No marriage please, we’re atheists


I heard an argument recently that stated Christianity (and other religions), should preside over marriage and that the government should administer civil unions. It was said by a Presbyterian pastor (or vicar or priest...can’t remember which) but I also read it more recently on a self-pronounced atheist’s blog page and it got me thinking.

Why do people want to get married? Is it only those who have a faith who believe in marriage? Is marriage a religious concept? Thoughts on a postcard please...

  • Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • 5 responses to “No marriage please, we’re atheists”

    1. christinagolden says:

      Hi Caroline,

      I did not state the marriage was just for christian. If you look above you will see that it states that both christians and non christians get married for different reasons (traditional and sentimental reasons) but that marriage started of in the church. Not that marriage is limited to christians only.

      Apart from that misunderstanding, I agree with your other points.

    2. Caroline Golden says:

      Interesting comments! I'm a Christian, and I think for Christians the idea of marriage is very much linked in with your personal belief in God and the relationship you have with God through Jesus. I will put a slightly different viewpoint over to Christina's, as I do not believe that the desire that couples have to get married is limited to people who are Christians. (Although I appreciate the argument you are making which is that if God created the world and all of us, he also created our desires and values). However from the contact I have had with people of other faiths as well as agnostics and atheists I believe that the concept of marriage exists in people's minds as a way of celebrating and cementing the commitment of two people to each other and it is a common point across time periods, cultures, faiths and philosophies.
      I agree with Harriet that it is a good thing to share this tradition, athough the ceremony for a Christian will be different to a ceremony for an atheist for example. I certainly agree with her suggestion that when the Christian church had a monopoly on conducting marriage ceremonies there were probably many people with little or no personal faith going through the motions of a Christian ceremony and I do think that is a shame.
      I would suggest that there are more Christian than atheist/agnostic voices pressing for a distinction between marriage (the Christian institution as described in the bible) and marriage (the civil institution to formalise the commitment of two people). I would suggest that this is because, once you are a Christian who has a relationship with God, you become more aware that God longs for all his people to know him and it is painful for him that people live their lives separately from him. From this perspective, to attend a civil wedding as a Christian can be an odd experience as it can seem like something big is missing. I can perhaps compare it to the feeling you might have if an important guest is missing.
      However, I don't agree that Christians should impose this belief on other couples who choose to live their lives in different ways, without God or with a completely different concept of him. I believe we were given free will by God for a reason and if he loves us enough to allow us to choose him if we wish to, we should also love others enough to allow them this too, and celebrate with them however they wish to celebrate. That's my perspective on this!!

    3. Marriage is a topic that is spoken about quite a lot in the Bible and the principles that are mentioned in the Bible about marriage are up until this day carried out in marriages whether Religious or not.

      Nobody can diassociate marriage from Christianity. It started of in the church for one but I do accept non Christians get married in the church for traditional or sentimental reasons.

      There are loads of guidelines for a healthy marriage in the Bible and of course there would be as God ordained it in the first place. For example, staying committed to each other, being kind, how to treat one another, loving etc (see 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 for definition of love). It may seem logical now but I'm sure back then it wasn't. Most people look for all (guidelines in the Bible) in marriage even if they are not 'Religious'.

      God instituted marriage(see Genesis 2:18-24) way before the media turned it into just 'a party' or a prenuptial agreement fest which most celebrity couples are advised to take…

      My point isn't to 'convert' anyone or to convince anyone of the origins of marriage as anyone with knowledge on the matter will know that it started out in the church.

      The idea of calling it a 'civil union' I find disrespect. I am aware that gay couples who get married are under a 'civil partnership' and I believe that distinction should be kept.

      Marriage is the public union of a man and woman before God, family and friends to confess their commitment to each other.

      In my opinion…

    4. Samantha says:

      I am not religious but it was important to me to 'get married' as opposed to enter into a civil union. I don't know why. I didn't see marriage as particularly associated with religion tbh – but it was an act of commitment between P and I for which I am eternally grateful.

    5. harrietfish says:

      Well I am an atheist and I am married. I think marriage is about more (or maybe other things if you don't like the word more) than religion. I didn't get married in the eyes of God but in front of family and friends as an act of commitment in front of the people I care about.Marriage clearly can be religious and seen as a holy union but I like to think of it as a choice I made and a statement of commitment and love. I don't think that it has to have religious backing in order to have meaning, but I suppose that is because I find my meaning in things other than religion. I think that if you took religion and put it solely with the church it would lead to people (more than they do already) pretending to be religious in order to get married, which would be a shame. I also think it is a good thing that both religious and non religous people can be married and it can be seen as a point in common rather than a divisive act.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    As I Was Saying

    Always hear from me...

    Enter your email address to subscribe to Christ Couture and receive notifications of new posts by email.