- A Holiday? What shall I do with myself?
- Now you see it, now you don’t.
- Profitable nonprofits.
- A day in a counselor’s life.
Looking forward this morning to being able to linger a bit, having breakfast with my wife. We usually scatter to responsibilities so quickly that nothing like that happens except on vacation.
Clear weather for breakfast alfresco would be nice, but you can’t have everything.
The couple in this reported case happens to be Jewish, but the case is evocative of broader trends:
- The Rabbi was tricked (told there was a problem getting the marriage license), but it appears to me that there have been Christian clergy conducting things like “Christian coverture marriage” without government license and with eyes wide open.
- Such incidents strike me as manifestations of the increasing reduction of marriage to a contract. The couples are “religiously” married but civilly unmarried. Such a deal! For couples with two high incomes, this could be (or could have been not long ago – I’m not an expert) a sweet arrangement for taxes, avoiding the “marriage penalty.” Now you see it (the marriage), now you don’t.
- Upon the breakup of the unlicensed marriage, the state courts have no right to treat it as a marriage under marriage rules. It’s more like a palimony case.
- Once again, “straight” couples like this are undermining the institution of marriage, and their superior numbers almost certainly mean that the total damage they do to it outstrips that done by proponents of “gay” marriage.
If the redefinition of marriage proceeds, I think there will come a day when faithful, sane Christian clergy should conclude that there is zero correspondence between Holy Matrimony and the bundle of bribes and benefits the state calls marriage, and should decline to have anything to do with the latter. “You want the state to consider you married, too? Fine: go register with them, but I’m signing nothing.”
I’m a pretty zealous advocate of religious freedom, but lines have been blurred, and I have trouble disagreeing with this:
It is FC’s [Franciscan Communities'] position that civil authorities must accept not only a religious organization’s characterization of its beliefs but also the entity’s characterization of its use of the subject property. Under this theory, no property taxes could ever be imposed on any property a religious organization declared was used exclusively for religious purposes, regardless of the true facts. This is contrary to established law…..
… [T]he primary use of VL was for upscale senior housing and care with an enhanced lifestyle. To be sure, there was a religious component, but … advancing religion was not VL’s primary purpose…. Here, we are not called upon to decide whether the Sisters engage in religious activities. It is a given that they do, but the evidence overwhelmingly showed that the operation of VL was businesslike and characteristic of a commercial enterprise. VL was not giving care to the elderly; it was selling care to the elderly, as well as a certain lifestyle for those in independent living, at competitive market rates.
If I was trying to run a propriety upscale retirement center, I sure wouldn’t appreciate competition that gets an extra edge through the fiction of a religious mission (a preferential option for the upscale?).
To complete a religious trio, a meditation/blog from Priest/counselor in the coal-mining regions of Western Pennsylvania:
He is a refugee from all the old charismatic waves that washed over the Burgh since the early 70s. He’s visited about every single phase of emotion and claimed every promise. He’s made a lot of positive confessions that have not worked out, and so weary he’s entered our old and open doors.
Now he’s gotten into difficulty again, and that’s real and very hard. We will have to help him through with real practical plans …
He is amazingly gentle and kind, merciful to the gruff and uncompassionate peers that surround his daily schedule. He’s been scuffed, worn and torn by a lot of hard knocks, but the bitter speech, so expected, doesn’t show ….
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