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Planning the Holiest, Godliest, Bestest Wedding Ever

“It’s not fair, Daddy.” said Chelsea through her tears, hugging her daddy as she wiped her eyes on his shirt. “Here you are, trying to lead a Godly Life, run a Godly business, and stand up to Those People, and now your friend Governor Pence is backing down.”

“Well, sort of,” said Daddy. “Godly business owners like me can still keep Those People out of our businesses, as long as we don’t do business in any of those godless places that have local non-discrimination ordinances. And I don’t.”

“But Daddy, what about My Wedding?” wailed Chelsea, the capital letters apparent even through her tears. “How am I going to have a Truly Godly Wedding, free from contamination by association with Those People?”

Daddy winced. Running a business for 20 years may have been tough at times, but it was a walk in the park compared with his Precious and her wedding planning. “Consumers have lots of options, Precious,” he told her. “You can discriminate against shopkeepers who support Those People — just shop somewhere else.”

Chelsea’s eyes lit up, then dimmed again. “But Daddy, how will I know who is Godly and who is not? I mean, think about all the weddings of all my friends that I’ve been to over the last three years.” Daddy thought about those weddings — especially the bills that those Daddies had to pay — but Chelsea was on a roll. “The wedding planners, the florists, the folks who made the gown, the caterers, the church organists, even the pastors seemed to be Those People. They’re EVERYWHERE!” wailed Chelsea, tears beginning to flow again.

“Now, now,” said Daddy. “Be firm in your faith, and God will guide you.”

“You’re right, Daddy. And my wedding will be Holier, Godlier, and Way Better than any of the weddings that Those People put on for my friends.”

Daddy winced again, wondering how much all this Holiness and Godliness was going to cost him. But he wasn’t about to say that out loud in front of his Precious Chelsea.

Over the next three months, Chelsea researched and planned. She sent emails hither and yon, spent hours online looking at this business and that, and talked the ears off of all kinds of folks, and everything began to come together. “It was tough,” Chelsea said to her Daddy, “but I did it. I’m going to have the Holiest, Godliest, and Bestest Wedding the state of Indiana has ever seen! Getting a good priest was difficult, but then I heard about Cardinal Burke.”

“Cardinal Raymond Burke? A Cardinal? And isn’t he in Rome?” said Daddy, wondering if he was going to have to pay for a transatlantic first class round trip ticket for a presider.

“He gave an interview with that great pro-life site you like that made me sure he was the right person to turn to.” Chelsea fiddled with her phone, then held it out to Daddy. “Here’s what he said about Those People:”

LSN: So when the man in the street says, yes, it’s true these people are kind, they are dedicated, they are generous, that is not enough?

CB: Of course it’s not. It’s like the person who murders someone and yet is kind to other people…

“Isn’t he wonderful? So I emailed him, explained my quest to have a truly Godly and Holy wedding, and he was so thrilled with what I’m doing. He told me, sadly, that he’s already got something scheduled that day . . .” (Daddy breathed a sigh of relief) “. . . but he gave me the name of a truly Godly and Holy priest nearby.”

The wedding day came, and Chelsea was thrilled. At the reception, she went over to her Daddy with her eyes twinkling. “Oh, Daddy, I did it. Everything came together, and everyone agrees that this is the Holiest, Godliest, and Bestest wedding they’ve ever seen. They’re saying things like ‘I’ll never forget this wedding’ and ‘we are stunned at what you’ve put together.’ Oh, Daddy, thank you for challenging me and supporting me in my faith, and giving me the strength to stand up to Those People.”

Daddy smiled. “What was the toughest part?” he asked her.

She thought, then answered “At first I thought it was going to be the caterer, but then I realized that the only real choice was that family that stood up to the Governor and Those People.” She looked at the buffet line covered with pizzas and smiled brightly. “Don’t you just love the way they created a rack to hold a stack of pizzas, with enormous ones at the bottom, then getting smaller as the stack gets higher, just like my wedding cake!” Chelsea thought some more, then continued. “I suppose it was the flowers that gave me the real problem. Every shop I went to — every single one! — seemed to have at least one of Those People working there. I was about to despair, but then God led me to a truly Godly florist: Hobby Lobby.”

Meanwhile, up in heaven, St. Peter was pulling his hair out at Poor Richard’s Pub. “What will it take to get through to these people? When I said to that centurion Cornelius that God shows no partiality, I meant it.”

Over in the corner, the prophet Amos drank down his pint, and slammed the empty glass on the table. “I said it before,” he thundered, “and I’ll say it again:

Thus says the Lord. . . 

I hate, I despise your festivals,
   and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings,
   I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
   I will not look upon.
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
   I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters,
   and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

 Amos gestured for another beer, then continued. “I said it to the king and his priests, and someone ought to say it to snooty little girls planning their Oh-So-Special Days. I hate, I despise your precious ‘solemn assemblies’ you call weddings, and Holiness and Godliness do NOT come from pizza and plastic flowers!”

The Archangel Gabriel started to laugh. “Peter, Amos, don’t worry. God loves surprises (ask Balaam about his donkey sometime), and has a doozy planned for Chelsea and her Beloved . . .”

“Chelsea,” said the priest, “this has truly been a most Holy and Godly wedding. What have you got planned for the honeymoon, to top off this delightful occasion?”

“Oh, Father,” gushed Chelsea, “it’s going to be wonderful. When I heard that Arkansas was going to follow the lead of Indiana to defend religious liberty, I knew that was the place to go, even if the governor got cold feet about it. Then I ran into an old friend from high school that I hadn’t seen in years at our high school reunion, and he told me about this quaint little town called Eureka Springs, filled with bed-and-breakfasts, art galleries, hiking trails and outdoors stuff, live music, and great little restaurants. Everyone is so friendly there, my friend said. I went to Google and searched for “Eureka Springs Jesus” to see if this was a Holy and Godly place, and the first thing to come up was this great big 65 foot “Christ of the Ozarks” sculpture of Jesus that looks over the landscape. That sealed it, and I didn’t need to look any farther. He even told me there’s a family-friendly cafe and music place named after me (he says the pizza is great!),  but he made me promise not to google it before going! We’ve booked a place at a B&B for a week, and it’s going to be fabulous!”

Back at Poor Richard’s Pub, St. Peter’s jaw dropped, and Amos spit his beer across the room, while Gabriel just smiled and raised his glass. “To Fabulousness!”

The entire pub replied “To Fabulousness!” and there was much rejoicing.


h/t to Brad Holt for the photo of Humpty Dumpty in Eureka Springs (photo used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license). I fear that Chelsea and all her Holy and Godly friends will discover that all the kings horses and all the kings men can’t put their cramped view of marriage back together again.

And that is a truly Holy, Godly, and Most Fabulous thing.


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I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor with a passion for language, progressive politics, and the intersection of people's inner sets of ideals and beliefs (aka "faith" to many) and their political actions. I mostly comment around here, but offer a weekly post or two as well. With the role that conservative Christianity plays in the current Republican politics, I believe that progressives ignore the dynamics of religion, religious language, and religiously-inspired actions at our own peril. I am also incensed at what the TheoCons have done to the public impression of Christianity, and don't want their twisted version of it to go unchallenged in the wider world. I'm a midwesterner, now living in the Kansas City area, but also spent ten years living in the SF Bay area. I'm married to a wonderful microbiologist (she's wonderful all the way around, not just at science) and have a great little Kid, for whom I am the primary caretaker these days. I love the discussions around here, especially the combination of humor and seriousness that lets us take on incredibly tough stuff while keeping it all in perspective and treating one another with respect.

And Preview is my friend.