On a conservative discussion forum there were a few Christians getting worked up into a lather about refusing to do a gay marriage. One of the resident trolls responded with this:
The ruling, simply put for other ass clowns from this imaginary religion, states that same sex marriage is legal throughtout [sic] the United States. Nowhere does it state that pastors are being forced to marry same sex couples or hetrosexual [sic] couples.
In this case the troll proved that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, because the sodomite* marriage issue will have a tremendous impact on the churches for a variety of reasons.
Unfortunately, virtually all Christians are clueless about this subject. If they did some research on the Faith Baptist Church of Louisville, Nebraska** they’d learn what the issue actually is. Ask yourself: what do the churches and that famously fined bakery have in common? No, it isn’t their religious faith, it’s the fact they’re all incorporated. You may want to read Hale v Henkel and learn what a corporation’s responsibility to the state is:
“…the corporation is a creature of the State. It is presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public. It receives certain special privileges and franchises, and holds them subject to the laws of the State and the limitations of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its rights to act as a corporation are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation.“
That isn’t dicta and the Hale case has been cited in over 1600 other rulings.
Other than Amish, Mennonite, some Missionary Baptist and some Brethren Fellowships, I don’t know of any so-called churches in the US that are not incorporated. They may call themselves churches (a DBA name), but in reality they are corporations. The first thing that happens if they get hauled into court is the judge takes notice they’re a corporation and all the stuff like the Bible, doctrine and articles of faith goes out the window. The decision is made based solely on the State Code, which says the employees of the corporation are forbidden to discriminate. Does the corporation provide marital services to heterosexual couples? Yes? Then they are required to not discriminate and marry homosexuals if they show up with a marriage license. Does the corporation bake wedding cakes for heterosexuals? Then it has to bake wedding cakes for sodomites or suffer the penalties for violating the state laws.
The next problem is almost no-one understands what marriage is or how it really works. For anyone who wonders what the big deal about marriage licenses is, I suggest they find a Blacks Law Dictionary and look up the word “license.” A license is:
The permission granted by competent authority to exercise a certain privilege that, without such authorization, would constitute an illegal act, a trespass or a tort.
What does that mean? Simple: if you have to get a license (permission) then you don’t have the right to do the thing you had to get a license for. Now with that in mind, let’s check the definition of “Marriage License.”
“License or permission granted by public authority to persons who intend to intermarry.”
It turns out a marriage license is a *special* permission granted for persons who desire to intermarry. Well, first is sounds like we don’t have the right to get married… but wait; what does “intermarry” mean? We can’t find “intermarry” but there is a listing for “intermarriage.” It says “See: Miscegenation.” Following the instructions we look up Miscegenation and discover it’s defined as the mixing of the races, as between a white and a negro. So, we find that a marriage license is a special license issued for the purpose of mixing the races. But if you’re of the same race as your wife, does that mean you don’t need a marriage license? Well, it’s complicated, but in general the answer is no, you don’t, but it has nothing to do with miscegenation.
But isn’t there a state law requiring a marriage license for those who intend to marry?
Well, yes, every state has one of those laws, but as I said, it’s complicated. The question is who the law applies to. Does it apply (by definition) only to those who desire miscegenation, or (as the laws state) to everyone? Or are there other issues involved? Let’s see… In 1877 the Supreme Court held in Meister v Moore that:
“A statute may declare that no marriages shall be valid unless they are solemnized in a prescribed manner, but such an enactment is a very different thing from a law requiring all marriages to be entered into in the presence of a magistrate or a clergyman or that it be preceded by a license, or publication of banns, or be attested by witnesses. Such formal provisions may be construed as merely directory, instead of being treated as destructive of a common law right to form the marriage relation by words of present assent.
Did you see that last part? Marriage is a right, therefore you don’t need a marriage license. Open your legal dictionary and look up “directory.”
“Directory: A provision in a statute, rule of procedure, or the like, that is a mere direction or instruction of no obligatory force and involves no invalidating consequence for its disregard, as opposed to an imperative or mandatory provision, which must be followed.”
