SCOTUS ruling

JessicaBurde

New member
Re: the history of marriage, debate and associated insanity...

It is perhaps worth noting that until somewhere between the 16th and 18th centuries (depending on country), marriage didn't necessarily involve church OR state. Two people declared they were married, and they were married. Around 1200 the Catholic church said "Well, it's only a real marriage if a priest announces it" so two people would declare they were married, and the priest would announce it (NOT officiate it). It wasn't until 15-something that the Catholic Church said that marriage HAD to have a priest officiate, by which point a whole bunch of Protestants were running around Europe telling the Pope "Uh, fuck you, your rules don't apply to us." At the same time, in Catholic countries (which for most of Europe at the time meant "countries with a Catholic ruler"--see the Treaty of Ausberg) the C. Church's degree automatically became state law because, ya know, separation between church and state wasn't a thing yet.

England only outlawed self declared marriage in the early 1800s if I remember correctly.

So if we're going to be nitpicky, marriage didn't originate with the church or the state, both institutions used their authority to appropriate a rite between two people.
 
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Argonaut

New member
@InsaneMystic
I was not going to write more but you specificly asked for an answer. So be it...
Freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. Noone but religions alone should have the authority to choose what terms they use. The state must not ever meddle there.

The state can easily give the term up, with freedom being left intact. Making religions give the term up is dictatorial oppression, basically equalling theocracy.

You have made your point clear as water: Give religions what ever territory they want, others should retreat and be happy with what is left after that. Everyone has to bow the Mighty Religion! :D

Now I have the freedom of religion to marry a person without anyone forcing me to mix religion into it. You are trying to reduce my freedom by forcing some "religious connotation" to every ones marriages by trying to make religion a part of the words literal meaning.

One dictionary explains connotation as:
"an idea or feeling which a word invokes for a person in addition to its literal or primary meaning."

I simply don't understand your reasoning, Argo.
Argo? Do you mean me or do we have a member namer Argo? OK, Insane, I quess it's me. :)

Well, you will never understand the reasoning if you don't learn what is the difference between "a hard fact" and "an opinion".


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.
Well, they say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
There is a lot of things in this world I do not understand but I still would recommend you to check your aim-point. As I said earlier, you are just working towards "more territory to the religion". If secularity is giving religion everything it wants including the power to deny non-believers rights, as you demand, then I admit I do not understand the concept.

About fact and opinion:

And yes, the word marriage does have very obvious religious connotations,
I agree, this is a fact, if you ad the word "sometimes" after the word "does". If you do not ad the word there someone might think there is the word "always".

But:
which will be present in every use of the word. That is not open to opinion, it is a fact.
This is a mere opinion.
Your pit-hole seems to be that because your "religious feelings" (or whatever you want to call them) dictate there being always a religious connotation for you, you feel that it is the same for everyone, everywhere, every time, and every case. But this is just your opinion, not a fact. Not even if there has been the Holy Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church since the 16th century (Well, they claim it to be from the first century but...). The civil marriage without any religious connection does exist.

I think your opinion contradicts quite many anthropologists and linguistics opinions too. You are free to take this as an opinion, not a fact, I do not have the energy to search the proof.

Some people trying to blindly and arbitrarily ignore these connotations does not magically make them disappear.
Someone trying to blindly and arbitrarily ignore the lack of that said connotation in some other contexts does not magically put it to be there.
You see? Opinion against opinion. No hard facts anywhere. The scenery might change when some linguistic or anthropologist begins to study it. The marriage is not only theology, as you insist it to be.


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.
Well, do you know what mean words like: "always, sometimes, every time, can be, in some contexts, never, (and so on...)"? Sometimes they are the key words to understanding.


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?
I do have a problem with your artificial redefinitions of words here. Exactly the same problem that I have with your redefining of the word "marriage".

Well, a small detour: Heresy is mainly a state of mind, not necessarily doing anything. Yes, I would have a complaint if anyone would be even sued of a mere mindset without any crimes done.

I think you just made a sin here. (Sin as not hitting the Gold, the centre of the target, with your arrow.) If you insist to think so, you are free to think you also made a sin against some god (maybe the God of Logic?), it is totally up to you. Just as it earlier came up the "marry the spices" has the divine connotation only in your mid, or does it? It is after all "marriage" (the same word), isn't it?
The changing of the name of "the bond" from marriage to civil union does not change "the bond" from being a marriage, that is "the holy matrimony" for some ones and "a civil marriage" for others.

