A United Church of Christ is, it seems, suing the state of North Carolina because its ‘religious liberty’ is being denied because it cannot pronounce a same sex couple married under state law. The UCC should have the right, I believe, to declare ‘holy matrimony’ [as distinct from civil marriage] under its own canon law. And on the other hand, so should we Christians. [Despite its name, I do not consider the United Church of Christ a Christian denomination nowadays. Yes, it’s judgmental, but it’s the kind of judgment we are supposed to make.]
I’ll go a step further and clarify. It is not heretical for a Christian to support ‘marriage equality’ at civil law. A Christian could have without heresy voted against Proposition 8, for example, though I supported it. It is heretical for a Christian to advocate that his church recognize same sex couples in its canon law, much less perform ceremonies. The church needs to have a different ‘definition of marriage’ than the state. Frankly, it should have had this for 40 years, since ‘no-fault divorce’ came in. This would even be true in North Carolina, because, I trust, the civil marriage laws of North Carolina allow for no-fault divorce. The state of North Carolina should allow its churches to define ‘holy matrimony’ as they see fit and not require a marriage license; and they should define ‘civil marriage’ as the people of the State see fit and require that a justice of the peace, not any religious officer, ‘solemnize’ or make legal these licensed civil marriages. And California and states that have ‘civil marriage equality’ should do the same.