By Rob Boston
Is the Religious Right ready to give up on same-sex marriage? At least one observer thinks so.
Damon Linker, writing in This Week, cites a short article that appeared in the conservative journal First Things recently as evidence of some kind of turning point in how theocratic groups deal with same-sex marriage.
The article in question, by R.R. Reno, the editor of First Things, is titled “A Time To Rend.” It cites a pastors’ pledge circulating on the theocratic fringe that urges clergy to stop performing civil marriages.
Reno writes that the pledge “requires ordained ministers to renounce their long-established role as agents of the state with the legal power to sign marriage certificates.”
The thinking here is that because the government has debased marriage by extending it to same-sex couples, churches should just bow out.
The pledge reads in part, “The new definition of marriage no longer coincides with the Christian understanding of marriage between a man and woman. Our biblical faith is committed to upholding, celebrating, and furthering this understanding, which is stated many times within the Scriptures and has been repeatedly restated in our wedding ceremonies, church laws, and doctrinal standards for centuries. To continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage. Therefore, in our roles as Christian ministers, we, the undersigned, commit ourselves to disengaging civil and Christian marriage in the performance of our pastoral duties. We will no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage.”
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