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'Elp! I'm being oppressed!
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saxifrage00
My religion places no restrictions on who may wed who, regardless of ethnic background, gender, social standing, intelligence, credit rating, relationship status, political track record, or golfing ability.

Why is it, then, that the laws that regulate marriage where I live enforce Christian marriage? What ever happened to the separation of state and church? Jane and Joe Catholic can go and get married as they will within their own church and within the eyes of the State; why can't I?

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Because you are allowed to practice your religion as long as your religious practices are our religious practices - silly. This other stuff you speak of, that isn't religion, its durty.

two words: cognitive dissonance.

Pretentious ponderings

The separation of church and state is far from complete: I remember getting into arguments with teachers over The Lord's Prayer when I was a schoolkid, and that wasn't all *that* long ago, from a historical perspective. (The private school I went to didn't hold truck with that nonsense, so I was shocked and offended in grade 5 when I showed up in a regular classroom for the first time.)

The tradition of political power coming from religious power is *so* ancient that, really, I'm amazed we've come as far as we have in undoing it in such a short period of time. Call me optimistic. We're well on the way to same-sex marriage. Now, non-monogamous marriage, that's a whole other paradigm shift.

Digression... If neopagans or Unitarians were the dominant, culturally-pervasive religious group, things would be sooooo different. Of course, those religious groups are entirely too new to have had any significant influence on the Judeo-Christian cultural hegemony. And I can't think of any religions with several centuries of established history that had that kind of freedom -- polygyny, sure, but polyandry and same-sex unions as well? Do fill me in if you know of one...

And I'm very glad to see that you used the correct word, unlike the Monty Python scene you reference, which uses 'repressed', which is wrong.

Although 'oppressed' has two p's.

;-)

Always grateful for a chance to use the word 'hegemony',
Maus

Re: Pretentious ponderings

What she said! (I was tired when I posted last night.)

I also think it's a case of ethnocentrism, esp in Canada and the US, which are immigration-based countries. It seems to be a "union of OUR church (Christian/Catholic-based) and state" and a "seperation of YOUR foriegn/funny/immoral/useless/keepitinthepantsnotatthefdinnertable-church (jewish/islam/hindu/sihk/confucious/bhuddist/pagan/ETC)". My argument here is not only examples like schools having prayers, etc, but...think of stat holidays. Other than the civic ones (BC day, Canada Day, Victoria Day) most stat holidays are based on Judeo-Christian (and in this case, heavy emphasis on the CHRISTIAN) holidays. We don't get Yom Kippur, Solstices, or any Hindu or Islamic or any other religious holidays off work as stats. There has been an inherent assumption that the religious life that the peoples of Canada will be participating in will automatically be revolving around the christian churches, therefore certain overlap of church and state is inconsequential.

On the history of UU's

I was intruigued to learn that UU's have a pretty LONG history, actually, streching back to the pretty hard-core days of the 16th cent or so Protestant Reformation, which is wherein Unitarianism is rooted. (It being, originally, a Christian religion, which has grown out of it's Christian roots into something new and different. Still, those roots are very much evident in most ritual, song, etc that is used in church service, some congregations more than others...) What really strikes me about Unitarianism, though, is the dynamism of that history.

Why is it, then, that the laws that regulate marriage where I live enforce Christian marriage?

To be simple about it, because that is how the laws are written.

Marriage is a LEGAL union between a bunch of crackers (currently two, gender unspecified crackers). If you don't like the law, try to have it changed. I don't recall a very loud, or even whispering group of people trying to have the discussion include polyamoury while our governmentalians discussed same-sex marriage.

To be Keanu for a moment, if you keep opening things up, one has to wonder where the line is. If it ok to marry someone of the same gender, then is it ok to marry several people? Ok, so it is ok to marry several people, is it ok to marry your dog? Ok, so you and your dog are happily wed, can I marry my rose bush? ... my house ... the french language, a small asteroid spiraling towards the surface of Venus? ... my own ass?

I understand the some of the problems created by legalizing group marriages or multiple partner marriages, and happen to agree with some of those. That is even though I fully intend to be such a person, in time. As such, I evaluate other options to traditional marriage. My first marriage was not traditional either with my lovely wife researching the exact legal requirements for a marriage in BC and then scripting her own ceremony that met with her loose Jeudo-Christian views, my non-religious views, and the legal requirements. It was a lot of fun.

My current girlfriend and I are starting to talk about other alternatives to expressing the nature of other relationship (things such as, but not limited to, handfasting).

I suppose what you need to do is ask yourself why you are getting married. To me the main reason I got married was to publicly express to my gathered friends and family, how important Laura was to me and the seriousness of our relationship. The only other real reason was to have a gigantic party afterwards to celebrate. *smile*

Elimination of Marriage

I'm actually intrigued by the idea of the dismantlement of institutional marriage in total. State sanctioned marriage was developed to ease the transition of property to a spouse or heirs after death, and as such, has developed into easing the ability of an individual to support a loved one through insurance benefits.

I think this is one of the reasons why queer marriage has been stymied (besides affecting the sensibilities of certain religious groups who can't keep their beliefs to themselves. By opening up inheritance and insurance to anyone who claims a connection with another, taxes based on the single taxpayer (vs the tax cuts given to marrieds), and insurance premiums (and the possibility of claims made by a group "infected" by a devestating life-threatening long term disease) all come together to make it unpalatable to the Powers That Be (ie. The Institution, whether State or Corporate) would just rather not deal with the implications.

But by removing the Power of Institionalized Marriage from the State, folks can "create" their own legal entities who can share financial resources during and beyond death.

Not very romantic, though, eh? But the dismantlement of Instutionalized Marriage would allow for the acceptance of marriage/bonding ceremonies of whatever religious flavor they prefer.

In my perfect world, people would bond in whatever configuration they wished, create legal entities to protect its members, and all would recognize "marriage" for all the romantic reasons why I got married myself - to show the world that I've been blessed with a companion that loves me, and knows me better than I know myself.

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