Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Marriage: Sacred vs. Secular

J's been teaching all week on marriage, particularly on whether same-sex marriage should be legal. It's very interesting: in his class of pretty much conservative and religious 18-21 year olds, the kids take it for granted that same-sex marriage is okay. Surely they weren't taught this by their parents or churches. Yet there's something about the postmodern generation that just lets these things go without argument. They're very laissez-faire.

Well anyway I could write more about that but I won't because J gets on my case when I write that which I know not of. Wait - I have his lectures right here on the computer! I can steal them and post them all over the internet! Then I just have to sit home and wait for my divorce papers.

Anyway, what got me thinking on this subject is this super-cool little article from Killing the Buddha. Here are some excerpts:

"Certainly, Vegas isn't the right option for everyone, but in this skeptical world, I'm shocked that more people don't consider it, or at least head down to City Hall. It isn't my business, but I can't help being confused by the misappropriation of religious ritual -- by secular Americans who only want God around when planning a major life-event-ceremony. People with no plans for prayer and no intention of ever paying membership fees to a house of worship. People who select their denominations based on which church looks oldest, which synagogue has shady parking in July.

"A wedding is a lot of things, but historically and legally, it's primarily a binding agreement -- to unify clans or countries, sell off daughters, earn dowries for second sons. A wedding is a business arrangement.

"Or it's a covenant before God. Which one are you shooting for?

"You should figure it out before you order the invitations, because if you're trying to pull off a pretend covenant before God -- if you think he won't notice that you're lying, reading your prayers from a cheat sheet, renting a church you've never set foot it to fake out Grandma -- you've picked the wrong man to fool. No matter how pretty you look in your Vera Wang."

Check out Laurel Snyder's fabulous story "Slut for Faith" at:

1 comment:

Chris said...

The comments on weddings are SO TRUE!
I was an associate pastor at a large church--this church had a beautiful sanctuary and nice facilities for receptions, so there were many weddings there--it was a great source of income--the vast majority were for couples who had no connection to the church, or perhaps a weak family connection, i.e.,the grandmother of the bride used to be a member, but that was 20 years ago. As the asscociate pastor it was my job to handle the majority of weddings AND funerals. The senior pastor would not do weddings unless it was for a couple who were actually active members. Time after time, the couple to be wed would express an interest in becoming members of the church, but as soon as the rice was thrown, we never saw them again. Most pastors I know will perform weddings as a source of extra income, but I'll take a funeral over a wedding any day--at least in a funeral there is a good chance that the care and comfort provided by the church to the family actually has value and meaning, while with weddings, I am sure no one remembers a thing the pastor says to the couple--we're just part of the decorations, like the flowers and ribbons hanginging on the ends of the pews.