Author Topic: Benne on Bolz-Weber  (Read 14317 times)

Charles Austin

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #300 on: December 19, 2018, 12:25:26 PM »
To the town, not to This humble correspondent.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Twice-vaccinated.

Pr. Don Kirchner

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #301 on: December 19, 2018, 12:28:15 PM »
To the town, not to This humble correspondent.

Indeed.   ;)
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jebutler

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #302 on: December 19, 2018, 12:46:23 PM »
This article seems to give a bit of color to the law.  It allows for a religious or civil ceremony but if religious it must be a pastor/priest from a recognized religious body and not the Universal Life Church.  I can't say I see much sense in the law, along with Pastor Austin.   I've seen too many couples have a religious ceremony simply to please grandma or get married in a beautiful church setting with no intent to actively participate in the life of the congregation even though they may technically be members of the congregation.   I'd say that many European countries have a good system where there is a civil ceremony and then a religious ceremony, should the couple desire.  Reading the article allows me to wonder if there's a bit more to this law other than keeping with the seriousness of the marriage commitment -- be it an issue with the ULC or the legalization of gay marriage.
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/

Now, before Charles again overreacts, keep in mind what Larry Rice, a nationally-respected family law attorney (I've attended his seminar and read his articles) says about the Tennessee law:

"Tennessee takes marriages seriously," Rice said. "There are enormous responsibilities created as a result of that one agreement. You don't have to married by a minister, so it's not a religious thing. You can go get a judge to marry you, but you can't get a joke to marry you. Universal Life Church is a joke."

I am not convinced that the ULC is a joke.  It is not what we, as Lutherans, would consider an ordination.  But I am in agreement with Pastor Austin.   The interest of the state is that the t's are crossed and i's are dotted and not who presides.  I'd rather attend a wedding where Aunt Betty, a devout Christian, presides over the wedding than to one where I know the couple will not be back until the baptism of their first child - despite all the promises in counseling sessions to the contrary.  And these days, baptism is even in question.   Every situation is different.  Yes, there are some who register withe the ULC (and other such mills) simply to make a few bucks but there are others who do so very intentionally, perhaps for a family wedding.  It's not for the state to determine if the presider is a 'joke' or not.

I have to agree: the ULC is a joke. I know. My friend had his dog ordained in that body.

The only reason the ULC (and some other bodies of its ilk) exists is because some states required some people to be Justices of the Peace, Judges, or ordained clergy to preside at a wedding. The first two were difficult to get; the second took a couple of letters and a few stamps. I recall reading articles back in the day about people who were married and the presider had just received her/his credentials from the ULC or some other mill.

Even with ordained clergy, different states have different laws. Massachusetts requires clergy to "re-up" each year. Our District office takes care of that notification for us. A friend of mine had to send a copy of his ordination certificate to the state. Other states, like Missouri, don't require any notification at all.

Crossing state lines can be even more interesting. When I did a wedding in New Hampshire I had to send in $25 and a copy of my ordination certificate. In return, I received a "foreigner permit" to conduct a wedding in that state, which I had to affix to the license when I sent it in. Missouri didn't require me to do anything as long as I was on the LCMS roster.

So, as near as I can tell, it looks to me like the state has an interest in who can, and cannot, preside at weddings.

Personally, I think every state should follow the example of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Anyone over the age of 21 may conduct a wedding. All the presider needs to do is fill out an application (city clerk or online) and pay a $25 fee. They are then given a permit to conduct that marriage that day. The presider then attaches the one day permit to the marriage license when she/he sends it in. Clergy are exempt from the fee. This way, Uncle Joe, Aunt Bee, Cousin Oliver, Brother Son or Sister Moon or any other person the couple chooses can preside at their wedding.
These are things that we can discuss among learned and reasonable people, or even among ourselves. (Luther, SA III, paraphrased).

scott9

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #303 on: December 19, 2018, 04:39:46 PM »
I have to agree: the ULC is a joke. I know. My friend had his dog ordained in that body.

One of my dad's friends has a last name of "Tuck" and was an avowed non-believer.  Rather than going with the usual joke of him being a "Friar," he decided it would be fun to get ordained to a higher office through a mail-order (at the time) church like the ULC.  Rather than being arrogant and becoming a Cardinal, however, he settled on an Arch-Bishop.  They sent him the appropriate documentation.

Oh, and as a BTW, I just went to the ULC's website, submitted my dog's information, and he is now ordained.  It took less time than it did to type this sentence.

Pr. Don Kirchner

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #304 on: December 19, 2018, 04:54:23 PM »
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 05:00:21 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Pr. Don Kirchner

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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #305 on: December 19, 2018, 09:24:05 PM »

He said that was thinking like a lawyer.
Done here, I hope.

Then you ought to be able to demonstrate that thinking here.  Alas, not done here.  Yet, by you.

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Charles Austin

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #306 on: December 19, 2018, 09:33:55 PM »
I have encountered, over many years, a lot of lawyers; some of them politicians, some of them attorneys for towns or zoning boards, some of them prosecutors or defense attorneys.
There are "types," maybe even "denominations" which seem to guide how they function.
It is, as I often say, complicated.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Twice-vaccinated.

Pr. Don Kirchner

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #307 on: December 19, 2018, 11:41:44 PM »
I have encountered, over many years, a lot of lawyers; some of them politicians, some of them attorneys for towns or zoning boards, some of them prosecutors or defense attorneys.
There are "types," maybe even "denominations" which seem to guide how they function.
It is, as I often say, complicated.

But all types would deem your reply to Pastor Tibbetts to be non-responsive, Charles.
Pr. Don Kirchner

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