How about that- it turns out the law requiring a marriage license is nothing more than a polite suggestion. There have been maybe a half-dozen cases before the Supreme Court since then that dealt with marriage in one way or another, but that ruling has never been overturned. In 1967 Loving v Virginia, (striking down the Virginia law banning inter-racial marriage) held that
The problem is the church invaded the marriage in the late dark ages to the point of regulating the marital bed. Their control of marriage fell apart with the protestant reformation and was immediately seized by the state. So strongly does the state feel about this aspect of its police powers, observe the holding of Maynard v Hill (1888):
It is also to be observed that while marriage is often termed by text writers and in decisions of courts as a civil contract, generally to indicate that it must be founded upon the agreement of the parties, and does not require any religious ceremony for its solemnization, it is something more than a mere contract. The consent of the parties is, of course, essential to its existence, but when the contract to marry is executed by the marriage, a relation between the parties is created which they cannot change. Other contracts may be modified, restricted, or enlarged, or entirely released upon the consent of the parties. Not so with marriage. The relation once formed, the law steps in and holds the parties to various obligations and liabilities. It is an institution in the maintenance of which in its purity the public is deeply interested, for it is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress. (Emphasis added)
You see, marriage existed long antecedent to the creation of the State. Like it or not, the record says God created lawful marriage and lawful marriage is regulated by God; therefore, for those who have the right to get married under God’s law marriage is a fundamental right. But, what about those who don’t have the right to marry under God’s law (mixing of the races or homosexuals)? That’s the purpose of the marriage license: to provide permission to do something that would otherwise be unlawful. The state is saying “come to me and I’ll be your god, I’ll give you the permission you seek***, but I’ll also be a party to this marriage and gain an equitable interest in all assets of the marriage. In fact, we’ve passed a law requiring you to get a license in order to marry.”
This is a matter of law and jurisdiction. Simply put, the creator has the right to govern its creation. God created lawful marriage and granted to the man the authority to initiate marriage by right (Genesis 2:24), provided His authority structure in marriage (Ephesians 5:22-24) and regulated marriage (1st Corinthians 7:1-40; 1st Peter 3:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-33; Deuteronomy 21:15-16, 24:1-4, 25:5-20; Exodus 21:10; Leviticus 18:18, 20:14; Matthew 5:32-33 and many others). In general God claims to be a party to the covenant entity that is marriage. God’s Word does not change no matter when or where you live.
The state created legal marriage, requiring a license to marry, regulates the marriage through statutes which may be changed at the whim of the legislature and claims to be a party to the marriage and thereby gain an equitable interest in all assets of the marriage. The laws of the various states differ depending which state you live in but all states make it insanely easy to destroy the family with divorce for any or no reason at all.
Which one would you want? For a Christian this should be a no-brainer, but they are betrayed by their own leaders who insist they get a marriage license. Why? For two reasons. The first is their ignorance of the law and history of marriage licenses. The second (probably more important) is while the law requiring a couple to get a license is directory, the law punishing anyone authorized to solemnize a marriage if they solemnize a marriage without a license is imperative. That is, the pastor will get fined.
The ruling in Meister v Moore didn’t strike down marriage license schemes as unconstitutional, they ruled such laws were “merely directory.” So, it’s still a law but the State isn’t required to tell anybody it’s a special law and no penalties can be applied for disobeying such a law. In other words, it’s a scam designed to gain control of marriage and thereby control the population. The exact same thing the church was doing over a thousand years ago.
Why is that important? Because anyone can get married with a signed contract of marriage, by right, without the permission of the state and have a lawful marriage. Even in States that have outlawed common law marriage, they cannot outlaw a fundamental right. That means the state does not become a party to the marriage, nor do they get an equitable interest in the children or any other asset of the marriage.
The other side of the coin is that if someone is in possession of a state issued license, the legality of what they’re doing cannot be questioned. Having given its permission, who are the creatures of the state to refuse to do their creators bidding?
To get back to the point, all these incorporated not-for-profit business entities that provide services to the general public of a religious nature will most certainly be required to obey the law of their creator, the state. One of those laws is they are not to discriminate. That is, if they’re open to the public they are required to provide their services to all of the public (within reason). A restaurant is not discriminating against any particular class of persons if it requires a shirt and shoes for entry, because it’s a condition that can be remedied. A bar is not discriminating if it requires its patrons to be at least 21 years of age, because they are required to do so by law. But the day you hang a sign up that says “Straights Only” or “Whites Only” then you’ve got yourself a real problem.
- Who creates a not for profit corporation? The state.
- Who owns a not for profit corporation? The state.
- Who regulates a not for profit corporation? The state.
The people spending time together on Sunday in that building with a steeple on it may think they’re a church and believe that Jesus Christ is their Creator and Head, but in reality their creator is the state and the state owns every asset the business has because they voluntarily incorporated. Because the state is their creator and regulator, they either obey the law or get punished with either fines and/or jailed on a civil contempt charge.** In fact, for egregious offenses the state could revoke the charter of the corporation and seize everything. If they were a real church they could stand on the law of their Creator and cheerfully, lawfully refuse to perform a gay marriage.****
I believe, as a conservative Christian, that homosexuals demanding to be married in a church is a very good thing because it exposes the underlying hypocrisy and idolatry of the church that has incorporated in order to participate in commerce. The fact is, bank accounts, checks, credit cards, loans and things like that are all aspects of government regulated commerce. Churches are not required to use or receive such negotiable instruments, but they want to. I won’t even start with the issue of payroll taxes, but I will say the churches voluntarily gave up their position of power and bowed down to Caesar with the act of incorporation. Why? For convenience.
