I am curious how most Atheists view marriage? It is largely seen as a religious act. Should non believers participate in marriage?

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America needs to catch up in so many ways! 

One way in which marriage does matter is Social Security benefits. If you are married, it is far easier to get survivor's benefits if your spouse dies and you have a minor child. It's probably still possible to get benefits for the child if you aren't married, but only a widow/widower can get benefits in order to take care of the child. If you're married, you automatically get those benefits unless you remarry or have your own income until the child is 16. The child's benefits continue through age 18.

That is true even if the parents are divorced or separated at the time of death. Deadbeat dad/mom? No problem. (As long as there's some Social Security record, anyway - I don't know what happens if there isn't one at all.)

My daughter's father died when she was 9, after a 2.5 year struggle with leukemia. He and I had been divorced for about 7 years when he died. The executor of his will was incredibly hostile to me, taking all of my daughter's things (even her piggy bank) as "part of the estate" and refusing to even cooperate with me so that I could find out about COBRA health insurance coverage for my daughter (another area that is 100% screwed up in this country).

But because we HAD been married, one trip to the Social Security office was all it took to get survivor's benefits going. So I do recommend it for anyone who has children together in the U.S.

Common law marriage still exists in a few American states, though it's largely a thing of the past:





I wasn't aware it still existed anywhere in the U.S. Georgia (where I live) got rid of them in 1997. The legislators were afraid that those scary queer people would start using common law marriages as a way to achieve marriage equality.
This is my first post here - so be gentle with me. Lol

I personally feel that like religion, marriage is an anachronism. I don't see why two people who love each other feel the need for such an event. Each to their own I suppose. As for it being a religious act, I thought that it has always been a legal act (and without this aspect, the marriage is null and void).

Maybe my views are swayed from the fact that as a gay man living in England, we don't have the right to marry anyway, although we do have civil ceremonies (which I think will be the way forward, especially as more churches close).

So, should non-believers participate in marriage? Yeah, why not. After all it isn't a religious act, just something that religions hijacked in their history (along with a plethora of other ceremonies, events, etc).

Marriage is not about the relationship between a man and a woman. It is about their relationship to their society. Long, long ago relationships survived without marriage. Almost all primitive societies have no documents, laws or other signs to show a relationship. People make agreements and live by them. Modern marriage has little to do with the original concept of creating a relationship with another human. It's now about rights, property, status and other non-relationship concepts. I have been married to a JW for 40 years. It has never been easy. Marriage has made many decisions very difficult to make or even consider.

It's now about rights, property, status and other non-relationship concepts


Rights and property play heavily into "relationship concepts".  That society is more sophisticated and agreements are more formalized doesn't change basic concepts about social relationships.  Whether long ago or now, these agreements advertise much to society as well as convey expectations within the relationship.

It’a a way of making a commitment. Been married 29 years myself, but I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone. Whatever works!

My wife and I got married but not as a religious act.  One, we did it as a commitment to eachother, and two, because the tax breaks are too good to pass up. -_^

My parent never married in a church, they just went to the counties office and signed a marriage certificate (sounds horrible) and had a party. I just learned it and I was born in 1992. But anyway, marriage is not a invention made by religion, and any attempt by religious people to claim it is one is folly. Most because it is more a symbolic action that binds two people too each other in a symbolic way that they love the other person and want to spend the rest of their lives with each other, it is not a promise too god or anything. Just a symbolic deceleration between two people that they love each other.

marriage is something that god himself binds because he was the one that made it and even atheists need to go to church to get married.


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