Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Church Gets Ready for the Next Marriage Crisis

This week I am blogging from the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly

One of the big issues before all mainline churches, including the PC (USA), is whether our ministers can choose to perform same-sex weddings in those states in which same-sex marriage is legal.

To further the hope of informed discussion, the church got our Theology and Worship staff to prepare a study document on Christian marriage in general, not just the same-sex kind.  This document was duly studied in the church, including in a Sunday School class that I taught.  Today, prior to the official opening of the General Assembly, I went to a discussion session with the staffers who prepared that study document. 

Which gave me a thought about the next marriage crisis in the church:  whether the church should be promoting marriage in general, in the face of the decline of marriage as an institution among the less-educated classes. The PC(USA) has not faced this issue as a crisis because, in general, Presbyterians do get married, and do so before they have children, and are more likely to stay married.  But there are those in society who say that marriage is outdated or simply unrealistic for young people, even if they have kids.  I expect that within a decade this will be a hot issue in the Presbyterian Church.

Which is why I think the time is ripe to start writing the study documents about why the Reformed tradition has always promoted marriage.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cantor's Defeat Shows that the Republican Alliance with the Tea Party is Not Worth it for Republicans

If the Republican Party ever hopes to return as part of the governing coalition of the United States, they will have to cut ties with the Tea Party.  The alliance has hurt them more than it has helped them.

The latest evidence is the surprising primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to a Tea Party challenger, David Brat.  The issue: the very conservative Cantor was not conservative enough. The evidence: that he might possibly consider immigration reform.

In the short run, it would certainly be costly to the Republicans to wrest their party back from the cuckoos in the nest.  It would likely cost them their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, in the medium run, when they no longer had to worry about being primaried, Republicans could start cooperating with the Democrats again in running the country.