Insane, I see no meaning to continue this debate with you, it would be insane. Everything you say to be a fact seems to be based on your above mentioned "religious bridge" over the logical pit-hole of yours.
You are, of course, entitled to your opinions and religious feelings.
But:
If you say: "To me marriage is always a religious bond", so be it.
If you say: "It is a fact that marriage is always and everywhere a religious bond (and it is foolish to say anything else)", you make a logical mistake (and are not so polite).

I hope you do have the guts to stop for a while and think this over. If not, I do hope that you do not have any political or legislative power where ever you do live.

Well, when everything has been said there has usually been said too much....
 

InsaneMystic

New member
@Argo...

Completely missing the point, as usual. But I guess you're a lost cause for logical argumentation - you've made your mind up about who you think I am, no matter much much you need to misrepresent and twist what I'm saying, in order to fit into your ideological dogma about the world.

I'm through with trying to reason with people like you. I'll just oppose it if and when your ideology drives you to try and legislate freedom and secularity away, as you seem so keen on doing. Until that day - which I surely hope will never come, as I trust more reasonable people than you will prevail in the realm of legislation - I bid you farewell.

*uses Ignore function*
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I think I get what Argo was saying. Not everyone, when they hear the word marriage, thinks, "Oh ... religion." At least not every time.

What about the idea of doing away with the word marriage altogether? The government could have civil unions, and religions could have sacred unions.

With the consent of the various churches of course.

Re: dyadic marriage ... I can't think of any reason why that wouldn't work. I like that it simplifies things.

Re (from JessicaBurde):
"Re: why didn't LGBT accept civil unions ... because the Supreme Court decided 'separate but equal' is a piece of shit argument 50 years ago?"

Okay that makes sense.

So, is the solution to use "civil union" for different-sex marriage as well as same-sex marriage?

Re (from JessicaBurde):
"So if we're going to be nitpicky, marriage didn't originate with the church or the state, both institutions used their authority to appropriate a rite between two people."

Hmmm, good point ...
 

River

Active member
What about the idea of doing away with the word marriage altogether? The government could have civil unions, and religions could have sacred unions.

Not a good idea, as millions and millions (hundreds of millions) of married non-religious people have been using the word "marriage" (and "husband, wife, spouse) about their relationships for centuries. Now suddenly you have religious people crying fowl because gay people are getting married?! Sheesh. :rolleyes:

Just imagine a (purely fictional) day when suddenly the government decides to legally change how we use the word "marriage" (... spouse, husband, wife...), relegating the word to religious authorities! You really think that will fly?
 
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River

Active member
Freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. Noone but religions alone should have the authority to choose what terms they use. The state must not ever meddle there.

The state can easily give the term up, with freedom being left intact. Making religions give the term up is dictatorial oppression, basically equalling theocracy.

What if we shifted the words around the other way, with "the state" replacing "religion" and vice versa.

Why would this argument (as restated) be less valid than the previous one?
 

River

Active member
So if we're going to be nitpicky, marriage didn't originate with the church or the state, both institutions used their authority to appropriate a rite between two people.

Thanks for bringing some informed historical perspective to this, Jessica! This seems to me to remove any footing whatsoever for ... well, all kinds of arguments not so informed by history.

Nowadays, in most places, we have this distinction between three kinds of marriage, each with their own kind of legitimacy (perhaps): a. legal marraige, b. religious marriarge, c. marriage. In item the third, c, whomever declares themselves married is married -- though, of course, this has little or nothing to do with insurance, hospital visitation rights, inheritance, etc. And it is this legal contract which ultimately was at the heart of the political fight which eventuated in the recent US Supreme Court decision. Still, each of these three, a, b and c played a crucial role in that fight / debate.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re (from River):
"What if we shifted the words around the other way, with 'the state' replacing 'religion' and vice versa."

Good point. Why can't the government keep the word marriage, while the churches pick some other term, such as "holy union" or something like that?

I have to say that I doubt people are going to be willing to call any marriage something other than marriage, even if it's in the interest of separating church and state. People are too darn comfortable with the way it is. So while it may sound nice in theory ... I mean sheesh, just think of how long it took to make SSM stick!

Either it'll never happen, or it'll take (at least) hundreds or (more likely) thousands of years. That's my estimate.
 

InsaneMystic

New member
What about the idea of doing away with the word marriage altogether? The government could have civil unions, and religions could have sacred unions.

