So I've been to a few weddings the past year and one thing I've noticed is how deeply religious the ceremony is. For one wedding it made sense, the father of the bride is a pastor, the bride and her siblings went to christian school. They were a very religious family and the wedding reflected that (no alcohol. ouch). The other weddings were with more mainstream families. I knew the bride and groom were religious from past conversations but it was never a common talking point. They didn't go to church 3 times a week, no jesus necklace, no bible quotes on facebook, they just went to church on sunday every once in awhile. Still, the ceremony was all about Jesus, God and blah blah blah. There was a pastor practically doing a sermon, a couple of prayers including a "guest prayer". It was clear that these were christian marriages. It seemed more like they were marrying god! 

I'm 22, single and nowhere close to getting married but it got me thinking. I'm atheist (obviously, I'm on this site!) but my family is christian. Oh, and I live in the deep south/bible belt. My grandparents and extended family are very religious. Parents not so much but still religious. My friends who I witnessed getting married were no more religious than my family. It's the same go to church every once in awhile and never preach about it. But with the very religious ceremonies I saw it got me wondering what it's gonna be like when the time finally comes for me to get married. Basically all of my family will expect a religious ceremony. My grandma even expressed disbelief one time that some don't even get married in a church! I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar situation. I get that it'll be my wedding and my choice but pissing off 90% of the family isn't exactly a great thing to do. Of course, things could get decided for me if I marry a religious bride but that's another issue. Maybe secular weddings in the south are more common than I think. Just want to hear others' opinions who have been in similar situations. 

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My xtian family looked down on my atheist in-laws - I felt very bad about that; my in-laws were loving people who deserved respect. So after years and years living together my partner and I went to the town hall together and had a ten minutes secular wedding. Sent cards afterwards. My in-laws understood our way of avoiding problems and my own family told us that a wedding isn't valid unless sanctioned by their god.

Oh interesting. So did you have a separate christian ceremony as well?

Of course not. By then I was fully aware that my relation with my family was irreparable, so I didn't bother. The secular wedding was only practical because it's a cheap way to organize your inheritance and family law, xtian wedding unnecessary and the real wedding is just between two people.

That's unfortunate, that divide between families is exactly what I'm hoping to avoid.

Yes, it's painful, but I think I made the best choice by protecting loving people from unloving family, and I was never disappointed by my in-laws. I hope your family is better than mine and I wish you luck.

Religion did not have control of marriage until the 1500's. At the council of Trent it was declared that marriages would no longer be held as valid unless the ceremony was performed by a priest and there had to be 2 witnesses. Prior to that marriage was simply a civil contract, and many people did not bother with the paperwork. Many marriages were what we would consider today as partners.

The far right has always maintained that marriage is a sacred act sanctioned by god, but there is no evidence to support this. Many believers think atheists are stupid because the believer is asking "who married you if there is no god?"

Be that as it may, close to 70% of marriages today are in a church or have a similar like church ceremony. The rest of us seem to manage a civil ceremony of one sort or another.

Same sex marriage was practiced in Rome (mostly by the upper classes) both by male and female until Theodocius II decreed against it. He was emperor from 408 AD til 450 AD.

Ah yes, I hate how christians think that they're the ones that came up with marriage and are the authority on it. Nevermind all the marriages from cultures that came before or never heard of christ. 

There are people in this world who are so stupid that if they were in Africa or Borneo they might remark "look at those silly savages out there and they even think they are married." This mentality is part of what kept racism going in the South for so long, and it was the white man who deliberately kept the black man ignorant. If you could convince yourself that blacks were some sort of sub human without a "soul" you could remain happy with yourself and your god as well.

The big problem here is that I see racism clearly and plainly every day. Not everyone sees it. The modern white man gives himself away without even being aware.

My wife and I were married 9 years when she moved out and got her own apartment. Never once did she get racial disrespect out of me. Skin color has nothing t do with your differences, but we were both believers then and got married in a church.

I was born in 1983 and I am not going to get married. What kind of bad things will happen if you engage in a man-woman relation without getting married first? I am serious, why does marriage have to exist? What about taxes? All taxes are theft. Do you have to get permission from a government before you can engage in a man-woman relationship? (Of course not but I want to make sure I am not wrong). I know these sound like stupid questions but they are not any stupider than asking, what kinds of bad things will happen if you have a kid and you teach your kid techniques for how to not get brainwashed into a religion?
1. They make female condoms. I have a box of them in my dresser drawer, not that I will ever have any use for them, and i know it is probably time for me to throw them away and order new ones.

2. Like most people I think you were taught to think all men only want to see women very briefly just to hook up for sex and then the man and woman never see each other again. I do not know why people think this but these ideas must have come from religion. Marriage must have been invented by religion because religions really care who you marry because religions care that your kids are brainwashed into your religion. Religions care a lot about passing along the religion to your kids.

3. It seems like "marriage" is a euphemism for man-woman relationships because you can't quite admit such a thing can exist, around polite company. The topic embarrasses the hell out of religious people.

4. No, I do not want to see a woman briefly for sex and then have her just leave me.

5. What about divorce? Divorce is common. And why is divorce bad? If me and/ or a woman's personality change enough so that we can't live with each other anymore, we should just quit the relationship and move away from each other. Being married just makes it easy for the woman to legally steal half or more of my assets. And if a woman really, really likes me, she will stay with me, marriage or no marriage and if she quits liking me she will leave me, marriage or no marriage.

6. You seem to be still thinking about man-woman relationships like a religious person. Again, are you sure it makes logical sense to think you can't engage in a man-woman relationship until you pay an agent of the government, who does not know you at all, to give you a piece of paper that says you are legally married? I do not want to think of a woman as like a slave or like my property. Women know they do not have to do anything with me and if a woman friend is unable or unwilling to provide the amount of companionship I need in order to be happy, I have a natural right to find a new woman who is able and willing to provide the amount of companionship I need in order to be happy.
There is a rare procedure which allows involuntarily celibate men - men who otherwise can't find a woman - to still have a kid. I am not doing this anytime soon, but the way it works - I read this in an article on the internet some time ago - You (the man) find a somebody at some kind of clinic who is able and willing to do the procedure. You go to the clinic and make a sperm donation and then your representative at the clinic or organization locates two women (who must be paid for their services). One woman is the egg donator and the other woman is the carrier. No, you cannot or should not just pay a woman to have your kid. Then they combine your half and the egg and then they implant it into the woman who signed up to be the carrier. Then when the kid is born only you are legally responsible for him/ her and neither of the two women legally get to have any control or say so. The singer Ricky Martin did I this.
One more thing. The reason you feel the need to mention contracting a disease is not because you actually think I am likely to see a prostitute and get a disease. You feel the need to mention this because you are still thinking about man-woman relationships like a religious person and religions think sex is forbidden outside marriage and suspicious within marriage, or is a sort of necessary evil which only exist in order to have kids. It turns out that all religious have problems with sex. The psychologist and author Darrel Ray wrote a book I already read, which is about the sexual guilt cycle in religion. The title is, Sex and God : how religion Distorts S-----ity.

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