A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Victory?

I wanted to comment on a ruling a month ago. "The highest court of the PCUSA found that a Northern California minister did not violate church law when she officiated at the weddings of two lesbian couples."

That's a good thing. Ministers should not face church trials for solidifying the love between people. When they bless mutual love they appear to be living out the Gospel, more so than the numbers of church trials which make the church appear in the worst light.

Was it because the court recognized the value of the love between two people? Or that they recognized the right of individual conscience? No. Rev. Spahr was innocent because "The court found that the ceremonies Spahr performed were not marriages."

The PCUSA constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Since Spahr officiated at same gendered weddings, she didn't violate the constitution. The right had a field day with this obvious word play. But it should disturb those of us who favor equality too.

For Rev. Spahr and for those couples participating in these weddings, these are indeed marriages. To be told that they are not marriages has to be insulting for them as well as those of us who support marriage equality in the church and the wider society.

Rev.Spahr as officiated at another wedding since the California court case legalized gay marriage. Let's pray there is no church trial or if there is one that individual conscience, the holiness of mutual love, or some actual principle is appealed to and not some word game.

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