Milton Persinger, left, and Robert Povilat wait for a marriage license at the Mobile County Probate office, Feb. 10, 2015, in Mobile, Ala.
Photo by Sharon Steinmann/AP

This Week in God, 5.23.15

First up from the God Machine this week is a rare example of a religious leader actually getting arrested for exercising her religious liberty – but in a way that social conservatives are inclined to care about. AL.com reported this week:
A Prattville minister arrested after offering to perform a same-sex wedding inside the Autauga County Courthouse in February pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
 
Anne Susan DiPrizio, 44, was sentenced to 30 days in the Autauga Metro Jail, which was suspended in lieu of six months unsupervised probation, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. She was ordered to pay a $250 fine and other court costs.
By all accounts, the Unitarian minister, following the dictates of her conscience and the tenets of her faith tradition, hoped to perform matrimonial services for two women who had already received a marriage license, thanks to a February court ruling. But because the Autauga County Probate Office had blocked all marriage ceremonies in the office, DiPrizio and the couples were turned away.
 
The minister refused to leave before she could exercise her beliefs, and local officials had her taken into custody.
 
This might seem like the sort of thing that would cause apoplexy among “religious liberty” proponents – government officials had a clergy arrested? – but to date, DiPrizio received no support from any of the usual suspects.
 
The Box Turtle Bulletin added, “[I]t’s worth noting that amidst all the hue and cry turning cake bakers into martyrs in the name of religious freedom, here is an actual ordained minister who was jailed and fined for seeking to practice her faith and support same-sex marriage.”
 
A federal judge ruled Thursday that same-sex couples have the right to marry in every Alabama county, but the ruling is on hold pending the Supreme Court’s verdict in a related case. The decision is expected next month.
 
Also from the God Machine this week:
 
* What an awful story: “Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is standing by ‘19 Kids and Counting’ star Josh Duggar, who issued an apology and resigned from his job on Thursday amid reports that he molested underage girls when he was a teenager.”
 
* In Ireland: “The people of Ireland made their way to the polls on Friday May 22 to vote on legalizing gay marriage, and one of the Catholic country’s bishops had a word of caution for those poised to vote ‘no.’ ‘I would hate for people to vote no for bad reasons, for sort of bigoted reasons, for nasty reasons, for bullying reasons,’ the Bishop of Derry, Rev. Donal McKeown, said during a radio debate.”
 
* Donald Trump told a Republican audience this week that, probably at the White House’s behest, “Muslims can come in [to the United States] but other people can’t; Christians can’t come into this country but Muslims can.” (In reality, there has never been an immigration policy in the history of the United States that discriminated against Christians, and such a policy still does not exist.)
 
* And TV preacher Pat Robertson said this week that people with eating disorders could be “treated as a demonic possession thing.” Good to know.
 

Rachel Maddow Show This Week in God

This Week in God, 5.23.15