With the consent of the various churches of course.
That's the problem. If even a single religion says no, then that's the end of the discussion. They have every right to overrule the state on it at a moment's notice.

So, is the solution to use "civil union" for different-sex marriage as well as same-sex marriage?
Yes, of course. There's absolutely no justification for the state using different words (and thus, different laws) for them depending on the sex/gender of the participants. That would at best be unneccessary, and at worst just a loophole allowing for discrimination. No me gusta.


Not a good idea, as millions and millions (hundreds of millions) of married non-religious people have been using the word "marriage" (and "husband, wife, spouse) about their relationships for centuries. Now suddenly you have religious people crying fowl because gay people are getting married?! Sheesh. :rolleyes:

Just imagine a (purely fictional) day when suddenly the government decides to legally change how we use the word "marriage" (... spouse, husband, wife...), relegating the word to religious authorities! You really think that will fly?
Yes, I think it will, unless people are much more childishly stupid than I think they are. And I absolutely think secularity is worth it.

Let's just look at it with a clear, objective eye:

The previously married people who now no longer are married - i.e., those who did not have a religious rite, because everyone who did have a priest, rabbi etc. involved will of course still be married - will get over it soon enough, especially as the civil union that will replace their previously-known-as-marriages in the eye of the law will give them the exact same legal rights and benefits it did before the renaming, and the exact same legal rights as their neighbors who got married in a church and got a civil union in a public office...

...and a shitload more of legal benefits than the neighbors on the other side of the street, who got married in a church (which required no license by the state whatsoever, of course) but decided against a civil union, and as a result, now have no legal benefits whatsoever - their relationship is not in any way recognized by the state, for whom they rate as singles just as they did before getting that religious rite.


What if we shifted the words around the other way, with "the state" replacing "religion" and vice versa.

Why would this argument (as restated) be less valid than the previous one?
These two options are worlds apart, and it baffles me that you don't see it. One is oppressively anti-secular, while the other is freedom in action.

Your "flipped around" version would give someone - in all likelihood, the state - the power to decree what religions call their rites. That is an absolute no-go in a secular state; in the US, the 1st Amd protects religions from such interference by the state. Religions have full and absolute autonomy over it, with the state being constitutionally forbidden to meddle.

The state can, however, at any time decide to use a different term itself for its legal texts. That is perfectly in accordance with secularity and freedom. Any renaming must be on the side of the state, because that is the only available solution if we don't want to create a mandatory state religion (and fuck no to the latter, from my side, no matter which religion it is, and yes, that most definitely includes atheism).

If you're ready to abandon freedom of religion and sep.o.ch.&st., it becomes pure entitled hypocrisy to complain when laws get made according to [Holy Book XYZ]. If someone supports anti-secular oppression, then they should by all means be humble enough to accept that they themselves may be the ones who end up being oppressed, and stop whining about it. That's just fair and rational.

Whether the state can command religions to change their rites, or a religion can dictate the law text - it's literally the same situation and does not make any difference to me. I cannot understand why any reasonable person would prefer one over the other (unless they have a vested ideological interest, in which case they're simply not arguing rationally).


People are too darn comfortable with the way it is.
Eh, people were damn comfortable for millennia with marriage being "one man, one woman", too. In light of recent events, I think you're underestimating people's potential for change. ;)

 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Depends on the nature of the change proposed. SSM is a change the unwashed masses can easily grasp, even if some don't like it. Renaming what the government does: If the argument for it were as simple as that, don't you think it'd be getting a warmer reception in this thread? Polyamorists of all people should be eager to embrace a change for the better.
 

InsaneMystic

New member
I think it's down to a lot of people - especially if they're atheists/non-religious/anti-religious - completely misunderstanding what secularity means, and thus not supporting it even if they claim to do so.

Call me too optimistic, but I do think that can be fixed by education in many cases (even though a few will, of course, remain a lost cause, as their ideology is too strong).

And as for the unwashed masses - once they realize they have the exact same rights and benefits as before, and just a few more options to choose from, they'll become complacent again... give or take a generation. ;)
 

River

Active member
These two options are worlds apart, and it baffles me that you don't see it. One is oppressively anti-secular, while the other is freedom in action.

Your "flipped around" version would give someone - in all likelihood, the state - the power to decree what religions call their rites. That is an absolute no-go in a secular state; in the US, the 1st Amd protects religions from such interference by the state. Religions have full and absolute autonomy over it, with the state being constitutionally forbidden to meddle.

