“Every magistrate has the right to recuse from performing all lawful marriages under this Chapter based on sincerely held religious objection.” — New North Carolina Law
It should be emphasized that this recusal is for “lawful marriages,” which makes religious beliefs sufficient to allow the law to be ignored in North Carolina. Furthermore, since it would have been blatantly unconstitutional to specify that this law is targeted at gay marriages, it leaves the door open to refuse to perform any kind of marriage that ruffles your religious feathers: Muslim marriages, Jewish marriages, interracial marriages, etc.
On the other hand, if there is such a thing as a progressive magistrate left in North Carolina who is, perhaps, Jewish, then that magistrate can righteously refuse to perform a lawful marriage between two consenting Christians.
But that is too little to ask for and far too petty to condone.
I think it’s about time that the government stops allowing special privileges to anyone or anything identified as a religion. Oh, the churches can stay, as long as they pay their share of the taxes, and the worship performed in the churches need not change. But religion and churches should be categorized the same as the Rotary or the Elks Club. I recall going to a Moose Club pot-luck dinner once or twice in my youth: the club rituals escape me now but I know they were doing high-signs and other symbolic mumbo-jumbo just like the Baptist church I attended when I had the hots for this girl in twelfth grade.
Religion has become the tool of the plutocracy in America and it has outlived any spiritual significance. Now, 150 years later, we see that Karl Marx was right.
Let’s face it, the outcome of most strong religions is fear and destruction.
Does anybody know when Hell opened for business? When we studied the Bible in school it was clear that the fictional Hell defined by Dante and other writers was never referenced in the Bible. “Hell” in it’s several alternate forms (Hades, Gehenna, etc.) was simply the state of degradation all men would experience after death: they would rot away to dust.
Hell was never the place of eternal damnation and unending pain that religion has created to put the fear of god into small children and gullible adults. Besides, how much do we know about Heaven and Hell from the Bible and how much actually comes from imaginative writers like John Milton who, in his blindness, spun impressive fictions that described a place called Hell and all the demons that frequent it on a Friday night. And recalling Dante: how is it that the Inferno isn’t considered one of the earliest examples of fantasy fiction in literature (I’d call it science fiction but we’ll leave that to Leonardo).
But bottom line, we are having a contest in the United States between a government of and by the people (sorta) who are real and needing support and rules, and a man-made religion that seeks to perpetuate myths and control the same people using fear, empty promises, and old-time hokum.