SCOTUS ruling

fuchka

Active member
I've been known to mock the French tendency for old-fashioned language purism, but you have to leave it to speakers of French to be ahead of both English and German speakers in this way: "se pacser" ("getting a PACS", the French version of CU) has already become a fully regular and natural sounding French verb, distinct from "se marier" ("getting married").

Yeah, I've heard people say they're getting "cupped" (Civil Union Partner-ed?).

No doubt vocabulary can work around anything if it has to. Whether it should have to is a separate question, of course :)
 

InsaneMystic

New member
Yeah, I've heard people say they're getting "cupped" (Civil Union Partner-ed?).
Never heard that term before, but you know that I'm so gonna steal it. :D

No doubt vocabulary can work around anything if it has to. Whether it should have to is a separate question, of course :)
True. As a radical secularist, I do think it should have to in vocabulary used by the state in official documentation.

For private citizens, it's a completely different matter. But every gay couple has had the right to privately call their relationship by the word "marriage" in the US, for centuries, as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment ever since the late 18th century. The SCOTUS ruling is completely irrelevant in that regard.
 

LizziE

New member
One thing I'm curious about is people's use of the word "not legal". Like "you can have a commitment ceremony between three people, but it's not legal."

I assume people mean that it does not have any legal effect, rather than it is an illegal act.

If/when I say not legal, I mean "not legally binding". There are no rights or benefits that are transferred in a commitment ceremony.

I believe that in the US, a religious marriage, without signing the legal paperwork also would not be legally binding. As in, if you married in a church, even if you lived "as a married couple" (whatever that means, being that there can be so many permutations of that) from a tax standpoint and legal standpoint (spousal privilege, inheritance, power of medical attorney), if you didn't also sign the legal paperwork to register that marriage with the state, you wouldn't gain any of the benefits afforded by marriage.

Jon and I are actually going to do a private ring exchange ceremony (private as in "only the two of us are invited") in a few months (this was in the words as of very early this year, before things when really downhill with Lora). After the ceremony, we're going to talk to an attorney who specializes in poly, to get whatever documents together that we need to, for inheritance and medical power of attorney.

Because, as you pointed out, we couldn't currently get those until we married. And we don't want to marry until it's possible to have polyamorous marriage. Neither of us like the idea of a potential future partner that we'd want to share out life/lives with having less rights or less protections than we do, because we got married and thus can't marry anybody else.

The only exception we make to that is that if one of us got cancer/a serious illness, we would marry so that the person with cancer/serious illness would be able to sign on to the better health care program (assuming that the sick person had a significantly crappier health care program). Assuming that the sick person didn't die, I'm not sure if we'd get a divorce afterward or not. Probably. Which I'd be fine with (though maybe a little bit sad for a bit), as the marriage would just be a vehicle for better medical care.

Honestly, I feel pretty certain that if I met someone and fell in love with him/her, and s/he was already married, and this person wanted/believed that I was co-primaries with his/her spouse, I don't know if I could handle that. I think the marriage would really bother me.

Which I'm not saying is right or wrong, it's just a thing that I feel, deep in my heart. Even if I didn't want it to bother me, it really would. Even if we became a triad and everything was unicorns and rainbows, knowing that if something happened and things went sour with my metamour (or one of my loves, if it was a triad), knowing that my metamour/former love would legally have the ability to keep me from my partner (were something bad to happen), because they were married...that would stress me out too damn much.

I've seen too much petty shit from people who I would have never thought would engage in petty shit to trust the vast majority of humanity not to get neck-deep in petty shit, if s/he felt like they were entitled to behave that way.

I may have written that a bit convolutedly. I hope it makes sense.
 

YouAreHere

Well-known member
Honestly, I feel pretty certain that if I met someone and fell in love with him/her, and s/he was already married, and this person wanted/believed that I was co-primaries with his/her spouse, I don't know if I could handle that. I think the marriage would really bother me.

Which I'm not saying is right or wrong, it's just a thing that I feel, deep in my heart. Even if I didn't want it to bother me, it really would. Even if we became a triad and everything was unicorns and rainbows, knowing that if something happened and things went sour with my metamour (or one of my loves, if it was a triad), knowing that my metamour/former love would legally have the ability to keep me from my partner (were something bad to happen), because they were married...that would stress me out too damn much.

I've seen too much petty shit from people who I would have never thought would engage in petty shit to trust the vast majority of humanity not to get neck-deep in petty shit, if s/he felt like they were entitled to behave that way.

