Author Topic: Benne on Bolz-Weber  (Read 14981 times)

Dave Benke

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #270 on: December 17, 2018, 04:08:31 PM »
That word, "generally," which precedes the list is an important word, Pastor Kirchner. I have been in the New York City Clerk's office and had discussion with people there on this subject. And I have has some minimal contact with those in the "officiant" biz, that is, people who will provide weddings, child things, funerals, and other ceremonies made-to-order for the client.
Anyone can walk into the clerk's office and fill out the form. If you are clergy in a "regular" denomination, you list that. If you are not, you don't have to list anything. I have seen it done and talked to people who have done it. So don't think your quick reading of some laws or regs give you the whole deal.
The state has no valid interest in the religious credentials of anyone who presides, and indeed couples can marry if no one presides. They just get a license and fill it out, have it witnessed and that's it.
But we quibble trivialities here, in Pastor Kirchner's (did I get that right) frenzy to prove me wrong.
He'll take the last word, as usual.

NYC is the only area of NY that one needs credentials and the credentials are easy to obtain.  Simply go into Google and type, "on-line ordination" and fill out the form.  With more and more wedding venues popping up that offer one-stop-shopping; that is, rooms for the wedding party to ready themselves, photography, ceremony, and reception a few steps a way less and less people are marrying in a church.  Some pastors/priests will go to the site, others will not.  Often it becomes a best friend or close relative.   

In the state of Wisconsin where I reside you are required to be an ordained pastor of a church.  That said, in the 18 years I have been here, no one has checked or asked for evidence or proof of that credential.  I simply sign the form with my title and all is well.  I am seeing people I know obtain their "credentials" online.  I think they like the idea of having a "pastor" officiate without the religious trappings, given that many of their clients are probably unchurched.  I also find it interesting that we are threatened with fines or brief jail time for being late filing the marriage license, but nothing is said of falsifying ones credentials.  For my chaplaincy position with the city's fire department I was required to provide a copy of my ordination certificate.  Likewise with the local police and sherrif's department where I also applied.  The government's interests vary on this.

I have not been following this latest discussion except here at the end; Charles and Eileen correctly identify the New York City process with regard to filing with the City Clerk to perform a wedding.  When the newly ordained and installed come to the city, we (the Atlantic District office) advise them to complete the form online or at the clerk's office right away.

Chaplaincies at the state level here may have changed over the last ten years, but when I was in district office, there were denominational roster requirements for paid chaplains, and we had a few men attempt to go through our colloquy process who had been self-ordained and denied the paid chaplain position.  None of them made it through the entrance gate for colloquy on our end. 

Dave Benke

For the last 4 or 5 years now the synod has had an endorsement process for emergency service chaplains.  When I started nearly 16 years ago there was nothing like this in place.  I am now going to 'work back' and complete the paperwork, although it seems I already have over 3/4 of the requirements met.  I think it is a good thing and raises the legitimacy of our work in the government realm.  When I founded the volunteer program in my area, I insisted that they write to my DP to receive an endorsement.  I thought it was good practice and set a standard for future chaplains.  When you are the first you need to set the bar a bit higher.  My fellow firefighters (I am also a trained firefighter) have educational and training requirements set by the state.  I think chaplains would seek to have some kind of standard to demonstrate their own professionalism and competence.

Very true.  I was the floor committee chair at the convention that brought that process forward for emergency service. 

I am the certified "supervisor of fire alarm systems" at our church and day care center.  Certified by FDNY on a three year basis.  The test for certification was NOT open book, and was based on an enormous manual with skatey-eight thousand regulations.  I studied like crazy for it.  And when I was done, I was convinced neither I nor anyone else in that building had passed.  Of course, it's all highly necessary stuff (in the same way the food-handling certificate or the facility management certificates are highly necessary), but on the tougher side of tough.  Anyway, I got an 80, which is the lowest grade I have received in anything throughout my academic career.  By a long shot.  And I was very very happy with it, because it was a passing grade.  So to you,  a trained firefighter, congratulations!

Dave Benke

peterm

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #271 on: December 18, 2018, 09:38:44 AM »
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

I'm not convinced it matters where on campus this was held.  It should not have taken place at all.

