December 3, 2014


Half of Americans want separation between church and state in marriage (Bob Allen, 12/02/14, Baptist News)

About half of Americans and a quarter of Protestant ministers believe clergy should say "I don't" to the tradition of solemnizing marriages as agents of the state, according to a new poll by LifeWay Research.

The research arm of LifeWay Christian Resources released results of a survey Dec. 10 showing 49 percent of Americans believe religious weddings should not be connected to the state's definition and recognition of marriage.

More than a third (36 percent) believe clergy should no longer be involved in the state's licensing of marriage. Support for clergy remaining involved in civil marriage is higher among pastors -- 24 percent believe they should get out of the marriage business while 71 percent disagree.

The survey comes at a time when growing acceptance of same-sex marriage is causing many conservative clergy to rethink their role as a wedding officiant acting on behalf of the state. More than 300 people recently signed a pledge sponsored by First Things magazine committed "to disengaging civil and Christian marriage in the performance of our pastoral duties."

Differentiating a mere civil contract from a solemn institution is the way to go.

Posted by at December 3, 2014 9:09 PM

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