The state can, however, at any time decide to use a different term itself for its legal texts. That is perfectly in accordance with secularity and freedom. Any renaming must be on the side of the state, because that is the only available solution if we don't want to create a mandatory state religion (and fuck no to the latter, from my side, no matter which religion it is, and yes, that most definitely includes atheism).

If you're ready to abandon freedom of religion and sep.o.ch.&st., it becomes pure entitled hypocrisy to complain when laws get made according to [Holy Book XYZ]. If someone supports anti-secular oppression, then they should by all means be humble enough to accept that they themselves may be the ones who end up being oppressed, and stop whining about it. That's just fair and rational.

Whether the state can command religions to change their rites, or a religion can dictate the law text - it's literally the same situation and does not make any difference to me. I cannot understand why any reasonable person would prefer one over the other (unless they have a vested ideological interest, in which case they're simply not arguing rationally).[/COLOR][/FONT]


Eh, people were damn comfortable for millennia with marriage being "one man, one woman", too. In light of recent events, I think you're underestimating people's potential for change. ;)


This all sounds really weird to me, even confused. At the present moment in the USA, marriage has at least three meanings, not one.

(a) legal marriage
(b) religious marriage
(c) neither -- just marriage

I myself am not married in sense (a) or (b), but am married in sense (c). Neither the state nor any church can tell me I'm NOT MARRIED, as neither the church nor the state OWNS the word in its fourth sense, which is "any of a, b or c.

It sounds to me that you want there to be a single meaning for "marriage" and not all three or four. And this seems to me like saying "only maples and never oaks are trees".

There appear to be LOTS of ways in which people can be married, and what's wrong with that? How does this fact constitute an infringement of religious freedom, secular separation of church and state, etc.?

You seem to want to police the use of a word in ways other than legal usage, but I doubt it is either (a) necessary, (b) useful or even (c) possible. Those who are married in my sense (c) -- neither legally nor religiously -- will simply go on calling themselves married without interest or concern for church OR state. Our usage of the word is neither in error, invalid or illegal. No decree by church OR state can change that.

Besides, because there are perhaps ten thousand religions in the world, anyone who wants to get married can go to any of the churches which do that and get married in the religious sense of the word, so there's no putting things back in a box in which those things never were fitted in the first place.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I've had mixed feelings about marriage per se for some 15 years and counting ... so, I am content to sit back and watch what happens during what years I have left. I do like SSM just for the acceptance it represents.

Re: being atheist ... raises hand; "Guilty." And more importantly, I also believe there's no such thing as a soul or an afterlife. [shrug] It is what it is.

I'm kind of in agreement with River, in the sense that I consider government and religion both to be authoritarian monoliths. But I suppose separating them is a way of limiting their collective power?

What about the terms, "civil marriage," "sacred marriage," and "personal marriage?" It would be a step forward for the government to concede that marriage-like ceremonies like handfastings are legal even if they unite more than two people.

Not that churches (or individuals) should be forced to call their unions this or that, just that certain terms can rise into popular usage, so that they become commonly understood.
 

InsaneMystic

New member
This all sounds really weird to me, even confused. At the present moment in the USA, marriage has at least three meanings, not one.

(a) legal marriage
(b) religious marriage
(c) neither -- just marriage

I myself am not married in sense (a) or (b), but am married in sense (c). Neither the state nor any church can tell me I'm NOT MARRIED, as neither the church nor the state OWNS the word in its fourth sense, which is "any of a, b or c.

It sounds to me that you want there to be a single meaning for "marriage" and not all three or four. And this seems to me like saying "only maples and never oaks are trees".

There appear to be LOTS of ways in which people can be married, and what's wrong with that? How does this fact constitute an infringement of religious freedom, secular separation of church and state, etc.?
[...]
Those who are married in my sense (c) -- neither legally nor religiously -- will simply go on calling themselves married without interest or concern for church OR state. Our usage of the word is neither in error, invalid or illegal. No decree by church OR state can change that.
Well, yes. But in sense (c), gay marriage has been legal in the US ever since the signing of the Bill of Rights. I think we can safely consider that such old news that it doesn't even warrant discussion anymore.

No matter if you privately call whatever you have "marriage", "partnership", "civil union", or "daisy moo cow", it's irrelevant - that's a question of freedom of speech, whereas I'm talking of freedom of religion (of which sep.o.ch.&st. is a component).

You seem to want to police the use of a word in ways other than legal usage, but I doubt it is either (a) necessary, (b) useful or even (c) possible.
No, the legal usage is the only one I want to "police"... by outlawing it. Words with religious connotations simply should not ever be used as legal terms.

