I've been back and forth on the issue. I never want to be married b/c of its religous roots. However, I would save money on taxes, my social security wouldn't go to waste. My feelings and rationale are at war. What are your thoughts?

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Marriage isn't exactly a religious ritual anymore. Not when what are the numbers 85 or so percent of all couples get divorced? It is now just a tradition like Christmas and Halloween all the religious overtones have been played down.
My "hubby" and I have been together for 11 years now without a formal marriage. However, where we live we're considered common-law married, which carries almost the same benefits as marriage. The only difference I'm aware of is that we could be forced to testify against each other in court; the taxes and benefits are the same. If there were a difference we would probably have formally married, but for us the important thing is our commitment to each other, not a ceremony or government permit.

That being said, I wouldn't consider atheism to be a reason not to get married. Marriage is common to all human cultures, and as others have pointed out, has more to do with social/legal contracts than religion. :)

According to history books, I'm inclined to believe that marriage came before religion. It was a social custom, a tribal custom. It was around as a way to rear children long before beliefs in the supernatural became organized in to religious thought.

This is definitely something that the LGBT community has latched onto in the push for marriage equality. One of the arguments against it is that Christians say marriage is a religious institution, and the LGBT lawyers argue that it's not.

If you are bisexual by any stretch you could consider a marriage to someone of the same gender and that will really piss off the religious right ;) lol

But seriously, marriage is a personal issue. If it's something you want, don't let being an atheist take something you want away from you. Conversely, if you don't want it, then don't feel pressured by society either. Think of it this way, if religion suddenly ceased to exist tomorrow, but marriage still existed as a civil institution, how would you feel towards marriage? Marriage now is a civil institution, you can get married in any religious place but if the state doesn't recognize it, you don't get the benefits.

G'luck with your decision!
New Atheist, you are right. It goes back way before before the Hebrew tradition, all the way to the Sumerians. The way we have it today is more like their custom, and nothing like their god's custom. They've come up with absolutely nothing. Everything they have is ripped from somewhere earlier. Even Sunday! That was the Celtic holy day. Saturday is from the Jews. Ask a Jew.

To respond to the initial issue, I would prefer a lack of marriage only because I don't really see the point in letting the government into my relationship. Nonetheless, I am still on my way to that particular contractual agreement currently. I'm a douche, I know. Long story.
Well, as i have observed that my mother married it can be done without religion.

she did it in the courthouse in "Tromsø" it was simply something they wanted to do to symbolize that they would spend their life together.

i think marriage could have nothing to do with religion, and simply something that people want to do to get closer.
I'm married to a fellow atheist. We got married by a judge then a month later had our big wedding "ceremony" in an art gallery. Besides the obvious advantages like taxes and I now am covered by his health insurance there's the big one of hospitals. The thought of him being involved in a horrific accident and then me not being allowed in to see him because I'm not family is devastating.

Plus, we both simply liked the idea of having a ceremony where we professed our love and commitment to each other in front of our friends and family. Our wedding was amazing. We made up 100% of the ceremony ourselves, we had live musicians, amazing art, an interpretive dance and I even gave a speech coming out as atheist to my family. The first line of the speech was: "Brandon and I do not believe in the supernatural, we do not believe in witchcraft, spirits or life after death. We do not believe in basing or morals on the supernatural nor do we believe in making discriminatory laws based on the supernatural." Then I went on about all the doubts we had about marriage, about how we think it's unfair that we can get married but gays and lesbians can't and how marriage isn't about church or a blessing from the supernatural but it's about love and commitment.

I'm happier now than I ever was single. Screw the church. If you want to get married get married!

and OMG I only wish I had a picture of my mother's face while I was standing on stage in my wedding dress making this speech.
You are my personal hero...
My wife and I were married by a JP at my wife's family home (we had lived together for 2 years) that was 44 years ago. My oldest daughter lived with her future husband for 5 years before being married and my youngest daughter who has lived with her "husband" for 15 years and has 2 children is still not married. None of it involved god, Jeebus or a fucking church

I think I can see where you might feel that way about marriage, however, as others have noted there are other systems to get married by, I.E. Justice of the peace or some humanist/freethinkers can conduct cermonys, capts of ships...etc...I think the important thing is that you and your partner agree what each of you is bringing to the table and what your goals will be once you are married...Its about life time committment.  Its about loving each other through thick and thin...its about having a recognized partnership.   In my state for example...claiming to be the wife or spouse of someone makes it legally so...common-law marriage...filing taxes together as a couple does the same...its the fact that you are presenting your self as married that makes you married...splitting up at that point actually could require a divorce even though you were never officially married...

it's when, as a couple, you get beef from the fascists/intolerants

and it happens during stressful times or argument

is when atheism comes up at all... the world, scocieties just woke up to the internet; when money is key

yeah, folks get crafty; some go white collar and rip up mid class families





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