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08/19/2008

Yea? CA preachers are being forced to marry gays? You really wanna go with that?

by Jeremy Hooper

Hey, social conservatives: When it comes to CIVIL marriage equality, the whole "if you tell a lie long enough, it will become truth" principle is simply not going to work! Regardless of how much your side tries to muddy the waters between a civil contract and religious ceremony, we are not going to accept it! Not now. Not ever. Religious ceremony is a concept completely separate from CIVIL MARRIAGE, with the policies in that area set by the individual faiths and sects.

We say this after reading the following egregious lie, which a writer by the name of Johnathan Trapp has today placed on the Concerned Women For America's website:

Decisions like the one in California (in Re Marriage Cases) infringe upon religious liberty because they mandate that priests, pastors, clerks to the court, and all other positions that perform marriage ceremonies are obligated to marry same-sex couples, even though the individual disagrees with the practice.

Yes, you read that correctly: Mr. Trapp is actually suggesting that California pastors and preachers are currently being forced to perform same-sex weddings. He's not even making an inaccurate, fear-mongering prediction that pastors and preachers will someday be forced to perform same-sex ceremonies. No, no -- he's saying that the Golden State's altars have already been forcibly altered. Even for a CWA commentary, this is UNBELIEVABLE deceit!

The social conservatives want to abolish the delineation between the religious and civil aspects of marriage for one reason: BECAUSE IT WORKS. But you know what? We challenge them on this and every other fallacious point, because we know that truth has always won out in the end, and that this time will be no different.

Same-Sex “Marriage”: An Inevitable Confrontation [CWA]

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Your thoughts

"the First Amendment to the Constitution, prevents the government from telling the people what religions they can and cannot worship and how they must worship them."

This is probably just an incident of bad-writing or poor-proofreading, but it is pretty funny clumbsy-tongueism. He seems to be suggesting that these guys don't worship a deity, but rather worship a religion. I actually think the later is probably more correct.

I haven't heard of any religiots being forced to perform wedding ceremonies. Aside from the possible disgruntled county clerk, here and there, who is simply being asked to do their job or to pick another job. But, no church-entities in Massachusetts or California have been forced to perform same-sex marriages. Even in that NJ public land dispute, they just wanted to use the facility, right?

If there were any real cases, you would think that these guys would be shouting about it all the time. I certainly wouldn't want any of those hating-haters performing my wedding ceremony!

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 19, 2008 7:40:55 PM

Jeremy, you showed great restraint in not pointing out the illogic of the main argument regarding the free exercise clause: "The “free exercise clause,” or the first part of the First Amendment to the Constitution, prevents the government from telling the people what religions they can and cannot worship and how they must worship them."

This is exactly what these groups are trying to do by trying to limit marriage to fit their "Biblical Standards". How do their heads not explode from all the cognitive dissonance?

I had a tough weekend with my (all Mormon) family when they started discussing the efforts of the church to talk to people about the initiative. When one of my brothers started talking about "activist judges" overturning the will of the people, I (hopefully not too angrily) reminded him that the judges were simply doing their job when they found a law to be unconstitutional. I would think Mormons especially would be interested in protecting minority rights since they often see themsleves in that situation (of being a minority group).

It has been tough not talking with my family about the whole marriage thing. I want to, but the truth is, they really don't have an opinion about it and wouldn't care if the church was not pushing the issue. Having been a member of the church in California in 2000, I remember the push for members to "volunteer" in one area or another to help get that passed. I avoided getting involved but as an active memebr at that time, it was hard to do. Now I feel I need to donate more tiem and money to the campaign against Prop 8 to undue the efforts of my family here in California. It has been emotional for me which is hard because no one I talk to in my family has an opinion other than the prophet sent out a letter and how do you argue with someone who has no opinion of their own to debate?

Posted by: Todd | Aug 19, 2008 7:56:29 PM

I am constantly amazed that conservatives continue to use that argument. They obviously know that it is incorrect and deceptive but they apparently don't care.

Can ANY heterosexual couple walk into a church and demand to be married? Of course not!! Any church can marry, or refuse to marry, anyone they want. My church has a policy that it will only perform marriages for members of the congregation (either straight or gay).

Posted by: David | Aug 19, 2008 8:00:55 PM

Todd, sorry about your family. It is such a cop out as an adult to say that you cannot form your own opinion but must follow anyone elses. It is just like saying "No my mother, won't let me go.'
I believe that is what the movie: 'FOR THE BIBLE TOLD ME SO.' is supposed to help with. Make people wake up and see that all they are doing by this discrimination is hurting their very own loved ones and friends.

Anyhoo.... JH I forwarded this to the Obama campaign, Howard Dean and Move On ...
it is such cop out for OBAMA to not acknowledge that as a Constitutional lawyer he does know the difference between civil marriage and a religious one!!

Well that's my little bit.

Posted by: LOrion | Aug 19, 2008 8:57:39 PM

The interesting thing is that folks like Trapp are in serous violation of their own religious tenets. Well, unless bald-faced lying is now permissible and somebody forgot to tell the rest of us. Besides, since when are Catholic priests, for example, forced by law to marry folks who are not Catholic, impotent, are divorced with their previous spouse still living, etc? Oh wait, this kind of hyperbole only applies to teh gheys? Ah, I'm sooooo behind the times I guess...

Posted by: John | Aug 19, 2008 9:13:38 PM

It's both depressing and aggravating that this is what the 'debate' has turned into. I sent them a friendly email about it. I figured it was the least I could do. Just letting them know that 'we' are watching. lol

Posted by: J. Clarence | Aug 20, 2008 3:52:00 AM

My own mother believed this and wanted to challenge me on it. Then I reminded her about her own fiance. She is lapsed Assemblies of God and widowed, and he is lapsed Catholic and divorced. They can't get married in either kind of church or by either kind of minister. She knows this because they've looked into it and, when they finally do get married, will probably be using Celebrant USA's non-sectarian services.

It's hard to render her speechless or make her admit she's wrong, but I got a long pause and an, "Oh. I guess that isn't true" after that!

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Aug 20, 2008 8:30:35 AM

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