I may have written that a bit convolutedly. I hope it makes sense.

It made sense to me, since I feel the same way.

I had this discussion with Chops a while back - that, if he and Xena were to ever marry, it'd probably mean the end of our relationship (or, at the very least, change things up a LOT), and I had a lot of trouble explaining why. Basically, it boils down to wanting our relationship to cleanly and clearly stand on its own merits, and not be beholden to someone else's good will.

I don't think Xena would deny me deathbed access, for example, but I don't ever want to put myself in a position where that's even possible. People really can get shitty when you'd least expect them to, regardless of whether it's an end-of-life situation or not. Legally and socially, I wouldn't have a leg to stand on if it came to a conflict like this.

Contracts are good, but I remember reading somewhere (but can't cite a resource right now) that hospital workers can (and do) overlook a contract in favor of defined family roles. Whether it's legal or not isn't the point when determination comes too late, in court, after the moment has passed.

At least, if neither Xena nor I are married to Chops, then there isn't a default person for this role to go to. It's equally messy.

If poly marriage were legalized (in whatever form that would look like), would my outlook change? I don't know. Would I feel like a Chops/Xena marriage would push me into feeling like I needed to do the same, or get legally left out? Maybe.

At any rate, Chops has no desire to be married again anyway. We'll see what happens, but by then I'll probably be too old for this shit. ;)
 

nycindie

Active member
I got civil unioned* in my state . . .

(* I think that lack of a decent verb to describe "getting a civil union" is probably a good enough reason to keep using the word "marriage", tbh!)
You were "united." We could say legally united, which rolls off the tongue a bit better than civilly united.
 

River

Active member
:confused: Is that a common thing to say in English? I've never heard that phrase. (But I'll admit I'm neither a native speaker, nor do my cooking skills extend all that far beyond "throw a frozen pizza in the oven" :D)



Not quite. It's not as black and white as you're making it sound here.

My claim is that the word marriage has religious connotations, which a secular state cannot strip from it. This is provably true (as scientifically objectively as it gets), because religious marriage rites exist, and it's even a sacrament in Catholicism.



It can be used in a secular sense, yes, but that still constitutes making use of a word with religious connotations. And ever since the invention of civil unions - one of the best inventions of human culture in the last few decades, IYAM - use of that word has become unneccessary. To keep choosing a word with religious connotations for a legal procedure, when a word without such connotations has become freely available, is a conscious choice against a clear, firm separation of church and state.



Because that's not a claim I ever made... as such a claim would be silly and illogical. I may be silly at times, but not about Things That Matter. And I outright loathe being illogical. ;)

How about the word "sacred". Should secular people not use this word with purely secular intent?

I'm sure we can come up with a long list of words which religious people of various kinds and types would disapprove of when used in a secular context with a secular intent. After all, Western civilization was largely ruled over by the Catholic Church for ... how long? And modern secularism is quite a new thing, really.

It's only natural that secular folks would employ existing words to mean new, secular things. And I think it's asking too much when religious folks insist that only their uniquely religious use of our vocabulary is valid.

Y'know, I call myself a mystic all the time -- but I'm also a non-theist (almost an atheist, really). Now, most folks would think this is just simply nutty, but it's very real and meaningful for me, because my version of naturalism is not the modern version. I'm a mystical naturalist, and the whole universe, for me, is both replete with endless variety, diversity, distinctness ... and utterly unified and whole. An etymological dictionary will cue us in about the linguistic pathway which forever ties "whole" with "holy" -- or "divine".

In theist terms, I'm basically a pantheist. But because I choose non-theism as my conceptual and linguistic home base, I'll just call myself a mystical non-theist. No "god" is necessary in which the whole universe is "divine" and "holy".
 

Memorandum

New member
No. I don't believe that any religion owns a word.
Religion has their dirty little fingers stuck in almost everything these days. The 'motivated' ones (Dominionists/Reconstructionists) are the kind to take a mile when given an inch, not the other way around. They aren't getting much of their way anymore. So they show their true nature by throwing tantrums while playing the victim card.
We don't need two different names for the same thing.

But by all means continue thinking that I was being bitter. I read everything before I wrote that. Gosh forbid I don't like it when someone states in a matter-of-fact way, that I don't deserve the same things "normal" people have access to for no real reason. Other than "because religion" or my favorite code word for the same thing, "tradition". But those are merely excuses. Screw that mess.

