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Thank You New Hampshire, But…

New Hampshire has passed a law that establishes marriage equality within its borders, legalizing same-sex marriage. I’m glad for that, but there’s a small, bitter corner of this victory that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

jcliffordThe governor of New Hampshire would only agree to sign the bill into law if an exemption granting churches the right to deny the legal validity of their employees’ same-sex marriages. In New Hampshire, a same-sex couple can get married, but if one of them works for a church, it will be as if their marriage doesn’t exist.

Creating a special exemption for churches, to allow them to remain as sanctuaries of discrimination and bigotry, is a nasty thing to do, but I suppose I can see the constitutional justification of it. There is, according to the First Amendment, supposed to be freedom of religion. I understand how that freedom can be interpreted to apply, not just to individual choice of religious identity, but also to the organizational powers of churches.

However, if we in the United States are now to adopt the idea that religious organizations have the same rights as individuals, and that churches can therefore do whatever they want without interference by the government, let’s be consistent in the application of this principle. If a church wants to set up a casino, let’s not interfere. If a church wants to keep slaves, let’s allow it. If a church stones women to death for adultery, let’s not prosecute. When a church helps its priests sexually molest thousands of children, let’s look the other way. If churches want to kidnap people and hold them in captivity in church basements, who are we to say no? It’s religious liberty.

The alternative is to hold that individuals have First Amendment religious liberty, but that religious organizations need to follow the same laws that apply to everyone else. That, clearly, is unacceptable.

15 comments to Thank You New Hampshire, But…

  • Anonymous

    You can stil get married but what this effectively does is limit the church from having to hire or maintain employment of a homosexual individual. You can get married. The church cant stop that, you just cant work there.

  • qs

    Does it go both ways so they can deny heterosexual marriages?

    It would be ideal if we got rid of all marriage laws I think.

    • Jacob

      I read an article in the Christian Examiner not too long ago (I cant find it now) about a priest who is trying to introduce a bill that would turn all marriges into legal partnerships and give the church the option of whether they want to call it a marrige. This would allow any couple of any kind to get the benefits of partnership (currently called marrige) and the church can still be seperate. I think its a terrible idea, but yes qs the rule is trying to come

      • qs

        Ehh, just leave the current contracts the same as they are with the same existing divorce contracts etc.

        Then stop issuing all marriage licenses and leave it up for people to sign their own economic contracts…that’s what a marriage is anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Marrige is just an economic contract?

  • qs

    Well it’s symbolic too, but its functional purpose is an economic contract.

    But the symbolism is just in the eyes of the people involved so they can think whatever they want, but that part is never contentious during divorces and etc etc. So people could still get married in churches, but they would have to work out their own economic contracts associated with the marriage.

  • Anonymous

    Marrige existed before economic considerations were ever taken into account. How is that the defenition of marrige?

    • qs

      Ya it did, but the government wasn’t involved back then. Also when you got divorced, all individual ownership was retained. So if the man owned the house…it remained his.

      The reason the States introduced government marriage in the was to force interracial marriages to have more universal acceptance from what I’ve read anyway.

      With this came in an equal redistribution of money when people divorce and contentious court settlements so now days it’s more of an economic contract than it once was although it still was back then.

      You could sign an economic contract that is exactly the same as today’s marriages in your respective states or you could alter it. Makes sense.

  • Anonymous

    Easy fix to that. Take away the ease of the divorce option. Almost everyone who signs this ‘economic contract’ seal it with till death do us part. Sounds like a major breach of contract…

  • Anonymous

    Maybe they would be less antsy to jump into a contract if it wasnt so easy to get out of it… Its harder to get a cell phone then a marrige. Hader to get into a one year then in a life time and harder to get out of the one year then the lifetime. Makes zero sense. In fact, it sounds almost retarded when you say it that way…

    • qs

      Let people set the contract up however they like.

      Liberals like CHOICE right?

      So if they want a hard contract to get out of, well then let them do that.

      I think that’s crazy though.

  • Anonymous

    I dont think librals want a hard contract to get out of. I think librals want it to be no more then a glorified boy friend girlfiend (well, maybe boyfriend/boyfriend, or girlfriend/girlfriend, or boyfriend/cow, really it doesnt matter)

  • Jim

    I dont think conservatvs want to suck blueberry juice threw a stra. I think they want a blendr.

    Y do conservatvs h8 bluberrys?

  • Anonymous

    brcause we prefer blackberrys!

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