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Old 12-21-2012, 08:09 AM
InsaneMystic InsaneMystic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Well, my main problem is actually well shown in your first paragraph. Marriage, to me, is NOT a religiously charged word. It's totally secular, and religious people happen to use the same word for their religious unions.
I can't even relate to that view. It's blatantly obvious to me that it's religiously charged; and in any case, it's objectively, factually wrong to say that it's totally secular. Marriage is a Catholic sacrament. End of story, your point is disproven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Saying that WE have to change the word we use is saying that they're more important, and that they get to decide and keep a word that, from my point of view, did not start as religious (it was an exchange of property, which is a legal affair, not a religious one).

I've said in the past, if religious people want to have their own word, let them create one, "Goddage" or something, and not make everybody else have to change for their sake.
It's not a matter of what is more important, but of simple practicability. By democratic legislation, we can get rid of the secular aspect of marriage, while we can't get rid of the religious ones without instituting a state religion that explicitly doesn't have marriage rites (or at the very least, ban all forms of religion that do have them).

If seperate words are to be used, it must necessarily be secular marriage that gives the term up, because religion has a firm grip on the word and simply cannot be made to give it up by democratic vote. And with civil unions having already been invented (in my eyes, one of the biggest breakthroughs in society ever made!), there's a natural term readily available to replace secular marriage immediately, we just have to go ahead and do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
"Husband" and "wife" are regularly used for long-term couples who aren't actually married, for instance [...]
Huh. That may be a cultural thing... I've never once heard that used for people not actually married around here, with the sole exception of gay couples actively campaigning for gay marriage, who would already be married if it were legal. Everyone else uses the word partners, or a variation of it, never husband and wife; the usual reaction to being addressed as h/w would be "uh, no, we aren't married" nine times out of ten.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
It's just a word change, yes, but everyone is used to this word, all the paperwork is using this word, and it would be a huge hassle for everyone to change all that. [...] The contexts in which the word "marriage" is used in a religious way are, from my point of view, so rare that getting everyone to bend over backwards and say "okay, now this word is ONLY religious, and most of the time we used it, we're going to have to say something else instead" is creating a lot of hassle for no good reason.
Equal rights for all, and strict separation of church and state, are both pretty damn good reasons to go through a little fuss, IMO. Progress on other forms of equality has always created hassle; imagine all the paperwork and fuss needed to instate a right for women to vote, for instance. That should not ever be a valid counterargument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
We're fine with the idea that a date can be a fruit or a number on a calendar, or a rendez-vous. We're fine with "bottle" being a whole range of objects, from baby bottles to plastic bottles. I can't see why the same word "marriage" couldn't have the two meanings it has had for centuries, "life contract between people", as well as the religious one. It doesn't bother me that they're using my word, but I sure aren't going to change the word I'm using for their sake.
(*chooses not to derail this into semantic nitpickery over the synonym examples you gave, even though my fingers are itching...* )
It's not "your word", plain and simple. And yes, it bothers me a lot that people indiscriminately use a word with the connotations this one brings.

To go with what I said to @JaneQSmythe before... There's merit in reclaiming a slur, but I can see no merit in using slurs as synonyms with easily available non-charged words and denying there was any problem with them in the first place. (I'm stopping short of calling marriage "the M-word"... for now. )


Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post
I think that MrS and I had so many conversations about marriage and what it meant to us in particular because we were coming at the idea at such different directions. [etc.]
I gotta say, your story is impressive. I like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post
Sorry, if it seems like I dragged you into a bed of fire by asking you to elaborate on your anti-marriage views. I know it is a topic that pushes buttons for many people. But the most controversial issues are often the most interesting to talk about.
I'm used to it getting heated when I talk about marriage... (imagine being the only one loudly saying "hell no" in a thread named "do you support gay marriage?"... especially when you're not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination, and firmly advocate equal rights for all!)... however, I'm a grown-up and know I could have declined when you asked me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post
I often find that, upon further discussion, people are often closer to agreeing than disagreeing - but terminology and assumptions come into play and people find themselves arguing. For instance, few people here are going to subscribe to an "ownership" model of marriage (although it is still a model largely reflected in our culture and still a real life practice in many cultures) - part of your objection seems to be "fine, then...if that is not what you mean, then call it something else i.e. a civil union." (Pardon me for putting words in your mouth to make a point.)
Yeah. And those words fit my mouth just right, no worries.

I can't overlook that words have power due to the historical weight they carry... and the baggage the word "marriage" has, to me, is a very negative one, filled with sexism, ownership, meddling of church and state, inequality... many of which are things that polyamory is the exact opposite of. That's enough for me to wish for a world where secular law no longer uses that term in any way, and for considering "poly marriage" to be an oxymoron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post
On the other hand it doesn't sound like you think that people should avoid forming "long-term committed relationships" (which is my minimal definition of marriage) just the legal/social institution and what it may imply.
Spot on. *nods vigorously*

While that's not my personal "love style"*, I think long term commitment is a perfectly valid alternative way to go about it, and there are excellent reasons for having civil unions to cover the necessary legal ramifications of it.


* I'm in a very happy 'ship for four years and running, and currently could think of no reason why I shouldn't be with R. as my partner another four years or more down the line, regardless of whether or not there may be other partners involved in the meantime; however, I sure would not say there's long term commitment between us. Either of us knows we have freedom to get up and leave at any time if we should ever feel that way, which permanently gives us the pleasure to know we're together right now out of our own choice. Oh, and thankfully, she has no intention to ever marry me... marriage really isn't her cuppa either.
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