Freedom of religion includes freedom from it. Free to practice their faith but that does not mean that they are free to legislate it as the law of the land. Which they are trying to do . Theists shouldn't be in charge of making sure church and state remain separate because they are continually trying to pass any and everything to the contrary. Or a good chunk being conveniently silent in complicity :rolleyes: .
 
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River

Active member
By one definition of "secular," we end up with something just as bad and ugly as religious bullies use to oppress people.

sec·u·lar
ˈsekyələr/Submit
adjective
1.
denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.
"secular buildings"
synonyms: nonreligious, areligious, lay, temporal, worldly, earthly, profane; formallaic
"secular music"

-- from a Google search. Emphasis added (mine).

-------------------


See what's happening here?! The implication is that "spiritual" is a word which is so kindred to "religious" that these two can and should be used interchangeably.

Sadly, dictionaries are about of this much use, generally -- which is to say that they are often just stupid.

... by which I mean that dictionaries very often treat the word "spiritual" as if it refers -- necessarily -- to things non-material, or things the natural sciences show no interest in, ... imaginary things like pink flying unicorns. Sheesh!

E.g.,

spir·it·u·al
ˈspiriCH(əw)əl/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.


See what I mean!

What trash. What garbage.

"Dictionaries" (defined): "Dusty old books lacking in any real world knowledge of the usage of words in the contemporary setting. Stodgy tomes meant to perpetuate outmoded linguistic structures, such as those concepts which necessitate the radical segregation of spirit and matter. Also see: ontological backwardness.


Those who are perplexed by my offense at these outmoded dictionary definitions may want to explore here.: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74606

Here's a source which at least acknowledges how diverse the word "spiritual" is in contemporary usage.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality
 
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InsaneMystic

New member
How about the word "sacred". Should secular people not use this word with purely secular intent?
I can't even imagine a secular intent on the word "sacred", any more than "priest", "sin", etc.

So, obviously I strongly oppose the use of these words in legal documents.

You're spot on that "mystic" and "spiritual" don't equal religion. But still, these words, too, don't ever belong in any official legal document of a secular state, period.


Freedom of religion includes freedom from it. Free to practice their faith but that does not mean that they are free to legislate it as the law of the land. Which they are trying to do . Theists shouldn't be in charge of making sure church and state remain separate because they are continually trying to pass any and everything to the contrary. Or a good chunk being conveniently silent in complicity :rolleyes: .
Oh please, as if atheists weren't at least as bad. Honestly, I've seen far more atheists argue against secularity and freedom of religion than theists who did so... to the point that I consider it simply common sense to distrust atheists as preachy and anti-freedom until proven otherwise.

A good many do prove otherwise (nothing demonstrates this better than the fact that I've been in a happy relationship with a lovely and reasonable atheist gal for well over six years, in which neither of us ever even thought of trying to convert the other). But by far most of the vocal atheists, especially on the internet, don't. They're birds of a feather to the most rabid and hateful Westboro Baptist troll, and they have to be kept an eye on so their ideologies never become the basis for running a country, lest everyone's freedom be lost.
 

River

Active member

I can't even imagine a secular intent on the word "sacred", any more than "priest", "sin", etc.


" ... inspiring awe or reverence ... " - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred


Reverence (/ˈrɛvərəns/) is "a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration" ...

Reverence (emotion)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverence_(emotion)

Curiously enough, if one uses Wikipedia as a guide, "reverence" becomes "deference" when shifted from an "emotion" to an "attitude".:

Deference
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Reverence (attitude))
"Deferential" and "Submission" redirect here. Not to be confused with Difference (disambiguation) or Differential (disambiguation). For the legal doctrine, see Judicial deference. For other uses, see Submission (disambiguation).
"Reverence (attitude)" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Reverence (emotion).

An Iraqi woman shows deference by kissing the boots of a Royal Marine in Umm Qasr, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 24 March 2003.
Deference (also called submission or passivity) is the condition of submitting to the espoused, legitimate influence of one's superior or superiors.[1] Deference implies a yielding or submitting to the judgment of a recognized superior out of respect or reverence. Deference has been studied extensively by political scientists, sociologists, and psychologists.
-- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deference

This fact only shows that Wikipedia, for all of its general usefulness and accuracy, is not generally better than most dictionaries, etc., as a guide to understanding contemporary English usage.

