but isn't the institution of marriage itself, a hold-over from religion? A formal uniting of two people in "the eyes of god"?
No, not really. Marriage has served a lot of different functions through the ages, but I'd say it's more like a business agreement than anything else. Religion and 'love' just got tacked on as decoration.
Marriage has served a lot of different functions through the ages, but I'd say it's more like a business agreement than anything else. Religion and 'love' just got tacked on as decoration.
True, marriage customs have been dynamic since human culture first began, thousands of years ago. One of the first purposes of marriage was to define how property rights and/or political power and/or other cultural heritage (e.g. productive skills) would "properly" follow family lineage. Family connections affected community functioning, and vise-versa.
Traditionalist cultures have the most difficulty questioning such traditions, and explaining their "true" origins without mythical embellishment.
So it seems more true than ever to me now that most of (common) modern culture should keep their religious interests completely separate from their legislature's determination of civil union. We (or each state) can discuss what the definitions of civil union are--especially for the sake of children--for fiduciary/tax definitions of family/kinship, power of attorney, hospital visitation rights, and so on.
Religion can still say whatever they want about family relationships and behavior, but without imposing their will by meddling with civil law.
@Brad, it would even make sense for a legislator to always consider an atheist's perspective while passing laws that might affect them. Have we ever heard of that happening before? Nope! It's recently been religion that claims rights to special treatment by the law. I could be really cynical and say thanks to Bin Laden for making Christians rise up to seize power in secular nations, such as the US.
I was married - divorced, and have been living in a relationship for 23 years. Nobody cares. I really don't understand why anybody wants to get married - I think it is a purely symbolic gesture. Marriage does not protect children.
In Australia, xians are trying to get ethics and morals stopped being taught in secular schools. They are trying to tone down the sciences and push intelligent design.
The ongoing protection of catholic pedophiles is still ongoing to this day.
All religions hate women and sex - including buddhism.
How many religious familes of all persuasions - reject a family member, including their own children if they dare to question their particular religion - and even put them out of the house. Look at the cults of Scientology, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Judaism, Muslim - all will reject family members. I think it is the loving side of religion that inspires me the most. Just do the research.
Of course there are a lot of good religious people around, but it is the hate and vehemence of the above, that actually scares and mortifies me. I don't hate god, no god to hate - or religious people, but they sure do hate me.
In Australia, we have an Atheist female Prime Minister - could that ever happen in America - if not why not?
Marriage brings a whole lot of extra legal benefits not given to any other kind of couple, like joint taxes, hospital visitation rights, the ability to make medical decisions for your partner if he/she is injured badly or terminally ill, legal custody of children, and a whole bunch of other crap that makes life easier for two people living together. Marriage is no longer simply a religious thing, it is a civil contract between consenting adults that grants them extra benefits. I know that a lot of you dislike the idea of marriage, but not everyone feels that way and if two consenting people wish to get married then they should fucking be able to, because Christians don't have a monopoly on marriage. It would be nice if people could just sign a contract to gain all of those rights and we could do away the institution of marriage altogether but frankly, that's never going to happen so marriage should be available to anyone who wants it. I don't think I even need to mention the insulting and hurtful implication that my relationship is less valid and less deserving of recognition and protection.
We had this thread going a few months ago, where several members detailed the persecution they have personally faced at the hands of the religious.
When I was a freshmen in high school I had a best friend named vincent- he was super caring, one of the nicest people I've ever met, non-judgmental, and openly gay. One day I came to school and he had a bloody nose and eyes. He said that another person from our school had tracked him down when he was walking home the previous day and assaulted him without mercy- saying "God hates faggots" and saying he was going "Suffer the consequences for his abomination". That's what religious intolerance is. That guy never even knew my friend, he just knew he was gay. He never saw the caring side that I saw, and he didn't want to. He just wanted to think vincent was evil and he was doing "the lords work" by beating him near to death.
Why should anyone have to do "the lord's work"? Any entity that could create an entire universe from nothing in six days, out to be able to do his own damn work!
Homosexuality, forcing abstinence, against abortion (irrelevant of the situation), threats against atheist and other religions, witch burning, the crusades, against science since the dark ages, even still against evolution, the list goes on, that's just a few examples!
It's simple Brad - judge people based on the character they prove themselves to have, rather than on what they do or don't believe.
How about this: In Indonesia a man named Alexander Aan was just convicted and sentenced to two and a half years in prison for stating on his Facebook page that "God does not exist." Indonesians, by and large, are angry at the sentence; they thought he should have gotten a far longer sentence for his "blasphemy." In Indonesia, it is illegal NOT to have a religion.
Not in the U.S., you say? Au contraire! There are six U.S. states, including Texas, that PROHIBIT any atheist from holding public office. And, as a practical matter, it is virtually impossible to hold office in any state if you are an avowed atheist. That just is not tolerated in Puritan, Christian America.
I'm gonna "fix" this.
He did not only state "God does not exist", that's completely BS since i was presented with few of his remarks over the facebook.
To make it simple, he was throwing bad insults (regardless who & what was he discussing).
Oh, and that case was only published on local region newspaper, it doesn't even hit national newspaper as far as i know, thus your "by large" is an overstatement (tho i'm quite positive most people would be angry, even i'm angry to be considered as the same league as that guy)