Bloggerhood Etc. 8/18/14

Lit candle

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

I usually try to make these weekly roundups a mix of deep, thought-provoking posts, and lighter, funnier pieces. And then weeks come along that are so filled with heartbreak that there’s nothing I can do but weep with those who are grieving. Last week was one of those weeks.

First, a cross-section of voices on the continuing tragedy of Ferguson and the regression of Civil Rights in our country.

Why We’ve Got to Go There” by Deidra Riggs at Jumping Tandem.

Five Minute Friday: Tell (And Cry to Listen)” by Ashley Larkin at Draw Near.

First They Came for the Black people, and I Did Not Speak Out” by Matt Stauffer.

In Which I Have a Few Things to Tell You About Ferguson” by Sarah Bessey.

When Ferguson is Across the Street” by Shawn Smucker.

Things To Stop Being Distracted By When A Black Person Gets Murdered By Police” by Mia McKenzie at Black Girl Dangerous.

Racial Bias, Police Brutality, and the Dangerous Act of Being Black” by Kristen Howerton at Rage Against the Minivan.

Ferguson and Healing our Nation” by Alice Chaffins at Knitting Soul.

Black People Are Not Ignoring Black on Black Crime” by Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic.

The New Racism: This is How the Civil Rights Movement Ends” by Jason Zengerie at New Republic.

Second, two bloggers share their own experiences with depression in the wake of Robin Williams’ death.

What Will it Take to Become a Church for the Depressed?” by Chris Morton at Growth and Mission.

Depression is Not a Joke” by Lorne Jaffe at Raising Sienna.

Third, a Prayer for Those Fleeing Violence and Oppression in Iraq, in Their Own Language.

May God our Father watch over them, and over all who are in danger.

Amen.

Civil Unions for All

A radical idea perhaps—and a bit of a break from the usual fare of this blog— but it’s been on my mind today, and it might just solve the same-sex marriage controversy. What I would propose is as follows:

Civil marriage would be replaced by civil unions. In the case of already existing civil marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships, these would be converted into civil unions dated retroactively to the date of the marriage license. Anyone married in a church would of course still be considered married. Those married in civil ceremonies could still, of course, call themselves married.

In the case of new civil unions, the couple entering into said union would have three options:

1) Civil Union with a civil ceremony. The equivalent of civil marriage/civil union/domestic partnership with a ceremony presided over by a public official. Nothing changes except the name.

2) Civil Union with marriage ceremony. In this case, it would be up to the religious community to decide who could or couldn’t get married. The civil union wouldn’t require a separate civil ceremony, as the witnesses could sign the civil union license along with the presiding minister who would legally serve as a stand-in for the public official.

3) Civil Union with “no official ceremony.” A civil union, like a civil marriage, is essentially a contract. Most contracts are signed with witnesses but without ceremony. Why should a civil union be different? In this case, the couple could either forgo a ceremony altogether or construct their own. As a side benefit, so-called internet ordinations would become unnecessary.

What does this accomplish?

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