Fortunately, the perplexed have the American Heritige Dictionary.:

noun
1.
a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.
2.
the outward manifestation of this feeling:
to pay reverence.
3.
a gesture indicative of deep respect; an obeisance, bow, or curtsy.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reverence


By the AHD definition (Which certainly works for me), deference is NOT what is at the heart of reverence (or sacredness). Instead, "deep respect tinged with awe" is.

Such respect and awe has no direct dependency upon ANY religion, philosophy or ideology. It may thus be described in either secular or religious terms.

Non-religious (i.e., e.g., "secular" nations often have their own cultural sense of the "sacred," in which non-religious places, statues (e.g., the Statue of Liberty), documents (e.g., the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence)... are held as "sacred".

Regardless of their religious or non-religious views, billions of people hold life itself to be sacred.

Many millions take The Grand Canyon and other places to be sacred, sublime, even holy.

The point -- again -- is that no single religious viewpoint has a monopoly on what is holy or sacred, or how we are to use the words in our common human vocabulary.

... So much is this so to me that I conceded that I had lost the argument for using "monogamism" as an analogue with racism, sexism, speciesism, ageism etc. (in these very fora). ... because there are canoeists, bicyclists and pianists who are simply not ideologues, but merely enthusiasts.

;)
 

River

Active member
... (nothing demonstrates this better than the fact that I've been in a happy relationship with a lovely and reasonable atheist gal for well over six years, in which neither of us ever even thought of trying to convert the other).
__________________

Single since Feb 6th 2015. Unlikely to be in a relationship again any time soon, if ever.

:confused:

So, you and she parted ways roughly on Feb 6th 2015?
 
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River

Active member
For a Secular Sacredness
by Régis Debray
http://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_MEDIU_006_0003--for-a-secular-sacredness.htm


Debray says,

"... But make no mistake: a purely juridical secularism that ignores any meta-juridical sacredness would not last long. Because we have to want the consequences of what we want: if we want a minimal, weak state, reduced to the sovereign acquisitions of civil security, then we must also want a strong clergy, with strict confessional norms and closed religious communities (backed by powerful economic mafias). There is a teeter-totter between the spiritual and the temporal, between meaning-makers and power-holders. To simplify: strong State, weak clergy. Strong clergy, weak State."

I completely disagree with Debray on in this excerpt for the same reason I disagree with Thomas Hobbes' notion that in "the pure state of nature" ... "the natural condition of mankind" would best be described in the Latin phrase bellum omnium contra omnes (meaning war of all against all).

For Hobbes, as with Debray (apparently), only "The State" or "The Clergy" prevents "weakness" (and debauchery?) from running rampant, destroying all good things. That is, in "the natural state" (not the political state) "mere anarchy is loosed upon the world" (Yeats). Anarchy, then, is seen as a "power vacuum" and a power vacuum, according to Debray, must be filled, for "Nature abhors a vacuum" (Aristotle).

All of this drifts into further confusion. Debray apparently sees Clergy and State as the counterpoising necessaries (and fundamental essences) of human existence. I see both as the truly weak entities, with genuine human community as our true and best strength, our sacred potential. Our strength as humans is not power; and the absence of power-over-others is not a power vacuum -- nor weakness -- but true strength.

Someone ought to point out that there is chaos and then there is chaos. One is weak and the other is strong. One is good and the other is ill.
 
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InsaneMystic

New member
:confused:

So, you and she parted ways roughly on Feb 6th 2015?
Yes, sadly. For reasons unrelated to anything in this thread, and I still consider her a pretty awesome and reasonable person.


(Gonna read that last essay later on, don't have my mind free for long texts ATM. *bookmarks*)
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
My claim is that the word marriage has religious connotations, which a secular state cannot strip from it. This is provably true (as scientifically objectively as it gets), because religious marriage rites exist, and it's even a sacrament in Catholicism.

InsaneMystic - I'm sorry, I usually agree with some thread of your arguments but I think that you are really off base here. The "concept" of marriage pre-dates Catholoicsm (and most "modern" religions).

A Really Stupid Analogy: The concept of the bicycle has been around for a while (since 1817 at least - earliest, maybe, 1493). At some point we achieve the "modern" bicycle and avid enthusiasts call themselves "cyclists". Fine. Good.

