We’d like to think that everyone has arrived. Everyone has matured to the point of seeing that equality is God’s design. Women can serve the church equally as well as men (perhaps better?). Most consider the ELCA a progressive denomination. But that doesn’t mean that everyone that sits in our pews are in the same place. This video out of North Carolina is a reminder of that:
And it is great to make a cute video, but even better to follow through and walk the talk. Like this:
These are my friends, Meredith and Anja. I officiated their marriage ceremony on Saturday, April 6, 2013.
I believe in marriage equality. I believe in love.
I am grateful for the words of Tony Jones, from whom I borrowed for my introductory remarks during the ceremony:
Actually, there are two marriages in America.
On the one hand, there’s legal marriage. It’s sanctioned by the state, and it’s available to any two adults who desire to enter into a legally binding contract with one another (some states limit this contractual opportunity to opposite-gendered persons). Legal marriage affords the married couple as many as 515 benefits that are not afforded to non-married persons, and it is officially incentivized by our government. And legal marriage has nothing to do with sexual intimacy.
On the other hand, there’s sacramental marriage, which is defined by communities of faith. This marriage accrues neither governmental benefits nor tax incentives. However, sexual intimacy is of great interest to this marriage, since the sacred texts of all religions have lots to say about sex. Sacramental marriage is about what God wants — and that is, of course, a matter of interpretation and debate among Christians. Nevertheless, it is sacred in a way that legal marriage is not and, as such, it is the more important version of marriage.