That act of bowing down to the state will now come back to haunt them. Yes, even the most conservative of churches could be forced to perform a sodomite wedding. Does the church marry people in the main sanctuary? Then they won’t be able to shuffle them off to a “wedding chapel” to keep them out of the worship center. Anybody with a brain has to realize the reason they’d want to be married in a conservative church.
What if, after pronouncing them married, the couple had planned to do something other than kiss each other? Think of the things you’d see at a gay pride parade. I guarantee you that certain very conservative churches will have homosexual couples demanding to be married there, if for no other reason than to be legally allowed to desecrate the sanctuary.
What the church leadership and laity don’t realize or don’t want to admit is their entire church has already been desecrated through the voluntary act of incorporation. Unlike the bogus law requiring a marriage license, there is no law requiring churches to incorporate or register as an IRS 501 (c) 3 “church organization.” And since I brought it up, the power is conferred to the state with incorporation, the 501 (c) 3 status is simply another added level of control.
* I specifically said “sodomites” to differentiate men from women. Leviticus 18:22-23 is very specific, prohibiting male-male sex, male-animal sex and female-animal sex. Nothing in the bible forbids whatever it is that the girls do when they get in bed together, which brings in Romans 4:15 and 5:13: it’s not a sin. That pulls in Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, which means Paul neither prohibited or condemned lesbians in Romans 1:26. God’s design for marriage requires a man, so from a Biblical perspective there would be nothing unlawful about a couple of women getting married to the same guy… but polygyny is a different subject for a different day.
** Google the Faith Baptist Church of Louisville Nebraska (look for the testimony of Dr. Everett Ramsey). In their case the issue was operating a private (religious) school but the subject of a corporations responsibility to obey state laws is the same as with Gay Marriage. One of the key points in that case is they were years into the case and Pastor Ramsey had been jailed repeatedly (his wife and daughter fled to another state to avoid warrants for their arrest) before anyone told him it was because they were a corporation.
Civil contempt sentences typically run from 30 to 90 days. However, the concept of civil contempt is it’s a coercive measure to get the individual to comply with the order of the court. As soon as they comply (or agree to comply) they get out. In other words, they hold the keys to their own freedom. But, what if the individual cannot comply but at the same time cannot prove they can’t comply? That’s a problem. The longest incarceration for contempt I know of was Beatty Chadwick, who was incarcerated for 14 years. Think about that. Is your faith that strong, you corporate officers who have bowed down to Caesar and blasphemed the name of Christ? John Bunyan spent 12 years in jail because he refused to stop preaching.
*** Ahhhh, yes. If a man and a woman shack up for a year or two, even though they never got married the woman can drag the man into family court. The court can “deem” the couple to have been married and proceed to divorce-rape him. Up until now, homosexuals were exempt from this treatment because homosexual marriage was contrary to public policy. In other words, there was no way for a court to recognize such an arrangement as a marriage… thus there could be no divorce, no dividing of assets, no alimony. The homosexuals just got what they wanted and the marriage rules now apply to their unions.
They’re about to experience a whole new way of getting screwed. The first case of a spousal support demand has already been filed by a woman against her former lesbian partner. More will come. Much more. It won’t just be the torrent of tears from whichever one gets raped by the system, because as the statistics reliably show us, those people have a high tendency for violence and a low degree of impulse control. In fact, family court could become a quality entertainment venue as these cases start getting on the docket.
And the States will get screwed as well. Let’s say that close to death a very wealthy man marries his son. When father dies there is no inheritance tax because by law it passes to the spouse, who is free to remarry. Instant inter-generational transfer of wealth, tax free. Lather, rinse and repeat. This might be tricky due to incest rules, but a same-sex union cannot produce offspring so I’m sure some judge will rule that they shouldn’t apply to a gay marriage. Father-daughter or Mother-son could be handled by somebody claiming to have gone Jenner. Call it the homoheritance loophole.
Think about it. Most wealthy individuals put a lot of hard work into earning their money and they hate handing it over to the government. If the choice is between quietly doing a gay wedding with their chosen heir or having said heir write an obscene check to the government, does anyone doubt this will become a recommended estate planning tool?
**** I find it hard to believe that people like Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, are so ignorant as to not understand this issue. Recently Franklin tweeted
“Long before our government came into existence, marriage was created by the One who created man and woman Almighty God and His decisions are not subject to review or revision by any manmade court.
“God gave us marriage. Period. And God doesn’t change his mind,” Graham told Fox Nation. “If pastors are going to be forced to provide marriage services for gay couples, I’m not going to do it,”
The likelihood of someone like Franklin Graham being jailed for contempt is extremely small, if for no other reason that his ministries don’t officiate weddings. The problem is he encourages other pastors to stand in the middle of the target in order to get blasted instead of helping his fellow pastors understand how to avoid it completely.
I predict this will be a source of great amusement for years to come as the unintended consequences work their way through the system. Enjoy the decline folks!