You're opposed to having a lip sync battle anywhere on campus?  When I was in seminary between 1988 and 1992. Each class held a "class party" in the cafeteria/community center.  That makes one in the fall, winter and spring.  The parties included a series of skits and other comedic elements, including parodies of popular music. A lip sync battle would have fit right in.  No one ever dressed in drag, but when I was in college, I remember three male professors dressing in hula skirts for comedic effect.  (We would not have been allowed to hold a class party in the Gloria Dei Chapel.  Nor would it have been acceptable to wear costumes in the chapel.  One Halloween, some students wore their costumes in chapel and were reprimanded.)

Should the event have been held in the chapel?  No.  Should it have included a drag act?  Probably not, especially if it had a sexual content.  Was it wrong to hold a lip sync contest on campus?  I don't think so.


I agree about the chapel.
My question: Why was it held in the chapel?
Possible answer (that was shot down): That was the only space large enough.
What are other possible answers?

Northwestern Hall and Stub hall no longer belong to Luther they were sold awhile ago, if I'm reading the website correctly.
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

FrPeters

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #272 on: December 18, 2018, 05:22:44 PM »
Quote
In several places that I’ve served I can’t recall ever having my credentials to perform marriages questioned.

When you sign a marriage license in TN (and it could be in many other places, your signature is part of your credential -- you are attesting to the fact that you are a minister of religion authorized by your church to perform marriages.
Fr Larry Peters
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Charles Austin

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #273 on: December 18, 2018, 05:59:20 PM »
Again, the state cannot care about or require that religion has anything to do with the marriage ceremony.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #274 on: December 18, 2018, 06:08:35 PM »
Again, the state cannot care about or require that religion has anything to do with the marriage ceremony.

And no one is stating that the state requires that religion has anything to do with the marriage ceremony. But it does care about it when it does have anything to do with the marriage ceremony, as Fr. Peters states and as Tennessee law confirms.

"36-3-301. Persons who may solemnize marriages.

(a)  (1)  All regular ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other spiritual leaders of every religious belief, more than eighteen (18) years of age, having the care of souls, and all members of the county legislative bodies, county mayors, judges, chancellors, former chancellors and former judges of this state, former county executives or county mayors of this state, former members of quarterly county courts or county commissions, the governor, the speaker of the senate and former speakers of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and former speakers of the house of representatives, the county clerk of each county and the mayor of any municipality in the state may solemnize the rite of matrimony. For the purposes of this section, the several judges of the United States courts, including United States magistrates and United States bankruptcy judges, who are citizens of Tennessee are deemed to be judges of this state. The amendments to this section by Acts 1987, ch. 336, which applied provisions of this section to certain former judges, do not apply to any judge who has been convicted of a felony or who has been removed from office.

     (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 06:10:59 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #275 on: December 18, 2018, 06:15:00 PM »
Quote
In several places that I’ve served I can’t recall ever having my credentials to perform marriages questioned.

When you sign a marriage license in TN (and it could be in many other places, your signature is part of your credential -- you are attesting to the fact that you are a minister of religion authorized by your church to perform marriages.


A friend officiated at her daughter's wedding. She said that in Kansas, if the bride and groom agree on an officiant, that's sufficient.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Charles Austin

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #276 on: December 18, 2018, 06:22:47 PM »
Pastor Kirchner quotes a Tennessee law:
   (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
And I strongly believe that if anybody wanted to challenge the “religious” aspect of that paragraph, it would fall faster than a bag of rocks.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #277 on: December 18, 2018, 06:24:22 PM »
Quote
In several places that I’ve served I can’t recall ever having my credentials to perform marriages questioned.

When you sign a marriage license in TN (and it could be in many other places, your signature is part of your credential -- you are attesting to the fact that you are a minister of religion authorized by your church to perform marriages.

A friend officiated at her daughter's wedding. She said that in Kansas, if the bride and groom agree on an officiant, that's sufficient.

They probably didn't even need the friend.

"23-2504. Solemnizing marriage; persons authorized to officiate. (a) Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state, after a license has been issued for the marriage, in the following manner: By the mutual declarations of the two parties to be joined in marriage, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least two competent witnesses over 18 years of age, other than the officiating person, that they take each other as husband and wife.

