If you thought it was haughty of Saint Albert to declare there’s no right to leave a church, wait till you hear what this Holy Man has to say about that.
Some Protestant pastors have announced that they will no longer perform gubmint weddings.
Christopher Seitz and Ephraim Radner, Episcopal and Anglican pastors respectively, launched “The Marriage Pledge” at the conservative religious journal First Things on Tuesday.
“As Christian ministers we must bear clear witness,” it reads. “This is a perilous time. Divorce and co-habitation have weakened marriage. We have been too complacent in our responses to these trends. Now marriage is being fundamentally redefined, and we are being tested yet again. If we fail to take clear action, we risk falsifying God’s Word.”
[ … ]
Therefore, in our roles as Christian ministers, we, the undersigned, commit ourselves to disengaging civil and Christian marriage in the performance of our pastoral duties. We will no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage. We will no longer sign government-provided marriage certificates. We will ask couples to seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings.
So these guys want people to get married twice? Once in a civil ceremony, and once in a church ceremony?
What, really, is the big deal? No law anywhere in the United States requires them to perform same-sex marriages or, for that matter, any other marriage of which they disapprove.
I’m sure every pastor has a story of conducting a wedding of cohabiting heathens and shameless sluts, et cetera, et cetera, because daddy got touched for a new roof — but that’s local politics, and no government entity required Pastor Bubba to do it.
So what’s the problem? From here, this brave declaration looks like cheap theater.
I don’t personally care a hoot whether the Keystone pipeline is ever built or not, but there are sound reasons to be wary.
It is favored by the Republicans, once respectable but now the party of dimwitted howling yahoos manipulated by cynical, self-serving oligarchs.
We should be looking toward an end to use of fossil fuels, and construction of the pipeline will conduce to increased use of fossil fuels.
The Alberta tar sands are, literally, dirty — and separation of the bitumen from the sand will require huge amounts of energy, with the result that the net energy yield of a gallon of gasoline will be lower than the net energy yield of a gallon of gasoline extracted from clean crude. Let’s not forget all the waste product that will have to be managed, either, at ongoing cost. Bottom line: Alberta tar sand gasoline will be expensive gasoline.
But that’s not what has me upset; what has me upset is the reporting of yesterday’s Senate vote, which seems to treat as a given that a supermajority is required to enact legislation in this country.
Senate Democrats blocked a move Tuesday to compel construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, dealing a sharp loss to one of their own, Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), who had pinned her chances for reelection on approval of the measure.
The vote was a victory for environmental activists who have turned defeat of the pipeline into one of the central symbolic causes of their movement. But Republicans, who will take majority control of the Senate in the next Congress, vowed to return to the fight next year.
On a 59 to 41 roll call, Landrieu’s campaign fell one vote shy of passing legislation …
In fact, Landrieu’s campaign won the sort of decisive majority once described as a ‘landslide.’ The bill won’t be enacted because of a paperwork filibuster; I say ‘paperwork’ because, thanks to a rules change, Senators no longer have to stand at the podium and talk when they declare a filibuster, they need merely to demand a supermajority by announcing their intention to filibuster.
But this Washington Post article only briefly alludes to the filibuster — as though the de facto, now commonplace requirement for a supermajority were de jure.
Seriously: Am I, like, the only person left in America who remembers that, once upon a sane time, a simple majority was sufficient to pass legislation?