At some point in the future - some religious sect decides that cycling is "the one true path". It is a "rite" of the religion, the pathway to enlightenment, a sacred physical covenant. Followers call themselves "Cyclists". The movement takes hold, more and more people identify themselves as "Cyclists". THEN they decide that "cyclist" is a "religious" term and ONLY those that are "Cyclists" in the religious sense have the right to call themselves that - because THEY are the only one that REALLY KNOWS what being a "cyclist" means.

Everyone else should, now, re-define the word "cyclist" to take into account the fact that there is this religion that views "cycling" as a religious rite. So the people, who formerly identified themselves as cyclists, now have to use a different term so as not to confuse the issue. They are now "bicycle enthusiasts" - or IMPOSTERS!

Yes, this is a semantic argument (from my viewpoint). Yes, I want government OUT of the marriage business entirely. But the secular history of the concept of marriage is older than the modern religious appropriation of the concept. So, why are you so insistent that the "Johnny-come-lately" religious definitions hold such a powerful hold on the concept?
 

InsaneMystic

New member
Because the question which meaning is older is completely irrelevant.

It's a well known and undeniable fact that the religious meaning exists. Noone sane, informed, and reasonable can argue otherwise. And this fact makes every use of the word have undeniable religious connotations.

And I stand by saying that if a state uses words with undeniable religious connotations in their legal documents, it puts the secularity of that state in question, especially when an alternative word - in this case, civil union - is readily available.


In the made-up scenario you spoke of - yes, in this hypothetical world I would most certainly oppose the use of the word "cyclist" in state documents (I don't know how many legal texts would even use the word in the first place - which is actually the weakest point in your allegory ;)). If a religious community called "Cyclists" exists, then the state should definitely. insistently and consistently replace the term "cyclist" with something like "bicycle rider" in all legal texts. If they don't do that, it fails to hold up to the degree of separation of church and state that I very strongly wish for.

To turn your example around into the question I have already asked Argo before (which they as yet declined to answer): Would you have any problem at all with the penal code being renamed into "The Grand Catechism of Sins", judges into "sacred high inquisitors", and defendants into "suspected heretics", if these words got used in a fully secular context and the court procedures stayed exactly the same as they are today?

I suspect that a lot of people who are arguing that "marriage can totally be secular with no religious connotations" would absolutely have a problem with that scenario. I consider their stance hypocritical, and lacking in consistent logic: they should most definitely not have any problem with such terminology used in coutrooms, as long as "sin", "catechism", "heretic" etc. are used in a fully secular context.

Of course, I would object to these renamings for the exact same reason I object against the legal concept of marriage in a secular state - that the religious connotations of these terms are undeniably there, no matter the context. That is why my logic is consistent.
 

Argonaut

New member

It's a well known and undeniable fact that the religious meaning exists. Noone sane, informed, and reasonable can argue otherwise. And this fact makes every use of the word have undeniable religious connotations.
To make it short; here is where you logic fails. Every use of the word does not have religious connotations.

You might see it in every use but to see it every time one needs "religious spectacles". To demand everyone to have them is denying freedom of religion.

To demand a state not to use it in legislation is giving religion a "territory" that it rightfully does not deserve. In the long run acting like you demand will put the secular idea in the fringe of human society while "religious world" has taken all the "territory".
 
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InsaneMystic

New member
I simply don't understand your reasoning, Argo.

I'm campaigning to strengthen freedom of religion, not to reduce it. I'm aiming to expand secularity, not put it on the fringe of society. It appears to me that you simply do not understand either of these concepts.

And yes, the word marriage does have very obvious religious connotations, which will be present in every use of the word. That is not open to opinion, it is a fact. Some people trying to blindly and arbitrarily ignore these connotations does not magically make them disappear. You, yourself keep admitting that these connotations are there, in one sentence, then willfully pretend they're not in the next. That is the opposite of logical, consistent argumentation.

And of course, you still failed to answer my question: Would you, personally, have a problem with the words "heretic, do you confess to your sins?" used by a judge in a secular courtroom, in a purely non-religious context? And if so, what is your logic in your complaint against their use?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
If a civil union is as good a marriage, why didn't homosexuals and their supporters settle for it?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Do people need a religious connotation because it seems more romantic that way?

I'm not even sure 100% separation of church and state is needed to protect our freedoms. I think it depends on the specific reasons for a particular admixture. I'll accept governmental usage of the word "marriage" as long as I'm satisfied with the reason for the admixture.

And who knows who used the actual word marriage first? According to Wiktionary the word didn't exist prior to Middle English, though Old French and Latin had earlier versions of it.
 
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