Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Why is it that some people believe marriage "has no meaning outside of religion"?

I'm agnostic. My fiance was Christian, but he's currently re-examining that. We're getting married this summer, and it means everything to us. It means a great deal to our family and friends. And legally, it means something significant to us as well.

I'm often disappointed and saddened (also a tad offended) when I hear or see people that marriage is meaningless without religion. To me, it's a complete disregard for the love two human beings feel for each other (just because the don't follow a religion).

So, why do people believe or say this? Do they understand the consequences of their harsh words? Isn't this the opposite of what religion teaches (you know, that whole love thing)?

Source of the quotation was the tenth answer down. In my time on Answers, I have seen this said repeatedly by many people.


I know it doesn't matter. I just want to understand how someone can profess to be a believer in a religion that says love is its focus, yet they spew such hurtful, hateful drivel.

Update 2:

"That you promise to be with her, unless you happen to change your mind, in which case you are willing to split your stuff 50/50 ? (or perhaps screw each other over with Lawyers so that neither of you get anything)..."

Why do you assume so much? First, I'm female. Secondly, my fiance and I waited a very long time and made a very careful decision because we are both vehemently opposed to divorce. Neither of our sets of parents are divorced, and my parents in particular weathered infidelity and children born of that infidelity.

I still believe in commitment. Do you?

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    My husband and I are also both agnostic and get the same thing. Usually a bit offended that people think you can't have love and commitment without religion of some sort.

    If you couldn't have love and commitment without religion, then we wouldn't have legal marriages at courthouses.

    I've seen this said m'self, both on here, and in the news and in my life away from the internet, particularly in my small hometown where most people are white and largely Christian. People feel you can't have a meaningful marriage without God, to the point that some people won't even consider a marriage a true marriage if it wasn't in a church.

    It bothers me a fair bit that people believe this, as if people who don't have a religion can't feel love or aren't worthy of it, and it's just not true. I don't know why people say such rubbish, except perhaps they simply think religion is the only thing that counts. If it's not been said religiously, then it's a lie or "evil" or "wrong" and therefore, unworthy of being recognized.

    Love has nothing to do with religion. People love who they love and there's nothing religious about it. If it did, then it'd be safe to say that there would be less divorce amongst religious folks, would it not?

  • 1 decade ago

    These are the same people who don't realize that the "right" to marry for love is actually a recent historical phenomenon. Using the vows under the eyes of god was meant to keep people in an arranged, and usually loveless marriage faithful to each other.

    They also don't realize that in the 1870s 95% of marriages were done in a church, under the eyes of god, but 1 in 14 of those marriages ended in divorce; in the western US during that time, laws had to be created regarding abandonment - for the spouses that left and never came back . that's not reflected in divorce rates, because there never was a divorce granted - just papers of abandonment after 5 years, then 3 years.

    is walking away and abandoning the family better? Not in my book.

    Your marriage is based in love - and if it is a true love, such as your is, Grit, then it will withstand time, age, illness - all tha hardships of life.

    MY marriage - my wedding - was purely secular - and we've survived hard times and good times without it wavering. THAT is far from meaningless.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, first off, the person who answered that was LDS, and they have a whole different slant on marriage. Marriage is a commitment between two people to be with each other for life. Religion can help to strengthen the bond, but it doesn't change the commitment those people have. That is up to them. I can see how you would be offended! It's pretty pretentious to think that your marriage is more valid because of your religion, I think. When I studied my church doctrine, I was interested to see that marriage is not a sacrament. Only baptism and communion are, and that is backed up by scripture. If you believe in God, you believe he will bless and help your marriage, but it's still a commitment between two people. <*)))><

  • 1 decade ago

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that marriage is perfectly worthy on its own, without reference to religion or the celestial dictator(s) that religions seek to worship. The individual who made the comment stating that marriage has no meaning outside of religion is either very sheltered, and has not experienced the close bond many secular couples have, or they are just bigoted because of their religious indoctrination.

