No, marriage in the west is culturally religious.   For us Catholics, it's a sacrament.  Even the form of the state ceremony, an exchange of vows and rings, is lifted wholesale from the religious / sacramental ceremony.

I just don't see why as an atheist you want to participate and endorse a fundamentally religious practice.

Now I suppose as you say you might identify more with some ancient Mesopotamian ritual according to Hammurabi's code.  I suppose I'm OK with that.  Get the state to set up Hammurabi partnerships, and call yourself "owner of a wife."  It's odd, but whatever.

I think a better choice would be to develop your own culture and ritual practices if you feel that need, and be proud of them.  Then your community and your community alone would be responsible for "treating everyone fairly" instead of trusting either religion or the state.  (I had to chuckle a bit at the notion that the State can be trusted to treat everyone fairly).

This is a post by Dr. Bob, in then Ask Dr.Bob thread. I felt this topic needed it's own discussion, as I am a gay atheist who is currently engaged to be married.

There are a few points that I'd like to make, as well as a description or two.

  1. No, marriage in the west is culturally religious.
  •     Negative. Marriage is a function of the state, that just happens to usually have religious rules. The act of bonding two citizens together so that they can form a family is the function of a marriage, and there are some bureaucratic things that go with this, such as tax alterations, but also some perks, such as being able to visit a sick spouse in the hospital. The religious rules are mainly a shell. All marriages, no matter what religion, have this as a base.

      2. For us Catholics, it's a sacrament.  Even the form of the state ceremony, an exchange of vows and rings, is lifted wholesale from the religious / sacramental ceremony.

  • Sacrament is one of those religious words that have more feeling than they do meaning. Soul, Sacred, Blessing... These are all meaningless words designed to make people feel good without having to explain something. Marriage isn't like this. Marriage is a promise, a commitment made to the person you love, and apparently in front of which ever imaginary friend you happen to worship. There is a reason that witnesses are required for a marriage ceremony.

      3. I just don't see why as an atheist you want to participate and endorse a fundamentally religious practice.

  • See above. I don't want to endorse anything. I want to spend my life with the man I love, and I want to shout it out from the top of the world. I will not let anyone demean me by calling it a "partnership" or a "Civil Union." This isn't a business deal, and we don't have a charter leader. This is a Marriage. Two human beings who love each other, trust each other, and engage in coitus with each other. Our gender is irrelevant.

      4. Now I suppose as you say you might identify more with some ancient Mesopotamian ritual according to Hammurabi's code.  I suppose I'm OK with that.  Get the state to set up Hammurabi partnerships, and call yourself "owner of a wife."  It's odd, but whatever.

  • This is facetious and rude.

      5. I think a better choice would be to develop your own culture and ritual practices if you feel that need, and be proud of them.

  • Funny you should mention that. Our wedding will not have rings, and at no point will the word god be mentioned at all. We are going for a completely secular, medieval fantasy themed wedding. Both me and my groom will be garbed in partial plate armor, consisting of Pauldrons and gorget, Bracers, and Tasset, and the traditional padding. If I find a pair of circlets or crowns that we like, then we'll wear those as well. I'll be carrying his sword, and he will be carrying mine. Instead of exchanging rings, we will present each other with swords, and pledge to honor, love, and protect each other, and to stand together to face down any hardship. When our Atheist Minister asks if there are any objections, it will also be mentioned that the grooms are armed, and the objectors should take that into account. We will make a show of hefting our swords. The reception will have Spit roasted pig, and Mead in oak barrels (a wonderfully delicious drink, you should try it.), with lively dancing and folk music.

