Musings of a Recovering Lutheran: Divorce rings?
I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 

Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?

Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Isaiah 6:8 (KJV)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Divorce rings?

Again, this is not a story from The Onion.

Divorce rings, eh? It would seem that there are some who believe that there is not enough pain and suffering already in divorce. It's instructive that the writer of the article linked above writes for a wedding planning website. Talk about working both sides of the street!

I would like to say that churches would never go for this sort of rubbish. But when denominations make themselves slaves to fashion and politics anything can happen. Bishop Margot Kaessmann of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover thinks that churches should have "religious separation ceremonies" for husbands and wives who want to get divorced. Now thanks to some enterprising capitalists the soon-to-be-split couple can exchange divorce rings.

Maybe they can get a trade-in on their wedding bands. And just as there is Carfax for used cars, maybe there can be Ringfax to see how much milage is on that wedding ring you are considering purchasing.

It's not surprising that at least one official in an American denomination thinks that "religious separation ceremonies" are a swell idea. Commenting on the desirability of such a service:

"This is important not only for confession but for a version of absolution too."

These are the words of the associate director of Christian Education, Children and Family Ministry of - wait for it - the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Somehow I don't think the idea of the ELCA having its very own version of Divorce Court is going to be of much spiritual help to the couple. Such a service would be grim indeed, and appealing only to voyeuristic sickos.

I have heard nothing recently about "religious separation ceremonies" in the ELCA. Possibly such an idea went over like a lead balloon even among the hipsters. But given the recent decision of the ELCA to cast out Jesus of Nazareth and install their own personal god who is more obedient to their wishes, perhaps the idea will now gain traction. With that pesky carpenter from Nazareth out of the way the ELCA is now finally free to take a walk on the wild side.

Maybe the moratorium on "religious separation ceremonies" will turn out to be an idea ahead of its time (this is the sort of rallying cry the ELCA's leadership cares about). The ELCA has certainly begun to flirt with turning back the clock to the good old paganism of a bygone millennium. Aside from embracing Nature religions (which often masquerade as "environmental concern") there is the creepy goddess worship of "Herchurch" which seems to be a fashionable combination of the spiritual and the political. There is also the worship of sex (a true "golden oldie" of paganism) which seems to be the foundation of the mad rush to bless gay/lesbian weddings in the ELCA.

If I were still a Lutheran, I don't know how I would react. Cry my eyes out? Or sell tickets and popcorn? Maybe I would do both. But at least I wouldn't flog divorce rings to the unhappy couple.