The Southern Baptist Convention's lead ethicist, Russell Moore, has said he doesn't allow the couples he marries to write their own vows because he believes the marriage oath should be more than a proclamation of a couple's love, but also a type of pact by which friends and family will hold them accountable.
Answering a question from a podcast listener who plans on writing personalized vows for an upcoming wedding, Moore explained: "In a biblical understanding of marriage the couple is being given to one another, and there is an accountability, a public accountability for the marriage, for the wedding."
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission president emphasized that the friends and family gathered at a ceremony are more than guests — they're witnesses. "That's why in the traditional Anglican wedding ceremony we gather 'in the sight of God and these witnesses to join this man and this woman in holy matrimony.'" more >>
A federal judge ordered South Carolina officials to stop enforcing the state's ban on gay marriage on Wednesday. District Judge Richard Gergel gave the state a one-week stay to appeal, but same-sex couples could begin filing for marriage licenses on Nov. 20.
"The court hereby declares that [the South Carolina constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage], to the extent they seek to prohibit the marriage of same-sex couples who otherwise meet all other legal requirements for marriage in South Carolina, unconstitutionally infringe on the rights of plaintiffs under the due process clause and equal protection clause of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and are invalid as a matter of law," the ruling stated, according to NBC affiliate WIS.
Gergel added that he found no real distinction between South Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage and a similar ban that was declared unconstitutional in Virginia. Gergel said that the earlier decision in Virginia "establishes, without question, the right of plaintiffs to marry as same-sex partners." more >>
Joseph Smith, the controversial figure who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was long accepted as a faithful and monogamous husband by many of the church's followers. But church leaders recently revealed that Smith was a husband to as many as 40 wives, including married women and a 14-year-old girl.
An essay released by the church highlighted a history of the controversial practice carried out by Smith and some of his close associates, and noted that many of the church's followers can trace their lineage to polygamous relationships.
Despite monogamy being the accepted form of relationship during the 1830s when the church was founded, Smith told associates that he was commanded by an angel to engage in the practice or suffer destruction. more >>
A Mennonite pastor and missionary had his ministerial credentials pulled by the church after he officiated the wedding of his son to another man in Lancaster, Pennsylvania this past spring.
Chester Wenger, 96, was a longtime pastor and missionary who oversaw his son Phil's marriage to his partner Steve Dinnocenti in June. In September, the Mennonite Church revoked his credentials in accordance with church guidelines forbidding such a ceremony to be performed by pastors.
"I am profoundly reluctant to write this letter because I know there are those it will wound deeply," the retired minister recently wrote in an online opinion to The Mennonite. "But I have also come to the conviction that I can no longer hide the light the Lord has lit within me, under a bushel. I want to share with you what the Lord has been telling me and my dear life companion." more >>
The Kellogg's cereal company is experiencing a backlash from Christian consumers who claim they'll no longer buy the company's products after it helped sponsor the Atlanta gay pride march in mid-October by using the beloved Frosted Flakes mascot, Tony the Tiger, in a pro-LGBT advertisement in the event's pride guide.
"Wear your stripes with pride," the Kellogg's ad states, highlighting the word "pride" in large-font rainbow-colored letters, while Tony the Tiger stands to the right with his arms crossed and a familiar smile on his face.
The American Family Association, a traditional Christian values activist group, posted a picture of the Tony the Tiger advertisement to its Facebook page last Friday and since then, the post has received over 800 comments. Many of the comments were highly critical of the company for using a cartoon character to promote homosexuality, while a number of other commenters stated that Kellogg's has no place, as a food manufacturer, to weigh in on sexual preference. more >>
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily stopped a lower court decision that would have allowed gay marriages in Kansas.
Justice Sotomayor issued a one-page preliminary injunction Monday per the request of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, but she also directed the American Civil Liberties Union to respond to the stay.
"IT IS ORDERED that the preliminary injunction entered by the United State District Court for the District of Kansas on November 4, 2014, is hereby stayed pending receipt of a response, due on or before Tuesday, November 11, 2014, by 5 p.m. ET, and further order of the undersigned or of the Court," read the stay. more >>