Saturday, July 12, 2014

Why bother with the ceremony, then?

I recently attended a wedding. I was dismayed at how much weight the preacher who was performing it placed upon the licensing and other "official" recognitions. Even going so far as to talk about them during the ceremony- something I have never heard done before. Is this a new thing?

Sure, he talked about how the couple desired more than just the "legal" recognition, and that's why they chose the religious ceremony (and the associated fortune spent), but he kept emphasizing the "license" and "legal" aspects as if the ceremony were a mere show, and the actual marriage only hinged upon the State's blessing.

I guess that's why some make such a huge deal out of the gay marriage thing. After all, if the religious ceremony is that unimportant to the reality of the marriage, even to the religious, then what is left? Only the State's blessing.

If you tell me you are married, that is all the confirmation I need. If you choose to make it any of my business. I will never ask to see your permits. What sort of idiot would?

Never invite The State into your marriage! That's a threesome you really don't need.



  1. I remember reading, a long time ago, about early marriage practices in Europe. Only the aristocracy were married in churches. The serfs and peasants stood up in front of family and friends and other villagers and declared their commitment to each other, no priest to attend and definitely no government interference. Later, after common people began getting married in churches, the government realized that they could tax the whole thing and, voila, marriage licenses.

    1. Bingo.

      The act of marriage is at its heart a simple thing. Two people declare their commitment to each other, in front of witnesses. That's more or less it. All cultures, regardless of what other details or window dressing they care to apply to it, stick to that simple, basic formula.

      Strip it back to its basic form and it's the essence of libertarianism. A contract, entered into voluntarily for mutual benefit.

      There are various ways to poison that vision, of course. Marriages where one party's participation isn't voluntary is a classic. There can be no contract there, so the whole thing's invalid to anyone who respects the idea of self-ownership, but there have been plenty of cultures which did that and some that still do.

      The modern disease is the idea that the state has some sort of right to be involved in the business of marriage, and that you need its licence or permission before you can go ahead and marry the (meaningfully informed and consenting) individual of your choice.

  2. I don't think I've been to a wedding in at least 35 years. They give me the creeps.
    It's like watching a slave auction.

  3. One of the reasons people wanted to get married in front of their friends and family was to publicly show the combination of two households. Now what this meant in terms of property rights, I'm not sure they ever really had a good answer for that.

  4. This type of ceremony is better defined as celebrating their new 3-way contract with the State and not so much their love or devotion to one another. Perhaps they could simply marry their parents instead.