    Furthermore, I’ve always wondered how those individual’s spouses perceive them, if they make such a view public. When you think about it, such a perspective is quite insulting to their spouse and their marriage. What such individuals are implying is that if the maxims of their chosen religion were not true, they would not stay with the individual they are currently with. Put another way, these people, who hold that marriage has no meaning outside of religion, are essentially saying that they stay with their spouse because of the rules of religion, and not because of the inherent worth of their spouse.

    Now, look at the flip side of the coin. When a secularist gets married, and stays married, he is not doing it because of the threat of hellfire or because an omnipotent intimidating deity is forcing him to stay with his mate, but he instead stays with his spouse, and finds his marriage of value because of the beauty, intelligence, loyalty, and love of the other person. What could be more flattering and noble than this?

    It really comes down to which view uplifts love the most. To me the verdict is quite clear. The secular position is more representative of true love, than the religious one, which seems to state that marriage is a burdensome obligation that one is forced to stay in because of a divine mandate.

    I do wish you the best on your marriage, and don’t listen to the religious bigots who seek to demean your marriage just because it is not grounded in a fantasy. If these people need an imaginary being to compel them to stay in their marriage, maybe they shouldn’t be married in the first place.

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  • 4 years ago

    Like many words in our own language, a singular word often has multiple meanings. While many may argue over Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and dictionary, I still prefer it for some of the simpler tasks, like seeing what the original word used to translate into an English words means or meant. In this case, I looked up fornication and came up with several Greek terms: KJV give self over to fornication (E e’kporneu/w KJV) "to be utterly unchaste" ---------------- KJV fornication (P pornei/a KJV) "harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively idolatry (Note: sexual immorality)" ---------------- KJV commit (fornication (P porneu/w KJV) "to act the horlot, i.e., (literally) indulge unlawful lust (of either sex), or (figuratively) practice idolatry" ---------------- KJV fornicator, whoremonger (P po/rnoj KJV) a (male) prostitute (as venal), i.e., (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine) (Note: sexually immoral persons, male prostitutes) ---(end of Greek words) The Hebrew are similar but in all cases, Strong makes no reference to idolatry (figuratively or otherwise) with respect to the meanings of the original Hebrew words. Now, to your question about evidence of sex outside of marriage being a sin -- I'm not sure why you don't look at the word adultery, but fornication, when used by today's American society, has reference to sex outside of marriage by an unmarried person, whereas adultery has reference to sex outside of marriage by a married person. Both are considered a sin, and are identified as such and often together in Biblical passages. Keep in mind, also, that both adultery and fornication is considered a no-no by every major world religion, including those that do not trace their origins back to the Abrahamic vision of God (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). So you are talking about Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, and so on.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think that people forget that a lasting marriage is based on love. People enter marriage as a symbol of their love, the coming together of two lives, a declaration of how their love has united them. Love is not native to religion, it belongs to anyone who chooses it so I see marriage two ways. There are people that understand it is symbolic and yet this doesn't demean it in anyway or those that treat is as a legal ceremony involved with religion.

    I wish you the best in your marriage.

  • 1 decade ago

    Apparently that guy has no imagination nor ability to realize that the world doesn't revolve around his religion. I am sure in cave people times there was some sort of marriage going on. People marry because they are in love and want to spend their lives together. The ceremony, while nice, doesn't matter to that aspect of it. I'm pretty sure my great-grandparents never married (we can't find a date), but they were together until my great-grandmother died.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What meaning ?

    That you promise to be with her, unless you happen to change your mind, in which case you are willing to split your stuff 50/50 ? (or perhaps screw each other over with Lawyers so that neither of you get anything)...

    Sorry, but religious or otherwise, Marriage means nothing to me...

    Actions speak louder than words; If you love someone, you show it by spending the rest of your life making your significant other happy, you don't make meaningless vows...

    Edit: I was speaking in general when I said "You." ie. Whoever happened to be getting married. Personally I hope you have a long and happy marriage... Statistically speaking that is not likely to be the case however...

  • 1 decade ago

    It's a form of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

    "No true marriage would be without religion." It's completely false. I know a few Atheist couples personally.

  • Joeyoj
    Lv 4
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Wife/Husband Relationship Guru
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