• strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_user_name::value_submit() should be compatible with views_handler_filter_in_operator::value_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/mreeder/hillsboro-ucc.org/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_filter_user_name.inc on line 143.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_user_name::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/mreeder/hillsboro-ucc.org/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_filter_user_name.inc on line 143.
Doing the Right Thing

Recently the Obama administration announced that it will no longer enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (a congressional law which opposes same sex marriage).  This change in policy caused jubilation in some quarters and disappointment in others.   I am in the jubilant camp.  People I care about are in both camps. 

The rationale for not pursuing litigation against those accused of violating the law is that President Obama and the Department of Justice consider it unconstitutional.  I am no legal scholar, but I agree in principle.  The legal rights and responsibilities of marriage should, in my view, be available to everyone. 

Of course, religious bodies have the right to refuse participation in marriage ceremonies which do not meet their requirements.  For example, some churches refuse to bless marriages entered by those who have been divorced, or those who don't belong to the same religious group.  That is their right.  But simply because a church does not choose to bless a marriage does not properly rob everyone, whether  members of that church or not, of their right to enjoy the benefits of the marriage contract.       

Our society is moving toward a more inclusive idea of marriage between same sex adults who seek a legal commitment to each other.   Churches are also finding a deep and meaningful role to play when same sex couples seek the blessing of God and the spiritual community to grant depth and strength to marriages and families. 

I am proud of the leadership taken in this issue over many years by the United Church of Christ.  I am proud of our congregation in its ability to include as spiritual companions and covenant partners people who disagree on this and other issues.  We are challenged to provide faithful love, care and guidance for the formation of strong marriages, thriving families and bold Christian discipleship.  

Some have questioned the political instincts which led the president to take the step of opposing the Defense of Marriage Act.  Evidently he did it in service to the promise he made to defend the constitution as he understands it.   Some might question my decision in making any statement about that choice.  But it only seems right to do so.  I trust the bonds of our spiritual covenant.

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