Marriage is a civil union between two people, a covenant of agreement that they will live together and love each other. The marriage contract gives them legal permission to economically support each other and to benefit from each other.
Marriage is not about religion at all. Oh, some people say the vows in a church, temple or synagogue, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t mean much.
The church/temple/synagogue thing is about appearance. It’s a good place to have a fancy and expensive wedding. Saying vows before God is not at all as important to most people as it is cracked up to be.
In fact, God seems to be the expendable variable in the marriage experience.
I agree with Welton Gaddy that marriage is a civil right. Sacred? Hardly.
Why the cynicism? Because God tends to be the expendable variable in most of what we do. God’s name is invoked when we want to stress a point, be right, or gain political points.
Act like one is religious, and people like it, but the proof of the pudding is not what people say they believe, it’s how they live their beliefs.
How many people have had marriages just in order to gain social status. Where’s God in that marriage?
And how many people get married because they think they’re getting old. Where’s God in that?
Yet more, how many people get married, promising God that they’ll stay together forever, when in fact even at the point of getting married they are already plotting and planning a way to get out?
How many heterosexual marriages are fraught with dishonesty and adulterous affairs? Are we really to believe that unions like that are more pleasing to God than a same-sex marriage between two committed people who have never broken their vows to be monogamous?
It is the saddest thing that God is manipulated and misused for the purposes of people. We really do not seem to take God seriously until some catastrophe hits us or until we want to destroy someone else.
Were we really lovers of God, we would understand that what God wants is for us to love each other and treat each other as worthy human beings. That anyone would keep a long-time partner from the death bed of his or her partner is not a God-move.
Or, denying a partner economic support once his or her partner dies is in no way right.
But we, in the name of God, denigrate people and live with puffed up egos and self righteous attitudes that, frankly, kill the desire of too many people to want to know God or be close to God.
This babbling about marriage being a religious rite is drivel. Marriage is a civil right.
When people get serious about God and an honest relationship with this God we talk about, we might be able to have an honest discussion about marriage being a truly sacred experience.