Ugotta B. Kiddinme–Staff Writer
Two Dordt students, one Republican and one Democrat, are getting married.
This has led to two opposing political groups coming out with a unified message: “we reject the marriage.”
“How can a Christian get married to a democrat?” says Sioux Center resident Aaron Van Moss, head of the Sioux County Conservatives.
“How can a Christian get married to a conservative?” says freshman Mathew Van Dol, President of the Dordt College Democrats.
The marriage between Noll VanMaan and Jessica Grace is scheduled for next Friday, to be held in the Campus Center. Both VanMaan and Grace are seniors and will be graduating from Dordt this spring. Discussion of the controversial marriage has sparked conversation on Facebook, where rumors of a planned protest have begun circulating. Some have even called for President Hoekstra to cancel the wedding, which has been branded “the unholy union.”
“I cannot reject these students,” said Hoekstra. “Our campus is known nationwide as being number one in student engagement. If we start getting directly involved in banning marriages, students may be reluctant to get engaged.”
Noll VanMaan grew up in Sioux Center and comes from a strongly conservative family.
“I just want to tell my parents I have not converted from the ways of conservativism,” VanMaan said. “I am not getting married for political unity, but for love.”
His parents do not agree.
“Love? Love?? No, it is not love! It is a betrayal of his upbringing!” Mr. VanMaan said. “He is giving in to the way of liberalism, and we all know that no liberal is truly a Christian. She doesn’t even believe that America is a Christian country, and she advocates on her Facebook page for more porous borders!”
His mother went on to say that she was disappointed with her son for choosing such a bride.
“Religion and politics are one and the same,” she said. “A Christian worldview affects all areas of life, including politics. Her political beliefs are wrong, and I cannot accept her.”
Mrs. VanMaan said that she has not sat down with her potential future daughter-in-law because she does not want to give her any glimmer of support for the marriage.
The Graces feel much the same.
“Conservatives are so stuck in their tradition. If she marries him, she’ll start advocating for small government, or join the NRA,” Mr. Grace said. “Where in the Bible does it say ‘thou shalt own and love thy gun’? Our daughter is fraternizing with the enemy.”
Jessica Grace disagrees with her parents’ sentiment, and, while she agrees that growing up as a democrat in Sioux Center was difficult, she maintains that she will remain liberal.
“I don’t agree with conservatives, and I have always and will always be a democrat,” Grace said. “But Noll and I never even talk politics. It’s not really a big deal, but everyone is acting like we’re different religions or something.”
With such disagreement among family members, the couple has requested police protection for themselves and the bridal party at the wedding. In addition, the seating has been arranged so that the VanMaan and Grace families will be separated by the aisle, with the notable exception of Noll’s liberal aunt (“crazy aunt Ester”) and Jessica’s conservative second cousin (“redneck Randall”).
“If it comes down to it, we may take the path of Romeo and Juliet,” VanMaan said, eluding to rumored plans of eloping with VanMaan. “Perhaps then our families will be forced to talk to each other after all.”