Amendment One, the Fourteenth Amendment and why I long for a real separation of church and state

I have been on the phone all day.  Yesterday I was glued to Facebook for far too long–trying to soothe and console and cajole and threaten.

You know, the usual.

There are people in the world–well, in my part of it–who think the passage of Amendment One is a good thing.  Saves the institution of marriage and all that.  Keeps Jesus from pulling the wings off butterflies or something. They are all wrapped up in the “biblical” definition of marriage, while most of them have no idea what that means.

Some folks–like the fascinatingly repulsive Rush Limbaugh–opine on the virtues of “traditional” marriage. Given his track record on that, I’d suspect he might welcome a new way of approaching the institution.

So, NC passed it, joining the majority of states in the Union that have done just that.


your truly, giving the benediction for a Memorial Day gathering last year, preaching as it were

Once again, I am a house divided.  Here’s why–everyone who wants to have a domestic union in this country should be able to simply go to the courthouse and fill out the papers and sign them, in front of witnesses.


Then if you want to have a religious ceremony, you should do that.  But your religious ceremony should not be a legal agreement because we have a separation of church and state here.  Well, not really, but you know what I mean.  Because, see? my religious ceremony for the bonding of a couple isn’t legal in this state and no one else’s should be either.

That’s what separation of church and state is.  Separate.  A pastor should never utter or be forced to utter the phrase, “by the power vested in me by the state of…”  Secular legal authority shouldn’t  be “vested” in the clergy of any religion. That is creepy. That is treading inexorably into theocratic territory.

So, I vote for civil unions for everyone who is of age and consenting, regardless of their preference in partners. But that religious stuff? Not in a secular state.

As you know, I’ve been doing all that First Amendment/Establishment Clause stuff in the school system/s but I hadn’t been diving into the 14th Amendment–All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

That’s Section One.  So it seems to me that NC’s new amendment is in direct conflict with the US 14th.  How the heck does that happen?  And what’s the next step?  Firing on Fort Sumter?

It is a cold, slimy mess and many lawyers will be enriched, and taxpayers will be enpoored, and people will start eyeing each other with doubt and confusion.  Because which one of your neighbors thinks your domestic arrangement is so awful that we need a constitutional amendment to get rid of it?

And then there’s all the NC and South bashing that is happening throughout social media.  NC is full of bigots and homophobes and idiots and people who marry their cousins.

But I’ll speak a bit more on that next time.

Are you liking the new blog format?  I kind of am, myself.


12 thoughts on “Amendment One, the Fourteenth Amendment and why I long for a real separation of church and state

  1. I love this so much, thank you for having the courage to stand up and speak your mind, as well as the smarts to back up a very well supported argument. This inspires me that one day I will be able to be a husband to another man. Thank you again.
    Bless it be
    Colin Evans

    Can I hire you to do my handfasting one day? 😉

  2. Well, that’s where my next post on the subject was/is going. Well said! And I like the new format very much!

  3. FL marriage laws are far more lax and allow a notary, a Quaker, or an internet minister to officiate. You’re right, though; the state doesn’t really vest it in you. The one legal wedding I’ve officiated (at Disney) had me say ‘and Mickey Mouse’ after the state part, and I think that’s about as important.

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