Besides, because there are perhaps ten thousand religions in the world, anyone who wants to get married can go to any of the churches which do that and get married in the religious sense of the word, so there's no putting things back in a box in which those things never were fitted in the first place.
Erm. That's exactly the "box" I'm talking about. All of these meanings would be religious, none of them secular/legal. This would, indeed, be the perfect situation I have in mind - every religion defining marriage (including the question who gets access to it and who doesn't), by themselves and only for its own adherents, with the state forever completely staying silent on the matter of all of them, as marriage - like any other religious rite - is none of the state's concerns, no matter which religion we're talking about.


E.T.A.:
By the way, meaning (c) simply doesn't exist in Germany/in the use of modern German. "Ehe" - marriage - means you signed a contract in an office, and/or got a blessing by a priest/rabbi/whatever.It's simply not used in a way different from either of these two meanings.
 
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River

Active member
@Argo...

Completely missing the point, as usual. But I guess you're a lost cause for logical argumentation - you've made your mind up about who you think I am, no matter much much you need to misrepresent and twist what I'm saying, in order to fit into your ideological dogma about the world.

I'm through with trying to reason with people like you. I'll just oppose it if and when your ideology drives you to try and legislate freedom and secularity away, as you seem so keen on doing. Until that day - which I surely hope will never come, as I trust more reasonable people than you will prevail in the realm of legislation - I bid you farewell.

*uses Ignore function*

Huh? Now I'm very confused! How is it that you arrive at "I guess you're a lost cause for logical argumentation?" This is just nutty, as far as I can see.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
So ... marriages, civil unions, and ... what would we typically call it if it's done with neither church nor state? Since the word marriage is already used religiously, it confuses things to also use it privately, don't you think?
 

InsaneMystic

New member
Huh? Now I'm very confused! How is it that you arrive at "I guess you're a lost cause for logical argumentation?" This is just nutty, as far as I can see.
Repeatedly twisting my words, repeated condescension in a "more rational than thou" tone, complete stubborn ignorance of verifiable facts, and clearly having some kind of ideologically toned picture of me that they refuse to reality check.

I can't tell for sure what the reasons for this behavior are - I have theories, but mentioning them out loud would just pour fuel into the flames... but whatever the reason may be, Argo is very obviously refusing to have a neutral, reasonable discussion with me, so I won't waste further time on treating them as an equal. They're not. And their "argumentation" style is radically different from other people - like you - who disagree with me, but continue the argument in a logical, respectful manner. That's why you aren't on my Ignore list, but a hopeless case like Argo is.


So ... marriages, civil unions, and ... what would we typically call it if it's done with neither church nor state? Since the word marriage is already used religiously, it confuses things to also use it privately, don't you think?
As I said, who cares? You're not a state, after all... meaning you are free to use words with religious connotations as much or as little as you wish. :D
 

River

Active member

Well, yes. But in sense (c), gay marriage has been legal in the US ever since the signing of the Bill of Rights. I think we can safely consider that such old news that it doesn't even warrant discussion anymore.


Um. The Lawrence v. Texas decision was made in 2003.

Your history books are quite dusty.

Yes, there are gay men who happen to be asexuals (as they have same sex romantic attraction without same-sex sexual desire), but so freaking what? You want to make a thing about it?

Yes, marriage is not about sex, per se. Okay. Alright. But same sex SEX in the USA was not LEGAL until Lawrence v. Texas. -- and for all intents and purposes, gay men (and sometimes women too) existed in a legal and political nightmare.

Dust off your history books.
 

InsaneMystic

New member
Um. The Lawrence v. Texas decision was made in 2003.

Your history books are quite dusty.

Yes, there are gay men who happen to be asexuals (as they have same sex romantic attraction without same-sex sexual desire), but so freaking what? You want to make a thing about it?

Yes, marriage is not about sex, per se. Okay. Alright. But same sex SEX in the USA was not LEGAL until Lawrence v. Texas. -- and for all intents and purposes, gay men (and sometimes women too) existed in a legal and political nightmare.

Dust off your history books.
What does that have to do with anything? You were talking about private persons using the word "marriage" in a way that is neither legal nor religious. the relevant legal decision there isn't Lawrence vs. Texas, but the Bill of Rights.

The question about whether "sodomy" is a crime or not is an entire different pair of shoes and has nothing to do with it.
 
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