If You Are Religious, You Can Break the Law?

“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

MarxIt 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.

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Lost On a Path Through the Dark Forest

I don’t believe that I have ever heard a critic or a reader accuse William T. Vollmann of writing tight, exacting prose. Fact is, most of Vollmann’s work is a little shaggy. But it’s still good, fleas and all. If you are interested in a gritty representation of the world of sex, drugs, and hobos riding the rails, then I recommend Vollmann’s novel Royal Family. This big, hairy novel is the third text in Vollmann’s Prostitution Series which started with Whores For Gloria, followed by Butterfly Stories. In these novels the author deals with sex trade, street drugs, violence, social hierarchy, spiritual awakening, death, Lady Boys, and the best way to hop a train to Barstow. I don’t believe there is a strong requirement to read the novels in order but since they go from shorter to longer, it might be a good idea.

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