Hi Archie Dunbar,
Some churches with large followings will not crash, but many will. A lot of protestant churches are somewhat perilous financially, with mortgages on their buildings that they haven't paid off yet. None of them should have to lose their tax exemption when the case for it is so unconstitutional. Please see my answers to JunkBin and Kevin above for reasons why not asking temple sealings to be recognized as civil marriages will not immunize us from lawsuits.
Hi Kevin JK,
Please see my response to JunkBin, above, to address your suggestions. The church isn't acting as an "agent of the state" by performing marriages; the state is recognizing the legitimacy of marriages that the church performs. The end of that arrangement is a catastrophic blow to marriage's important place in our society. And if the church were to stop expecting the marriages it performs to be recognized by civil authority, it would not prevent most of the legal trouble that is on its way.
I wish we could rely on history and the Catholic experience, but we can't. My whole point is that law and culture are changing, so drastically and so rapidly, that legal protections we and other churches have long enjoyed are going to be ended.
I think it would be a bad thing if the church started distinguishing between temple sealings and civil marriages, because even though the distinction works fine for members in some countries, I suspect the long-time link between them in the minds of US members would result in some members losing respect for the temple sealing if that link were severed under pressure. More members would see the temple sealing as an afterthought and the fancy civil wedding as the important event. The church ought to be able to avoid that by not facing legal pressure to change.
Moreover, I wish it were true that making that change would "eliminate the problem with lawsuits" as you assert, but it almost certainly wouldn't. The church will face lawsuits over its teachings against homosexual acts, its refusal to ordain or allow continued good standing for those in homosexual relationships, its refusal to hire or appoint individuals in homosexual relationships to positions in the church and its associated institutions (activists would love to overturn the Corporation of the Presiding Bishopbric v. Amos case, for starters). The church could lose its tax exempt status over its teachings and other practices, not just its performance of marriages.
So sorry, but I really have to disagree with your analysis.
The Church can stop having Bishops and Stake Presidents, etc perform civil marriage ceremonies. This eliminates the problem with lawsuits.
Since Sealing's are a Religious Ceremony only for righteous members in good standing, there is no problem.
Yes, the liberal gay fascist socialist cabal will try and destroy any group that has actual moral and or Biblical teachings. Currently , Islam is being left alone because of the voilant reaction and action it has to criticism
I think the fear over marriage lawsuits is unfounded. The Roman Catholic Church has very strict standards for who can receive their marriage sacrament and has had them for centuries without being forced to marry anyone of whom the Church does not approve.
I think it'd be great if the Church gave up being an agent of the state and not performing legally recognized marriages. It would prevent gays from coming after us and would protect our non-profit status. Another benefit would be that it would allow the non LDS parents of converts see their kids get married rather than being shut out because their kids got married in the temple and are forbidden from having a public wedding prior to going to the temple.
I remember back in the 70's when correct speech in the workplace became a big deal and HR departments began to become ubiquitous. My thought was, people will learn new language faster than odious overseers can proscribe words.
Same here. A church with a following will not crash because of losing nonprofit status. Church goers will still give and churches will find new ways to accomplish their missions with less cash.
As for lawsuits? Perhaps we become like Japan. The government performs all marriages which are basically just super official marriage license applications. The Japanese government gives not a fig for what kind of solemnization follows.
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