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Wedding Chapels Need to Follow Strip Clubs’ Lead

Maybe wedding chapels should take a hint from strip clubs and go private...

Maybe wedding chapels should take a hint from strip clubs and go private…

So, what do you think about wedding chapel ministers being forced to officiate at gay weddings even if it violates the tenets of their religion?

In Coeur D’Alene, ID, the city has claimed that Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owner/operators of The Hitching Post must perform same sex weddings or face 180 days in jail and a fine of $1000 per day.

Link 1(Liberal slant)

Link 2(Conservative slant)

If you read both articles, notice how much more background information is in the Think Progress article.

My thoughts on the matter are fairly simple. If you are a legitimate member of a church, and are performing services under the auspices of that church, then you have a religious obligation to follow the tenets of that church, and should be protected by the First Amendment while doing so. On the other hand, if you got your ordination from the bottom of a Cracker Jack box, and your commitment to your ‘faith’ begins and ends with the ‘In God We Trust’ printed on a dollar bill, well, you’re a business, operating publicly, and should be constrained by all laws applying to publicly operated businesses.

Look, there are plenty of ordination mills out there that will ‘ordain’ you for a couple hundred bucks and an application. Anybody can be an ordained minister. More to the point, because of the First Amendment, the government has no authority to decide which ordinations are valid and which are just a scrap of paper; that ‘wall of separation’ runs both ways. However, the organization that ordains you sets the rules for the tenets of that organization. Take the Universal Life Church for example. They have no canonical beliefs; believe what you want to believe and preach it, brother!

So how could you stand on the tenets of your faith and say you wouldn’t perform a same sex marriage? You can’t.

Now let’s take a look at the Knapps. According to the Think Progress article, they were both ordained through the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, an evangelical protestant church that was founded in 1927. They have a well defined set of beliefs, dovetailing with other evangelical protestant groups, and over 300,000 members in the US, and over 2,000,000 worldwide. Part of their emphasis is on small churches, returning to the roots of the Church, where a church may be two or three members gathering in a living room.

To me, that sounds like a legitimate church and the Knapps should be protected. But not all wedding chapels operate to the same standard. I live in Sevier County, which has an infestation of get married quick chapels all over the place. Some of them are run by dedicated pastors and ministers looking to raise money for their evangelism; others, not so much.

But I was thinking more about the whole ‘public accommodation’ thing and it occurred to me that strip clubs got around a plethora of public indecency laws by claiming to be a private club. Basically the same thing some gold clubs still use to keep women from being members. And if you think about it, it wouldn’t require much of a change in the way the marriage chapels work. They’d just have to make sure that their ordination comes from a church that has specific beliefs that match their own and then abide by those beliefs in the operation of their chapel. Then, in order to get married in that chapel, the prospective bride and groom would be required to ‘join’ that church. In short, wedding chapels would have to become extensions of a church in order to perform weddings.

What a concept!

I’ve always been a little leery of these drive by wedding chapels anyway, and wouldn’t it be kinda cool if churches use this push-back to draw marriage back into the church and drive the slick money grubbing hustlers out of business?

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