Giving God a Bad Name, Episode Ten Zillion

Oh Virginia! You are just so not for lovers.

An official of the state that just handed Eric Cantor his walking papers–a result partially attributed to the Jewish Cantor’s inability to “connect” with his Evangelical Christian base–has refused to marry two people who don’t believe in God.

Bud Roth is a court appointed officiant in Franklin County, Virginia. He performs wedding ceremonies for couples who go to the courthouse to get married. Atheists, however, have no right to get married as far as he’s concerned….

The couple contacted the county clerk, who was floored by their story. She suggested they contact the judge who appointed Roth in the first place. So they wrote a letter to Judge William Alexander who didn’t see any problem at all with a court officiant refusing to marry a couple simply because they don’t share his religious beliefs. The judge referred the couple to the other court appointed officiant who agreed to perform the civil ceremony this coming Monday.

Apparently, the officiant and judge are among the growing number of theocrats who believe that “religious liberty” is just for Christians. (You have the “liberty” to endorse the CORRECT beliefs, which are, of course, mine…)

I guess Virginia is just for CHRISTIAN lovers…..


  1. I suppose I should be interested in this but it’s a civil matter and since I’m infinitely civilly literate I tend to separate Myself from such matters, following the advice of Thomas Jefferson, another Virginian.

  2. Mr./Ms./ Mrs. Aeternam; I don’t really understand your comments but capitalizing “Myself” in your comment is a hint as to your basic nature. I have been married (and divorced) four times and don’t remember being asked my religious preference or if I believed in God prior to the services. I am still questioning (after the fact) why most marriage ceremonies announce that a couple is “man and wife” and not “husband and wife”. This is not to be misconstrued as a one man/one woman requirement for marriage. It is not a legal requirement (and ALL marriages require that state license to be recognized legally) that one believe or disbelieve in God in any of His/Her many forms. The state of Indiana forbid interracial marriage till the late 1960’s; almost 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Virginia was the heart of the CSA; they were not fighting for Christianity then and still don’t understand that this country was formed by those seeking religious freedom – which includes the right not to believe. Those elected to political positions, or appointed to them, are expected to follow the law; NOT their own personal beliefs or preferences. Too many of them seem to believe they have been given free reign to make decisions or take action on their own. They are subject to the same laws, rules, ordinances and regulations as we lowly people who must depend on them to do their jobs.

  3. This man needs to be removed from office. He should not be discussing religion with the people who come to him or asking them questions about their religion. However, if he wants to totally violate the idea of the state not meddling in religion, and he want to infuse Christianity into his job then his behavior is totally wrong. He should be refusing to marry the Christians and he should be sending them back to their respective churches and pastors where they will get appropriate premarital counseling. In fact, most Catholic and Orthodox churches do not even recognize these marriages he is performing. I hope he is not also trying to serve communion as part of his civic job.

  4. The entire GOP and their supporters seem to be suffering from a pseudo messianic complex. There is no cure except to innoculate the rest of us by voting them out of office.

  5. Any government that does not separate church and state will function as a theocracy. Perhaps Virginians are envious of the dismal state of others of the world’s theocracies and are determined to enjoy such negative progress for themselves. Clearly the Tea Party has always celebrated the yesteryears when people were forced to abandon home, hearth and country just to survive in their own Faith.

    Freedom requires fully accepting diversity in all of its guises. Being free to impose your beliefs on others is illusionary, and typically temporary, freedom.

  6. What I really meant: Unbelievable! How can you get a judge like THAT removed?

    Wish we could edit our comments. oops.

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