(b) The following are authorized to be officiating persons:

(1) Any currently ordained clergyman or religious authority of any religious denomination or society;

(2) any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular clergyman of any church of the denomination to which the licentiate or appointee belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of that church or denomination;

(3) any judge or justice of a court of record;

(4) any municipal judge of a city of this state; and

(5) any retired judge or justice of a court of record.

(c) The two parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties belong, may be married without an authorized officiating person."

The question remains: To whom do they make these "mutual declarations"?
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #278 on: December 18, 2018, 06:27:05 PM »
Pastor Kirchner quotes a Tennessee law:
   (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
And I strongly believe that if anybody wanted to challenge the “religious” aspect of that paragraph, it would fall faster than a bag of rocks.

How do you put it, Charles?  Oh yeah, "What codswallop!"
Don Kirchner

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Charles Austin

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #279 on: December 18, 2018, 06:37:01 PM »
So you are telling me that the law would stand if it required an atheist couple to have someone "ordained" or otherwise certified by a religious organization preside at their wedding?
The law you cite says:
  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
This is 1) stupid; 2) unnecesary; 3) vague and 4) unenforceable. What of the couple who wants no "church, temple, or other religious group or organization" involved in their exchange of vows? And who is the state to say that a religious organization must "provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."?
Finally, why do we in the church care how the state structures the "legality" of a marriage? And why do we think that "our" structure of marriage should be forced on non-believers?
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 06:39:03 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Charles Austin

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #280 on: December 18, 2018, 06:42:41 PM »
Re the state and marriage:
If a couple wants no "religion" involved in their union ceremony, they should be able to go to the clerk's office, sign some papers, have the signings witnessed and notarized and - boom! - in the eyes of the state, they are married. Maybe they'll go to a church for a blessing or something, maybe Uncle Max will preside at some ceremony before a festive dinner; or maybe they'll go home and watch television.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #281 on: December 18, 2018, 06:45:48 PM »
Pastor Kirchner quotes a Tennessee law:
   (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
And I strongly believe that if anybody wanted to challenge the “religious” aspect of that paragraph, it would fall faster than a bag of rocks.


There may be another part of the law that addresses civil marriage services. (Perhaps not called "rite of matrimony.") In California, I had a member who was a lawyer who was authorized to officiate at weddings, but she told me that she couldn't incorporate anything religious when she officiated. It had to be a civil ceremony without religious content.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #282 on: December 18, 2018, 07:24:15 PM »
Again, the state cannot care about or require that religion has anything to do with the marriage ceremony.

Since, in our nation, the states formally grant certain civil responsibilities to the holders of religious office simply because they hold such an office, clearly the state does care.  And it has, at least thus far with regard to marriage, done so without infringing upon the right to freedom of religion.

Pax, Steven+
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #283 on: December 18, 2018, 07:30:29 PM »

There may be another part of the law that addresses civil marriage services. (Perhaps not called "rite of matrimony.") In California, I had a member who was a lawyer who was authorized to officiate at weddings, but she told me that she couldn't incorporate anything religious when she officiated. It had to be a civil ceremony without religious content.

I -- OMG!!! -- agree with Brian.

And this is a clear description of the state caring about or requiring that religion have anything to do with a marriage ceremony.

spt+
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Steven W Bohler

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #284 on: December 18, 2018, 08:41:51 PM »
So you are telling me that the law would stand if it required an atheist couple to have someone "ordained" or otherwise certified by a religious organization preside at their wedding?
The law you cite says:
  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
This is 1) stupid; 2) unnecesary; 3) vague and 4) unenforceable. What of the couple who wants no "church, temple, or other religious group or organization" involved in their exchange of vows? And who is the state to say that a religious organization must "provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."?
Finally, why do we in the church care how the state structures the "legality" of a marriage? And why do we think that "our" structure of marriage should be forced on non-believers?

Rev. Austin,

If I understand your post correctly, then you are not reading the law correctly: it does not require ordained clergy but rather that if a clergyman DOES perform the wedding, then he must be ordained/authorized by a recognized religious organization.  That is, the couple is free to have someone other than a clergyman perform the wedding, but if they choose to have a clergyman then it must be one who meets the criteria outlined.