No surprise it gets caught up in definitional concerns that no one outside the Church concerns themselves with.

  5. Irene Swanson
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    In error the government of the United States of America is now the new church of the United States of America and defines for us faith and morals. That is the reality. The Episcopalian church is dead. They never had any moral authority anyway. The government has positioned itself for a major confrontation with the only known legitimate authority to teach on faith and morals, the Catholic Church. The sparks are flying as we speak. Those of us who know the truth will never capitulate.

  6. maggie gallagher
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Paul its not true that the Church does not recognize civil marriages. They are not sacramental but they are valid in the eyes of the Church (or can be).

    This is really not well understood. But sacramental marriage can exist only between two baptized Christians. To whom was the prohibition of adultery addressed in the Old Testament if the Church only reocgnizes sacramental marriages, as marriages?

  7. John
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    The world’s church feeds the flesh; the church of God feeds the soul. This is another church that belongs to the world because they do not obey Gods word. God says marriage is between one man and one woman any other sex other then marriage is fornication or adultery or just sin! The gay lifestyles have crept in the church and are doing their best to water it down so society will accept even more. Too bad God still condemns it and calls it a detestable act in His eyes.

  8. LonesomeRhoades
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    The Episcopal religion is apostate. They are whited walls, blind guides.

  9. Paul Cook-Giles
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Folks, there are a lot of activities prohibited by Scripture (blasphemy, cursing, drunkenness, getting tattooed, eating rare meat, adultery, and so on) that are not illegal --at least not in America; many of them are illegal in Saudi Arabia.

    Do you really want to start making laws based on the majority's interpretation of what the Bible says?

  10. Forrest
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.

    This so-called minister has turned his back on God for the fleeting admoration of sinful men.

    This is what the religion of political correctness is all about.

  11. Will Fisher
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    You can criticize the ECUSA all you want, but this is her choice, as it should be. It seems from the lead in that Mr Peters thinks that this is a negative consequence of legalizing SSM in DC, but the ECUSA is not being forced to do it. No churches that oppose SSM have been required to host SS ceremonies, as it should be. Is religious freedom supposed to apply to Mr Peters, but not to people with whom he disagrees?

  12. Will Fisher
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    @john, Forrest, lonesome: if you don't like the Episcopal Church's interpretation of Scripture, don't attend services there. It's is simple as that.

  13. Randy E King
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    @Will Fisher,

    The Episcopal Church is not basing their decision on their interpretation of scripture; they are basing their decision on transitory popular culture and the belief that their diminished standing in the community was brought about by their refusal to ignore the tenets of their faith.

    The Bible is not open to interpretation; it is there to teach and guide you, to mold you in God's image; not mans.

  14. FemEagle
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    The Episcopalians have always been a laughing-stock anyway. Their founder was a fat lecherous murderous British king, not a pope or a saint or a pilgrim or a priest. Since the church was founded by a sexual deviant, maybe it's kind of fitting that it wants to marry other sexual deviants, LOL. What a glorious tradition it's established!

  15. OldKingBlog
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    FemEagle, your comment here is so spot on I'm trying to figure out how to convey the same message in fewer words so it could be displayed high in the sky via an airplane towing a banner. I would love to fly it over that church as it performs its first so-called "same-sex" marriages!

  16. Corey
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    So, what is wrong with a church deciding to perform all marriages?

    Isn't is freedom of religion, to allow any church to dictate their own crede and beliefs? So, what is wrong with granting that freedom to all churches, not just churches who feel it's only one man, one woman (Or, historically, one man-many women, one man-many women and some concubines, one man-his dead brother's wife, et al).

  17. Randy E King
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    "Isn't is freedom of religion, to allow any church to dictate their own crede and beliefs?"

    No; freedom of religion is afforded to established faiths rooted in this nation’s history and traditions; not cults that change their tenets to align with those of popular culture.

    "It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins"
    Benjamin Franklin

  18. Dovie E.
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Whatever.

  19. FemEagle
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    But Corey, if a church isn't adhering to Scripture, then it's not a church. Period. It's a glorified community center.

  20. Teri Simpkins
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Seriously, FemEagle? I take it you believe, then, that Scientology isn't a church, although it is recognized as one?

    And maggiegallagher, in the eyes of the Roman Catholic church, any marriage that has taken place outside of the church or a RC Priest is not recognized as a sacramental marriage and therefore is not a marriage, since the only marriages that matter to the RC church ARE sacramental marriages. Try doing some research on the RC laws.

  21. Chairm
    Posted January 20, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Teri, you are wrong about what the RC Church considers to be marriages.

    Your research, such as it might be, merits a failing grade, if your comments are any indication of the depth of your knowledge on this matter.

    Your continual string of errors no longer surprises me.

  22. Chairm
    Posted January 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    SSM is not marriage. So regardless of the ceremony, it is not a wedding.

    This is not a religious belief. This is based on the truth about marriage that is accessible to all, regardless of religious affiliation or lack of.

    Bringing a falsehood into a religious ceremony is to lend that falsehood an air of legitimacy or authority that it simply cannot have, morally, and that is so regardless of the tattered state of marriage law where SSM has been merged with marriage.

    Start with the truth about this type of relationship, marriage, and the rest follows. Start with the pro-SSM falsehood and walk into quicksand.