MARRIED WITHOUT BENEFIT OF CLERGY

I was Jewish when I married Garry in a Lutheran Church. I was fine with that. Garry was fine and both ministers — we had two — were also fine with it. Oddly enough, my entire family was happy that I was happy. They didn’t care about the difference in religions or race.

I believe that everyone has the right to live the life they want to live, to have or not have children, marry anyone who is willing, and to dissolve that relationship if that’s what the couple decides.

Goodness is goodness, whether or not you have any kind of religious affiliation.

Faith is a choice, but decency is a requirement.

You don’t need a church to know the difference between right and wrong. Some of the worst people I’ve known were ardent church goers and some of the best were skeptics or atheists. Who put right-wing Christians in charge of family matters in this country?

Marriage is a contract between adults. It should not require benefit of clergy. Any clergy. Unless you live in a theocracy which we don’t (yet), you don’t need to believe in anything but your partner. I’m baffled as to how God and religion are suddenly the arbitrators of what constitutes a family.

If we start defining the meaning of marriage as sacred and existing entirely for the creation of children, what about people who don’t want children or can’t have them? Are they the next group who won’t be allowed to marry? How about people past the age of baby making. Will they be forbidden to marry? For too many years in a lot of states, people of different races were forbidden to marry. That was supposedly also God’s decree. I never heard God say anything about this, not in any version of the Christian Gospels or in the Jewish Torah or any other religious text I’ve read — and there have been many.

I’m astounded at how sure positive some religious groups are about what God — theirs, mine, or yours — wants. If it was so obvious what God wants, what was the point of all those theological arguments, interpretations, and everything else for the past few thousand years? What was that about?

Gay, straight, or not entirely clear on the issue, marry if you want. Or don’t. Maybe you’ll be one of those couples who has a perfect relationship. Maybe you’ll wind up in a bitter divorce. However it works out, it’s your choice. I would never demand you live your life my way. What way is my way? If I’m not entirely sure, I’m pretty sure no one else knows.

Enjoy this life. Maybe you’ll get another shot at it, but I’m not holding my breath. This is the life I’ve got and as long as I’ve got it, I plan to live it as fully as I am able. Let’s live in this moment, this reality. Let us give everyone else in this world the right to do the same.



Categories: Family, Marriage, Politics, Religion, Ethics and Philosophy

Tags: , , ,

17 replies

  1. Well put, Marilyn. I’m always amazed by the people who claim to know what God wants and then expect us to also do what they think God wants us to do.

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  2. Yep. I’m all for consenting adults to live, marry, not marry, etc. as they please as long as no one nonconsenting gets hurt. Children are another matter entirely…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are we worrying about children getting forced into marriages they don’t want? I hope it isn’t happening here. Of course in reality, everything is happening here — somewhere. As for other places in other cultures, but I can’t worry about everywhere. I can barely keep track of the things going wrong right here around the corner.

      At least in this country where religion supposedly does NOT rule, I wonder how people like me are subject to the will of fundamentalist Christians who feel it’s their way or the highway. Aside from fearing we are destroying our planet (my number 1 universal fear), number 2 on my list is how the line between civil and religious being swept aside. I never signed up to live in a theocracy.

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      • I was thinking about children being forced to marry and/or bear children. Unfortunately, I think it happens here (hopefully not often)…

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        • I’m worried about how many women can’t have an abortion, get counseling on birth control, and these days can’t even find a hospital in which to give birth. Women have problems in this country and it’s shameful. Catholic countries like Ireland and France are more liberal and generous to women than the U.S.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. My mother was upset we married in a registry office and not in the Church of England. In Northern Ireland we would have been a ‘mixed marriage’ – nominally protestant and and catholic! A generation later my mother quite happily accepted my niece had a girlfriend, though she couldn’t quite get her head around the idea of them getting married! We stayed together and my sister, church wedding, got divorced.

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    • I don’t think weddings have much to do with marriages. Hell, look at England’s Royals? Talk about BIG weddings and look how well they have been working out.

      Funny you should mention this. I remember pointing out to my mother that when I told her I was sleeping with my then boyfriend, she blew three gaskets and went berserk. It was particularly interesting because she was an atheist and didn’t believe in that stuff.

      Later, when my sister came of age, the family pretty much had a party when finally she found a guy and sex. I asked her about it and she said: “Parents need to grow up too.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this photo, Marilyn.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree! I am glad gay and lesbian people can now marry in most countries and states in the USA! Its about time! xo

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    • Now that my (gay) son CAN get married, he is being extremely cautious. Getting out of marriage No. 1 was difficult enough. I’m not sure he’s ready to get quite so legally entangled again. Remarkably, gay, straight, or just complicated, relationship issues are so similar.

      I wish we would let people get on with their lives. Time and time again it has been proved that legislating morality doesn’t work. What is (to me) really bizarre is in countries like the U.K. where there IS an official religion, they are more liberal than we are. What is wrong with this picture?

      Liked by 1 person

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