      6. I had to chuckle a bit at the notion that the State can be trusted to treat everyone fairly.

  • Har Har, Yes we know that the US Government is currently occupied by religious zealots and greedy pigs. The government can still be trusted to treat it's citizen more fairly than any Church. For a prime example, The Vatican essentially doesn't have any protections for LGBT people, and uses the Italian laws that were on the books in 1929, when the Vatican became a Sovereign State. They view alternative identities such as homosexuality and Transsexualism as mental disorders, Even though EVERY single psychological association in the world now agrees that they are not disorders, but simply variations that occur naturally. The reason the US Government can be trusted to treat everyone fairly, is because they Answer to us. By us, I mean We The People. At 80,000,000 to one, even with the military's big guns, they can't put us down. Not when they've been pounding that patriotic BS into us since birth, and 54% of us support Gay Rights because we understand that it's really Human Rights. Even with it's flaws, I trust my government more than I'll ever trust your pope, Dr.Bob.

Tags: Dr.Bob, Gay, Marriage

Views: 262

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Yayyyy, H3, just make sure you post photos, and are we all invited :) One of the main reasons brides go for the church, is that the church is an elegant backdrop etc. It is all about how usually, she looks - but now with the rise of Atheist and secular numbers, other glam venues are taking over. http://www.celticcastles.com/castle-weddings
and with Gay weddings, imagination can just take over, without the restrictions of boring xian weddings.

The best wedding I saw,(it was on TV) was a Lord of the Rings wedding, complete with Gollum and waterfall. Just brilliant.

One of the best 'promises' was "If you make breakfast, I will make lunch' Fair enough :)

I have had a big, expensive wedding,in a church, boring and BS - married a catholic, now live with a bloke, not married, Luv it.

I would love a castle wedding, but unfortunately, America wasn't big on castles back in the day. We had forts. Not nearly as majestic. Of course, I'm more into barbarians and sellswords, than knights in shining armor. Bad boy sort of stuff. More logical too. If I'm gonna storm a castle, a princess (or in my case a prince) better come with a purse to match.

In the real world I'm all about Honor and Dignity in all things, but when it comes to role playing, I'm the guy you call when you've got the coin to do something you don't have the skill for.

I'm SO happy for you H3xx - I hope you have a blindingly brilliant wedding and that you and the love of your life spend the rest of your lives in absolute joy.  My wife and I had a low key marriage, but friends came in from all over the place to share it with us.

And as for the mealy mouthed nasties who try to sour these things for us, theirs is the shame - the shame of not being willing or able to share joy wherever it abounds.

Go H3xx, go!  {{{HUGS}}}

I am all for gay people getting married under the same rules as I was married under...why shouldn't they have to suffer thru a divorce just like I did.

Besides a marriage license/contract is just a property agreement overseen by the State.

I don't care if it's between a man and a woman, two men, two women or more then two people for that matter.

The love thing isn't binding anyway, one week or a lifetime it's all the same to the State.

In the end it's just about property. (kids are property too they just come with a neck anchor. :D )

This explains a lot about you and your personality.

I doubt it's enough for an in-depth psychoanalysis, but it does explain my position that all citizens deserve equal treatment under the law. 

Being in love is a wonderful thing regardless of what others think of one's lifestyle.  The mother of my 3 children and I lived in "sin" for several years before we got legal, some people are offend by that lifestyle.

H3xx, the only observation I have is, live a happy life. If you are lucky enough to find someone who completes you then care for them and keep that bond safe and strong.

Peace,

Gregg

Here's another way to make this point abundantly clear: If marriage wasn't a state institution, providing tax benefits and such, I wouldn't of had one. At all. My wife and I were happily together before the wedding, the wedding changed nothing between us, and if you think a wedding will solve your problems, you will be sorely disappointed.

It'll solve some of my problems, as my fiance lives in England, and is wanting to move to the US. Being married will help some in this regard. Though 20 years ago, that would have meant that they couldn't deport him at all, Bush's and Obama's immigration policies have pretty much mulched that little safe haven. But they still don't split up families so easily.

Dude your wedding sounds awesome

I know, Right?

Seconded

RSS

  

Blog Posts

People

Posted by ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp on July 28, 2014 at 10:27pm 4 Comments

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service